It is hard to describe John’s physical features except that if you can picture the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz…picture much older, without the make-up, and as likeable – not so much!
John was an alcoholic that started drinking shortly after the nuptials. John was also a diabetic. Here in lies the problem that lies ahead in this story. Nancy in high school was a knock out with big brown eyes and a set of killer legs. After two failed marriages with drunks and a third deep in the stages of AA denial, her beauty had taken a back seat to depression and loneliness that can only be cured by being alone. It seems hard to imagine that to be alone would be a breath of fresh air compared to being alone with someone always at your side. Nancy always had a thing for the lost puppy dog, and John was no different. His own children haven’t talked to him in over thirty years and his “replacement” children only wished he would “go away.”
The one thing John was always good for was a good laugh at his own expense. He was a southerner in his own eyes as his southern drawl appears from nowhere as he reminisces about his days in Kentucky. When I say days, it could be counted in less than a calendar year and not a lifetime as he would recall in his mind and for all those in earshot! He lived in Kentucky for maybe six months when he was a traveling salesman. I won’t say that he isn’t from the south as he did grow up in south Minneapolis. I can’t say though I have heard the southern accent in that part of the city much?!?!?!
John was a storyteller and his tales always had him in the center of the action. The infamous “Christmas Bombings” of the Vietnam Conflict were retold by John as he was a fighter pilot during the war. He would tell tales of his night over Da Nang on Christmas night where he killed 168 women and children in his raid. The Christmas bombing campaign was true in fact, not so much in John’s midnight raid in his fighter chopper over Da Nang and some church he obliterated. The Christmas bombings were ordered by President Nixon on December 18th and ran through December 29th, 1972 by planes… never choppers! When you bring this fact up to Mr. LaBlond, he reminds you he was part of some elite force in the U.S. Army. You won’t read about his operations in any history books or military manuals. He was secret OPS! He would even go as far as to show you his military issue ID, which consisted of an old drivers license photo cut out and glued to a piece of “official government secret division” that if lost should be returned without question to some military address that blah blah blah…
It wasn’t long after his days as a fighter pilot that his days in the CIA started. He can’t remember his time playing spy captain as the CIA removed his sciatic nerve so he would not be able to remember or retell of his evil doings. He has the scar to prove it! Selective memory loss can’t remember a lick of the CIA but he can remember Da Nang like it was yesterday. He can also recall what he had for breakfast but ask him about his CIA time and that dang sciatic nerve comes into play! This operation was performed on his stomach, which oddly looks like where they may have either removed an appendix or more likely a scratch he may have received that left a lasting scar. The sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, runs along the backside and lower extremities. Removing this nerve would most likely cause death, unless you are some kind of super agent or something!
His tall tales were now welcomed when he wasn’t present with a, “The name is Blond, John LaBlond.”
A personal favorite of his adopted family was their rendition of the Johnny Rivers classic, “Secret …Agent Man, John’s a secret… agent man” or who could forget the loud unison of another family favorite:
J-O-H… Hi how are you
N-L-A… A dumb ass says I
B-L-O-N-D. John LaBlond… John LaBlond.
Ah yes, LaBlond was part 007 and part Disney mouse. He wasn’t a CIA agent, He was never in the Vietnam Conflict or Vietnam for that matter, He didn’t patent the brakes for Harley Davidson (the royalties that weren’t there were a hard one to explain away on this one and no need for a story to explain how a check couldn’t prove what they already knew). He wasn’t a “good ol’ boy!” He was good banter and a freakin’ freak of nature though! These facts were undisputed.
With all his irritations, he was still Nancy’s husband and that wasn’t going away as she didn’t want a third failed marriage… on paper that is.
Diabetes is a horrible slow death that when it reaches its climax it is hard to watch as someone has to endure one hardship after another while doctors can only place Band-Aids on one ailment after another. Gang green had set in on one of his feet and not heeding his doctor’s advice to quit drinking and smoking or it would get worse he went for a second opinion. A third opinion. A fourth.
“What do all those doctors know!?!?” He would exclaim.
“Quacks – All of them!”
Their “expert” medical “opinions” were in question when he was told that his foot would now have to be amputated or lose his life a few short years later. A second opinion was needed again on what should happen to his hulkish foot. Then a third opinion… and a fourth.
“Must be a conspiracy,” he thought to himself. “They just want to hack off my foot to prove they were right.”
A stroke soon followed within days while waiting for these opinions to formulate and when he awoke in his hospital bed both legs had to be amputated to save his life and almost a third limb before the swelling subsided and returned to normal. He was to be outfitted with some new legs as he thought to himself how he always wanted to be 6’ 2” tall. They added four inches to his height and his new found “giantness” wasn’t all bad he thought. Drinking I guess had its rewards for Mr. Blond, John LaBlond that is. Frankenstein’s Monster had become a reality and was now living in Aitkin Minnesota.
Frankenstein's bride was not thrilled and another problem in Ms. Nancy’s life becomes obviously apparent… A lazy left side of Johns face from the stroke was now noticeable, as were the lesions now starting to form on Johns face from not bathing and also sleeping in his own urine. A pig at least has the common sense to get out of his filth after rubbing in it. The constant puddles forming on floors, soaked cushions, and the vile stench became more than Nancy could bear at times. Plastic now covered the furniture, and Nancy’s home was now John’s personal cat box.
The puppy dog syndrome was not only focused on husbands but animals as well. Nancy had six cats and a Border collie mix. The glaring difference between the animals and the third husband was not only did they use the proper place to dispose of their bodily excretions but also showed distaste for John’s disposition as they were seen on more than an occasion or two of trying to cover up his stench on the carpet, couch, bed, or wherever John felt like relieving himself. Hell, Nancy even took a couple vacation days off work so she could clean up his mess as it was becoming unbearable. John was not receptive to diapers as, “only babies wear those!” There was no piss bag to be worn; the toilet… heaven forbid wasn’t an option.
With all Nancy’s suggestions came only a shake of the body with another soiled area to be cleaned or covered up by the cats.
Hope was beginning to fade and the house was beginning to look like some sort of new reality show where wives deal with urinating husbands.
He was even brought in for a check to see if maybe he had a urinary tract infection…nada. She tried Prozac as maybe the trauma of losing his legs made him lose sight of anything that resembled a urinal. Again, nada! It was now time to turn to one of her sons who had an elaborate scheme to make him “go away” with no one being the wiser and her able to keep her home after he “drained” not only himself but her finances as well. As much as she and everyone who knew John wanted him to pass away, it just wasn’t happening. He kept drinking, kept pissing, even started to defecate throughout his quarters now, and worst of all… kept outliving the doctor’s time frames of his eventual demise from alcohol abuse.
Her son Greg had seen his mom age ten years in the last calendar year. Deep depression had set in on his mothers face. She began to hum to drown out his excessive screaming and yelling. The shrill of, “Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaancy!” would send shivers up his spine as thoughts of a quick shovel to the back of Johns head should do the trick. It was then that her son had remembered of a place she could bring him that wouldn’t cost anything more than a meager thirty dollar donation. Like the much more known “Animal Humane Society,” the lesser known “Human Humane Society” would take him in. Now Nancy didn’t want him euthanized and she was reassured by her son that this shelter was a “no kill” shelter. He would stay there until he was found a new home.
Brilliant, she thought. She had found so many of her animals from the animal humane society that she didn’t even think there could be one for humans as well. The lack of an affordable health care act that would give all Americans health care created the Human Humane Society. With over 60 million Americans without insurance during the 2010’s hospitals could no longer admit patients without insurance as they were run as a for profit company and not a non profit like so many found out later when they were denied entry for their ailments such as heart attacks, strokes, and the like when they couldn’t produce an insurance provider. Here is where the HHS came into prominence. The HHS would then adopt out who they could to new homes where they could provide documentation that they had insurance coverage to their new human addition to their family. With the rising costs of medical bills to John and the lack of him providing any viable income other than his small social security check, it was time to take him off her insurance policy and bring him into the HHS.
It was Christmas Eve and John had earlier in the day defecated on the floor. It was forever remembered as the new “Christmas Bombings.” With no insurance coverage now established with John it was time to take him in after his latest episode. The shelter was open and Greg, along with her other son Jason, loaded John into the back of Johns pick up and off to the shelter they went. There was a long line of other humans being dropped off and when they reached the counter they told of his problems and the clerk said he would be scheduled to be put down.
“I thought this was a no kill shelter,” exclaimed one of the sons as the clerk came back with, “Only if we find him adoptable and clearly he isn’t.”
“He’s a good ol’ boy,” they shouted in unison as they pleaded their case with pouted lips and puppy dog eyes to appease their mother. The clerk, with an almost scripted eye roll, said he would write down that he was “normal” and have him evaluated and they could check on the website tomorrow to see if he would be up for adoption. The boys said that under no circumstances was he to be killed, and after hearing the reassuring words from the clerk they were pretty confident in John’s adopt-ability. With this they emptied him from the cage and you would think he had turrets. John was cussing like nobody’s business. They told the clerk that he was very docile and that he was a two owner human and maybe he was scared from all the other humans that were in there. He was definitely not helping his cause. Another clerk mentioned they get a few like him in that just don’t do well around other humans so it wasn’t completely abnormal behavior. John went off screaming and kicking with his artificial legs and the boys smiled as they thought of him in a new home.
Christmas morning came the next day as the children shouted with glee, not a John was pissing as they gathered ‘round the tree. It was twelve noon and Nancy was at the keyboard frantically searching the Human Humane Society’s site for one last glimpse of her husband. The kids were opening presents and she saw picture after picture and no John. She was getting agitated and fearful that she had her husband killed. One of her sons went to help her look and noticed along with her that there were a few faces with the names John under the photo but none of her John.
With a click of a mouse and a turn of the page it finally appeared. It was a blank space with the caption in place of a picture that read, “Camera shy” with the name John underneath it. There he was!
“How can you be sure it’s him?” Nancy said with a tear of joy streaming down her cheek.
Greg said in an assuring voice, “With the way he was pissing all over, screaming, kicking, biting, punching, scratching, and cussing I’m just guessing there is no way they could get him to sit still for a picture with all that fuss!” came the reply.
“Hmmmmmmmmmm”, Nancy thought, “He’s going to get adopted!”
She smiled as she rubbed the camera shy space on the screen. As the sun poked her head into the window and onto Nancy's face, she looked angelic and ten years younger from that moment on. There was one more present under the tree and in it came a meow that lit up Nancy’s face one more time that day. She opened the box and out came a scrappy looking farm cat that went over to the couch and proceeded to pee on the floor. Nancy smiled, “I’m going to name him John.”