This is a story where I put myself in a good light and show my true grit in a tough situation.

It is Monday, Dec. 12, 1994, 8:59 p.m., and Allison, my girlfriend-future wife, and I are in my apartment in New York City preparing to watch Dan Marino and my Miami Dolphins play against Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers.

TA TA TA DUM!

And as if the Monday Night Football theme were meant to be sung in a round, I hear a weak tapping at my chamber door. And then another tapping.

Behind the door is our friend Ron, barely able to stand and groaning.

“Can you all take me to the emergency room? I feel awful,” he moaned from the doorway.

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“Of course,” my girlfriend-future wife said, rushing to get our coats out of the closet.

“Come on, Gregory!” my girlfriend-future wife beckoned, likely surprised that I had not shown any inclination to move.

There are moments in a budding romantic relationship where, if you choose unwisely, your partner may reconsider forming a legal union and combining their DNA with your own so as to produce progeny. Wisely, but pouting enough for both girlfriend-future wife and Ron to know that Ron’s medical emergency was an ill-timed inconvenience, I headed to the ER.

Here is another good part that highlights me. This is where I drive heroically to the closest emergency room while also listening to the game.

For the entire car journey Ron remained slumped over in the backseat and whimpering for his mom. But speed was of the essence, so I drove fast because maybe the game was on TV in the ER waiting area. As I managed to hit each pothole the road offered up, Ron came up with the mathematical axiom that stipulates there is a direct proportion between the excruciating pain in your nether regions and the intensity with which you bounce over a pothole.

“OH!” he sighed.

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“OW!” he wailed.

“You should slow down,” my girlfriend-future wife cautioned.

“The car will be fine,” I said.

So we arrive at the emergency room, where girlfriend-future wife took him to admissions and I booked it over to the waiting area. Not only were people watching the game, but I also managed to sneak the TV remote into my jacket so no one could change the channel.

Later my girlfriend-future wife came by and told me Ron had been diagnosed with a kidney stone and we’d have to stay until he passed it. And as she said that, we heard a loud wail from where she had last seen Ron.

“Oh, the third quarter is about to begin,” I said, refocusing on what was important.

So now I’m going to bring this story to a triumphant close because all the good bits about me are pretty much over. The Dolphins won the game, and Ron passed the stone for a touchdown around 1 a.m. I hit every pothole on the way back home, too.

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