Thursday, March 23, 2015
By MICHAEL WALSH
A few years back — sometime late in the last century — my wife broke her ankle. At first she thought it was just a sprain, but when it didn't improve, we finally paid a visit to the local hospital's emergency room. After an x-ray confirmed the break, she was admitted for an overnight visit that included corrective surgery.
Among her memories of the incident were the number of times various hospital personnel asked whether alcohol had been a factor in her accident. (It had not.)
I thought about that on my way to the doctor last Wednesday morning. One week ago today (March 16), I'd turned my right ankle. Walking, already a slow process given an ongoing problem with my left leg, was now a serious hassle. With no improvement by Wednesday, my wife (recalling her own experience) insisted that we have it checked by the professionals.
What would I say if asked whether alcohol was involved?
I'd have to tell the truth: yes — just not the way you think.
Monday evening we'd been to the local government liquor store to stock up on fine Vancouver craft brews. I was the one pushing the shopping cart on the way back to the car. There was an inclined ramp joining the parking area with the sidewalk where the weight of the loaded cart made it speed up just enough to pull me forward.
Much to my embarrassment, my feet failed to keep up, and I fell to my knees, turning my ankle in the process. Ouch!
I actually had to be helped up. A passing lady, who'd been a health professional, knew the proper technique for dealing with just such situations. Did I say I was embarrassed?
So, two days later on the way to the doctor, I'm thinking, yes, alcohol was involved.
Following an x-ray, our family doctor confirmed that the ankle was unbroken but badly swollen. She advised such measures as staying off the foot, keeping it elevated and obtaining something called a walking boot to provide a measure of secure mobility until our next visit in a week's time.
In the meantime, I've been able to enjoy some reading, television, the company of good friends and the responsible consumption of some of that craft beer that brought about this whole adventure. Unfortunately, the pace of postings to Reeling Back has slowed to a trickle. The ten most recent add-ons to the archive were:
VIXEN! / FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! — In 1968, exploitation film auteur Russ Meyer touched down on Vancouver Island to film establishing shots for the satirical sex comedy that would become the first American feature film released with the MPAA's newly minted X-rating. (Posted March 21)
SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE — Despite the best of intentions, the fourth and final feature in the original Superman franchise is a picture that offers many fine moments that never quite come together. (Posted March 20)
A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE — What better way to celebrate all things Irish than with this 1995 romantic comedy filmed in Dublin. Though its director was the Anglo-Indian Suri Krishnamma and his star English-born Albert Finney, the character he played was a true son of the auld sod, besotted with a love for the works of Oscar Wilde. (Posted March 17)
VIDEODROME — At a time when he was best known as a horror director, David Cronenberg managed to successfully incorporate the ideas of media analyst Marshall McLuhan into this movie, a surreal 1983 shocker that starred James Woods as a cable TV station president who encounters the future of broadcasting. (Posted March 15)
FLASH GORDON — Though he starred in this 1980 epic, the biggest of the big screen renditions of Alex Raymond's innovative comic strip, actor Sam J. Jones went from being unknown to being forgotten in the time it took the picture to play out its theatrical engagements. (Posted March 9)
BLUE STEEL — One way to note International Women's Day is to recall that Kathryn Bigelow — the only member of her sex to win a best director Academy Award — came to fame directing Jamie Lee Curtis in an action-packed, decidedly feminist 1991 feature about a policewoman in pursuit of a serial killer. (Posted March 8)
HOLLYWOOD NORTHERNERS QUIZ — Restoring a page from 1979's The Canadian Movie Quiz Book, we marked the City of Toronto's 181st birthday with a Q&A honouring seven "Queen City Players" who found fame in Hollywood. (Posted March 6)
BEETLEJUICE — In 1988, Tim Burton established himself as a major directorial talent with his second feature film, an imaginative new approach to horror comedy brought to life by the memorable performances of Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Wynona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara. (Posted March 4)
VIP, MIO FRATELLO SUPERUOMO — Italian animation legend Bruno Bozzetto came to fame with this 1968 superhero parody, a cartoon that combined sharp social commentary with commercially astute characters. (Posted March 3)
THE GREY FOX — The best of the Northwesterns, director Phillip Borsos's 1983 debut feature brought a documentarist's eye to the story of a gentleman bandit seeking new opportunities robbing trains in British Columbia's Interior. (Posted March 2)