It’s All in the Touch


I came across this story about a doctor who suffers from ‘mirror touch synesthesia,’ a rare condition in which a person feels the same discomforts as another. If there is any occupation an empath should avoid, I would think it would be a doctor, especially a surgeon. “Hi, I’m Doctor Empath, I’m just going to administer some anesthesia now . . . wellll, Iyeeeeeeee zzzzzzzz,” or “Scalpel…scalpel…nurse, hand me the damned scalpel! I’m going to make my first incision AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Could you imagine being the scrub tech to an empath surgeon with a bad memory? “Naw, you ain’t gittin this scalpel, doc. You really don’t want it, trust me. It’s bad enough hearin you scream when you make the first incision, but ya gotta keep the bloody noise up all through surgery!”

I bet an empath has a very satisfying sex life. There’s children around, so we won’t say anything more about it. But satisfying indeed! If you think about it though, an empath would make the perfect spouse. A woman would know what it feels like to live without a brain, and a man would know what it feels like to be a bitch. An empathic wife lets her husband watch football all the time, and am empathic husband provides LOTS of chocolate ice cream. Nirvana.

Were I an empath I would stay away from everyone. If for any reason a person needed to see me face-to-face, they would have to fill out a simple four page health screening form, no ifs, ands or buts. Don’t be alarmed should you meet me, though. The full plate armor I’m wearing is for your safety, not mine.  I’d really like for you to sign a document swearing you’ll take full responsibility for any injury sustained while in my presence. No, it doesn’t mean I’ve got the right to beat the snot out of you, either. Well, it kinda does, technically, but I give you my word I won’t. I have no desire to liberate your mucous.

Usually I carry on like this for miles, but here’s your stop.  I’d like to leave you with a limerick in tribute to that poor physician:

There is a young doctor named Joel
When touched shares your pain and soul.
Empath or not,
He mirrors distraught:
May he never meet kidney stones while on a stroll.

Nah, I don’t shake hands. Thanks, anyway. Hope you have a great day!



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An Old Hipster


One fine morning last November when I went to get out of bed, I had a pain in my left hip so intense it made me curse in fifteen different languages. The medical community loves to ask what level your pain is on a scale of 1 to 10. Mine required a calculator and a degree in differential equations.  I tried everything to reduce the pain – sitting, lying down, head stand, horseback, Yahtzee, you name it. Nothing worked. That is until I bent over to pick up an eyeball that had popped out by my screaming. Suddenly the pain disappeared. For the next two weeks until I saw my doctor, I spent night and day looking like a carpet inspector with a vision problem. He told me he thought it was bursitis and stabbed me a dozen times with needles full of steroids. It didn’t take the pain away, but I did turn into the Hulk for about three days. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Hulk bent over crying like an old Jewish woman.

When I didn’t get better (the doctor very well knew it, too, because I called every 3 minutes to update him) I had to get a CAT Scan. I never saw any cats, but was told I had a condition called Avascular Necrosis. The length of the name itself made me poop my pants in fear, and after they cleaned me up they explained that the head of both my femurs were crumbling and that I would need total hip replacements, one at a time. Well, I used to work in an Operating Room twenty-five years ago, and I knew what the heck that was. Orthopedic Doctors are the really big, bulked up guys that walk around with chain saws and mallets. The mallets are for anesthesia. A total hip replacement is this: one of these behemoths come in, knock you out with their mallet, use the chain saw to cut your hip open, pop your leg out of joint, knock you out again because that last step usually drags you out of unconsciousness and you immediately confess to every sin and give up State secrets, saw the head of your femur off, and then drive a stake into the bloody stump of your femur with the mallet and pop the leg back into place, leaving the nurses to sew you up and call in the priest for last rites. So I knew what I was facing and it didn’t faze me a bit, because I’ve been married four times and NOTHING is worse than that.

I was scheduled for surgery. This excited me. Surgeries always do, because it gives me an opportunity to sleep, plus they give you awesome drugs afterwards. The operation itself was uneventful because I don’t remember a thing about it. I’m sure my brain was blogging about it in all caps, but it won’t give me it’s website address. Reminds me of an eye surgery I had about thirty years ago. They knocked me out for that one, too, but you know full good and well during the whole procedure the eyeball was showing the brain what was happening. I don’t remember anything, thanks to the anesthesia, but ever since then I tend to freak out whenever someone tries to poke me in the eyeball with a needle. I think it’s a repressed memory.

The worst part of the whole experience was the first five days after surgery. I was flat on my back, and my whole life revolved around what I could reach. Let’s not even talk about the horrors of using a urinal. All I have to say is that the urinal manufacturer really should consider making some for left-handed people. Thank GOD for Handi-Wipes. Once they had me captive, the doctor told me that I would be kept at the hospital until I had a bowel movement. Great. They had pumped me full of anesthesia which, among other things, acts like a roofie to the bowels. They also had me hooked up to a morphine pump, which renders the bowels comatose. It looked like I wasn’t going anywhere for the next twenty years. On Day 4 I determined that if my bowels didn’t move on their own, I’d have to take matters into my own hands. Those of you who know my history with feces get the picture. The rest of you don’t want to know the details. Trust me. My only problem was that I was flat on my back, and the nurse said I had to use a bedpan. Whoopie. I knew that once I kick started my bowels there wouldn’t be room enough for a mere mortal bedpan. I would in effect be forced to create a huge poop pancake. Once I relayed this information to the nurse, she called in a couple of goons who airlifted me to a toilet, and there I stayed a couple more days. Hey, no one said manual stimulation was easy.

Ultimately I did pass the excretion obligation, and after they hosed me down, shipped me off to rehab where I not only recovered use of my leg, but earned a thirty day chip. Now I’m at home, and the only time I use my cane is when I’m soliciting sympathy. The doc has called wanting to hack on my other hip, but I think I’ll wait until it rots off – or until the pain pills run out. Just to be safe, though, I’ve replaced all my doors and windows with half inch steel. There isn’t a chainsaw in the world that can cut through that.

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Oh, Baby!


The world population has grown by 1.2 billion since I blogged here last.

First of all, I just made that number up out of my head. I could claim to be a SWAG master (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) and sometimes do, but not now. I could care less how many people have been born since my last blog, really. Why? They can’t read yet. Let them get a little tough around the edges before they pick up this drivel. If they laugh it will be AT me, not TO me, and that’s ok because I feel the same. If they don’t laugh that means they’re smarter than me.

Secondly, I actually know (roughly) how many babies have come into this world since the last time I blogged. Don’t ask me how I came about that figure, and don’t expect me to replicate my formula. I mean, how can someone actually KNOW anything? I’m not a nihilist by any means, mind you. I’m just saying that as I write this some woman somewhere on this planet has her legs spread trying to push a little human out of her womb. Let me state for the record that I’m glad I don’t have to be in the same room with her right now. I’ve seen enough of them for a lifetime.

Humor is hard work. Especially in written form. I used to laugh my butt off listening to Erma Bombeck on the radio or watching her on TV, but I’d read a book of hers and sit stone-faced throughout. It’s not easy being stone-faced, either. I know all you dopers are snickering at the word ‘stone-face’, and you can keep on snickering because that’s an acceptable form of laughing. Not as good as chortling, but better than a grin. But yes, written humor is much more difficult than the spoken word, and has to rely on the elephant – er, element of surprise. See how I gave you a visual out of the blue like that? Now I can’t get that stupid elephant out of my head. That should give you an indication how big my head is. The visuals just keep on coming. Hold on. Another baby just popped into the world, and she looks like Cujo’s been slobbering on her. Gross but beautiful. I have to say ‘beautiful’ or else millions of women will email me with photos of their newborn reptilian-like offspring claiming this is the epitome of beauty.

But I’m not writing today about babies. At least I’m not doing it on purpose. They just keep coming, like pickled egg and beer farts. Today’s missive is about the difficulties most writers have when it comes to humor. Personally, I’d prefer to skip humor all together and go straight into irony. Irony is when you don’t want to go there but you end up there anyway. I’ve always thought of myself as not the marrying type, yet I’ve gone down the chute – um, aisle four times. I’ve always tried to avoid going to hell, but now I could be a tour guide there. I’ve always wanted to be a famous writer, but God had different plans for me. Oh, yes, I’m a writer, but I’ll never be able to go into the Promised Land (the New York Times Best Seller List). At least not while I live. Here comes another bundle of joy. Welcome to the jungle.

How many writers do you know that has an elephant in his head and is still able to put nouns and verbs and those stinking adjectives together into a coherent stream of sentences? Ironically, this entire article has successfully lacked any semblance of cohesion, thanks to all these babies. They always steal the show. Twins!

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Foot in Mouth Disease


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ebola notice for poking

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The Next Big Thing


I just saw an ad on TV for a ‘Blow Dry Bar’. At first I thought it was some sort of sick joke, then I thought it was an actual sidle-up-to-the-bar-and-order-a-whiskey-and-while-you’re-at-it-blow-dry-my-hair kind of place, because the commercial showed all these women getting their hair poofed out by other women holding industrial strength blow dryers. My brain began to throb in confusion. Usually it only throbs when I have to find a word that rhymes with ‘titillate’.

When the commercial was over, my initial reaction was to run to my PC and Google ‘blow dry bar’. I just couldn’t wrap my head around a saloon/salon type of place. What if the client gets sloshed and wobbles in her chair? Her hairdo would end up looking like a relief map of North America. Instead, I called my sister Marie, who’s been a cosmetologist all her life. Seriously. She came out of the womb with a pair of scissors and a brush. Poor mom. Actually, when she told me for the first time that she was a cosmetologist, I asked her if she had any idea what the rings of Saturn were made of. Imagine my shock when she said those type of people were called cosmologists. Imagine someone trying to give Jupiter a crew cut. Anyway, I asked my sis what the heck a ‘blow dry bar’ was, and she told me it is a place where women go to get their hair washed and then blow dried. That’s it. No margaritas, no banana schnapps, no cute little umbrellas. Can you believe it?  I’ve got pretty long hair, so I could actually be driving down the street and say to myself “Self, I think I’m going to let someone else wash my hair today, and while she’s at it, she can give me a Dee Snider Twisted Sister look.”

Well, I took my original reaction, clothed it in curiosity, went to the internet and found a place called Drybar. It’s motto is “No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.” I actually had the guts to take a virtual tour of the place, but I won’t share the details. It’s just too hideous to explain. And this is coming from the guy who wrote the most graphic horror novel (shameless plug: OOBERS: Kalamazoo, folks) in the history of literature. The most frightening thing in the website is that they charge ‘ONLY’ $40. Holy Moley to the tenth power! I could think of about five thousand different ways to spend $40 on something other than a wash and dry.

You know, in today’s world if you want to make a splash, if you want to get noticed, if you want to be filthy rich (at least until the IRS gets hold of you), you have to come up with some idea that’s unique, something no one’s ever done before. That’s hard to do, because pretty much everything’s been tried already. So after I had my little freakout over the whole blow dry bar thing, I took a step back and thought about it. I really had to give them credit for pulling it off. Hey, there are plenty of people out there with nothing better to do than spend $40 on a hair wash and blow dry. That means they might be just as willing to spend their moolah on some other outlandish thing. That’s when the gears started spinning in my head. If you don’t know me by now, I’ll give you a heads up. When the gears start spinning in my head, it’s time to sprint for the hills. Seriously.

After a few seconds of spinning (my brain spins pretty fast) I came up with an idea. Actually, a few of them. Now, before I disclose these unique and fabulous schemes, I’m bound by the gypsy copyright laws to inform you I’ve already mailed these ideas to myself. If I find out someone’s stolen one of my babies, I’ll take my envelope to the nearest judge, rip it open and hope I remembered to put a date on the paper. So, you’ve been warned. How about this for brainstorming? I’m going to open a booger retrieval service. Yep. Boogers. Snot. Nose Candy. Snot Rockets. Goobers. Don’t get all spiritual on me. You know you get ’em. All the time. And they always make their appearance at the most inappropriate time. Like when you’re on a date, or at church, or in the supermarket, or in the middle of a big presentation, or when the preacher comes to visit, and especially when you’re in traffic. Well, you can just call . . . I think I’ll name it the “Boogie Noogie Bugle Boys Excavation Service.” I know, it’s a snoot-full, but it’s catchy and even has its own song that’s guaranteed to get your toes tapping and stick in your brain. You don’t come to us. Just call and we’ll go to where you are and pick out that offending boogie. The best part is that it only costs $5 per nugget. That’s a miniscule price to pay for saving your reputation.

Once that business gets off the ground, I’m going to start a new business venture. Dingleberry removal. Visualize it. Now try to get that visual out of your head. See? Pure genius!

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