Paris Goodnight: Looking down for signs of trouble

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

What do you pay attention to when you’re not hard at work or play? When I’m out in the neighborhood, or strolling the streets downtown, one thing I look for is trouble like a nail or a screw that might end up in a tire if not removed.

I’ve even seen a key get embedded in a car’s tire, so if I come across something like that, I pick it up and toss in a garbage can. Luckily, plenty of those are nearby in the city to take care of such items.

It’s not a good feeling when you hear that telltale sign of something clinking in a tire as you drive along and realize you’re going to be in need of a repair shop before long. The key that ended up in a tire once even had the guys who work on such repairs daily scratching their heads as to how it ended up there.

I would’ve liked to see a slow motion video of exactly how it managed to pop up and pierce the layers of the tire as it rolled over, but however it happened, it was not something that could be patched. So I ended up with a new tire to get me back rolling down the road smoothly.

I’m not as quick to pick up litter/trash as I should be when I’m out and about, but I notice it, even more if I’m somewhere like Salisbury Community Park or Lake Corriher Wilderness, where nothing manmade should be left behind if we’re all going to enjoy such places as they were meant to be.

When I’m walking the dog, it’s not always easy to concentrate on anything but keeping him out of the neighbor’s flowers or out of the way if cars are zipping by. But I still like to be on the lookout for items on the road or sidewalk that could be hazardous, or could lead to good fortune like a lucky penny, as long as it’s heads up of course. I generally leave those face down coins right where they are, but I will pick up a shiny copper one if I see Lincoln’s image in the right light.

I also like to pay attention to those who are around me when I’m out of an office setting. I had one such hiking companion who I noticed was having some serious sinus issues while we were away on an adventure. When he had to stop from climbing up one ridge and sent me on ahead, I knew that wasn’t normal and pointed that out to him as clearly as I could. Knowing as a card-carrying member of the He Man Club, he probably wouldn’t take my advice to see a doctor about it anyway. So I made sure to talk to his wife about the troubles I’d noticed and she assured me she would make sure he got it checked out. Fast forward a few doctor visits later, and he’s set up for bypass surgery to repair heart issues that were the likely culprit and just happened to be manifesting themselves as a sinus problem.

I told him I knew I should have been a doctor all along, but unfortunately that Chemistry 11 class weeded me out of that option early.

I just didn’t think what he said and what effects he was showing sounded like a sinus problem, but something worse.

So even if no one’s around to point out such issues, get them checked out if you can. Guys in general don’t visit doctors like they should, and even when they do, it’s not always easy to tell the professionals exactly what’s going on. I’m the world’s worst at that myself. In fact, one doctor used to request that my wife come along to appointments just so he could hear what was really going on since I couldn’t seem to provide all the necessary details correctly. If only she could tag along to other such gatherings to provide the correct translations of what’s going on, but that might be asking too much.

Paris Goodnight is editor of the Salisbury Post.