Archive for May, 2012

The old adage goes, a stitch in time saves nine.

Nine what?

Google is my friend, and a perusal of this site yields the following:


A timely effort will prevent more work later.

The ‘stitch in time’ is simply the sewing up of a small hole or tear in a piece of material, so saving the need for more stitching at a later date when the hole has become larger. Clearly, the first users of this expression were referring to saving nine stitches.

Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with anything.  I’m right there with you.  Haven’t a clue.  Wait.  What?

Certain innocuous phrases can really be lies in disguise.

The check is in the mail.  (I have no intention of paying you.)

That dress doesn’t make you look fat.  (You look like that no matter what you wear.)

Of course I respect you.  (But please God, I hope she leaves in the morning before I get up.)

The doctor will see you now.  (Hope you brought a Snickers . . . you’re going to be here for a while.)

Wait.  What?

On behalf of all doctors out there, I must protest.  I resemble that remark.  There are usually very valid reasons why you had to wait so long, and these often don’t involve golf or writing a blog.  Having been in practice for over 20 years, I can tell you there is no perfect schedule.  If you book light, there are cancellations and the doctor ends up sitting around idly pumping his sphygmomanometer in private.  If you book heavy, EVERYONE–and their siblings–show up and you have twenty emergencies added on as well.

I have also noticed that the patients who complain about having to wait so long to get an appointment, are often the ones who complain about how long they have to wait in the office to actually be seen.  So you want me to jam you into my schedule sooner and make all the other people simply disappear so you don’t have to wait?  I’m not a magician, and if I were, I wouldn’t use my sorcery for scheduling.  I’d be waving that wand for some winning Powerball numbers.

There is no perfect schedule and most doctors try their best not to make you wait unnecessarily.  After all, we’re not lawyers–we’re not billing you by the hour, even if it seems that way sometimes.  And if I could clone myself and be in two places at the same time, I’m sorry to say that one of us wouldn’t be here seeing you in this office–one of us would be out having fun somewhere.  Actually, if I were able to clone people I could probably just retire.  But I digress.

And blaming it all on the scheduling secretary isn’t fair either.

What most people fail to realize is that doctor time is different from non-doctor time.  It’s kind of like dog years.  One year for a dog is like seven human years.  So when the nurse tells you the doctor will be in to see you in a few minutes, she’s not really lying.  You have to multiply that number by 7.  A fifteen minute wait will actually be 105 minutes, but what’s a few minutes between friends?  If you are a subspecialist, that number might be 10 or 12 x longer.  Restaurants do the same thing, but the multiplier is generally less.  If you think your table will be ready in 20 minutes, be prepared to stand around for 40.

I have explained this phenomenon to a number of irate patients over the years.  It’s kind of like trying to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity to someone other than Einstein.

But one elderly gentleman unfortunately “got it.”

He handed me his medical bill for $70 along with a ten-dollar bill, saying that he was paying me in patient dollars.  You just have to multiply it by 7.

Payback is a bitch.  (Payback is a bitch!)

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Can you guess the punchline?

Probably not.  But you don’t have to.  This is not a joke but actually a police report (of sorts) which you can read about on the Boston Herald.

Reiter says the zebra and macaw parrot are pets and like riding in the truck. Reiter claims he sometimes takes the animals into the bar, but the owner says they’re not allowed inside.

Officers gave Reiter a field sobriety test and charged him with drunken driving. Reiter disputes the arrest. He says he was about to let a passenger, a person, begin driving.

Which one looks drunk to you?  (I’m thinking circus afro, myself)

You can’t make this stuff up.  I like how they clarify that he was going to let a passenger–A PERSON–begin driving.

It’s okay officer.  The zebra’s driving.  And he hasn’t had anything to drink!

The drunk says he sometimes takes the animals into the bar.  The owner denies that.  Hmmm.  Who do you believe?  Is the bar owner just covering his zebra ass?  A man walks into a bar.  The guy behind, the owner, ducks.  Sorry.  I couldn’t resist throwing that joke in there.

I came across the news item thanks to a friend at the surgical center where I operate.   After we all finished laughing, someone asked in what country did this happen?  (Because pet zebras are so common in the U.S.!)

She checked the article again.


Seriously, how far are we from Iowa?  (Thank you Jeff Dunham for this clip!)

Well, apparently, a few feathers were ruffled with the Levity Entertainment Group.  Not much levity if you ask me.  What I find strange is this . . . you can view the whole video on youtube and the clip I linked above that is no longer available starts at 9:06 (the whole clip is 9:25.)  Yes.  I spared you all that time so you could hear this exchange with Achmed:

Jeff:  Where . . . Where do you find an inflatable virgin?

Achmed:  Right next to the inflatable goats. OH, like you never did that?!  Seriously, how far are we from Iowa?

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Wall of Shame

I recently read another blog about the “man-code.”  To wit, I quote:

The Man-code has been hard-wired genetically into the DNA of the entire male species; of which membership is determined by whether or not the individual in question is unable to pee into a semicircular opening without randomly distributing bodily fluids all over the toilet seat. I suspect a teenage boy who can hit a three-point jumper with deadly accuracy from ranges greater than 30 foot, would suddenly be unable to hit the same shot if the basketball rim suddenly resembled a toilet seat. Think about it. All the shots would bounce of the rim or fall short of the intended target.

As a man, I have always been fascinated by this whole toilet seat issue.  YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT UP.  I’m not yelling at you in all caps; I am merely trying to save you some pain down the road.  Just.  Don’t.  Do.  It.

And why?  Because apparently, the next female to use that toilet will splash down unexpectedly.  They will then hunt you down like Bobba Fett on a Han Solo.

You see, apparently women never look before they sit down.  They just back into the bathroom.  BEEP.  BEEP.  BEEP.  Splash.

And it is the man’s fault.

But if you go without putting the seat up, then you will likewise be relieved of your manhood should someone of the non-male persuasion come along and sit on a wet seat.  I don’t know about you, but all these rules makes something that should just come naturally become so confusing.

But actually this subject reminded me that I had a couple of bathroom photos I have not blogged yet.  These were taken from a men’s room (since, quite frankly, it is not physically possible for a woman to do this AND I am not in the habit of entering women’s restrooms.)  Now I want to be clear on one thing here.  I am not ordinarily in the habit of taking a camera (in this case, an Ipad) into any public restroom.  People will look at you funny.  Sometimes you get arrested.  Just trust me on this one.  For the record, this particular toilet is in a single restroom (one toilet, no urinal, please lock the door.)  It is a restroom I use frequently (not in my home or office but I’m there on a weekly basis and I have to stare at this wall as I give back the coffee I drank earlier, so to speak.)  So I took the Ipad with me for the specific purpose of documenting the drippage on the wall behind the toilet.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing:  the fact that someone missed so badly or that their urine is fluorescent?  (It doesn’t glow in the dark, and yes I turned out the lights to make sure.)

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Broccoli Bites

Believe it or not, this is not a rant against broccoli, although amongst vegetables, broccoli probably deserves to be made fun of, along with cauliflower, brussels sprouts and lima beans.

I am also not critiquing Albert R. Broccoli’s movie-making skills.

No instead, I am talking about little nuggets of delectable, near-orgasmic culinary masterpieces called Broccoli Bites.  Think Bagel Bites gone green.

Don’t be freaked out if you have never heard of them.  I suspect you won’t find them in your local grocery store in the frozen food section, or any other section for that matter.

Before today, I had never heard of these little gems.

But when my staff at the surgical center discovered that the hospital cafeteria was serving Broccoli Bites, they went ballistic.  I have not seen such celebration since the USA defeated Russia in hockey in 1980.  A rather run-of-the-mill Wednesday in the OR suddenly became a “broccoli bites day!”  And in case you are wondering, that’s the next best thing to Christmas, or so one would think.

It didn’t matter how complicated a case got, it was okay.  It’s Broccoli Bites Day!

I could yell at them all I want, because it’s Broccoli Bites Day!

The IRS could audit all of them, and they wouldn’t care . . . it’s Broccoli Bites Day!

Basically, these things make any day the best day of your life.  They might even cure cancer for all I know!

So I had to learn more about these broccoli bites of which they spoke.

They are apparently made with chopped up broccoli (whoa, I didn’t see that one coming!), cheese . . . .and . . . wait for it . . . BACON!  And they are DEEP FRIED!  What more could one ask for in a single mouth-watering treat?

Chicken Nuggets??? Guess again!

(I suspect that one could eat just about anything if it were deep-fried, but there are some lunch bucket list items I STILL would not attempt even if they were deep-fried and I didn’t know what they were.  I guess if I didn’t know what they were I might try them, but I’m thinking I’d probably pass on them until someone told me what was in them.  If you lied to me, then I would have to hate you for the rest of your life.  Please don’t do that.  I really don’t need to eat sea snakes, so don’t deep fry them and lie to me.  Why would anyone do that?)

So I tried one of these morsels-to-die-for.  I have to be honest–and I think I hurt my staff’s feelings–but I was greatly underwhelmed.  It was okay, don’t get me wrong.  And I have been informed these are probably the best things to come out of the hospital cafeteria, which doesn’t say a whole lot about the rest of the menu in my humble opinion. But the experience was not life-changing for me.

There won’t be another broccoli bite day for three weeks.

It’s okay.  I can wait.

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Brain Freeze

When I die, I plan to have my brain frozen, so that some day in the future, when they come up for a cure for whatever killed me, I can be defrosted and saved.  That’s assuming I die of natural causes and it wasn’t done in the kitchen, by my wife, with a knife.  But, I guess that wouldn’t work well since the rest of my diseased body wasn’t frozen so I guess I’ll be cooling off until science can perfect a brain transplant whereupon my defrosted cerebrum can find a new home.  I hope they find a better looking body for me next time.  Or at least a healthier one.

I’m not sure I want my whole body frozen.   If my cerebellum gets freezer burnt, no one will notice.  But if I lose appendages to frost bite, that could get ugly.  Besides, I know there’s not enough room in our freezer for all of me.  I’ll be lucky if I don’t get edged out by the ice cream.

Which got me to thinking, and that is always a dangerous thing.

I just know that one of my kids–or their grandkids, and let’s face it, the apples don’t fall far from the apple cart–is going to leave the damned freezer door ajar, and then I’m going to defrost all over the floor.  My amygdala and hippocampus will mix with the mint chocolate chip ice cream, and some green popsicles since no one ever seems to eat those.  And what am I going to be able to do about it?  I don’t have any hands or arms.  I don’t have any lips to yell at them.  I’m just melted mush dripping down the front of the freezer.  I’m going to end up in a wad of Bounty paper towels in the trash can!

There I am. On top of the frozen chicken. Shouldn’t they put me down below away from that light????  IDIOTS!  What am I going to do?  THINK!  THINK!!!!

I tried to point all this out to them at supper time tonight, and I got less than an enthusiastic response.

How can they not care about their poor old dad ending up as melted slush in the trash can?  And I’m the one that takes out the trash, so God only knows how long I’ll stink up that can.

I can see that I am going to have to give this some more thought.

But it will have to wait.  I just ate some ice cream for dessert and I have a brain freeze at the moment.  Can’t think . . .

Did I shut the freezer door?

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