Y'all know how I feel about Muslim fanatics in general and Al K Duh members in particular. When Osama popped up just days before our election I prayed that a bullet would sear through his skull and lodge in his brain. He's the most depraved, defective person ever to walk the planet. But he's cagy smart, I'll grant him that. And his timing is impeccable.
Scarier still, he's capable of coming across as calm and well-reasoned, like Saddam in that interview where he talked down to Dan Rather. Charles Manson he is not. So let's take a dispassionate look at what he had to say and grudgingly admit that that some of it made good sense.
"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al quaeda. Your security is in your own hands." Damn right it is. In the free-for-all that is modern life, you really are on your own. Protect yourself at all costs.
Of George Bush I: "He passed on tyranny to his son, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the pretext of fighting terror." Now I don't know about the tyranny, that's a pretty strong term. But calling the (necessary?) curtailing of our basic civil rights the "Patriot Act" is downright Orwellian. Just ask your fellow citizen Jose Padilla. Oh wait, you can't.
On why he (supposedly) perpetrated 9/11: "As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, I got the idea of punishing the oppressors in the same way, by destroying towers in America so that it would taste some of what we have tasted..." Although I don't even know if it's true, he thinks US warships assisted Israel in its ill-fated 1982 incursion into Lebanon. If that is true, what was Reagan thinking? What the hell do we care about the wasteland that is Lebanon? At the time it had no government and at no time has it ever had any oil or resources to speak of. And certainly Israel doesn't need any military assistance even if we did care. Why can't we just butt out and worry about own damn selves for a change?
On Bush II: He said W wasted precious seconds "listening to a child discuss her goat" after he learned of the atrocity. If that is true it too makes sense. Though I don't know what else he could have done. It's like locking the door after the horses have bolted.
Oh, and thanks to Ezy and Lockheed and anyone else who's visited my lonesome little website.
I am just a writer here. I started 11/20/02. Since then I've posted 267 times. This is less than half what MG has put forth. But I know sometimes it seems like more than that.
I'll still do it because I really enjoy it. Sometimes I piss MG or Linz or Snaggle or others off with the stuff I write but I think that's healthy. They might disagree.
The reason I mention this is because I now have my own site. It's called Puddle of Muddle.
It's a real specific site. It obviously needs help when it comes to graphics, presentation etc. As you all know, I am technologically challenged. Please, please offer any suggestions as to the exact procedures involved in sprucing it up a bit. Thanks.... Anna
We've all got assholes in our lives. Usually they are in-laws, spouses of friends or coworkers. We do our best to weed them out but sometimes there's just no way around it. Today I will address this matter.
What is an asshole? Well, as the term is commonly understood, an asshole is abrasive. Assholes are often arrogant. They love to pick fights and arguments. They lord things over others. They're know-it-alls. They call undue attention to themselves. They thrive on conflict and animosity. They make the rest of us very uncomfortable.
Bill O'Reilly is an asshole. So is Kobe Bryant, Rosie O'Donnell, Rush Limbaugh, Kathy Lee Gifford and yes, John Kerry and George Bush.
Assholes often report having had "personality conflicts" with others, especially their superiors at work. After years of hearing about this, one concludes that the personality conflict is simply that theirs happens to suck.
Assholes lack self-insight, a key trait for personal development. You can lecture them all you want and they'll never change. They never saw those rolled eyes and hand gestures indicating the displeasure of others at their antics. Yet they are masters at projecting their own interpersonal definciencies onto others. Hence the "personality conflicts."
I once handled a case for a client who was a clinical asshole. You could call up her permanent record and see a litany of evidence of her assholery. She'd been bounced from several schools. When she landed a job at a ritzy hotel they kept having to move her around the departments because she couldn't get along with others. She'd had a series of failed relationships. She'd been reprimanded for getting drunk at a company Christmas party and dancing on tables and bearing her ample boobs. Her employer suspected her of running a side racket with the rich Arabs who frequented the hotel, bringing new meaning to the word hospitality.
Handling her case was a nightmare. She was constantly adding new medical complaints and dreaming up excuses why she couldn't work. But I'm used to that. What I wasn't prepared for were her hour long complaint messages left overnight on my boss's voice mail. If you ever have a claim, a word to the wise: never do that.
Naturally the situation deterioriated into one of those chicken and egg scenarios: Were we taking every opportunity to undermine her claim for being such an asshole? Or was she being such an asshole in response? See the permanent record above.
Finally she confided to me that she felt convinced that we were singling her out for mistreatment solely because of her asshole status. Of course I told her that wasn't true, this is just standard operating procedure for claims. But she wasn't buying it and went on to repeat her scurrilous allegations to the Big Boss. Bad idea.
I guess it comes down to who is entitled to protection in our hypersensitive, politically correct environment. Do assholes join ditzy blondes, hillbillies and lawyers as the only groups upon whom it is still okay to heap scorn and ridicule? Or should we celebrate our differences?
Have you heard the latest radio ads featuring Howard Dean? Instead of his infamous Yeeha! he is now hawking Yahoo! It is brilliant, having Dean be the pitchman for Yahooís new ďLocalĒ search. Looking for bookstores in IOWA? Want to relax in CALIFORNIA? Explore museums in OHIO? If Dean had been able to handle the screaming incident with this much humor eight months ago, maybe heíd be the one running against Bush instead of that talking head Kerry.
That giant talking head, Kerry. That makes-Conan-OíBrien-and-Sarah-Jessica-Parker-look-like-theyíve-got-normal-sized-heads John Kerry. Obviously, there canít be a God because no ďintelligent designĒ would have allowed for a person to exist with such a giant noggin.
I wonít hearken back to too many things from the debate, but I did want to agree with Kerry on one thing; invading Iraq after 9/11 would have been like invading France after Pearl Harbor.
Oh, wait that is what happened, wasnít it?
People seem to forget that terrorism isnít a place or a person. It is nameless, faceless thing that haunts our every waking moment. Terrorism is the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads ready to wreak disaster at any moment. Or, at least that is what the republicans would have us believe until after the election, at which point the whole war on terror will nicely wrap up during the final years of Bushís second term.
In other political news, if Houston had won the National League Championship Series, the World Series would have pitted teams from the two states that the presidential candidates hail. But, since St. Louis won, the World Series doesnít mean anything. Which is the way it should be because this is, after all, just a game of baseball.
Though, I do believe in this whole curse thing. I can easily imagine the Sox going up 3-0 in the series and then managing the same kind of colossal collapse as the Yankees had to get Boston there in the first place. Either that, or half the team dies in fiery plane crash and they have to get Yaz out retirement to play left field and dig Ted Williamsí corpse up and stick a Louisville Slugger in his lifeless hands to bat cleanup. Of course, he would only be able to bunt.
I really hope the Sox win, they, and their fans deserve it. On the other hand, I hope they lose. The whole ďCurse of BambinoĒ is exactly the kind of weird story that makes baseball what it is. If the Red Sox finally win one, itíll be both a great day and awful day for the sport. Because baseball, like this website, is all about the story.
The Red Sox winning would damage baseball like this site would hurt if I finally had to grow up and stop being so immature, or if Snaggle finally graduated college, or if Linz finally settled down with one man.
We have a traditional coffee table in our living room. When we replaced the sofa and loveseat it seemed a tad low. You have to lean down to put your cup on the coaster. It's a bit of a hassle but not so much so that we'd shell out for a new one. Downstairs it's the opposite problem, in that the tables are too high for the couches. This causes us to spill many glasses of wine. It's all about proportion.
All our table are within the normal range of height. This, on the other hand, is not. It's a fashionable, much sought-after Kang table. It would be suitable in an old-style Japanese restaurant where you sit on pillows on the floor, not in your living room. Why would anyone want a coffee table that is useless? Why, to impress your hoity-toity friends, that's why: Oh look, she's got a table that is only 8 inches high. She doesn't care about functionality or ergonomics. How pretentious is that?
It's the same way with clothes. Most of us have chosen a style that suits us and we stick to it. We're not slaves to fashion. Under no circumstance would we be caught dead in this outlandish getup. Nor would we set foot on the street clad in these duds. Like transparent purses, these fashions will be slow to catch on, particularly in the heartland. Never mind though---next year they'll be back with another ludicrous collection no one will wear.
The fashion world is a world apart. Designers trot out their collections and gaunt-looking apparitions parade about the catwalk done up like rodeo clowns. Celebs congregate and applaud politely. Fashion critics comment as though any ordinary person would ever wear these garish styles and invite the ridicule of their peers.
Once I offered to foot the bill at a fancy Santa Barbara bistro. I ordered squab. The waiter brought a plate with a bird the size of a canary, carrot carvings and two long string beans. You call that dinner?
I love art. In particular I like American impressionists like Hassan and Cornoyer. Others go in for baroque, Romanticism or the Old Masters. But I can't imagine anyone really digs this sort of random stuff. And yet art critics will read all manner of depth and meaning into what is essentially a child's drawing you put on your refrigerator with a magnet (and remove as soon as he isn't looking.) It speak to the eternal loneliness of the human condition! It crackles with sexual tension! It signifies something or other!
Perhaps more inexplicably, ordinary people will fritter away hours peering at this trash with their heads cocked at a quizzical angle. Nobody will dare to say, "Dude, this sucks. My 4 year old could create better art." Even though it's the truth---just as few people really enjoy artsy foreign films with subtitles. We have little use for the lethargic actors, soft-core porn posing as art, nuanced subplots and monotonous dialogue.
The purpose of bizzare furniture, haute couture, fancy cuisine, abstract art and foreign films is to make elitists feel smugly superior to we the great unwashed. But if you ask me the joke's on them. Give me functional furniture, regular chothes, all you can eat buffets, recognizable art and movies in English any day.
"Parents should realize that the Internet contains dark corners. It's like letting their children walk unsupervised through Amsterdam or New York." - Dan Klinker, purveyor of fine online beheadings
The Net showed such great promise early on. We were all going to e-commerce. All our day to day dealings would be done online. Then the dot-com bubble burst and we're left to drown in the swirling cesspool infested with spyware, information highwaymen, viruses, pop-ups, porn mazes and error messages.
Huge online business collapsed like houses of cards. Only porn, gambling and blogs have weathered the storm and come to thrive. That is, until the spate of beheadings in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. (Remember the collective shock and horror at Daniel Pearl's demise? Now it all seems as commonplace as a roadside bomb or naked pyramid.)
Indeed, now there's... this. Per an article by Olga Craig for the London Sunday Telegrah, it's one of the most popular sites in all cyberspace. On any given day it gets 300,000 distinct hits. When a fresh decapitation occurs, that number surges to 750,000 and swamps Klinker's six servers. 2 million people have downloaded Ken Bigley's grisly beheading. Those are Paris Hilton-like numbers!
I have to wonder how Klinker makes money off this venture. Maybe he charges for immediate email notification of decaps in progress. You're in a meeting and your Blackberry signals a new message. "Sorry to cut this short but I have a pressing engagement," you lie.
Naturally most of the visitors are dudes. But not all. 25% are chicks! 65% log in from the gore-obsessed USA, which is hardly a surprise given the stateside success of Natural Born Killers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre I&II and Hellboy.
Ten years ago who could have envisioned 3/4 million people all watching this lurid spectacle in front of their dingy little screens. Who could have fathomed us seeing bearded fanatics gledfully holding amputated heads up to webcams and yelling some Arabic nonsense? About as many as could have predicted that a sex scene involving puppets would earn a film the dreaded NC-17 death knell.
Fun beheading fact: The French used their guillotine on somebody as recently as 1977. Now that it's out of commission maybe they should send it to Mr. Zarquawi. At least it would be far less gruesome that those 10 minute ordeals involving bolo knives.
Growing up there were some hot bands. Or at least they seemed that way at the time. I'm thinking about the likes of the Police, Steely Dan and Starship (itself a bastardization of Jefferson Starship, an outgrowth of the hippie outfit Jefferson Airplane.) But when you hear their stuff on classic rock stations, it seems really dated. It hasn't stood the test of time.
The Police had a minimalist, reggae-influenced style that wore thin with repeated airplay. Same goes for Steely Dan's improvisational, jazzy style featuring polished sessions players. As for Starship, VH-1's countdown of worst songs of all time had their We Built This City on Rock and Roll at #1. All of it was music for the moment, not all time. Which doesn't dissuade classic rock stations from playing their crap ad nauseum.
It's the same way with old sitcoms. Regardless of which Dick you prefer, Bewitched holds up well (the beguiling Elizabeth Montgomery doesn't hurt.) Yet a real similar premise with an equally fetching Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie just seems silly now. Same goes for Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
Among more modern shows in syndication, Seinfeld and Friends seem to hold up reasonable well. While Home Improvement and Roseanne seem hopelessly 90s. Maybe it's all that domestic bickering.
Among current acts I would nominate the goddamn Dave Matthews Band and the equally sappy John Maher (who might have written the worst lyrics ever here) for immediate discard onto the scrap bin of history. Classic rock stations of the future will steer clear of them like the plague. Any other nominees?
As for today's TV, let's face it. Aside from Desperate Housewives and Lost, it is a vast wasteland. It's difficult to imagine any of the current shows winding up in syndication. But there are two I am certain will never make it no matter how long they hang around unnoticed like Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and Murder She Wrote: According to Jim and King of Queens. Jim Belushi is to his brother John Belushi as a perfunctory hand-job is to an orgy of (Linz's word) debauchery? Am I wrong about this?
Oh wait, I forgot. Nobody watches TV or listens to mainstream radio anymore. My bad.
Well, here I am, four months of marriage and one and a half years into my relationship with Amy. There have been numerous bumps in the road, heated arguments over things that shouldnít really matter, and more love than either of us have ever known given and withheld from one another. All things considered, with both of our considerable baggage, I donít think weíve done that badly. There are a thousand things I have said, in anger, that I wish I could take back but there have also been millions of compliments and professions of love that I have said and will continue to say until the day I die that Iím very proud of. You see, Amy and I are classic runners. In past relationships, as soon as things got a little rocky, weíd cut ties and get the hell out of dodge. The fact that weíre both willing to stay, when running would be much easier in the short term, speaks volumes, in my opinion. There is still baggage, from our pasts, to work through but seeing this wonderful woman trying so hard and putting herself aside at times for me makes me love her that much more. I wish there was some magic wand out there to completely erase the past but there isnít. Well, hypnotism might be that wand but it scares the bejesus out of me. What if you get a hypnotist who learned his craft from some mail order correspondence course? Every time someone says taco you might fall to your hands and knees while barking incessantly at everyone nearby. That wouldnít be cool at all but I digress.
As hard as things have been, at times, there is nowhere I would rather be than standing by this womanís side. When I wake up in the morning and sheís lying beside me I thank God that I was allowed to find such a loving, caring person to spend my life with. I know that sounds about as sappy as it can get but itís what I feel every morning. I have irrational fears and nightmares of losing her. I can always tell her these which, in turn, let me know exactly how irrational they are. I think weíre all scared of losing things that we love on one level or another. If you have lost things you have held dear or even adored then these feelings are multiplied tenfold. I have lost quite a few people I have loved to either death or irreconcilable differences so I am about as skittish, on this subject, as you can get. I have pushed people away who have gotten too close just because I was scared I would lose them and have to endure that pain again. Not a very smart practice but, most of the time, it was a subconscious decision. I wasnít even aware I was doing it until it was too late. This is something I have fought with myself about for years. Allowing yourself to be loved is tough sometimes, especially when youíre expecting the worst. Slowly but surely, I am beginning to expect the best. Weíve also decided to stop drinking. It seems that there was always one common factor to our fights and that was alcohol. Iíve been a drinker for so long that I wasnít even sure I could stop completely if I tried. Well, itís been a couple of weeks; I feel better physically, and there have been no fights. I still have the demons, in my head, that come calling but my gating is intact and I can fight them down. I have no doubts that, with time, they will disappear completely. Until then I can get back to doing something I do very well, loving my wife.
For some time now, I've had a growing bald spot on the top my head. It hasn't really been a big deal for me until recently, when I began to notice that was once a spot of thinning hair had become completely devoid of hair.
I've always promised myself that if I were to even begin seriously losing my hair that it was all coming off. I wasn't going to do the comb-over or hang on to what little hair was left until my last dying breath. Now that even people at work were noticing my thinning hair, I began to wonder if perhaps the time had come....
Saturday morning, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, a pair of scissors in one hand, wondering if perhaps the time had come. Finally, after much trepidation, I began. Once I'd snipped the first clump of hair, I knew that I was the way to I-knew-not-where. I had no idea whether or not the finished product would be an improvement, but I'd set the process in motion, and there was no turning back. It was like the old parable about the ham-and-egg breakfast: the chicken may be involved, but the pig is committed...and I was definitely committed.
All I had to do was to wait for Susan to get home. Let's just say that her reaction wasn't one of unqualified approval. I think she's still mad at me, and I can't really say that I blame her. Had she been home at the time, I may not have made a spur of the moment decision like this. Of course, now the hair is gone, and I can't very well glue it back in place. The question now becomes do I stick with the aerodynamic look, or do I grow the hair back? I'm actually beginning to get used to seeing myself without hair, and it's (if you'll pardon the pun) beginning to grow on me.
Of course, there are some decided advantages to going hairless:
- No bedhead
- No hathead
- The family shampoo bill will drop by 1/3
- Just think of all the money we'll save on haircuts, honey!!
- I never have to worry about finding a comb
And, yes, there are some pronounced disadvantages to the new look:
- You know that whole thing about how you lose most of your body heat through your head? Apparently, there's something to that. Who knew that hair provided so much insulation??
- Susan refuses to touch my head
- I now have to wear a hat when I go outside
- Scraping a razor over one's skull is not as easy or as risk-free as one might imagine.
I'm going to give it some time before I make up my mind about keeping the new low-maintenance look. Of course, I could just give in to the inevitable and go out and buy myself a Harley and a leather jacket. Adam and Eric will laugh at me, but they would anyway. I may be able to get used to being bald, and then again I may not. In the meantime, opinions are always welcome, although management retains the right to completely disregard said opinions and do whatever the hell strikes him at the moment....which really explains how this all came about in the first place.
Our old home had mostly wood floors. This one has carpet. Carpets get dirty. You can vacuum them all you want but there's still a lot of grit and grime embedded in them. So when the price came down I bought a steam cleaner. It has four brushes that rotate and on-board tools. But as far as I can tell, it doesn't work.
I mean this in terms of the dirty water it collects. I spray quarts and quarts of solution on the carpet. I can see it being sucked up. Yet when I go to empy it, there's no dirty water. The carpets look much cleaner. So where did the dirt go?
This is just one of life's little imponderable mysteries that are inexorably driving me insane. Another is fish. You have river fish, like bass, salmon, trout and maybe catfish. You have ocean fish, like shad and grouper. There are even fish that like brakish water, that congregate in deltas where the rivers meet the sea. But never the two shall meet. Trout don't stray into the ocean. Grouper don't wander into the river. How do they know not to do this? It's not as if there's a sign or a wall to prevent them from mingling.
Still another has to do with our education system. We graduate with our heads crammed chock full of historical facts, vagaries of language and useless equations and theorems. We know nothing about the workings of our cars, or our HVAC systems. We don't know how to miter trim properly or how to replace a faucet or a heating element in our dryers. When the spark plug goes bad in our mowers, we tug on the cord a few times and then go buy a new one. We are ignorant of how to negotiate job interviews or office politics. We have no guidance on how to choose mates and maintain relationships. We can't manage our time or finances. Why is this?
The last thing is about politicians. They are always blathering on about big concepts like the economy or jobs or the environment or taxes or something. Much of their rhetoric has to do with foreign policies and wars raging thousands of miles away. I don't know about you, but I am far more concerned with more immediate things. It bothers me that I am awake for 16 hours a day and of those 2 are spent commuting to/from my job. That is 12% of your waking hours. Why don't we ever hear politicians offering workable solutions to problems like that? Perhaps because there are none? Or do they consider such mundane matters beneath them? I remember when Al Gore wrote that stupid book that proposed phasing out combustion engines. He'd have had us peons plodding along in horse carriages while he whizzed by in the back of his sleek limo on the way to do some important government thing, escorted by his motorcade.
And that is why I slowly going out of my mind.
So, as many of you know, mg and I have given birth to a beautiful new life. Which is actually a misnomer. I know it’s politically correct nowadays to say “we gave birth,” and, “Yay! We’re pregnant!” I guess it’s supposed to make the guy feel more included and involved, etc. Well, I’m officially done with that. Let’s face it, it’s my body that’s actually housed, nourished and pushed out an 8 lb bundle of love, not my guy’s body. And I don’t see mg whipping out his mams in public when she’s hungry. (Although, I was surprised to see that when we’re together in public and she’s eating, he insists on “helping” by prudishly covering us both over in flannel and hovering lest some passerby get an errant glimpse of nip.)
But now that those first heady days of pregnancy and birth-giving are over, the hard part begins. No, it’s not endless streams of steamy, “mustardy/seedy” diapers (actually how it’s described in the book), and the hard part isn’t having to stifle the infrequent sounds of bliss emanating from our marital bed because baby sleeps about 5 feet away. The hard part is losing baby weight. They don’t really mention that part to you. OK, they do talk about it and tell you to be careful, blah, blah, no pints of ice cream at 11:30 pm when you’re in your 9th month, blah, blah. But I guess I didn’t really get it until this weekend.
There was a wedding which required dressing up. I was trying to pour myself into a dress that was formerly exiled from my closet branded as “frumpy” but now hugs curves I’m pretty sure just weren’t there before. Let me tell you, holding in your breath and your atomic chest while hubby strains to pull up zipper in back may sound like a scene from “I Love Lucy” until it happens to you.
I guess the point of this is that the “we’re pregnant” now looks more like “I’m fat.” And I sure don’t see my husband dragging his saggy butt to the gym or counting the POINTS of each serving of food he eats. (By the way, did you know a serving of opossum is only 1 POINT according to Weight Watchers?)
I guess I should have known, really. Trying to lose weight sucks and blaming it on someone else makes sense to me right now. To tell the truth, my past successful crash-diets have all included lots and lots of cigarettes and unrequited love. Since those days are behind me, I guess I must do it the traditional, boring and difficult way. It takes a long time. I miss my jeans. I miss my skirts. You know, I think my feet actually got bigger, too. Now that’s a bitter pill. Shoes have always been sacred—not being subject to bloating, etc.
In short, men should readily relinquish the terms including but not limited to: “We’re pregnant” and “We’re having/have had/had a baby!” In the meantime, I’ll be calculating POINTS and sweatin’ to the oldies. We all have to make sacrifices.
If there's one common theme around here it may be a mistrust of formal religion. In his last entry MG championed science over blind faith. Adam describes himself as a secular guy. We know that being an agnostic is (or was) one criteria Linz uses to evaluate a potential suitor. Ezy even turned down sex with the voodoo chick based in part on her beliefs.
Speaking of offbeat belief systems, what's up with Hollywood. You've got Madonna touting the virtues of Kabala, a watered-down version of Judaism none too popular with real Jews. Go to the local Scientology meeting and there's Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Kelly Preston and heap-big Kirstie Alley. Why can't these stars go in for regular religions?
After all, it is beyond question that traditional religion has exerted a positive influence on society. It provides solace to millions. It enriches otherwise dreary lives. It gives people something constructive to do. It can deter crime and other aberrant behavior. There's a certain serenity in being a religious believer. And if it's true, it can keep you from being burned to a crisp in the infernal bowels of hell.
But there's a huge downside. You had the Crusades, bloody wars that would drag on hundreds of years in a time when lifespans were barely 40. Catholics and Protestants have been at each other's throats since the Reformation through all the nastiness in Northern Ireland. Jews and Muslims tussle over disputed areas in and around Israel. Hindus and Muslims clash over the Kashmir region between Pakistan and India. Even within a given faith there can be schisms. Catholics won't let non-Catholics take commonion. Orthodox Jews look down on regular Jews. Sunni Muslims call Shiites "pig people" and seek to repress them or worse.
By far the most violent and diabolical sect is the Muslims. Since 1972 they've slaughtered the Israeli Olympic squad, taken hundreds of hostages in Iran, blown up a Marine barrack in Lebanon, leveled two apartment towers in Saudi Arabia, downed a plane over Scotland, perpetrated the first Trade Center attack, decimated two American embassies, gouged a gaping hole in the USS Cole, devastated an Israeli pizzaria and buses, killed thousands of innocents on Sept 11, laid seige to a Moscow theater, derailed a packed train in Spain, committed genocide, rape and pillaging in Sudan, blasted crowded nightclubs in Bali and Germany, leveled a consulate in Turkey, stoned adulterers, hacked off thieves' hands, beheaded a dozen folks on the Web and incinerated hundreds of helpless children elsewhere in Russia. We've thwarted the shoe-bomber, dirty bomber, a plot to blow up LAX on the millenium changeoever and countless suicide bombers in Israel. All in the name of Allah.
Considering all this, on balance, is this world better or worse off for the existence of organized religion? That's the question.
Nietzsche wrote that God was dead. He believed the next level of human attainment is the superman. Well, earlier this week Superman died, and many people blame it on god.
Or at least blame it on politicianís interpretation of Godís laws.
It is widely believed that research using embryonic stem cells might lead to finding cures for any number of diseases and physical damage. Christopher Reeve believed that he, and people suffering similar damage to nerve cells, might one day be able to walk again because of the potential wealth of knowledge gained through further stem cell research.
But, I canít talk about the science. I just donít know enough.
On the other side of this issue, and there always is another side, is religion. They believe that life begins at conception, and using embryonic stem cells is tantamount to murder. Even if the ensuing research saves 1,000 lives, taking the one is not worth it. This belief comes mostly from the Christian right, who, because of our current president, and because people are sheep, are a significant political power in the country.
Iím not at all religious either, and a year or so ago, if you had asked me about when life began, there isnít much chance Iíd have cast my lot with the Billy Graham crowd. But Iím a new father, and that has forced me to rethink a lot of things recently.
A year ago today Frances was a three and a half week old fetus. We didnít even know she existed; we had some idea, and my wife has always said she already started to feel different. Stem cells from a human fetus are at their most active in the first week. Even now, I wouldnít go so far as to say that a fetus is a person, but I just canít imagine taking something that would, if left to do so, grow up to be my daughter and end the possibility of that life.
You may believe that once the kid pops out itís a person. You may believe that once youíve hit that magic third trimester, youíve got a person. But, I for one donít want to trust some magic book (the bible). I donít want to trust legislators. Isnít this one of those issues where you have to give Life the benefit of the doubt?
I couldnít tell you, biologically, what is going on with an embryo at one week. But when we saw our first ultrasound at about 11 weeks, there were hands and fingers. There were feet and toes. There was a head and a face. A brain. A beating heart.
There are some number of embryos in cold storage somewhere that will either be kept on ice forever, or destroyed. As someone who has spent my entire life believing in the power of science over magic (a.k.a. religion), I hate to admit I agree with Bush on this issue. He takes a surprisingly pragmatic approach. Bush, against the wishes of the most strident of the religious right, has allowed these to be used for research purposes. Bush makes his stand on the creation of new embryos, and has opposed it stridently. Use the embryos already existent, but donít create any new ones
No matter how noble the reason, to create a life, just so you can end it is wrong. It may not be murder, but it is wrong. Iím canít speak as a scientist. I canít speak as a theologian. But I can speak as a father, and it is just wrong.
The stalker couldn't be dealt with by the police because he had "diplomatic immunity." That is part of the reason the guy he'd stolen drugs and cash from killed him. The same was true of a guy who attacked me at knifepoint in high school. Diplomatic immunity is bad.
But I'm not here to talk about that. Here's the thing: The guy stole a huge cache of Quaaludes. This was a prescription drug that was wildly popular in the 70s. It has dubious medicinal properties but man did it knock you for a loop. Eventually the government forced it off the market. Black market knockoffs appeared but those were never quite the same as the original 714s.
The same thing is going to happen with OxyContin today. In many rural areas, it's the drug of choice. Rubes walk into the local pharmacy armed to the teeth, demanding Oxy. Thousands of people, including Rush Limbaugh, Jeb Bush's daughter and Winona Ryder are hooked on the opiate painkiller. Folks will crush the pills and snort, smoke or inject it. This gets around the drug's annoying time-release feature. As more and more Dr. Feelgoods get hauled off to jail, legitimate medicinal users are feeling the pinch. They've launched many web sites to complain about a lack of ready availability. To hear them tell it, none of the myriad painkillers on the market compare.
The morality pendulum swings back and forth when it comes to substances that give people artificial pleasure. From 1900-1913, just about every medicine and soda contained cocaine, heroin and bella donna. Moralists got wind of it and took steps to stamp out the fun. For a long time docs wouldn't even prescribe narcotics long-term, no matter how much pain and suffering the patient went through. In the late 90s that all changed. Got a backache or a boo-boo? Here's some Oxy. More recently, with an upswing in law enforcement and negative publicity, it's swung back the other way. Hence all the hand-wringing among the Oxy-head set.
My parents' country house used to belong to the only doctor in the county. He practiced in the early 1900s. Imagine my friends and my surprise to find that his medications were still there on the shelf. Every single one contained cocaine, heroin and/or bella donna. We tried them all. Most but not all had long since lost their punch.
At some point we're all going to need to come to grips with one very simple yet elusive truth: There is no way to legislate morality. There is no way to regulate what people choose to do in the privacy of their homes. Prostitution, drug abuse, gambling and various forms of perversity will always be with us. All of them will always flourish no matter what anyone does to stop them. Hell, you can now get all the prescriptions meds you want off websites without any prescription whatsoever. It's just a question of when our leaders will muster the courage to accept that which can never be changed.
And let us get back to smoking our OxyContin in peace.
Next patient please. Send in another victim of industrial disease.
I thought I'd found a new side business: weddings. I just helped a friend do the welcoming and introductions at his wedding reception, and I'm scheduled to perform a wedding in the middle of next month. I recall when an acquaintance was trying to get married last year. Neither the prospective bride nor groom had any religious affiliation or inclination; all they wanted was someone to perform a secular wedding. Of course, this is New York, the City Where You Can't Get Anything Done, and there's no such thing as the justice of the peace here. If you want a civil service, your options are: go to City Hall (very romantic); know a judge or ship's captain. And ... that's about it. I could do weddings, and get rich, or at the very least slightly less poor! Well, not so fast chimpy.
I looked into what it takes to become a registered wedding officiant here, and I found out a couple of things. First, if you're not a judge or a clergy person, you're pretty much S.O.L. when it comes to conducting weddings in New York City. The other interesting thing I found was that the Universal Life Church is specifically disallowed, though I am not entirely sure why. I could open a storefront church and wave the Bible around like a magical amulet and I'd be all set wedding-wise, so what's the difference, really? Aside from the storefront and pew rental, of course.
I've been going along under the assumption that I was good to go to perform weddings in NYC, and I'm a little bit disappointed to discover otherwise. As a fairly secular guy I'm also MORE that a little bit curious about how any government decides what's a legit religion and what isn't (remember this?) In Canada, you can't be recognized as a religion unless your ceremony involves the worship of a deity, unless you've been doing whatever it is that you do instead of worshipping a deity for a long time (like most Buddhists) in which case you are, for some mysterious reason, fine. In this country we're a little bit more liberal (hah!) about such things, and so you can have a Humanist Celebrant do your wedding if you can find one riding his unicorn around town. But I still wonder: in such a huge city, with an actual MARRIAGE BUREAU that has an Internets site and everything, why do we not have a Justice of the Peace?
In college I had a roommate named Steve. He took a fancy to a comely, eyelash-batting southern belle named Robin. He asked her out. We were all sitting at a table at the only bar in town. He's trying to talk to her over the din of some country-ass band. She's gazing lovingly into his eyes as if enraptured by his rap. She's also doing this flirty thing with her hand under the table. With me!
In my car this first words out of her mouth were, "Hold mah hair." You know those chicks who insist on calling themselves "womyn?" Honey, it's not one of those.
We dated for a while and then it petered out. She dropped out and moved in with some locals who lived up in the hills. Later I heard she'd gone back home to Charleston.
About a year later she returned to visit her girlfriends, who happened to be our neighbors. She stopped by to say hi, gave me a hug and whispered something I couldn't make out in my ear. Just then the phone rang. It's my dad, saying the insurance company had offered me $10,000 to settle a claim for an accident I'd been in three years back. He gets all argumentative, saying the lawyer thinks we're liable to score upwards of 100k. After all, my elbow was shattered, I had some nasty facial scars and I had the psychological trauma of having my friend die on my lap.
Anyway, he insists that I return home for a two day trial, leaving this Robin behind. The lawyer, who also happened to be the dead boy's dad, proved woefully inept in court. When the judge ruled that any mention of the death would result in a mistrial, Perry Mason sat there mute as a mime. The jury awarded me a measly $5,000 and payment of medical bills. From that I had to deduct attorney fees.
I did what any other 19 year old would do, bought the best stereo money could buy. A 100 watt per channel Onkyo amp/tuner, a high-tech Phillips turntable (look it up) and these huge Advent floor speakers.
Back at school I had an encounter with a jerk who'd been stalking me and my new gal. He showed up at my place all drunk and ostensibly apologetic. In a blind rage I grabbed the pressed-wood speaker grill and bashed him over the head. Then I pushed him out the door. That was the last I ever saw of him. He got offed in a drug heist gone awry that weekend. Although I was 300 miles away, the cops grilled me unmercifully. Worse still, my woofer, tweeter and midrange were now exposed.
Years later I still had the stereo in my home. Our dog chewed a hole in the woofer. I replaced it but the generic one never sounded quite the same. The speakers doubled as end tables. After we married my wife insisted I get rid of them. They were replaced by smaller bookshelf models that were deceptively labelled with the price for one speaker. Who buys one speaker? I was too embarassed to balk when I learned that my new Polk Audios cost $600.
When we moved into the new house we bought an entertainment center and a snazzy new flat-screen TV. It's so heavy one person can't carry it. I had trouble fitting the massive Onkyo into its slot so the amp sat there on the floor. My wife was trying to patch an unsightly hole I'd cut in the back of the entertainment center. She accidentally pushed the flat-screen onto my ancient, cherished amp.
On my way home from work I'd resolved to replace the relic. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that you could get twice the watts and less distortion for a pittance. I was also happy to learn that my DVD player will also play CDs. Thus I didn't have to replace my ancient one-disc CD player.
I bounced through the door with my new purchase under my arm. My wife's sitting there with this stunned, defeated look on her face. I ask what's wrong and she leads me downstairs. There lie the new TV screen-down on my Onkyo. We didn't know if it was ruined or not. Gingerly we lifted it up to find it was fine but for a couple scuffs. The amp didn't fare so well. It was crushed, a mangled mess of metal and shards of glass.
"So, what'd you buy this time," she asks.
The trainee's sitting at my desk. She peers at a framed Glamour Shot and asks if it is my wife. When I tell her it is, she goes, "She's hot!"
Now this was a first. I've gotten used to women asking me if it's my wife and then saying she is pretty. But never hot. And I am always taken aback, at a loss how to respond. "Thanks," would be silly as I played no role in creating her beauty or for that matter in posing her with hair all done up, makeup, head slightly cocked with black gloves curled gracefully under her chin. "Yeah she is," seems flippant and disrespectful. "Ya think?" doesn't work either. That implies that I disagree.
You'll note I said women. No guy has ever dared to comment on the provocative photo. To do so would be to say he covets my wife and would love to jump her bones. It would be seen as a challenge of sorts. So it simply isn't done. Nor do guys make any inane comments about the pictures of my kids. God knows how I'd react if they said my stepdaughters look hot.
There's hot and there's pretty. Many consider Angelina Jolie hot but not pretty. Just as many consider Nicole Kidman pretty but not hot. My wife is pretty but I don't care to think of her in terms of temperature.
Speaking of marriage, I caught this show called What I Hate About You. They get couples to come on and dish about one another's annoying tendencies. The guy was a metrosexual who thought nothing of dropping $400 on lotions and shampoo. She took in a menagerie of strays including a mangy dog. For reasons unclear he wound up bathing the mutt with his pricey shampoo and conditioner.
I tried to think of what I'd say if we were on there. I couldn't think of anything. My wife is pretty close to flawless. All I could think of is her refusal to use her mirrors when driving. She scares me half to death turning her head all the way around before changing lanes. That and the way she calls me at work asking where certain household items might be. She's convinced I have a photographic memory, a detailed mental catalogue of everything we own. I don't.
And that is about it. Pretty damn good after 16 years.
In many parts of Africa, the practice of removing young girls' clitori and sometime their labia too is commonplace. It's an age-old tradition. Yet most reputable surgeons won't perform the procedure. This leaves it to barbers and butchers whose sole medical qualification consists of owning sharp tools. Sterile technique consists of wiping the blade off on your shirt.
Obviously this is reprehensible. But I'm not here to lament it. If you're into that there's lots of other places to go. Oddly enough, there's also many sites that defend female circumcision, as they so euphemistically call it. I'm not here to defend it either.
Whatever the rhetoric, this stems from a basic fundamentalist Islamic view of women as lustful sirens out to lure men into committing sinful acts. It's the same basis as that of the burqa. But that's so bogus. Studies have shown that while men think about sex every two seconds, many women go for minutes on end without a carnal thought.
Clearly men thought this up. I don't think they thought it through though. Face it: a huge part of the pleasure of sex stems from gratifying your partner. (And God knows it isn't an easy thing sometimes.) Plus, the more gratified she is the more receptive to suggestion she becomes. Conversely, it's not a whole lot of fun to have sex with a woman who is obviously bored and painting her fingernails or clicking the remote.
It's probably different among gay guys. Physiologically, barring Bob Dole Disease or heavy drinking, enough friction for enough time exerted on the penis will result in orgasm. There's not this whole big deal about techniques and finding this spot or that.
In high school I knew a guy named Dean. Although average looking, he always walked around with this shit-eating grin, like he was getting all he could handle. He was like the proverbial guy who walks into a bar licking his eyebrows with his Michael Jordan-like tongue and is immediately mobbed by foxy girls. You'd hear girls giggling about him. "Let's just say Dean knows what he's doing," they'd confide. Or, "I thought Dean was going to split me in two but it turned out fine. We're going to do it again after school." Even his exes spoke glowingly of their encounters.
I asked him for his secret. He told me all about the old "man in the boat." He also added that she doesn't like to be launched until her sails are fully hoisted. I guess it was good advise, though back then women didn't even have G-spots. All we had was the wet-spot and no one wanted to sleep on it.
It's funny how the most important information gets left out of parents' birds and the bees talks. Aside from knowing how menstrual cycles impact sexual availability and desire levels, I'd say the most important omission is the improbable location of the boatman and his pal the G-spot (which I don't know to this day.) For girls it would have to be how to sense when things are getting ready to get messy and what your options are at that point.
As Jeff Foxworthy once said about husbands' imminent arrivals, that's information you need.
Today marks Bad Samaritanís fourth anniversary. This site was started way the hell back in October of 2000. It probably doesnít need to be explained that a lot of things have changed, both in the world and in my life, over these past four years.
In the last four years Iíve contributed nearly 700 posts and too many comments to count. But, for all the stuff that has made it on to the site, there is more that never made the cut. It may not be evident by the quality or grammatical correctness of my posts, but a certain amount of editorial oversight goes into decisions about what makes it onto the site and what doesnít.
There are about 50 or so Word files on my computer with posts in various stages of completion. So, in honor of todayís truly momentous occasion, Iím going to sit on my couch all day and watch football. No, wait, in honor of Bad Samaritanís fourth anniversary, I thought it might be interesting to go through all these old files and pull out the best of the worst.
Iím not sure where I might have been planning to go with this, but I think this post-fragment from June of 2002 is still true of me, and very funny-strange:
I have this habit of answering questions with the first thing that pops into my head. Most of the time my answer is somewhat appropriate to the question. Other times I end up answering 'Where should we eat dinner?' with the name of my third grade teacher. I guess that isnít really lying.
Iíve gotten much better about this, because I realize how responding to questions with non sequitur answers might thoroughly annoy someone you live with. Unfortunately, this isnít some affectation, but something I do without noticing. It probably comes from when I got hit in the head with a javelin when I was 12, but purple mountainís majesty.
Back when the celebrity boxing craze was sweeping the nation, or at least the part of it that considers Fox to be quality broadcasting, I came up with the idea of doing a post about ďHistorical Celebrity Boxing.Ē This was the only example even remotely funny:
Hitler vs. Napoleon: Who wouldnít love to see these two despotic midgets go at it? But, we all know itíll be over before even starts; France surrenders. No, seriously, the edge would have to go to Napoleon because any who can lead the French army into victorious battle has got to be a little special.
If that was the best of them, youíll see why the full post never made it the live. Keeping with the boxing theme, this was in response to one of Mike Tysonís many loony tirades:
Last week Mike Tyson did what he did best. Throw a punch or two, and then bite someone. More than that, he performed one of the most quotable monologues in recent memory. ďIíll eat your asshole alive, you bitch. Ainít nobody alive can fuck with this. This is the ultimate, manÖ Fuck you, you ho... Iíll fuck you in your asshole in front of everybody, you bitch. Címon, you bitchÖ Iíll fuck you Ďtil you love me, you faggot.Ē
Tyson used those lines once before, in 1988 when he proposed to Robin Givens. Unlike Salzberg, she took the line for the beautiful display of love it was meant to be, and agreed to be his bride.
Like Givens, I was apparently in love with Tyson for a while, because I was also working on a quiz comparing his sociological deficiencies to Michael Jacksonís with ďIs it Tyson or is it Jackson?Ē Here is a sample question:
Your romantic history can be summed up as: a) You were married to the star of a high school sitcom and were arrested for raping a beauty queen b) You think children are beautiful, until they reach high school, when they get too old for raping
Over the years Iíve often made fun of celebrities like Tyson and Jackson. It is just so much easier sometimes than revealing parts of my soul. I was planning on making Macaulay Culkin: Porn star into a regular feature, where I just pornalized a starís IMDB filmography. Iím glad I didnít because that is so hacky. But, here are some films from Tom Hanksí filmography, if he were a porn star:
Tom Hanks: Green Penile, The (1999) You've Got Male Genitalia (1998) "From my Groin to your Moon" (1998) That Thing You Do with Underage Children! (1996) Sex Toy Story (1995) Apollo 69 (1995) Forrest Hump (1994) Joe Versus the Volcanic Ejaculation (1990) Every Time We Say KY (1986) "Bosom Buddies" (1980)Occasionally I talked about serious things. This document, which contained just a single line, wasnít one of them. This must have been in reference to the Iraqi (dis)Information Minister, and the speech heíd presumably give at the end of the war:
We have destroyed over 1000 of your Tomahawk missiles with our buildings.
There was a lot of stuff about Iraq that I never posted. There were tons of post-fragments and at least 3 complete posts that never made it up on the site. Most of it was too tedious for me to read now, so for the most part Iím very happy most of this stuff never went live.
If you donít want the veil lifted to expose the real Wizard of Oz, skip this next one. Okay, In addition to all my posts, Iíve also done the couple Osama bin Laden posts (but not the comments). I began this post as Osama, about Saved by the Bellís Zach Morris replacing Silver Spoonís Ricky Schroeder on the cast of NYPD Blue:
There is no love lost between me and the New York Police Department, but Iíll admit Iíve always been a die-hard fan of NYPD Blue. Sure, it may not be as controversial as it was back in the bare man-ass days, but who needs all that controversy?
Schroeder's best friend on the Silver Spoons was Alfonso Robeiro, who later starred as Carlton on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My best friend is the prince of Saudi Arabia (and the only thing fresh about him is his breath, NOT).
But outside of making fun of celebrities and getting way too worked up about politics, I have revealed much about my life and emotional turmoil. This post-fragment comes from a document dated back in March of 2002. My head must have been in a pretty messed up place at the time.
I was just listening to a remix of Bjorkís All is Full of Love and got to thinking. Now, I can't speak for the rest of the world, because I don't know how full of love it is. But I do know one place that isn't full of love and that place is inside of me.
The great thing about running this site is that I have this recorded history of exactly what I was feeling or thinking on nearly 700 specific days over the last four years. But what is always so strange is going back and reading those things and not even recognizing the person who wrote it. There are so many posts where I am unable to understand (or remember) where my head was at and why I was thinking and feeling the way I was.
Going back to read the above post-fragment now is weird, because, while I can certainly understand the feeling of never being in love again, I wouldnít be able to tell you what, specifically, triggered that feeling on that day. I am so far away from that feeling, I canít even remember what caused it. It is like a completely different person wrote it. And that was just two years ago! What a strange and wonderful thing it would be if this site continued on another four, five, six, or even ten years?
And to complement the above fragment is this one from April of this year, showing just how much happier I am these days:
I love my wife. I know a lot of people say stuff like that, but being inside me and feeling how much I love her, when I hear other people say they love someone, I canít believe it. I just canít imagine anyone loving anyone else as much as I love her.
Now, you might be thinking Iíve done something wrong, and this public display of affection is some little thing Iím doing, like buying a box of chocolates or a dozen roses, to crawl my way out of the doghouse. Well, youíd be wrong.
Wait, maybe I shouldnít include that one now, just in case I do someday need to pull off that public display of affection? Oh, who am I kidding, Iím the perfect husband; Iíll never need to apologize or anything.
This post-fragment was in reference to one of the many main-stream articles that bitch about blogs being unimportant, and then the inevitable backlash against the article by bloggers who act like revolutionaries.
I just do this because it is fun. And, it is a great way to record history. But, some people take their siteís way too seriously, as is my response to the blogosphereís outcry over a mainstream journalist putting down the quality and content of writing on blogs in general:
Even if you are the all-star shortstop for your companyís softball team in the Bumfuck Kansas Main Street Business summer league, you arenít going to get drafted by the New York Yankees. And that is the misconception so many blogging types have, that they are doing something earth shattering, and the whole world should take notice. The problem is they arenít.
Back when this was written in April of 2002, it was true. But now most professional media outlets have bloggers on staff. It was a bunch of bloggers who broke the CBS forged document story. Blogging has become so significant that the biggest politico-bloggers frequently get referenced as sources in mainstream news stories. And it pissed me off to no end. All these Johnie-come-latelies are hitting it big, and Iíve been at this for four god-damn years and Iím in the exact fucking place I was when I started?
One month ago today I arrived in Los Angeles, fresh-faced and eager. Now, I'm still fresh-faced and eager, and employed! The past three weeks of work have been good so far, I've done a lot of web work, but I hope to be able to do some print & identity work soon.
Adjusting to being in Los Angeles has been interesting. I'm quite a traveler, so I expected the difference between Iowa and California. When I lived in Rome for a semester, there was quite the culture shock experience... generally, culture shock progresses in 4 stages: 1. honeymoon, 2. adjustment, 3. depression, 4. acceptance.
This week has been stage 3. The first few days of this week, I was overcome by the fact that I have very few friends in this city. Apart from my 4 coworkers, I know 3 people. I can barely make it from my house to the supermarket. And going out requires quite a bit of effort, not to mention the fact that there's nowhere within walking distance - nothing like home in Ames.
The thing is, is that in Ames I very much had a 'big fish in little pond' mentality I knew everyone, everyone knew me, I got free drinks, free food, and everyone loved me. Here, while everyone is more friendly in general than New York City, it's still more of an anonymous place. I could be anything, anyone...
I have an opportunity to reinvent myself. Yet you know what? It's not that I need to reinvent myself. It's only that I need to open myself up to the possibilities of life here. I'm told that this city will eat alive those that don't know themselves, so I must learn myself well enough to be here.
A toast, to myself and everyone in my situation: to the journey.
Encouraged by Jean's comment I hurl this into the weekend abyss.
One day I was taking a dump on company time. As we all do, I peered into the bowl afterwards. Mixed with the turds was the crimson color of fresh blood. This isn't good. I hurried home and ruined a new pair of dress slacks in the process. That proved to be the least of my problems.
Turns out I had a hemorrhoid that had ruptured. I brought this to the attention of my wife, who gamely tried to apply pressure and other measures to stem the crimson tide flowing from my balloon knot. This is the definition of true love.
Eventually she gave up and said she needed to drive me to the ER. I hadn't been there since my last grand mal seizure, so I wasn't real keen on the idea. But I did have to agree that the situation seemed hopeless so I went.
It's the usual scene. Some legit serious injuries being wheeled by on gurnies by concerned-looking EMTs and nurses. The usual litany of sprained ankles, overdoses, hangnails, fractures and non-insured people in for their annual checkups. And me, sitting there all dejected with blood flowing like a geyser out of my ass. Every so often they'd call a name as a pool of blood formed on the linoleum floor at my feet. After a torturous eternity they called mine. I shuffle over there leaving a trail of blood like a slug's slime.
"So what seems to be the problem," the disinterested intake person asks. "WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM? IS THAT WHAT YOU SAID? NOTHING SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM, GODDAMMIT. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM IS THAT I'VE GOT BLOOD STREAMING OUT OF MY ASS AND I'VE BEEN SITTING HERE FOR AN HOUR." "I see. Have a seat. The nurse will be right with you," she reassures me. A few stitches and I was good to go.
But it turns out I forgot to contact my PCP to get her blessing before visiting the ER. This is a major non-no. I wound up stuck with the bill. I made a mental note not to let that happen again.
A few weeks later I sustained a major gash on my hand while washing a wine glass. It was a Sunday. I dug up the number for my PCP and called her. She answered on a cell. I could hear the sounds of golf in the background. I imagined one of those announcers speaking in their hushed tones.
I told her about my injury. She lined up a putt. "How would you characterize the bleeding? Would you say it is oozing or seeping," she asks. "Well, if I had to choose a verb I think I'd go with spurting," I said. "Why are you calling me? You've severed an artery. You need to be at the ER now," she scolds me.
You just can't win.