Bad news from home: My sister has to undergo yet another round of treatment for that condition she's suffering from. It's a serious condition with which you can live, but, depending on how bad it gets, it's going to reduce your quality of life as well as your life expectancy.

So, how many fingers would I give if I could make it work out this time?

I'll try to be honest with you here.

I say five, if I could choose which five they are. Second, third and fourth finger of the left hand, third and fourth finger of the right hand. Could I still brush my teeth? Check. Could I still handwrite? Check. Could I still tie my shoes? With a little bit of retraining, check. Could I still turn a book's pages? Check. In fact, the only thing I can think of that I need all of my fingers for is touch-typing. And that was something William Faulkner couldn't do, and he still won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Five doesn't really seem like that much of a sacrifice.


I'd like to tell you that I was the person who kicked her arse into therapy, but in fact it was mainly her 15-year-old daughter. I wasn't too surprised to hear that given that I know her as a clever, courageous and sometimes forceful kid that cares very much about her mother. And who raised that kid? Exactly.


I was a child that started speaking abnormally late. It may be that my mind's making this up, but I seem to remember the reasons for it: It wasn't as though I was too stupid, but it seemed like a lot of work and it didn't seem necessary. When I wanted something to eat or drink, I'd just pull my mother into the kitchen, point at something and make a Neanderthal-type sound. In other words, I was too lazy.

At some point, however, I did start speaking. I was still lazy, though, so I devised my own technique. I think it consisted of leaving out pretty much all of the consonants. Nobody could understand what I was saying, with the exception of one person. So I'd approach my mother and say: "Eeuuaioooeiau". Upon which my sister would be called from her room - "Lemmus has spoken again!" - and I'd be asked to repeat what I'd said. "Eeuuaioooeiau", I would go and my sister would say: "Oh, he says he would like some more of those tasty biscuits he had yesterday." So, around the time she started school, my sister had her first job - as my personal interpreter.

Maybe six would be more appropriate.


John Althouse Cohen said...

Very sorry to hear about this. Best wishes to sis.

LemmusLemmus said...

Thank you, John. It's appreciated!

Political Scientist said...

Dear LemmusLemmus,

I am very sorry to have read this. You and your sister will be in my thoughts.
Best wishes

LemmusLemmus said...

Thank you, Political Scientist!