Lum: Further down the rabbit hole |

Lum: Further down the rabbit hole

Su Lum

As I tumble down the rabbit hole, I pass all the familiar faces — the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire cat, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee — and then I land on a toadstool ruled by the Lavender King of Lower Back Pain, who brandishes a red-hot trident that he stabs between my L2 and L3 and sends me on my way to the Dysphonia Queen — queen of laryngitis — who rips out my vocal cords, then plop onto the lap of the Evil Tooth Fairy, who maladjusts my molars, and here I am unable to move, speak or chew, wondering, as Dorothy Parker put it, what fresh hell awaits me around the next corner.

This is National Truck Month; did you know that? Who gets to choose these things? Nobody asked me. I would have picked National Potbellied Pig Month. Whatever happened to all those potbellied pigs? They for sure need at least a month dedicated to their survival.

I reserved a box of shelling peas from Steve at the local farmers market via Okagawa Farms in Grand Junction. This was a good example of the kind of serendipity I’ve been experiencing the past couple of months. My friend Hilary had to work, so Nancy, another BFF, picked them up for me. At that moment, a box of peas and I were about as compatible as two bags of rocks. Neither I nor the peas were capable of advancing our friendship, I being pretty much tied to the bed except for agonizing limps-with-walker trips to the john and the peas rudely refusing to shell themselves.

Just “in the nicotine,” as my father used to say, my daughter Hillery and her friend Kim arrived en route from Hotchkiss to Leadville. Kim caught the pea fever and shelled half the box, Hilary finished and froze them that evening, and we’re set for peas for the winter. And they were just the right age, size and sweetness.

I got a ballot in the mail — surprise. Looked like everything was unopposed, but it turns out there is a contest for county commissioner. Mine was a Democratic ballot; I don’t know what the Republicans are up to. Anyway, I am voting for Greg Poschman.

I’m not too happy with the Democrats these days. They are right up there with PBS as the worst money-grubbing telemarketers. The last time they called, I said that if it didn’t cease, I was going to vote for Donald Trump. That scared them, but probably not enough to get me off the list. I’ll have to add “little old lady on oxygen with laryngitis and a lower-back-pain level of 81/2 who can’t even chew” as reasons for me to get off their call list, but no matter how off-putting the Democrats may get, I’m just bluffing about Trump.

Part of the laryngitis is the return of the super-sized hairballs, which I thought I had outgrown. Now I squeeze saline solution into the catheter in my neck, which triggers a very scary-sounding deep cough followed by the expulsion of rock-hard little asteroids and/or large, sticky projectiles, which I group in the “hairball” category. For an hour I can speak and breathe, and then the buildup begins.

I emailed Dr. Michael Schwartz, my trans-trach man at National Jewish. He commented that Job was rewarded in the end. Yeah, boy — that Yahweh was quite the card.

As well as shelling peas, Kim was the marijuana expert and picked out a lotion and a patch, which were said to totally avoid pot weirdness. I don’t know why Steve Skadron is thinking of limiting pot outlets — it cost $25 for one patch and $35 for a little dab of lotion, neither of which manifested any change at all.

Back in Washington, D.C., one of the bald eagle babies has flown off and the second one is perched on a high branch like the kid getting up the nerve to jump off the high diving board. In Emma, there are at least three osprey eggs, and a digging machine was hard at work feet from their nest, which I’m sure disturbed the parents. Don’t forget: You’re on “Candid Camera,” guys.

I had a weird night last night. I couldn’t remember how to turn on my audible books and was feeling generally feeble-minded. Then when I woke up in the morning, I felt terrible, almost paralyzed. Why not add a little paralysis to the list? Just then, Hillery got up and luckily heard me croak at her.

Turns out I had asked Hillery to check the humidifying bubbler last night but omitted asking her to check the tank itself. I had been running on empty all night, and my oximeter reading was 60. Lordy Lord.

So if this column sounds kind of funny (not ha-ha), blame it on my sputtering gas tank.

Su Lum is a longtime local whose tale keeps getting longer. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at


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