Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge – Hurry Up & Wait

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Hearty congratulations to the owner/operators of newly opened Browns Socialhouse on Harvey. Sorry I missed the party.The anticipated opening of the popular chain restaurant/pub in Kelowna is perfect timing from a personal perspective regarding assisting the safety side of my festive season fun. Conveniently located just several snow ball tosses or a short sleigh ride from home Browns provides us an option play over leftovers or laziness.Tez and I were initially stoked at the invitation to attend a pre opening promotional kick-off event on the weekend, however quickly realized the odds of attending the fun filled afternoon were slim. I had already committed to another fun food fling two months before, volunteering to help cook Christmas dinner for some 60 people. Tez and I knew the chances were good I’d be a tad too busy making food for others instead of the alternative.On the positive side I was playing chef for a wonderful band of brothers and their friends and family while spending the entire day hanging out in a kitchen with three entertaining characters.Josh, Julian, Robert and I had managed to prep the turkeys, potatoes and other goodies in good time and were applauding ourselves or being on schedule as I finished off chopping a few croutons for the stuffing. That’s when I literally cut the conversation short by placing my middle finger on the left hand in the direct line of a nasty sharp serrated edge knife. So much for being on schedule or slipping away for a visit to Browns.I tried denying the slice through the nail and into the finger was of any great significance, however the boys would have nothing to do with my stubbornness and Julian whisked me off to emergency for some TLC.If you want to bond with someone you barely know I highly recommend a minor amount of trauma and a long afternoon in an emergency award to speed the process.An eyebrow raising, perplexing scenario awaited us at emergency. Standing in a line-up waiting for the next available clerk (and there was only one) in an emergency ward just seems a little odd.After checking in with the polite worker at checkpoint A I trundled my way down to checkpoint B, where I went through a few more questions and filled out yet another form. Julian and I then ventured further down the short hallway to checkpoint C – entrance to the not such a big deal emergency repair room.After shorter time than anticipated (but still longer than desired when bleeding­) I was called into the ward and sent to ‘bed four’ where once again it was hurry up and wait time.Being a fly on the wall (or in this particular case a bum on the bed) in KGH emergency was informative. Recognizing my wound truly was of minor nature I attempted to remain patient and listened to the interaction of doctors and clients around me. Flimsy curtains provide little in the way of verbal privacy so I was privy to a great amount of the chatter.A diminutive but engaging doctor with crazy, thinning, curly hair (not unlike my own) was the first to examine my finger and replaced my first swath of bandages. As in the previous routines he asked me a few questions before disappearing.During the next 20 minutes sitting on the bed wondering if I’d been forgotten I was treated to a debate between a couple staff members regarding recommended procedures for another patient. Clearly the patient of debate had significant issues yet apparently no family or resources to count on. While frustrated with feeling forgotten and his abruptness with me, I admit to being impressed with the crazy haired doctor’s concern regarding follow-up care plan for the other client.Finally another doctor asked loudly what the plan was for ‘the fellow with the finger’ to which Dr. crazy hair replied, “Oh that dude in four is just a stitch, glue and go.”I’ve been called a lot of names over the years but chuckled at the dude term. So did Julian. Seems my new nickname with my newly formed friend is “stitch and glue”.On the bonus side at least I do not have to do dishes for a week.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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