Saturday, June 29, 2024

The Best Medicine is Medicine



I took some medical diagnostic tests and went to see my doctor to get the results. My doctor entertered the room with a glum look on his face. He wrote something on a  piece of paper and handed it to me.

On the piece of paper it said: RX one comedian. “What's that supposed to mean?” I said to my doctor.

And my doctor replied, “That’s the only treatment that  your insurance company will pay for. You see, your insurance company believes that laughter is the best medicine, probably because it’s a whole lot cheaper than giving you real medicine. The idea is to make you laugh.”

So I called the 800 number of my insurance company and I told the person who answered the phone that I had a prescription for one comedian. And the person who answered the phone said that my insurance company would dispatch a comedian to make me laugh. But, she said I couldn’t just pick any comedian. She said that they would send me one of the “in-network comedians“ that has been approved by my insurance company.

I should’ve known that any comedian thar would work for the little bit of money my insurance company must’ve been paying them couldn’t have been very good. The sent  me Las Vegas rejects who probably emceed in sleazy lounges in the Catskills. It was the comedy team of Tommy and Seymour. Seymour was a ventriloquist dummy. He sat on Tommy’s lap. Tommy said. “We just flew in from L.A.” And then Seymour quipped, “And boy are our arms tired.” They proceeded to tell a bunch of jokes about Seymour’s mother-in-law and what an old battleax she is.

I never even cracked a smile. I was just mad the whole time they were doing their schtick. I kept thinking about how much I pay my insurance company in premiums every month. 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Linguistic Milestones


 I am not a multilingual person. I am one of the many tragic victims of that stupid mentality in this country that proudly proclaims, “We don’t speak no foreign languages in America! We speak English!”

  But I am  a multilingual person when it comes to cussing people out.

I believe that I can say kiss my ass in Spanish. But I don’t know for sure. My translation might be too literal. When I was a high school freshman and I was taking a Spanish class, the first thing I did when I got my hands on a Spanish/English dictionary was look up how to say kiss my ass. (You know how adolescent boys are,) I looked up those three words separately and then put them together and came up with beso mi asno.

My dad spent a good deal of time in Germany and spoke some German so one day I asked him how to say kiss my ass in German. He said it was lick mish mosh. I don’t think that’s true but it’s funny so I go with it.

This was before computers were a thing. An adolescent boy these days can learn how to say kiss my ass in a bunch of different languages much easier than I could. He can use Google Translate or something like that.

 It’s been a long time since I was an adolescent boy but in some ways I still think like one. And so the next linguistic milestone I have set for myself is to learn how to say kiss my ass in American Sign Language. Whenever there’s someone on stage and they say a swear word and there’s an ASL interpreter on the stage with them, I quickly look at the interpreter to see if I can catch the sign they use to translate the swear word so the deaf may enjoy it. I’m confident that if I am diligent enough, by applying this method, the triumphant  day will come when I Iearn how to say kiss my ass in ASL.

I bet that’s something you can’t learn on Google Translate.

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Do-it-Yourself Excommunication


I remember it as a very liberating moment of my childhood. All of us Catholic kids were told that if we didn’t do the things a good Catholic was supposed to do, like go to church every week and put money in the basket, we could be excommunicated.

Excommunicated! That word sounded so scary and painful. I pictured a ritual where I am marched out blindfolded into a yard with my head hanging in shame and my hands tied behind my back, like a prisoner headed for the gallows. A priest rips open my shirt a uses a hot branding iron to tattoo the letter X on my chest. I am then drawn and quartered by four horses.

But then I found out that when you’re excommunicated, all that means is that you’re kicked out of the church and thus you can’t take communion anymore and stuff like that. And I remember thinking, “Is that all that big scary word means? If I don’t do the things a good Catholic is supposed to do, is that all they can do about it? Big deal!”

 You mean, I won’t have to go to church every week? I won’t have to  put money in the basket every week? That sounded more like a reward than a punishment.

 I always resented giving money. I understood that the church needed money to pay for stained glass windows and shit like that. But why did it have to be my money? I mean, if Jesus could turn water into wine, couldn’t he also turn anything he wanted into a pile of cash? So it seemed to me that any priest who could pray worth a damn could persuade Jesus to make it rain dollar bills.

And I never cared much about taking communion either. I thought the wafer tasted like notebook paper.

If I was excommunicated, I wouldn’t have to think about stuff like that anymore. That’s another reason why it suddenly seemed like a pretty sweet deal. So I just stopped going to church, which is how I quietly excommunicated myself.

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