Sunday, December 31, 2006


A few months ago, the Daddy d’Elisson - Eli, hizzownself - took one of those Stress Tests as part of his annual physical.

It’s the one in which they inject you with radioactive thallium. For about three days afterward, you’re “hot” enough to register on a Geiger counter. Sounds scary, but they say it’s harmless, and who am I to argue with the Sawbones Union?

Eli’s still physically active despite his eighty-one years, playing racquetball at least three times a week, so he passed his Stress Test with flying colors. The doc sent him on his way with a note that explained To Whomever It May Concern that he would be glowing in the dark (figuratively speaking) for a few days.

The note, as it turns out, came in handy.

A day or so later, he and Toni were invited to a Mets game by Toni’s youngest son Curtis and his wife Michelle. They took the train into New York from their home on the south shore of Long Island, then the subway to Shea Stadium. Convenient!

The subway station sits right next to the stadium entrance. They went in, and then had to walk to the opposite side of the ballpark to get to their seats.

They had almost reached their section when a brace of cops tapped The Old Man on the shoulder, saying, “Sir, please come with us” in a tone that made it clear refusal was not an option.

Waiting for him were a couple of Homeland Security agents. They had been tracking Eli since he had first entered the stadium grounds and were very interested to know why he was radioactive. Had he been, perhaps, handling nuclear material? Was he trying to smuggle an atomic device into Shea Stadium?

Good thing he had the doctor’s note. It saved him from, very possibly, an Unpleasant Colonic Probe. Now, that would have been a helluva Stress Test.

So: Rest easy, America! Homeland Security is on the job!

Update: Apparently, this is not such an unusual problem.

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