What’s So Funny Today?

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On Tuesday, my writing class suggested that for the next class we should all write something funny.  I left the class and started to rack my brains for something funny to write about.  I even thought about rewriting one of my other blogs.  However, I have a goal to come up with at least one original writing each week.  The thought of rewriting an earlier blog seemed like cheating.  After a fruitless mental search, I was willing to sacrifice creativity for humor.  But not one of my 900 or so blogs struck me as funny and something that I could rewrite.  I would have to come up with a new idea.

41Ug6TO4iwLI remembered from many years ago, a leader at a support group that I belonged to advised me that I should have more humor in my life.  I asked him “Do you know any good books about getting more humor in one’s life.”  He laughed, “You can’t read about humor, you have to do it.”  The thought has often struck me over the years that it is one thing to read about things, it is another thing to do them.  Could it be, I am just a writer and not a doer?  Was it still possible that I needed more humor in my life.  Maybe a clown I am not?

I brought the subject up to my spouse Karen and she reassured me that I am often very funny.  I know that I can be very sarcastic.  Like the time that I told the woman sitting on the plane next to me that maybe the human race was going to be extinct soon like many other species.  Why did she think that we had any superior reason to inhabit the earth when many other species have already perished?  “Climate change” I told her “Proves that we cannot take care of the earth.”  She gave me a truly angry look and went back to reading her book.  I suppose she was reading some tome about “How we can save our planet in nine days or less.”  I doubt that she thought I was funny.

Over the last four years, I have laughed often about Donald Trump, Republicans, Trumpists, Trump sycophants, climate change deniers, power hungry politicians, greedy lawyers and lying real estate developers.  My top three lying groups include the aforementioned individuals.  Can you guess which are my top three?  My laughing at these groups has come from my incredulity at the things they say and do.  I could never have thought that there was so much stupidity in the human race.  Is stupidity funny?  Does laughing at stupidity give one a sense of humor or a sense of sadness?

A few hours after my writing class this week, I was stricken with some type of intestinal gas attack.  It was very painful and not very funny.  I did find some humor in this attack which I would like to share with you.  I think this might be a genuine bit of humor, but I want to know if you find it funny.  If so, I will consider this writing effort a success.  It might prove that I can find humor in my life even if it be in strange places.

gallbladder-painA year ago, (June 2020) almost to the day, I had a sharp pain in my chest.  I fell to the floor and passed out.  I know that this is not very funny but stay with me and I will get to the funny part.  I promise.  Karen thought I was having a heart attack and she called 911.  They came, attached an IV to my arm and I had my first ever ambulance ride to the emergency clinic in St. Croix Falls.  After a blood test, an Ultra Sound, an X-Ray, and a CAT Scan, they decided that I had a Gall Bladder problem.  Three hours later, I was sent home with an appointment for the next day back at the hospital to see a doctor.

I arrived for my appointment and was met by a doctor who told me that I needed to have my Gall Bladder removed.  Now, I am not against surgery, but I have often advised and written on the perils of rushing surgery.  I have spoken my thoughts many times about the hasty and frequently unneeded surgeries that the medical profession pushes on a naïve public.  Thus, I argued about the need for surgery.

My point was that they did not know what caused the Gall Bladder attack.  They had no evidence (since the Gall Bladder was too swollen to see anything) if I still had any potentially dangerous Gall Stones waiting to attack me again.  I suggested a second Ultra Sound in a few weeks when the swelling had subsided.  I was curtly advised by the doctor that they could not do another one and that either I got the surgery or not.  The surgeon was available the next day.  I decided not and left the room.

Subsequently, I was advised by friend and foe alike that Gall Bladder surgery is a breeze and I had nothing to fear.  “You don’t really need your Gall Bladder.”  Disdaining all this well-intentioned advice, I stuck with my decision to keep my Gall Bladder.  The coming year went by event free except for the Covid 19 Epidemic.  Nothing funny about that.

As I mentioned earlier, just after my weekly writers’ class, I started to get gas in my chest and a pain in my lower right side.  I sometimes get gas pains after eating but I had not eaten anything in several hours and the pain was not in my abdomen but more in my chest.  It was just under my right ribs exactly where the Gall Bladder pain was one year ago.  It continued to increase.

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By 11:30 PM, it was apparent that I was not going to be able to sleep so following some advice I read on the Internet, I grabbed a hot ginger tea and went for a walk.  I was accompanied by Karen who wanted to make sure she was around if I passed out again.  Going for a walk in Frederic Wisconsin at Midnight was very surreal.  We met only one other person.  It was a local police officer accompanied by a canine companion.  The dog acted as though we had just robbed the First National Bank of Frederic.  The police officer pulled him closer and announced that his dog was often suspicious of strangers.  I suppose an old lady and old guy out at midnight would constitute “suspicious” strangers.  We continued our walk.

I felt somewhat better by the time we got back home.  I laid down and the pain started to come back.  In a short while, it hurt too much for me to find any sleep.  I sat up and tried to read but could not concentrate.  I tried to think of something funny but still had no luck.  Funny would not come.  Eventually, I managed a long night of quite restless sleep.  When I woke the next morning, we called the local clinic for an appointment.  They gave me an appointment at 11 AM that same morning at the Frederic Clinic in town.

frederickI saw a Physician Assistant at the clinic.  He was polite and thoughtful.  He gave me some rudimentary tests.  A little prodding and touching here and there.  He then advised me to go to the Emergency Department at the St. Croix Medical Center.  He said the Frederic Clinic was not equipped to do the more complicated tests that I would need and that I should get these tests done immediately..  He suggested that it might be time to get rid of the unneeded and problematic Gall Bladder.  I was quite ready to agree.  I had managed to keep my Gall Bladder for almost 75 years.  It had a good run, and perhaps it was time for it to retire.

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Karen and I drove down to the St. Croix Medical Center, parked our truck, and walked into the Emergency Department.  They greeted us very warmly and after the usual administrative stuff and a brief wait we were ushered into a patient room.  A friendly doctor came into the room.  A few brief introductions and then he listened as I informed him about my past history with this Gall Bladder.  I conceded that I was ready to have my Gall Bladder removed. They could get the 37,000 dollars that Medicare reimburses for such a procedure.

He nodded wisely and then described the tests that he wanted to have done.  These included several blood tests and an Ultra-Sound.  Unlike the previous doctor from a year ago, he did not seem anxious to remove my Gall Bladder.  He concluded with, “Let’s wait and see what the tests show.”

57171431-cartoon-wise-old-doctor-gestures-and-emotions-After a short wait, I was brought by wheel chair into another room.  I laid down on yet another bed.  A new nurse (or was it a technician) came into the room.  I assumed that she was going to perform the test.  Someone else brought the apparatus for conducting the Ultra Sound into the room and left.  The nurse or Ultra-Sound Technician started to poke and prod me with a rod connected to the machine.  This increased my burping considerably and went on for longer than I had remembered a year ago.  I guess they wanted to be really sure this time that I needed my Gall Bladder removed.  I was resigned to this eventuality.

After the test was over, I rested in bed for about ten minutes before the friendly doctor I had seen earlier came back to see me.  He had a big smile on his face.  I figured for sure that he was thinking about his share of the 37,000-dollar operation that he was about to perform.  As they say at comedy shows, “Give it up for the Doctor.”  Or as my mom used to say, “Every dog has its day.”

“Well,” he started “your Gall Bladder looks great.  No evidence of swelling or gall stones.”  I could not believe my ears.  Was I hearing him correctly?  Something stopped me from asking if he was kidding or trying to be funny.  He looked profoundly serious.  Could they have made a mistake?  Did they really want me to keep this Gall Bladder for another 75 years?  What about the 37,000 dollars?  No surgery?  “Nope, just go home and take some Maalox and you will be fine.”  He then apprised me of the fact that I had some fat on my liver and that I should watch my fat intake more.  I wondered if he had any advice on how to get rid of a fatty liver.  How about surgery, I was tempted to ask but decided against it.

Do you see the humor here or the funny part?  It strikes me as exceedingly funny.  First they want to take my Gall Bladder and I refuse to give it.  A year later and I want them to take my Gall Bladder and they don’t want to take it.  Should I call it the “Miracle of Peake Street and the Cured Gall Bladder?”  Would it start my qualification as a saint in the Catholic Church?  Old guy goes from faulty useless Gall Bladder to healthy like new better than ever Gall Bladder?  I think some of the official Catholic saints had less going for them than this.

Well, as Porky Pig said “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

tenor

Ask Dr. John: Wisdom for the World?

Dear “Ask Dr. John” is a new syndicated column for men only.  Each week Dr. John Persico Jr. will answer questions from his many loyal followers concerning a wide range of life issues.  The comments given in this column are not medical in nature and readers are advised to use discretion before following any advice or recommendations.  The author claims no responsibilities for sickness or death as a result of information or suggestions provided in this column.

Dear Dr. John,

I came home today and found my wife in bed with three of my best friends.  What should I do?

PS:  My wife is 19 years old and I am 74 but we have been happily married for several months now.

Signed,

Frustrated

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Dear Frustrated,

I have thought about your situation very carefully.  At your age it might be easier to find a new wife than new friends.  I would give her an early buyout on your prenuptials and try to mend fences with your friends.

Yours truly,

Dr. John


Dear Dr. John,

I have the greatest grandchildren in the world.  My youngest grandson is smart, handsome and athletic.  He will surely be a pro-football player.  He is only three years old now but you can easily see how great he will be.  I bought him a football for Christmas and he handles it like a pro.  My problem is that none of my friends really listen when I try to talk to them about him.  Do you think they are just jealous?  I am not sure what to do as they do not listen very well.

Signed,

Grandfather of the Greatest Grandson in the world.

———–

Dear Grandfather of the Greatest Grandson in the world,

I am sure they are just jealous.  Sounds like your grandson is truly amazing.  Have you thought of entering him in the Guinness Book of World Records?

Keep hammering away at them, they are bound to come around.

Yours truly,

Dr. John


 

Dear Dr. John,

I would like to retire early but I do not think I have enough money in my savings yet.  I am 45 years old and I am tired of working for a living.  Do you think there is any way that I could get my Social Security early?  It has been really hard for me these past few years as I hate my job and my work.  I am bored most of my working day.  I would rather sit home and watch football on TV.

Signed,

Would Like to Stop Working Early

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Dear Would Like to Stop Working Early,

I know the feeling.  Many of my friends feel like you do.  However, most of them are in their seventies and like you they do not have enough in their savings to retire on.  Thus, they are still working part-time.  I have several good friends who are greeters at Walmart.  They are often bored.

I am not an expert on Social Security but I doubt that the government will give you an early out.  I think your best option would be to join the military and see if you can stay in long enough to get a good military pension.  The military has some good openings now in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.  I doubt you would be bored over there, particularly if you asked for a combat assignment.

Yours truly,

Dr. John


Dear Dr. John,

I have a lot of aches and pains.  I still smoke and I don’t like to exercise.  My medical doctor says I am overweight, but I think he is wrong.  I am 5’ 8” inches tall and weigh 240 lbs.  Do you think that is too much weight for my height?  I am fifty three years old.  Can I lose weight without exercising or dieting?  I understand that neither of these activities are healthy and they are not much fun.

Signed,

I Want to Be Healthy

—————

Dear I Want to Be Healthy,

It is very difficult to say if you are overweight.  There are many factors that must be considered before one can render such an opinion.  Do you run or walk each day?  Do you get much activity doing housework or in the yard at home?  How many calories do you burn each day?  How much do you eat?

Many magazines in the food section of your local market will have an array of health tips and suggestions that you may want to read about losing weight and staying healthy.  My favorite book is “How to stay healthy even while you smoke and over eat and avoid exercise.”  This book has been on my shelf or years.  I have learned a great deal about health from this book.  See if you can purchase a copy from Amazon.com

I am sure it will help you as much as it has helped me.

Yours truly,

Dr. John


 

Dear Dr. John,

I have been an atheist all my life.  My last siblings died a few months ago and I have been thinking a lot now about death and dying.  I am seventy years old.  Do you think it is too late to start believing in God?  Would he accept my apologies?  Do you think I would be seen as a hypocrite by all the people I have been making fun of for years?

Signed,

Is It Time to Repent?

—————–

Dear Is It Time to Repent?

I don’t think it is ever too late to change your mind.  As you get older, it might be a good idea to hedge your bets.   As for your friends, I think I would explain to them that you had a change of heart and have finally come to your senses.  Apologize to them for all the times that you knocked their God and said what idiots they were to believe in God.  Start reading the Bible and try to remember some quotes such as:

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. He will strike down the non-believers.” 

Yours truly,

Dr. John


 

Dear Dr. John,

I live in a trailer park with a lot of other retirees.  Every Friday night, the guys play poker for low stakes in the community center.  This is a guy thing only.  However, one of the guys has started insisting that we let his wife play too.  I think she has been badgering him to be included.  He is a real wuss and won’t say no.  She usually comes around during the game to kibitz and look over his shoulder.  None of the other guys want to let her play but we don’t want to hurt our friend’s feelings.  What do you think we should do?

Signed,

It’s a Guy’s Thing

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Dear it’s a Guy’s Thing,

Look at it this way.  If you let her play, before you know it all the other wives will want to play to.  You have got to “Nip it in the bud” as Barney Fife used to say.

Here is what I think you should do.  Change your game to Thursday nights but don’t let her know.  Be sure to tell everyone that the new night is a secret for only the regulars to know about.  You can explain that this is necessary because the IRS was going to audit the game.  If that lie does not work, then simply think up another lie.  Remember “Nip it in the bud” or your guy only poker games will be a thing of the past.

Yours truly,

Dr. John


Dear Dr. John,

This is an election year and I take my voting very seriously.  I am torn between Trump and Hillary.  My friends think I am crazy and want me to support Cruz.  I don’t like Cruz because I think he is a Canadian and not really an American.  I like Hillary because she is for the common woman.  I like Trump because he is for the common man.  Should I support the common man or should I support the common woman?

Signed,

Political Dilemma

———————————

Dear Political Dilemma,

Wow, this is a tough one.  There is good and bad on both sides here.  Hillary is cuter than Trump but Trump has more money.  Hillary has held a high political office as First Lady but Trump has casinos all over the world.  Hillary will probably help us defeat ISIS but I would bet on Trump to defeat Mexico and make them pay for it.

It’s a tough call, but I would go with Hillary.  She stood by her man and you have got to give her points for loyalty.

Yours truly,

Dr. John

Well, that’s it for this week readers.  Stay tuned for more exciting “Ask Dr. John” columns to come in the next few weeks.


 

 

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