From Blogger to Lurker

I decided today to change my role for, more or less, the next 30 days. I have several things I need to take care of and just thought I would tell you formally that I am going to take a break. I will move from the role of blogger to at most lurker. I will try to respond to emails and comments, if I can, but it is my plan to take a hiatus from my normal posting.

If this is your first time to visit Chiriquí Chatter, then you will have an opportunity to thoroughly go through the archives and link sections. Probably the most thought provoking and informational part of Chiriquí Chatter is found buried within the comments to various posts. I have always felt that it was the activity of the comments that have kept most people returning for another read.

For those of you who have loyally returned again and again to find out what was oozing from my mind that day, I just felt you should have something definite to count on. Today is June 22 and I promise to return at least by July 22.

I know a few of you out there may be wondering if my taking a break is really necessary and, even if a break is necessary, why a full 30 days.

Maybe this little story will is the best way I can illustrate that the break is needed, and 30 days is a bare minimum.

Once upon a time, there was this blogger. He constantly was on the lookout for the next thing to post on his blog. Sometimes it was informational. Sometimes it was photos. Sometimes it was his own version of poetry.

And then it happened. For no apparent reason he suddenly started suffering from an affliction that he would not have wished on his worst enemy. FLATULANCE! Yes, you read correctly – FLATULANCE.

Now you may be thinking, shoot that has happened to me from time to time, but it is nothing to really worry about. It will pass – so to speak.

But as I tell you more, you will see that this was really a worrisome problem and it really became more worrisome as time went by.

In the beginning, he wasn’t sure, but he thought his senses were beginning to fail him. He would feel small gastric disturbances and and in the “end” a small flatulence would emerge. What was strange, was that the sound that he thought he heard appeared to be “Hoonnda”.

At first he was able to control his problem in crowds. He recalled to me about being at a party shortly after this problem had began. He was is a pensive conversation with this attractive lady when it hit him. Still having pretty good control, he thought it had slipped out unnoticed, when she asked him, “Did you hear that”? “Hear what?”, he responded. She said I thought I heard someone whisper “Honda”. He told her that he had heard nothing, but he knew exactly what it was. He was so embarrassed.

And over time it began to grow worse. Sometimes the smell of car exhaust fumes would waft through the air. It was during one of these moments, that he knew that he needed help. He promised himself that the first thing he would do Monday, would be to seek medical advice.

He went to countless doctors in the US and none could relieve him of his problem. They were more than happy to relieve him of his money, prescribe this and that, and tell him to return the next week to see if there was any improvement.

He finally decided to let technology be his friend and he went to his trusty PC and Googled for “Flatulence goes Honda”. Most of the entries for his search didn’t help, but on the third page he found an entry for a physician in Panama that sounded promising.

He immediately made travel reservations. He had to fly to Panama City and then he had to take a small commuter airplane to a city, in the western Provence of Chiriquí, that was called David. He had the taxi driver, at the airport, take him to his hotel and was hopeful that he was going to find in David, what he had been unable to find in the US, relief from this embarrassing problem.

The next morning, he arose, ate a good Panamanian breakfast, returned to his room and prepared to go to the appointment that he had made before leaving the states. He flagged down a taxi and handed him the conformation email he had received that gave directions on how to get to the physician’s office.

The taxi driver, read the note and drove him to a new office complex, several blocks from his hotel, and parked in front of what appeared to be a dental clinic. “There must be some mistake”, he thought, but the taxi driver was very insistent that this was the place so the blogger got out of the taxi, took a deep breath and entered the clinic.

He had previously described his problem to the physician, who he now knew was really a dentist, so when he was lead to the dental chair there was nothing for him to do but open his mouth.

When he did, the nice looking dentist, told him in broken English, that he had an abscessed tooth and when it was removed, his problem would be gone. He was bewildered. However, when she tapped on the tooth, it sent a sharp pain right to the center of his brain and he realized that he did indeed have a bad tooth.

She gave him a shot of pain killer and another of antibiotic and proceeded to remove the tooth. With his lip was still numb and his speech a little slurred, he asked her how she was able to know by reading his email descriptions, that he had an abscessed tooth and why she was so sure that its removal would be the end of his flatulence.

She just smiled and said she thought that everyone knew that “Abscess makes the fart go Honda”.

31 thoughts on “From Blogger to Lurker

  1. Hi Don:

    I read your blogger’s story several times but I just don’t get it. Anyway, if you need to take a break, go ahead and do it.

    We will be waiting in the wings until your brief retirement is over. We will miss you though.

    Best Regards,


  2. After reading your story, Don, I think you really do need a break. Reminds of some of the silly stories my father used to tell me. :>) See you in late July when I get back to Panama to start road construction at my finca.

  3. Omar, Ron:

    Silly? Don’t get it? Nonsense, the dentist was absolutely right; this is quite a common problem, but most people try to keep it to themselves–so to speak. The bigger the abscess, the bigger……well, you get the picture. As for Don Ray, the abscess for a month may coincide with his travel plans. We do wish him a good month away from his “work.” As for his story, isn’t it remarkable that his stories, photos, etc. usually involve an attractive lady, often with him surrounded by a number of them.

  4. Don,
    Have a great and enjoyable visit back home with your family. Will miss your blog and you. You and yours will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. dear don-ray,

    lol “i get it” enjoy the journey of life as i know you do!

    like “a fine swine wine”.

    you have already created a beautiful tribute to panama, your

    family and yourself as it stands!

    however onto frank and i said to frank ” what are we going to do

    without don-ray?”

    frank said “i guess we will talk to each other!”

    God bless and God speed ellen

  6. Hey Don,

    Enjoy your break. I’ll bet you’ll still be bringing the camera along wherever you go. Now… pull my finger.

    Dan (aka, Marta la Farta)

  7. Don,
    I have come out of lurking to say the very best to you on your holiday away. It was my pleasure to spend some time with you on my recent first trip to David. You are a wonderful person to have so generously offered your time and shared your Panama experiences with me. Sometimes being away from something for awhile makes it fresh and new again when you return to it. Again, enjoy your break and we will all be waiting to welcome you back.

  8. When blogging gets to be a “job” it certainly isn’t worth it. I see them dropping like flies on the outfit I am with at the moment and wonder who profits (mentally or financially) from a photo a day? I really think bloggers need a faithful audience of observers who will return to see what’s up and then allow the blogger another holiday.

    I wish you well and hope the problem isn’t eternal. I must confess, however, that I used to enjoy some farts that I made and some irritated the hell out of my wife who was trying to sleep. If you eat yogurt you will be blessed with many farts every day. Promise

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  9. I understand very well you. I will take a break or finishing , who knows, too.
    I wish you enjoyable break and journey!
    See you in August!

  10. Ellen, Ellen, do you feel that? Quick! Did you see that? I swear I saw something out there. Something lurking…
    Greetings everybody. It’s restful for us, too–not having to absorb more and more new stuff; so, thanks, Don Ray, for taking this break. But it’s a little disappointing, too, not reading something about life in David from the “pen” of a certain very likable and respectable person. Does anyone have anything to share about David. Ellen and I have only been to Chiriqui once over a year ago. We’re saving our pennies and looking forward to enjoying more and more. My ultimate goal is to sit with my amigo on the steps of the cathedral, taking an occasional sip or slurp to slide through a warm afternoon watching the gente en el parque.
    One of us (the old, semi-deaf guy) is trying to master a little español here in Georgia, but we will also want to keep up some structured learning in David to go with our blundering forth amidst the general population. Anyone want to share a little humor about their experiences in communication?

  11. dear frank,

    yes , i do believe i sense many things!

    just a reminder they moved up the opening of the park because

    of el presidente’ schedual…….do we have airline and hotel

    resevations? yes someone is reading what you write.

  12. Don,
    I am a long time reader from Doylestown PA dreaming of a turely great retirement in Panama, very soon. I have to admit you had me until the very last line. This is one of your best.



  13. Don
    It is only July 2nd and I can’t imagine a whole month without reading your column. You have helped to keep my dream alive and I am planning on coming to Panama in August to look for a home to retire in. Enjoy your vacation

  14. Don Ray, I believe many of us would like to affirm how important you and your efforts are to us. God speed.

  15. Yes God speed Don Ray. With all the flooding, etc. in N.Texas & Oklahoma do take care. Lake Texoma should be overflowing the spillway hoy…..

  16. Hi Don,
    I hope all is well with your family and everyone is having a good visit, and I realy hope all is well there and you are in an area free from the flooding. Reading your blog is one of the things I enjoy doing every day and has become a regular part of my life, and with your absents their is definatly a void, you are missed. but enjoy your family time! and be safe.

  17. dear frank john,

    are you counting down?

    we have not spoken enough yet!

    luv ya ellen

    p.s please bring back some pics of your berautiful grand children!

  18. Look…I don’t mean to be rude or anything…but can you please hurry up home!!!
    I have been checking in regularly just in case you have popped back early…reading Chiriqui Chatter is one of my favourite things to do and always brings me enjoyment, laughter and a lovely way to reflect on my memories of Panama.
    Travel safe…see you soon

  19. I’ve been thinking. What if Don Ray shows up early?!!! Wouldn’t I look like quite the fool then? (Yeah, yeah, even more than usual.) Boy, I hope Don Ray has been taking care of himself.

  20. Believe me Don Ray has been taken care of really well. Had a family dinner in his honor and had all the things that go with family reunions in Oklahoma. Yes, he ate his vegetables. Cousin Jan

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