Darrell Vickers: No Good Deed Goes Unpublished

Darrell Vickers

            I have been away from my food-encrusted and wine-stained computer keyboard for the past couple lunar cycles. It has been an obligatory abeyance, predicated on forces beyond my control. The principal force that conspired agin me was GRAVITY. Now gravity enjoys a well-earned reputation as the weakest of all the natural forces, but as we all know, feeble and pathetic as it may be as a quantum puissance, it is still more than capable of really fucking you up.


To witness a horrifying example of its relentless and malevolent power, one need look no further that what it has done to Angelyne’s breasts. What once so proudly jutted forth, like the twin cannons on the mighty Bismarck, are nowadays far more reminiscent of overcooked spaghetti.

over-cooked spegetti

The other co-conspirator in my literal downfall is a vicious evil blight that kills more people per annum than all the wars and disease combined. I am referring, of course, to “the good deed.” Whether it’s jumping in a river to save a dog or fixing the aerial on an old lady’s roof, there is no bigger coffin-stuffer than the completely voluntary benevolent gesture.


I must admit, I find myself at a loss when attempting to comprehend this nettlesome enigma. Cigarettes kill people over a long period of time and, quite rightly, we have myriad advertisements, dedicated societies, punitive laws and intemperate taxes, all designed to dissuade the foolish smoker from continuing on this inarguably self-destructive path. But a good deed can kill you in a blink of an eye after you yell, “Try the engine now!” Yet, these slaughter houses of the goodly-hearted are not only spared the lash of societal condemnation and rebuke, they are brutally and unfathomably encouraged! Is there a perilous overabundance of altruists in this world that require flushing from the system?

man looking under the hood of a car

The Tragic Tale

            My own unpardonable “good deed” involved groceries. My ever-tolerant wife was venturing out on a Sunday to secure provender for our nightly refection and was bidding me adieu at the front door when this inexcusable urge to accompany her infected my soul. Now, I could have stayed home and added to my impressive collection of celebrity vaginas on the computer but I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. “Hey, why don’t I come with you?” I heard myself bellow.

man-carrying-grocery bagsMy wife kindly said that it was unnecessary but again I insisted on walking across that Bridge of Sighs.  My fate was sealed as I tied my noose shoes and blithely ambled down the stairs. The act of procuring the desired foodstuffs went off without major incident, but alas, it was only a matter of time. Arriving home, I trotted back up towards the house, cradling two bottles of wine in one hand and grasping a weighty bag of tasty grub in the other. There’s a little brick lip on our outdoor steps which had never been an issue until this day when I veritably spat in the faces of the gods that guide us safely to our beds. Trip! I found myself hurtling forward in a comical manner that would have made Buster Keaton proud.

buster keaton pratfall

For one very fleeting, flailing moment, I felt that I had managed to right myself but the folly of my surmise was quickly realized. Down I went. At first I was concerned with the shattered bottle of wine and the multitudinous teeth-like shards of glass the lay around my strewn body. I quickly righted myself to inspect my torso for evidence of hideous sucking chest-wounds.

fred flintstoneWow! Apart from a few bumps and scrapes, I seemed to be fine. Oh shit! The thumbnail on my right hand had torn a bit and appeared bruised. I was probably going to have to tape that up to make sure I didn’t tear it any further when I went to the gym. Oh bother! And then the pain started. At first, there was a curious amount of discomfort. Hmmm. Then, it quite rightly gained more and more of my attention until the unbridled appendage agony was all that existed in this universe and beyond. It also began to throb like Fred Flinstone’s after a bowling accident.  Things were turning serious. Quickly, I was rushed to the closest emergency room that didn’t have 3 tombstones on Angie’s List.


Upon arriving at Burbank’s most expensive house of healing, I was told that it was probably a mere dislocation and not a break. Either way, they’d give me a pain shot, put it in a cast and send me on my way. Unfortunately, they did not realize that the injury had occurred during the performance of a “good deed”.  Without this gruesome fact, they could not possibly appreciate the Steve Austin severity of my infirmity.

SixMillionDollarMan bionic repair station

I did the x-ray and then waited the customary eternity for the doc to come by and fix me up. My appointed sawbones was a nice lady who paraded into the room wearing a warm friendly smile. Then she picked up my x-ray and immediately stopped smiling.

sad female-doctor-alt

“Ah,” she sighed with a sincere expression of heartfelt sympathy.

If this had been an ordinary checkup, her reaction would have told me that I had less than three months to live. She then forced a second, alarmingly wan smile and inquired what I did for a living. The dark meaning of her interrogatory was abundantly clear. I might yet live a full and meaningful life, as long as I never again required the ability to pick something up…or cleanse my posterior with the aid of paper.

I received no further treatment at the hospital – apparently they weren’t adequately equipped to deal with my kind.  It was strongly suggested that I go and see an overpaid specialist at the speed of panic.

So, I hied myself on down to Bev Hills with a thumb, which now resembled a misshapen egg plant.

Wounded thumb

“Ah,” the overpriced doc sighed as he gazed upon its bulbousness. Yikes! My condition seemed to be upsetting the entire medical community. An operation would be required, as soon as the dirigible-sized swelling subsided. Even more worrisome, I would not be allowed to take a Xanax before “going under”. Now, I am a long time card-carrying scaredy-pants and the thought of facing a room full of people wearing white smocks and brandishing knives frightened the shit out of me. But hey, these people worked in Bev Hills; they must know what they’re doing for the king’s ransom I was paying them. Right?

To my surprise and amazement, I remained Deepak Chopra-level calm as we drove to the hospital. Checking in was not so bad…considering. I even managed to not soil myself as they took me into pre-op and ordered me to “don the gown”. My anxiety level was rising ever-so-slightly yet I remained legendarily calm atop the gurney (though I did look away as they inserted the I.V. needle).

“Relax,” I told my trembling self.  “They’re pros…and expensive ones.”

“You should look at that,” advised one highly skilled nurse to the other.

“Look at what?” thought I.

Blood GushingI glanced down curiously. It seems the stopper had popped out of the I.V. tube and my blood was gushing out of it, like an incontinent fire engine, and cascading down onto my arm and hand and a goodly portion of my complimentary blanket. Okay, now I began to freak out. Witnessing one’s own vital bodily fluids spurting out of one in front of two young women, under the right conditions, can be quite desirous. This was not one of those conditions. I looked like I was being operated on for multiple gunshot wounds, not a shattered thumb.

I had refrained from food and drink since the previous midnight, to prevent me from vomiting during the operation, but if there was anything still down there, I was about to launch it. A couple of doctors rushed in and started pumping me with stupendous helpings of brain dampeners. By the time I alighted on the operating table, I was so chemically compromised, I couldn’t tell the difference between a woman and a chocolate biscuit (admittedly, both can be rather a yummy with a cup of steaming hot tea).

Mother Time Drifts By…

Jeff Goldblum-altFive and a half weeks later; I did take a Xanax to mitigate my stress as I returned to the doctor’s office to have my pins removed. I had five of them (Three sticking under my thumbnail and two more sticking down into my knuckle.). The pill failed to have the desired effect. To be fair, it was a tiny little thing and I would have needed one the size of Jeff Goldblum to deal with my nerves on that occasion. When my physician explained the chilling medical options, I apparently went as white as a Republican fundraiser. They lay me down on the examination table and started to pull these large pieces of metal out of my damaged mini-limb, one at a time. The stabilizing pins under the thumbnail were almost 3 inches long and had semi-fused with the bone.  They had to be forcibly rotated and then pulled out using a considerable amount of the doctor’s bodyweight as leverage (not unlike uncorking a highly potable central-coast pinot noir). It was like something you’d see during an operation in the old west, only I lacked the complimentary whiskey and thick leather strop to bite down on.

Deluxe green castAnd now that my big green cast has been removed, I am able to return to my glorious computer (even though my thumb at present has the flexibility of a popsicle stick) without having to type with one finger on my left hand. At long, long last, some of the darkest, most rumbly clouds are beginning to lift from my sky. But I am and will forever be scarred and chastened by my reckless and hubristic act of kindness and bonhomie.

For I do swear, that Civilizations will crumble and suns will go dark ere I tread upon fate’s grim gallows again by uttering the damndable phrase, “Do you need some help with that?”


If you like the writing, then check out my serial novel at the link below.

There is a new chapter every Monday.


Darrell Vickers appears here every 4th Monday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com .

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