On Friday Todd had to have surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. As we were driving to the surgical center, he was driving, my phone was blowing up with text messages from friends and family wishing Todd good luck and warning me not to take him to Five Guys again.

Todd’s gone through a few dental procedures, and I’ve driven him to all but one of them. The thing about Todd when he comes out of anesthesia is he looks, acts and speaks like he normally would. He seems absolutely fine. But really he’s not really fine and he’s actually out of his damn gourd. The problem is it fools me every single time.

The first time it happened he strolled out of the recovery room. He walked right up to me and said hello to me, and walked with me to the car. I got behind the wheel, he got into the passenger seat, and he told me he needed to go into the office to do something really quick and then we’d go home. It seemed normal enough.

We pulled up to his office, back then he was on the first floor of a building that was built into a hill. So we parked upstairs at the third floor and would take the stairs down to the first floor. We talked all the way in the car, a completely run of the mill conversation. We walked down the stairs to the office and then it happened. His exterior cracked and I quickly learned that he was actually out of his mind. He went into the office, talked to his coworkers, but when I managed to get him back out into the hallway to the stairs we ran into a friend of ours who immediately knew Todd wasn’t at this best and proceeded to have a bit of fun with him and tried to get him to say nonsensical things. I got him home where he passed out on the couch. When he fully came out of it he asked me, “Was I in the office today? I have a weird memory of talking to Rob in the stairs.” Um… no? Of course not! Why on earth would you be in the office? You had a medical procedure. Must be the anesthesia screwing with you. "Um... yeah. You wanted to go there so I took you there." He asked me why the heck I would take him there and I explained how he seemed with it enough to be there.

The next time it was the same thing. He looked normal, he spoke normally, nothing weird. I didn’t know that I was about to fall for it again. This time he didn’t ask to go to the office. I knew better, I wasn’t going to fall for that shit. He said “I’m really hungry and I want a burger, can you take me to Five Guys?” He didn’t eat all day, I figured it was legit. I took the exit off of 95 to get to the Five Guys in Warwick.

As a recovering vegetarian I do not like Five Guys. I haven’t gotten the taste back for beef, so I don’t go there. I thought I’d grab some lunch too, from the D’Angelos in the same plaza as the Five Guys. I dropped him off at the curb and went to get my sandwich, he went inside and got his burger. Nothing out of the ordinary, we've done this a zillion times when he wants a burger. When I got back from D’Angelos I picked him up from that same curb. We talked all the way home, then when we got home he decided to eat his burger and take a nap. I put the dogs upstairs so they wouldn’t jump all over him while he tried to rest, and I went into my office to get back to work. He put on a movie and dozed off. He hadn’t eaten the burger yet.

A few hours later I heard his voice call out to me from the living room. “Honey? Hooooneeeey? Where’d this cheeseburger come from?” It was that point that I knew I was fooled again. He wasn’t completely normal, he wasn’t with it at all. In the car he was out of his damn gourd again. And I let him off at Five Guys while he was still under sedation. I think he did end up eventually eating the burger, though.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson after two instances. Nope. I’m pretty stupid. Totally fell for it again. He went in for another dental procedure, I sat in the waiting room and worked while he was in there. I got the post op instructions, we walked to the car. Rather than use the time in the waiting room to go to the supermarket I worked. There was a Stop and Shop down the street. Once we got him settled into the passenger seat he looked pretty sleepy, as I drove the few miles to the store he started to snore. I thought for sure I could just run in, get some soft foods, then then run back out again before he was the wiser.

I was stocking up on applesauce when I looked up and there he was, roaming up the aisles looking for me. In his hands he had several boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes, that I like to call chemical cakes. He plopped them into my shopping cart, and then placed a box of Andes Candies in there. When he wasn’t looking I took the Little Debbies out of the cart and plunked them on a nearby shelf. I kept the Andes, as they are his favorite. We went to the cashier, I paid, his eyes weren’t even pointing in the same direction. We slowly made our way back to the car, where he promptly fell asleep again.

When we got home he plunked down in front of the couch, put on a movie, and dozed off. I went back to work. When he woke up later he found an empty box of Andes Candies on his chest with a pile of wrappers strewn all around. His fingers had chocolate on them.

“I think I ate an entire box of Andes Candies,” he moaned. We ended up figuring out that the dogs probably ate most of them, as there is no way in hell he ate a whole box of candy and didn’t get sick from it.

He had go to back in again for his last dental procedure. This time his mom came down to take him as I had something going on at work. I warned her “He will look and act totally normal. He is NOT totally normal. Not by a longshot. Don’t be like me. Don’t be fooled. Take him home right away regardless of how much he complains about something he wants.”

This time he tried to pull one over on the staff at the dental surgery clinic rather on his mom. They had him sign his discharge papers, after they’d woken him up from the anesthesia. “Todd, you didn’t sign your name on these. You have to sign your own name,” my mother in law overheard the staff say to him. “You signed these William Teach. That’s not your name.”

“Well it would be my name if I were Blackbeard the Goddam Pirate,” he groused back to the admin staff. At that point my mother in law had to intervene and get him to sign his name. On the way home he’d asked her for pepperoni pizza. She was smart enough to refuse him, unlike me, and took him straight home sans cheeseburgers he has no recollection of ordering or an empty box of candy that he has no idea of where all the pieces went.

On Friday morning my brother texted me “No trips to Five Guys!” As did my friend Allie. Todd quizzed me as he drove to the surgical center “And what will you say if I want a burger?” I will say no, I replied.

“Though later on once I am awake and with it I will probably want one,” he mused.

“Then I will go out and get one for you later on,” I said.

“See? You’re already messing it up! You should not be leaving me at all today to go out to get a burger.”

“But you literally just said when you’re awake and with it,” I protested. “Why can’t I go get you one when you said that you’d want one when you’re awake.”

“Because you obviously don’t know when I am awake and with it,” he laughed."

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.