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Star in LA

The story I told at FrayCafe2. Let's return to 1984, back in the days before Olympic-sized controversy that we know today. My parents and I went to LA to see a hearing specialist at House Ear Institute and made a vacation of it. I was 14. Don't bother with the math, as of this writing, I'm 32.

We stayed at the Ramada Inn. Remember this: Ramada Inn — bad. The trip began with all kinds of room problems and we moved to another room. Then, in the middle of the night, we returned to our original room. There's more to it, but it's a long story.

Sleeping soundly and with good reason, apparently there was a knock on the door. I guess Mom answered it and came to wake me up. It was a fireman telling us we needed to exit the building. What little I remember while in a fog of sleepiness and something else, Dad went to vomit and I couldn't get out of bed.

I felt chained to the bed, like gravity forced its hand on me. The fireman came over to me and put his hands under my armpits to drag me out of the room. Oh, did that hurt. Not until we were outside, did it dawn on me that I was in purple and white striped pajamas. Not something a 14-year-old wants to be seen wearing in public.

There were blankets laid around the parking lot with hotel guests sitting on them while medics addressed their problems. The 6:30 am California sun greeted us as we were confused with the whole ordeal. They whisked away away Mom, Dad and me into an ambulance to a local hospital.

At the hospital, I roomed with Mom. The first nurse came out to take blood and from my bony wrist. Poke, poke, poke. Good God, find a vein, woman! It hurt and she left at least three holes in my wrist. Giving up, she went to get another nurse who managed to get what she needed. That's why I cringe whenever anyone wants to put an IV in my wrist like when I had an endoscopy.

We learned that we had been exposed to carbon monoxide. If humans have nine lives, I knew I had used one that day. Thank God, I lived beyond 14. We couldn't do anything. We had to spend the night at the hospital while they fed us oxygen, IV liquid, and food.

Most kids want to be famous whether it be TV star, movie star, or rock star. Since I couldn't sing, TV or movies would be cool with me. We had the television on in our room and the local news reported on the hotel's incident. Then, to my horror, I see a teen in a purple and white striped pajamas. Not exactly the way I ever dreamed on being on TV in LA!

Flipped the channel... every major network caught it and all I could think about was that my favorite TV stars are seeing me like this!

Postscript: Yes, we put the ordeal behind us and did get to see LA. Disneyland, a taping of Wheel of Fortune, and a taping of Benson with John Hancock (one of my fave actors) guest starring. The only celeb I saw outside the tapings was Allan Arbus from M*A*S*H.

Posted March 14, 2002 10:24 AM :: Tags: :: Category: Nothing Important

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