Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: medicine

Medicine Calls With Instruction



“Hello, is this Mr. on the Dead or his official caregiver or maybe the neighbor across the hall who answers the phone sometimes?”

This is Mr. on the Dead.

“Greetings! This is Medicine speaking! I have intricately terrible news and directions to give you. We are going to have a conversation you have been dreading since your teen years!”

Didn’t you used to work for my gastroenterologist?

“I go where the action is!”


“Mr. on the Dead, your chemical therapeutics are about to begin! It is like a marathon, but instead of running, you sit in a mostly-comfortable recliner while we shoot drain cleaner into your veins.”

That’s nothing like a marathon.

“My similes are not to be dissected, sir!”


“Your first session will be the longest. We want to show the cancer what we’re capable of. Leave no question in the enemy’s mind that in order to save the nation, we will destroy the village.”

Am I the nation or the village in that metaphor?

“My metaphors are also not to be dissected!”


“My word, we will be befouling your river! Some of these chemicals you will be ingesting cannot be handled by hand. You need to rig yourself up some sort of Doctor Octopus apparatus to move it from place to place.”

The treatment is aggressive, yes.

“This is beyond aggressive, Mr on the Dead. Translated to a human scale, what we are about to do to you equals a war crime. Do you know that you will be receiving half-a-liter of Siracha sauce?”


“Cruelty, and cruelty alone. Cancer hates spicy foods! It has the palate of a common Frenchman.”

If you say so. Do I need to prepare for the session at all?

“Perhaps some ab training. A strong core cures most ails.”

Anything else? Diet?

“You should, slobbo. And you’re gonna! Our cocktails will knock 30 pounds off of you in no time! If those anorexulimics ever heard about it, they’d be breaking down the door.”


“I do not mean that literally. They would not have the energy or body mass to break down a door.”


“They are small and tired. Stamina has abandoned them.”

“You should also bring a hoodie!”

Ah. Good advice. Finally.

“There will also be significant prep for your chemical adventures! You are going over Poison Falls in a barrel. You want the barrel to be well-prepared, don’t you?”

I never think it’s possible for your analogies to get worse, but yet you surprise me.

“I am a diagonal-type thinker. Thank you for noticing! I will now return to instructing you on your prep.”


“We ask that you take a bajillion pills. We called them into your pharmacy. Go pick them up, but make sure your trunk is empty. You will need the space!”

A bajillion?

“I am estimating, but the number is thereabouts. Also, you must take the pills on both a full and empty stomach.”



I’ll figure it out. Anything else?

“You must avoid banana bread.”


“So reads the Prophecy. Do not question the Prophecy, Mr. on the Dead. Your insurance is nowhere near good enough to allow that.”


“Shun the risen loaf of the banana, and that shall be the whole of the law.”

Okay, okay.

“Remember to bring cash to tip your nurse.”

We’re tipping nurses now?

“You are receiving your treatment at the intersection of ‘Florida’ and ‘Plague.’ Laws have become half-forgotten dreams, and all social mores have been molested. We have molested the mores, Mr. on the Dead! So, please, tip your nurse.”


“Maybe some fairy dust gets sprinkled into your IV line if you tip heavy enough? Who knows?

I understand.

“You might even buy yourself a magic carpet ride. You can let the sound take you away!”

Something to consider.

“Are you a test subject for the new Trump China Virus Vaccine?”

What? No.

“Forget I asked.”


“Failure to forget I asked will result in unarmed men yoinking you into an unmarked van, and whomping you all up and down with sticks.”

I’ll forget. I promise.

“We cannot rule out some stick-play, Mr. On the Dead. It is rapidly becoming a new world!”

Can we concentrate on my treatment, please?

“Indubitably! You may order food while reclining with us, or bring a pre-prepared meal. You may not cook in the Chemo Room!”

I won’t.

“I see another panini press, I’m handing out a slapping! I don’t know what it is with you people and those panini doohickeys. Do you see your own terminal slimness in the skinniness of the panini?”

I like that you can get the cheese melty all the way through.

“Irregardless and unrelevant! The devices are forbidden! Similarly, you must leave your George Foreman Grill at home.”

I will.

“And though I have not seen it in person, I would wager heavily that it needs a good cleaning. Do not bring your nasty-ass kitchen appliances into my clean Chemo Room, sir.”

I hadn’t even considered it until you brought it up.

“I would not mention were it not a distinct possibility! You sickies are clever, and allowed to wear the baggiest of clothes! It is easy for you to smuggle contraband into areas.”

I suppose.

“But you cannot hide the sound of the sizzle, nor its scent! You cannot deploy the power of the George Foreman Grill secretly! The surrounding gentry will be aware, Mr. on the Dead!”

No cooking. Got it. What should I expect after the treatment?

“Everyone responds to being poisoned in such an individual manner! For example, some people go ACK! and fall over. Others just lie there and cry. Some self-pooping is performed. Humanity is elastic!”

Nothing in general?

“Think of the time you were most efficiently and lovingly orally manipulated.”


“The opposite of that! For a week! There is a reason I have been calling the substances we will be shoving into you ‘poison.’ It does not know the difference between you and the cancer! It will kill indiscriminately! But there are more of you than it, so we will prevail. It is a war of attrition, but fought in your bloodstream!”

Those are the worst kind of wars, and that’s the worst place to have one.

“And yet we will see you tomorrow morning. Bring your hoodie!”

See ya.

A Complete Transcript Of A Phone Call



“Mr. on the Dead? This is Medicine calling!”

You again?

“We will be getting very well acquainted over the next few months!”


“I am calling with some test results for you.”

I haven’t taken any medical tests recently.

“We performed them without your consent!”

Are you allowed to do that?

“This is Florida, Mr. on the Dead! All is permitted!”

What test are you talking about?

“Do you recall last month when the doctor traipsed about in your doody-garden?”

I remember having a colonsocopy.

“That is what I said! The doctor tip-toed through your poo-lips!”


“Well, the doctor became bored by your colon. He called it ‘pedestrian,’ Mr. on the Dead.”


“So he took himself a trip into your Ileum. Just like Achilles!”


“Oh, I do love classical references.”

We all do. Can you get to the point, please?

“Absolutely! I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s play a fun game! I will give you the good news, and you try to guess what the bad news is.”

I don’t think I wanna play this game.

“It is too late! I have suited up!”

Jesus, I gotta get better insurance.

“Are you ready for some wonderful information?”

Go ahead.

“You know all that quarantine weight you have gained? It is going to fly right off!”


“Oh! I have another boon tiding for you! You no longer need to be anxious about getting your hair cut!”

Why not?

“Can’t cut what fell out!”

I am starting not to like this good news at all.

“Yes, I may have misapplied the adjective ‘good’ to the news. It is not truly good. But the bad news is horrible! Have you guessed it?”

Please just tell me what the test results were.

“Oh, but guessing is so much more fun. I will give you a hint: What you have rhymes with ‘prancer.'”


“And ‘dancer.'”


“And ‘cancer!’ No, wait. It does not rhyme with ‘cancer.’ It is cancer.”


“Do not yell at me for trying to inject a bit of levity into these trying times, Mr. on the Dead.”

I have cancer?

“Just a little bit!”

What does that mean?

“More than none, but less than all. You know how some poor folks are riddled with cancer? That is not you! But there are others who are free of cancer. That is also not you!”

Fuck, man.

“Hey! Stop that! You must be positive! You have cancer, not can’tcer.”

What the fuck did you just say?

“Do not blame me, Mr. on the Dead! You thought up that awful joke in the car this afternoon.”

Can’t argue with you on that one.

“No, you cannot! Why were you in the car? I hope it was not to buy green bananas! You might not see that fruit to fruition!”

What? You said it was just a little bit of cancer!

“And John Kennedy had just a little bit of lead in his skull! Some substances are very dangerous even in small quantities!”

Okay, okay, okay. What do I actually have?

“Swampscott limpopo!”

“I may be pronouncing that incorrectly. I have trouble with medical terms!”

Uh-huh. Did you mean ‘small intestine lymphoma?’

“Let’s go with that!”



This is not terrible. I mean: It’s fucking terrible, but it could be worse. 86% survival rate. If it’s early enough, they can just chop a chunk of my gut out. I might not even need chemo or radiation.

“You are not that lucky!”

I want to stop talking to you.

“That is impossible! We will be getting so familiar in the coming months!”

Yeah, probably.

“Before I go, Mr. on the Dead, I have one last question.”


“Have you pooped out a watch? The doctor cannot find his Rolex.”

I’m gonna hang up the phone.

“Do it carefully! You are fragile now!”


Another Call From My Doctor’s Office



“Hello, may I speak to Mr. on the Dead? This is Medicine calling!”


“I have so very many instructions for you before your multiple major medical interventions.”

Common procedures.

“Keep in mind that our staff is rather rusty after the quarantine. And that most of our nurses have self-provided bangs. Keep both of those facts in mind!”

I will.

“Have you received a covid test?”


“What about an Ovid test?”


“What does Daphne turn herself into to escape the seductions of Apollo?”

I have no–

“A tree! Your Ovid test has come back negative.”

I wish I had better insurance.

“Well, my mother used to say Wish into one hand, turn into a tree with the other, and see where the squirrels store their nuts. Her autopsy showed that she had been having micro-strokes since childhood!”

Can you just tell me the instructions?

“First, you jump to the left.”


“And then a step to the right.”

Not correct at all.

“Put your hands on your…wait, I am reading from the wrong instructions. You don’t have to do any dancing at all! It is mostly related to cleaning out your pipes.”


“On a scale of John Candy to Karen Carpenter, how bulimic are you?”

Wildly offensive scale.

“And yet clinically precise!”

I am not bulimic at all.

“I am asking because you need to polish and shine every inch of your innards. Mouth to down south!”

I understand.

“Lips to hips!”


“Tongue to bung!”

Move on.

“You cannot be leaving, say, half a salami sandwich in your jejunum. That’s nasty.”

I will not do so.

“Our staff works so hard, and have such terrible-looking bangs, that they should not be forced to hack through a semi-digested breakfast burrito in order to do their jobs. They need to take a good look! Do not be obfuscating the view, Mr. on the Dead!”

Again: I am gonna follow the instructions of my prep.

“Let us begin: At 6 pm tonight, you will need to eat at least two pounds of pasta, or 18 donuts. You may choose the style of pasta or the kind of donut, as long as it is not a bear claw.”

Why would I need to do that?

“The cameras we will be inserting into you are not as small as they could be! We need to you bloat up so as to give us some elbow room in there!”

That doesn’t sound right.

“After your pasta/pastry meal, you must not eat any food whose name ends in a B. So, no carob or crab, and if you’re gonna eat corn, you cannot have it on the cob. Subs are also out, but you may eat hoagies or grinders.”


“At midnight, you are to eat one gumquat.”

What’s a gumquat?

“It is a kumquat wrapped in Hubba-Bubba! It is not delicious!”

I think you made that up.

“Oh, I forgot to ask you: Regarding your butthole, are you an innie or an outie?”

An innie. Everyone’s an innie.

“You would be surprised! I will mark you down as having a concave cave.”


“Dawn tomorrow begins your proper prep. You must not eat anything heavy. So if your soup starts discussing particle physics, throw it right out! You need to keep your ingurgitating light and frothy.”

I can do that.

“You may not have any cereal with a mascot. Cheerios are fine, but if you eat Cap’n Crunch, you’re gonna die on the table. I am sorry to be so blunt, but I have lost too many patients.”

No kid’s cereal, got it.

“I will need you to drink at least one half-gallon of water, and I will need you to do so in a very loud manner. Over-exaggerate your gulps and swallows. The whole room should know you’re hydrating, Mr. on the Dead!”


“This is science, sir. I cannot explain it to a layperson.”


“Beginning at lunchtime tomorrow, you should begin tapering off your mutton consumption.”

I don’t consume any mutton.

“Start now! I’ll hold!”

“I do not hear mastication!”

Ma’am, I don’t eat mutton. I never have.

“Well, I will discuss the matter with the doctor, but you might have to sign a waiver.”


“At two pm, you will be called by the General Manager of the Anaheim Angels. He will offer you slugger Mike Trout for the moon. Do not make the trade!”

The moon? Like, the one in the sky? How would that even work?

“The Angels’ GM has serious mental problems! They are an open secret in the organization!”

I won’t trade the moon for Mike Trout. I promise.

“When four o’clock rolls around, you can only eat day-old food. Which is much more difficult than you think. Most of the yummables in your kitchen are way older than a day. I would suggest you start offering tugjobs to bakers.”

Taken under advisement.

“Then it is time for the loose juice! The widening-your-hole-a cola! The asshole-explode-a soda!”

Yes, yes. The chemical roto-rooter.

“Imagine Marie Kondo entering your intestines and finding nothing that sparked joy! That is how clean you will be inside!”

I’ve heard.

“At midnight, you must stop eating entirely. And no water. Also, no bright lights.”

Those are the rules for Gremlins.

“And for your procedure! It is a coincidence that all movie-lovers enjoy!”

If you say so.

“And you must wear a mask at all times in our facility. Our staff will not be, and will be mocking you as a weak pussy for doing so, but we do require that patients weak masks.”


You Can’t Telemedicine Anything



“Good morning, Mr. on the Dead. I am calling to set up your telemedicine call with Dr.  E—-.”

Oh, great. Thank you.

“And I am also calling to see if you would like to join my OnlyFans site?”

I don’t think so.

“You will already be playing around on your phone!”


“I will send you a textual message containing a hyperlink. I had a hyper cousin growing up. We called him Impulsive Tony.”

Okay. So I follow the link.

“Unless it leads to sin. Then you must forge your own path.”

I don’t think the link will lead to sin. More likely, a website.

“Many websites are nothing but sin! I know of one where men’s feet get pooped on. It employs Impulsive Tony.”

We were talking about my telemedicine call with the doctor.

“I love that word. ‘Telemedicine’ sounds so much nicer than ‘video chatting with a Jewish fellow wearing a white coat and no pants.’ By the way, I am legally bound to inform you before your call that the doctor may or may not be wearing pants.”


“But in the spirit of friendship, I will inform you that he is definitely not. And sometimes the popsicle slides out of the box.”

Um, sure.

“It flops out! Audibly! The doctor is a man of meat.”

None of this is helping me.

“You will need to enable access to your microphone.”


“And your camera.”


“And all the other information in your phone. Passwords, photos, location history, everything.”

Why do you need that?

“It is not a matter of ‘need.’ The Stimulus Bill of Last Tuesday gives us the ability to demand it, and so we are following the law.”


“Do you own a BusbeeTech 802 E-nurse?”

A what now?

“It is an all-in-one unit that monitors 18 different bodily functions and wirelessly transmits the information back to the doctor.”

How the hell–

“It goes up your butt!”

–does that work? Ah.

“It measures temperature, pulse, oxygen levels, perspicacity, ability to do the watusi, free radicals, expensive radicals, and whether or not you have Scottie Pippen Disease.”

Scottie Pippen doesn’t have a disease.

“Look at that man’s head and tell me there isn’t something wrong with him!”


“The 802 E-nurse is also, as I mentioned, wireless. The 801 required both a power cable and a USB wire. Very occasionally, knotting would occur. And also one time, this lady forgot she had it in and went to fetch herself some cole slaw from the fridge. She lost her asshole!”

Irrelevant to my case.

“The doctors could not reattach it! They had to mash together bits of elbow and earlobe to create her a new pooper. I have heard it doesn’t work right.”

Can’t imagine that it would.

“Which model did you say you had, Mr. on the Dead?”

No model. I do not possess a hospital-dildo.

“Well, let me check your insurance and see if you are worthy of one.”

“Fed Ex will be at your house within 16 hours. Please immediately insert the device so that it can begin getting base-line readings of your vital signs, and stop shrieking in terror.”

What now?

“Funny story! The BusbeeTech 802 E-nurse was programmed to have a debilitating fear of buttholes.”

Why are the medical buttplugs even sentient at all?

“Funny story! Lightning hit the factory and they all came to life. Don’t think about it too much. Just shove it in your soft-soft and ignore it when it begs to be let out.”

They can talk?

“Along with the debilitating fear of buttholes, it’s a feature that perhaps shouldn’t have made the final code. What’s done is done. Most of our patients recommend sitting on a pillow, or wearing headphones. They tire themselves out pretty quick.”

I’m not using this doohickey. Don’t send me one.

“Too late. It will be there in mere minutes, as the only vehicles on the streets anymore are delivery trucks. Thank you. I have several more points to go over with you.”

We’re not done?

“Nowhere near! At the beginning of your telemedicine appointment, we would appreciate it if you smashed that Like button, and subscribed to the doctor’s channel.”


“I would like to remind you that the more you tip, the better the doctor is.”

There’s a tip button?

“It is 2020, Mr on the Dead. All humans have tip buttons now. We are two years away from being an entirely tip button-based economy.”

You’re probably right.

“Would you like to join the doctor’s Patreon?”


“Would you like to see a collection of his TikToks?”


“The doctor may ask you to position your phone so that he may view your grundle. If he does, the feed will go live to an app called Grundl. And before you begin to argue–”

That was in the Stimulus Bill?

“–you should know…. Yes, the recent one. Only about 14 people have read that thing front-to-back. There is tomfoolery in there! Do you recall chattel slavery?”


“It is back! Someone really should have skimmed that puppy, but everyone wanted their $1200 so bad!”

That’s awful. But I really just wanna see the doctor.

“Is it the kabibble?”

That’s what I want to know.

“Are you taking wagers? Because I am looking at your chart, and I believe that you have it. Your luck is poor. Twenty bucks on positive.”

No bet.

“Fifty they gotta vent you.”

Stop that. When will the doctor be calling?

“The E-nurse will notify you ten minutes beforehand.”


“You will know. I assure you, Mr. on the Dead that you will not miss the message.”

I don’t like 2020.

“It is an unrelenting behemoth of grief and loss! You have a nice day.”

You, too.


An Open Letter To My Left Ear

Dear My Left Ear,

Cut the shit, My Left Ear. You are far too old to be getting infected. Babies get ear infections, not grown-ass men and their grown-ass ears. I have not recently suffered colic, My Left Ear, nor have I died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I am not teething. My knees are not scabby from falling over as I learn to walk. And yet: you and your bullshit.

Have I not been good to you, My Left Ear? You are fed fine music quite regularly, washed often, and were only pierced moderately. My Q-tipping is shallow and smooth; there is no Rocco Siffredi-style thrusting with the swab, which you had better believe is the only object that goes near the area. And yet: you and your bullshit.

So you will be scoured, My Left Ear. You will be antibiotic’ed from within and without: I got pills and drops, you doomed creep, and we will now play a fun game I like to call Warsaw Ghetto. And I don’t want to hear one tiny little whinge about, “You got a vicodin scrip out of it,” because the whole point of vicodin is taking it when you’re not in pain. Otherwise, it just does its job.

I hope we don’t need to have this conversation again, because if we do: I’m gonna Van Gogh you. I’m through with you and your bullshit, My Left Ear. Get it together, man.



PS If you speak to My Back anytime soon, tell him I know he’s planning something.

Prognosis: Choogly

Like I said: around one in 100,000 drop dead simply from the anesthetic, which puts the mortality rate at .0001%. In Palm Beach County in 2015, there were 1.42 fatalities for every 100 million VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled). When we compare these numbers, we come to the conclusion that TotD is not good enough at math to compare these numbers. I’ll tell you this: if the hospital were 100 million miles from my house, it would make things both easier and much harder. Also, if the hospital were 100 million miles away from my house, then I should have left already.

So: will I die? Maybe. Although, every new dawn may be your last, so let’s acknowledge the slight added risk by marking tomorrow’s chance of death as “maybe plus.”

There are, however, other possibilities.

  • Listing this one first because it’s the preferable outcome: the procedure activates my super powers. (I have been waiting for those fuckers to turn on since puberty.)
  • Wake up in an alternate reality where George Washington Carver was never born and all you can get for lunch is a jelly sandwich.
  • I could imagine some sort of 28 Days Later situation arising where I come to in the middle of a zombie outbreak; I would be eaten immediately.
  • This is South Florida, so there is a real decent shot my doctor’s either a drug addict or a 17-year-old pretending to be a doctor, and both of those scenarios would end up with me being harvested.
  • CIA tracking device implanted.
  • Excuse me.
  • Another CIA tracking device implanted.
  • Blackfaced. (They could tattoo or dye you while you’re under, I suppose, and then you wake up and HOLY SHIT you’re in permanent blackface. You probably couldn’t go on the internet anymore. I hope I do not get blackfaced.)
  • Similarly, I hope the nurse does not draw dicks on me.

We end with this: if I were a doctor that did these types of procedures, I would wait until the patient was juuuuuuust about to go under and then I would put on a Bill Cosby mask and wave goodbye to them. Which might be why I’m not a doctor.

She’s The One They Call Dr. Feelgood’s Medical Assistant



“Mr. on the Dead? This is medicine calling.”

Didn’t I talk to you last year?

“I do not know. The doctor stopped keeping records after the last lawsuit.”


“Lawyers and doctors, Mr. on the Dead. They are like draculas and werewolfs. Always fussing and feuding.”

Okay, whatever.

“I am calling to inform you about what you need to for your procedure. Isn’t that a nice word, ‘procedure?'”

I guess.

“It hides all the mistakes. It’s like saying ‘collateral damage’ when you really mean ‘we set a wedding on fire by accident.'”

It’s really not a big deal. Just a tube down my throat.

“Gooses have tubes down their throat, too, and then they are turned into appetizers for rich people. So many things can go wrong!”

You’re not inspiring confidence.

“Do you have a living will?”

Excuse me?

“We had four living Wills last week, but then the doctor relapsed and we only had two living Wills.”

Please be professional.

“What kind of name is ‘on the Dead?’ Is that Sardinian?”

I am not from Sardinia.




If you must know, I’m Jewish.

“Oh, good.”

Why is that good?

“The doctor is very racist.”

That’s terrible.

“Not towards you, though.”


“Mostly Puerto Ricans. I see them coming in here and I scream at them with my eyes. ‘YOU GONNA DIE!’ They never take my hint. Are you allergic to penicillin?”





Why would that matter?

“The doctor requires a therapy dog for his performance-related anxiety. He gets so nervous!”

The doctor or the dog?’

“Both! The dog has a therapy cat.”

I’m not allergic to anything.

“What social media would you like your procedure to be streamed on?”


“None is not a choice, Mr. on the Dead. Facebook, Periscope, or Snapchat. If your answer is Snapchat, then I will need to know your preferred filter.”

You may not livestream my procedure.

“How is your credit?”


“The doctor likes to steal his patients’ identities.”


“Sir, you know that you are in South Florida. Everyone here is an identity thief.”

I’m not.

“Well, you should get with the program.”


“Just remind me: which kidney is being taken out?”

None! Neither! No one should be anywhere near my kidneys.

“I’m sorry. Let me rephrase that: if you had to have a kidney taken out, which one would it be?”

Again: neither.

“Would you like to be shaved by a nurse, or can you clean up your own nethers?’

Nothing about this requires shaving of any sort.

“Would you like to have your KISS makeup applied by a nurse, or can you do it yourself?”

I can do it myself.

“Thank you for finally being cooperative. Have you eaten in the past month?”


“Oh, you might die.”


“Exactly. You should be talking to Him. Why would you eat?”

I was hungry.

“You should control your base emotions, Mr. on the Dead. You are like an animal. Maybe you should go to a veterinarian.”

Obamacare doesn’t cover it.

“Starting at midnight before the procedure, you can only have primary colored beverages.”


“Orange juice, V8, windshield wiper fluid.”

What about water?

“People drown in it!”

I meant: can I drink it?

“I do not understand why you would. That is where sharks make their love.”

I have a Brita filter.

“Do not lord your wealth over me, sir.”

I am not wealthy.

“No, you blew all your money on your fancy water filtration system. You do understand that you will be under general anesthetic?”


“Please do not bring anything back with you from the Dark Dimensions.”

I’ll try not to.

“Are you a furry, sir?”


“Do not be showing up here in a mascot costume and a hard-on.”

I won’t.

“One last question.”

Oh, thank God.

“The doctor would like to know who you voted for.”

I voted for whomever the doctor voted for.

“That is so odd. Everyone says that, but yet Jill Stein received so few votes.”

It’s a mystery.

“Okay, Mr. on the Dead. We will see you soon, and then you’ll be right back on your feet. Or you will die on the table and someone else will be on your feet.”

I’m hanging up.

“Have a blessed day.”

You, too.