Tuesday, October 24, 2006
It Hurts When I Do This
I do a lot already. I spend my days providing care and comfort and direction to three human beings not myself so that I might shape them into healthy, productive, overpaid, unmotivated, self-righteous American men. That's a full day for most people right there. Me, I can get all that shaping done in about an hour, between waking up and shoving them off to school. I'm wicked accurate with a thrown shoe.

Right after that, I set aside some time to entertain America--no, the entire internet-having world--with this little digital dog and virtual pony show* you are enjoying right now. And I do it all for free. The same thing they pay Jon Stewart and David Letterman and Regis Philbin millions of dollars for, I provide gratis. Why? Because I give. And I know the world needs me. There has to be some counterbalance to the super-serious dick-joke-averse George Wills of the world, lest we all be swayed to self-mutilation and the sweet release of death.

What I'm saying is that I know I'm the only thing between many of you and suicide. It's quite a burden to carry, but I figure if all it takes is throwing together a few words to keep the world liveable for the type of people who would read this blog, well, it's the least I can do. Until I get bored and quit. I bet that self-offing spree makes the news. But I'll be OK. They'll just blame heavy metal music again.

It was with some consternation and resigned weariness yesterday that I realized I had accidentally come up with another answer for all of you; yet another bit of information to impart that will make the world an incalculably better place. I know, as if my Heather Thomas post wasn't already enough, right?

I now have the answer to cure all the world's diseases.

I usually dick around with three or four paragraphs before getting to the point, but it's too important, so I'll just tell you: the cure for nearly all the world's diseases is to visit the doctor.

I know. It so simple yet elegant. And it seems so obvious, "No shit, the doctor you say? Never would have thought of that on my own, fuck-knuckle." But no, it's not their doctoring skills or fancy machine-that-goes-PING! medical technology that will save us. It is the drive to the doctor's office itself that has miraculous medical properties.

See, I had been feeling kind of bad lately. I had this kind of knotty constricting feeling in my chest that made it hard to swallow (steady...) over the last two days. It didn't go away by itself and I wasn't dead from a heart attack, so I immediately made the obvious conclusion: breast cancer. Or maybe lung cancer, I'm not sure. If it was breast cancer, I would have just told you lung cancer because even though I know guys can get breast cancer, it's just not the manliest sounding disease to get. I went through enough awkwardness when I had to explain that time I got ovarian cysts.

Finally last night I was tired of feeling bad, so I got in my car and made the drive to the doctor's office. And then, as I traversed the distance in my independent internal combustion-driven vehicle, the symptoms magically--do the Kevin Spacey Keyser Söze puff thing with the fingers--were gone.

This is not the first time this has happened and I know it hasn't only happened to me. Plenty of us have had that awkward visit to the doctor where we're trying to explain our debilitating symptoms in the past tense, pointing to the places it used to hurt. We get a nice door prize in the form of an unnecessary antibiotic prescription, but we're out one office-visit co-pay and a goodly chunk of dignity, especially if your doctor likes a vigorous revenge digital rectal exam like mine does. I don't even know what I'm feeling for most of the time, but it seems to calm him.

The point is that every time we're feeling a little under the weather, a drive to the doctor's office is a pretty good fix. Only have to intend to actually go in. That's the trick. You have to be like Abraham with his knife over Isaac, ready to sacrifice him, his only and long-awaited son, at God's command. You can't have that inkling in the back of your mind that this is all a show and everything will work out OK. You have to know you're going to sit in that waiting room for upwards of three hours and risk an encounter with the jellyfinger. Without commitment, there's no way this will work. You have to believe.

Of course I reserve the possiblity that this approach won't work on every malady. I mean, if you are one of the increasing numbers of people coming down with leprosy, any driving anywhere is risking the steering wheel torque snapping off a couple of fingers. In that instance I would suggest public transport.

Just so you know, though, I have no intention of turning this into one of those hypochondriac blogs about the biological minutiae of my day. You know how those look:

6:30 am: Woke up. A little lethargic at first. 85% turgidity.** Possible afflictions: bad Cialis reaction.

7:00 am: Ate breakfast (Mini-Wheats, orange juice). Some difficulty swallowing. Possible afflictions: anemia, paraplegia.

7:21 am: Moved bowels. Sinker, 3 ounces by weight. Possible afflictions: Hirschsprung's disease, colorectal cancer (the silent killer).

You get the idea. I could never be one of THOSE people. Being that self-involved is a full time job, which leaves almost no time for world-betterment-via-dick-jokes. You are welcome.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0


*= in case you were wondering, the digital dog's name? Fidobyte. And the virtual pony is called Shankley Smithers Muffinbottom.

**= the percentage is a tricky thing, but it's something I worked out right around puberty. It's based on how much turgidity is required to lift certain objects. For example, 90% would be a wet bath towel while 40% would be a single sock. Anything below 30% is hardly worth noting for scientific hoisting purposes, but it will still get you noticed doing math problems on the blackboard in junior high.


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