Friday, February 04, 2011

Toothless Bob

Toothless Bob is one of the Calc Teacher's neighbors.  He lives across the street from her with his blind wife and 99 year old mother-in-law.  He's a smelly old man that spends his waking hours in his garage.  In there he has several chairs, his 20" TV, and multiple coolers of beer, and a space heater.  He stays in there all day smoking, drinking, and watching TV.

As one can imagine, spending your every waking hour, idle, smoking and drinking, takes a toll on a body.  Toothless Bob is no exception.  Sadly, he has cancer.  Although I don't know for sure, it is my impression that this is his second bout with the Big C.  He was doing chemo at the end of last year but instead of killing it the treatment accelerated the growth. His doctors gave him 6 months.

Of those garage coolers, many belong to neighbors.  Toothless Bob is a friendly guy and everyone is welcome to his garage.  This past Wednesday, after snowmagedon, all the neighbors grabbed shovels and they dug Toothless Bob out before they did their own driveways. 

Even the Calc Teacher has cooler over there.  On warm days (she doesn't like all the smoke when the garage door is down), after school, she stops in to have a beer and chat with Toothless Bob.  In September when the two of us needed a ride to a wedding - we didn't want to drive after the reception - Bob was quick to fire up his car and give us a ride.  On a couple of occasions I've sat in his garage and had a some brews.  Last Friday through a travel SNAFU I thought I might end up at the Calc Teacher's place when she wasn't there.  It was my plan to hang with Toothless Bob until she got home.  There was no question that I would be welcomed.  As the Calc Teacher says, he's her best friend on the block.

Yesterday when she was leaving to visit a friend she saw that his garage door was up and she didn't see him.  In this weather that is unusual.  The Calc Teacher went to investigate and found him collapsed in the garage.  Another neighbor came over at the same time and a police cruiser on routine patrol was flagged down.  An ambulance was called but Bob was unresponsive.  When the paramedics drug him to the stretcher it became obvious that he had soiled himself.  Bob was gone.

Bob had a Do Not Resuscitate order but the paramedics didn't know that. They actually brought him back in the ambulance. He's in the hospital in an induced coma.  They are aware of the DNR and plan to remove him from life support today.

The Calc Teacher is taking a personal day off today. I can't imagine how hard it must be to find your friend lying dead.  I called her and tried to talk to her but she was depressed and quiet.  She's upset she didn't get the chance to say goodbye to her friend.



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