Lyle and that thing on his arm

pinkies up, yo!

After finishing music school, I moved back in with my parents…temporarily. it was so embarrassing that within a few months I was already living most of the time at my girlfriend’s and soon enough (when she was sick of having me there all the time) I found a place of my own. The Valhalla House.

The story of the Valhalla House is a long and glorious one. Perhaps I’ll tell it another time. It’s certainly entertaining enough, but I came here tonight to tell you about Lyle and that thing on his arm. He already had the thing on his arm when I moved into the Valhalla House, but I didn’t see it till much later. By then it was too late.

We were living in the shadow of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and yet here I was living with a guy who believed the thing on his arm could be healed with alternative medicine.

I’ve got nothing against alternative medicine, for the most part, but if you’ve got a weird growth on your arm whose colour and shape are changing…well, go to a doctor. A real doctor. With a degree. A medical degree. Not some looney tunes madman who suggests you rub an herbal salve on your skin cancer. Are you an idiot? No? Well, then go to a damned doctor.

You’re asking yourself, ‘Why is lahikmajoe so worked up about this?‘ Good question.

The first part of the answer is that Lyle died within six months. You might think he died of skin cancer. I prefer to think he died of ignorance and stubbornness.

The other part of my answer is that for the last few weeks I haven’t been sleeping because of a similar thing. It’s a mole on my leg that I’ve had since I was a child. It’s been the same shape since I was a teenager, and in all likelihod it’s been the same since I was a kid…I don’t know for sure. I didn’t know anything about skin cancer until my roommate died of the godforsaken thing.

But enough people have said over the years, ‘You really should get that thing checked out.‘ So finally I did.

The doctor said, ‘I’m going on holiday soon, but we’ll take a sample and then you can call next week on Thursday before I leave. By then we’ll have the results from the lab.

Sounded good. Well, not good. But it sounded like the best plan under the circumstances. So I tried not to think about it. Couldn’t sleep. Played music at weird hours of the night. Annoyed people on Twitter during times I should normally be off to dreamland.

It wasn’t pretty. I’m a terrible patient. Impatient as hell.

The next Thursday came, I called in the morning, I called in the afternoon…no response. I called again Friday morning, but by then the doctor had fucked off on her holiday. Really.

Look, doctors have hard lives. I’m not being sarcastic. Most people think doctors earn a lot and don’t work very hard. It’s not true. Some are lazy, but some people in any profession are lazy. Except ukulele players. They’re NEVER lazy.

For the most part, in my experience, doctors earn the money that they deserve. It’s a demanding profession.

But this doctor? Let’s just say she wasn’t my favourite human being for several days.

More insomnia. More cursing at the heavens.

I can be a prima donna with the best of them. No one had ever experienced anything as woeful as this in the history of history. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s my damned blog. Deal with it.

After lab results and another doctor and spending most of yesterday in that doctor’s office, it turns out it was nothing. 100% non cancerous…the thing on my leg. Still not happy with the first doctor, but that emotion is slowly dissipating.

The moral of this story.

Never date a ukulele player. That’d be really stupid.


  1. Wow, I totally understand all of the late night lahikmajoe tweeting now.

    Hopefully now that you know you can get some decent sleep.

    (happy you’re okay, and idling isn’t the same as lazing, right?)

  2. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Andreas the other day: you’re not allowed to die until after I do. I’m not in the least bit prepared to deal with life without you in it.

    I’m so glad you’re ok.

    Pinkies up, yo. Dream of all the cheese.

  3. Thanks everyone.

    They say that after such a scare, you appreciate the little things more. I’ve tried to stay open to such perspective, but dog food tastes the way it always did.

  4. You’ve already had my comments on this (and again, so happy everything is fine), but I just wanted to say, that thing about dating a ukelele player?

    It’s really, really true. I’m living it right now.

    Plinkplinkplinkplinkplink… it’s pleasant when he decides to actually play a song, but mostly he just plinks. It seems to soothe him.


    1. Yes, you have a good memory.

      Named that dog after the musician Lyle Lovett. She was the best dog I’ve ever known. I love Ella and Louis like crazy, but I’ll never have another dog like Lyle.

  5. I am happy your tests came out 100% clean. Skin cancer is not a pretty thing. You noted that Lyle died of “ignorance and stubbornness”, yet you, like so many of us (myself included) put off “getting that thing checked out”. Why do we do that, when we all know someone who is no longer with us that should’ve done “that” sooner? That breast lump, that mole, that pain in the chest we ignore…why do we do these things? We all feel invincible until we have to wait too long for results to a test we probably should’ve had long ago. Been there, done that. Glad you are ok my Twitter friend.

    PS: I have no fear of Ukeleles. I find them friendly and comforting and as relaxing as a vacation in…well…The Islands.

  6. My sister had a scary-looking mole on her back. She asked for it to be removed, and they told her they could do that and take a sample at the same time.

    Two years (yes, years!) later she was asked why she hadn’t attended to get the thing removed. Well, you know, that may have been because she never recieved an appointment. Good thing it turned out to be benign. I’m really glad that your results were clean too.

    I have seven ukuleles (yes, really. No, I don’t know why). I raise my hand and plead guilty to plinking – while my husband can play “Freebird” on them.

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