The Time I Met the Green Power Ranger

I knew that Comic Con was coming to Richmond. I knew where it would be and vaguely realized that this was some sort of big deal.

I also knew I wouldn’t be going anywhere near it during its weekend duration at the Convention Center, especially since the minimum ticket price was $75.

I just didn’t know how wrong this assumption was.

Flashback to Friday, September 12, the night after the first day of Comic Con Richmond. My BFF and I were hanging out at a bar, catching up on our weeks over a casual drink. After awhile we noticed two gentlemen, sitting just a few seats away, who kept glancing in our direction.

Eventually they came up to us and asked if they could join. After a few minutes of small talk, they told us that they were here for the weekend visiting from Ohio. They both worked at a comic book store in Columbus and had traveled around with Comic Con on a regular basis.

Then they asked if we had any plans to go to the convention that weekend.

Since my mild interest in the Walking Dead is pretty much the extension of my “nerdiness,” I told them probably not.

Baffled that we weren’t planning to go, they started talking about all of the big names that would be there:

– [Some guy I don’t know]

– [Another guy I don’t know]

– [Some guy I had heard of but thought was dead]

– Jason David Frank

“You know,” one of them clarified, “Tommy Oliver, of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”

Game changer.

Our two new gentlemen friends then told us that if we go to the Convention Center and tell them that we’re with [the name of their comic book store in which I cannot disclose but whose name I plan to use at every future Comic Con that comes to Richmond], we will get in for free.

Another game changer.

Fast forward to the next day.

BFF and I meander (/hobble) up the Convention Center (behind four Ghostbusters, two Khaleesi’s, and one completely green lady with fun noodles attached to her head).

We went up to Will Call and told the person that we’re with [still not going to reveal the name of the comic book store in Ohio, but spoiler alert: it totally got us into Comic Con for free.]

She added our names to the list, put on our bracelets, and guess what, it totally got us into Comic Con for free.

Has anybody ever felt so overwhelmed by shiny objects that you can’t even think of a word more powerful than overwhelmed?

Because that’s exactly how we felt. Literally everybody was dressed up as some sort of mythical creature, comic book character, or superhero.

There were vendors selling comic books, action figures, Halloween costumes (actually, let’s be honest, I doubt they were for Halloween), books, baby clothes, posters, DVDs, and trinkets.

Distractions aside, we powered through and continued on to our mission: Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver.

Finally, we found his booth and got in line. He had just arrived for the 5:00 autograph and photo session.

Perfect timing.

Fearful that when we got up to the front we would be forced to pay the $40 autograph/photo op fee, we spent our 20 minutes in line taking stealthy pictures of Jason David Frank.

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When we got to the front of the line, we were told that without paying, we would only be allowed to say hi and introduce ourselves, and then we would have to move on.

Seeing as we had gotten this far without pulling out our wallets, we decided to press our luck. I crutched over, as pitifully as possible, and put on my best, “Think of yourself as granting a Make-A-Wish” face. I told him that he was my childhood crush (I mean, whose childhood crush was he not?) and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a second to sign my cast?

Okay so. Not only did he comply with signing my cast (autograph complete with the name “Tommy” written underneath it), he also:

  • wished me a speedy recovery
  • told us a story of his recent foot injury (base jumping. I told him that’s how I had hurt mine too. He didn’t even pretend to believe me.)
  • Allowed us to get our picture with him for free
I know what you're thinking, and yeah, I was squeezing his muscles in this photo

I know what you’re thinking, and yeah, I was squeezing his muscles in this photo

  • and took a photo of his signature on my cast and put it on his Instagram.
My cast now has likes from 1127 of the Green Power Ranger’s closest friends.

My cast now has likes from 1127 of the Green Power Ranger’s closest friends.

Now all I have to do is befriend Minnie Mouse, find a castle to live in, and marry Aladdin, and all of my childhood dreams will be complete.

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I Remember When I Had a Cast…

The thing about wearing a cast is that everybody sees it as an invitation to tell you about the time that they had a cast.

Which I don’t mind; it’s more of a self-inside-joke. Whenever someone starts a sentence with, “I remember when I had a cast…” or, “I was on crutches not too long ago…” I exchange an internal sideways glance and “oh, here we go again!” smiling eye roll with myself.

Some of the stories are pretty entertaining (I once met a girl who broke her wrist doing the Dougie at a wedding). Some of them are predictable (sports injury, torn ACL). Some are surprisingly mundane (the amount of people that have broken a bone while walking up the stairs or tripping over a crack in the sidewalk is astounding).

People also seem to feel much more comfortable talking to someone with a cast. I guess when I have two normal feet, I’m just too intimidating.

So it certainly didn’t surprise me when one day, while waiting at the bus transfer station to go home, a man looked at my cast and came to sit down next to me.

He was about mid-fifties, with tattered clothes, bloodshot eyes, and skin reeking of stale booze. He pointed to my foot and told me how similar we were.

Very few homeless people have ever told me that.

I asked him why he thought so, and he told me that he had just gotten out of the hospital for a foot injury.

Sideways glance, smiling eye roll.

I asked him what happened (knowing he would tell me either way). He said that, for some reason, his right foot had suddenly become numb from the ankle down five months ago, so he basically walked around with a dead foot.

He said that the hospital wasn’t able to help, and they sent him home after a few days, saying that it would probably get better eventually.

He then went on to tell me about the hardships of having an unusable foot; about the times that he tripped over it from walking too fast, the injuries he had sustained, and the emotional turmoil that resulted.

Yup, we’re like twins.

The good news is, in case anybody was wondering, his doctors did help him order some new orthopaedic shoes that would help him walk more smoothly and avoid falling altogether.

He then told me that he couldn’t afford crutches, but asked if he could borrow one of mine.

How convenient that the bus pulled up at that very moment…

The Recovery Week

Alright so, I had my foot surgery (the “Kidner Procedure” in case anybody wants to look up a really tedious medical article about it later) in mid-August.

It’s been about a month (although some days it feels like years…) but I feel that I should really share more information on that, you know, week of recovery. Aka, the week of elevation, ice, Percocet, whining, the entire series of House of Cards, and more naps combined than I have ever taken in my life.

Crazy Things Drugs Make Me Say

On the day of the surgery, I had absolutely no concerns whatsoever. My mom drove me to the doctor’s office, she asked me if I was nervous, I said no, and we continued to talk about the latest episode of This American Life.

When I got there, I signed in and luckily didn’t have to wait very long before the very nice, yet slightly patronizing, nurse called me back.

I filled out all the waivers, put on the hospital gown, and received the rundown from my pre-op nurse. Once I had gotten the sedative, they let my mom come in to take my belongings and say a final farewell.

Once the sedative kicked in, I had apparently become distressed over the cost of the surgery, and had started scheming ways to make a little extra money on the side.

I assume that by now everyone has thoroughly researched the “Kidner Procedure” and you understand the logistics of the surgery that I underwent. However, for those of you that for some reason didn’t take the time, this procedure consists of removing an extra bone on the inside of my foot, called an accessory navicular, which had been dislocated due to an injury I sustained back in February.

Once my mom sat down, I asked her, if I put my removed bone under my pillow that night, how much money she thought the Tooth Fairy would leave? Because didn’t she think that bones were worth more than teeth?

She told me that she didn’t think the Tooth Fairy worked that way, and that anyway, the doctor had to send the bone to the medical lab and wouldn’t allow us to take it home.

Back to the drawing board.

Once I got into the operating room, I watched all of the medical staff preparing everything. I then introduced myself and requested that everyone else do the same; since we were going to be spending the next hour or so together, we might as well get to know each other. They obliged, and then one of the nurses told me there would be a quiz after the surgery.

I’m certainly glad they forgot about the quiz, because I don’t have the slightest idea what anyone’s name was.

I awoke once the surgery was over and felt them wheeling me out of the operating room. Allegedly, during my anaesthesia-induced coma, I had dreamt that one of the staff members, a 50-something-year-old male nurse, and I had spent the day at the beach together. Once I woke up, I immediately pointed to him and told him about my dream, and how much fun we had had. He then went on to tell me that that must have been a great dream, because he’s scuba certified and loves going to the beach.

I then asked him if he would like to go scuba diving with me sometime because 1) I too am scuba certified, 2) I haven’t been diving in a long time since I’ve had a very hard time finding a dive buddy and 3) we had such a great time at the beach that morning, it only seemed logical. He seemed flattered, but told me it had been at least twenty years since he last dived.

I just couldn’t cut a break.

Then the post-op nurse came in and started preparing everything so that I could leave. In an attempt to make friendly small talk, I asked her if she had any other surgeries that day. She said yes, one more. A few minutes later, I asked her the same thing, and she gave me the same answer. Realizing that our conversation sounded familiar, I asked if I had just said that. She smiled and said yes, but it’s okay.

This exact conversation happened three more times before I left.

The Week of Recovery

My mother, the saint of my life, so graciously assisted me during the week of the recovery process. She made sure that my ice pack was always cold, my pillows were always fluffed, and she let me eat as many saltines as I wanted without judgment.

However, it was likely the most stir-crazy I have ever felt in my life.

My week of doing nothing, except letting my stupid useless foot heal, in Snapchat form:

 

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This is also the story of how I lost all of my friends.

 

^ This is also the story of how I lost all of my friends.