By DAN WHITTLE
There I was, minding my own business and looking nice ... the Whittle Way ... when Dr. Chris Jones jarred my psyche: "Mr. Whittle, you have a wire loose."
Since I was seated half naked from the waist up delete "looking nice" above!
"Say what?" I, the patient, whined meekly.
With this "one wire" shocker, wife Pat knew I needed some jocularity: "Dr. Jones, his mischievous buddies have contended for a long time that Dan has a loose screw ... we never knew about him also having a loose wire."
"How many wires are normally attached between a pace maker and the old Whittle ticker?" my question was laced with fear.
"Two," Doc Jones added. "You need emergency surgery, because your heart does not beat on its own."
"Father God, thank you and the fabulous Doc Jones for my obvious divinely-ordained still working one wire," I silently launched my first ever in history "one wire" prayer to the heavens.
"Can we do the emergency surgery this afternoon?" words stumbled out of my mouth.
"Yes, if you haven't ate," Doc prescribed.
Since I had jarred down on a hearty load of shrimp Cajun-style at pal James' Logan's Roadhouse en route for my ROUTINE CHECKUP, immediate emergency surgery was taken off the medical chart.
"Come in at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Nashville's Centennial Hospital) and we'll either repair or replace your old pace maker," Doc confirmed. "Don't eat anything after midnight."
Who was hungry under these circumstances?
Looking for a bright side, my chronic back torso problem of hanging chads that had accompanied me to the "ROUTINE CHECKUP" had disappeared, presto and pronto!
Tick tock, tick tock, our old timey clock slowly rocked the night's silence during one of life's longest nights since one still-functioning beautiful one strand of precious wire was keeping me earth-bound.
At the crack of dawn, we entered the waiting room for pacemaker surgery. I bet Pat there were no atheists amongst us in that surgical holding room.
With life hanging a by a solitary wire, more prayers were launched when favorite new best buddy and close friend Rev-it-Up Preacher Dan Parker showed up
I calmed down somewhat when Doc Jones entered my holding room and asked Pastor Parker to lead us in more prayer.
Which was fine with me...I was already prayerful when the nurse brought out her razor to prep me for surgery!
She may have sensed my angst when I asked: "Why are we shaving me down there when the pacemaker goes up by my shoulder?"
I'll never forget the menacing "whirring sound" of that dangerous razor zipping around my scrotum.
Speaking of the crack of dawn, have you ever tried to keep your aged and wrinkled old modesty covered while in a hospital? I've asked forgiveness for "mooning" my favorite Smyrna Parkway Baptist preacher when he entered the room.
I felt reassured when Pastor Parker advised the praying physician thusly: "With Dan in the church, I always have something to pray about."
Wasn't that nice of the pastor to ordain?
Great Nurse Darlene sensed my jittery case of nerves when the infamous hospital gown with the back slit proved too complicated for the patient to successfully cover myself.
While still conscious, I could still clearly note I had two nurses named Darlene performing the prep work. I started getting groggy when a third nurse named Charlene entered the room.
With my awesome care givers having marvelous senses of humor, they assisted in attaching a note of instruction to my chest where Doc Jones was about to open up my chest cavity: "Whittle Here!"
Be advised faithful readers, this is the new me with a shiny- new store-bought pace maker with two divinely-ordained wires providing enough voltage for me to go have frog legs next Friday and fellowship with pals Bobby Womack, favorite publisher Ron Fryar, journalist Jerry Lyles and real newspaperman "Dandy" Andy Bryson.
One of my mischievous buddies has already compared the new Whittle with that high-voltage rabbit on TV.