- Your doctor has specifically informed you that you may not.
That’s fucking it. Go get vaccinated.
That’s fucking it. Go get vaccinated.
CELL PHONE NOISE
“Mr. on the Dead? This is Dentistry calling. You are not flossing enough!”
“How do you know that?”
“No human flosses enough! It is impossible, given the duties of family and the demands of capitalism. There simply is not enough time in the day!”
“You got that right.”
“I am calling to schedule your procedure. Oh, I do so enjoy that pacific euphemism! ‘Procedure.’ Sounds so much better than ‘A strange man will be yoinking a slice of bone out of your skull.'”
“It’s more official-sounding.”
“And this is an official office, Mr. on the Dead. You will be so very impressed by the number of proclamations hanging on our walls. Most are in Latin!”
“That’s good, I guess.”
“I cannot read them, but that might be because I do not own a toga.”
“In reviewing your chart, I see that you are wracked with maladies spanning the spectrum from nigglesome to lethal.”
“If you were a horse, they would shoot you. And then, depending on if the ‘they’ in that first sentence referred to the French, eat you. Those oily socialists got a taste for Trigger!”
“Irrelevant to the conversation.”
“They hear ‘Hi-yo Silver’ and think they are being called to the dinner table!”
“I don’t wanna talk about the French or horses or anything even vaguely related.”
“My conversations have a cosmopolitan flair, Mr. on the Dead! I will not apologize for my worldliness!”
“I accept your non-apology.”
“If I will be allowed to do so, I will now return to your medical history.”
You still there?
“It is taking me a minute because I am reading it through my fingers. Like watching a horror movie!”
“Due to the rot in your core, we will need you to take many medications in preparation for the procedure.”
Okay. Like, an antibiotic?
“I do believe I said ‘many!’ Your immune system is merely a rumor at this point, Mr. on the Dead. Even the most minor impingement by the forces of microbial evil could take you out. You are a walking glass jaw! We must lace you strongly with boosterifics, and uppity-pops, and go-get-ems.”
“As long as I am calling the pharmacy, would you like anything for funsies?”
“The offer is a standing one. Would you like to hear about our volume discounts?”
Volume discounts? I’m getting a tooth pulled.
“That is correct, but you would save money if you had teeth pulled. The savings start immediately, but really ramp up at five!”
“I do not understand why everyone doesn’t take that enormous deal. They’re just teeth. They grow back.”
Teeth do not grow back.
“I got them mixed up with hair again! I am always doing that! They had to let me go from the barbershop after one too many root canals went bad.”
Uh-huh. I just need the one tooth pulled.
“Was it transphobic?”
“Is that why you are cancelling your tooth?”
I’m not cancelling anything.
“Oh, so you approve of hatred?”
I’m begging you to stay on topic.
“This is an office of love, Mr. on the Dead! Official love! We will not be having any Mean Mr. Mustards and Colonel Craphearts enfouling the air.”
“Even if they are teeth. Can I extoll the fiduciary virtue of the volume discount one more time?”
“You are thinking with your mouth, and not your wallet!”
“Are you allergic to any of the 11 herbs & spices? Because tomorrow is KFC day.”
“If you are good during your procedure, you may receive a non-breast chicken piece of your choosing. That is up to the doctor, though, and he is of a capricious nature!”
We’ll see what happens.
“Once your tooth is removed, may it be used in disgusting art purchased by rich degenerates?”
“What about thrown at llamas?”
“Some people like to throw teeth at llamas. Do not judge them, Mr. on the Dead. It is a hobby which hurts no one.”
What about the llamas?
“It sometimes hurts the llamas. Yes or no?”
“Same question, but with alpacas.”
My teeth may not be thrown at any New World ungulates.
Are you asking me if you can use my teeth for voodoo purposes?
“Same question, santeria.”
I need to get to the end of this conversation. I’ll go to the pharmacy and pick up the scrips. Anything else I need to know?
“Scrub down your mouthal innards! Just this morning, we had a patient who looked like a cole slaw bomb had exploded in their mouth! Leave that nastiness in your bathroom sinkings!”
Done. Oh, I forgot:Do you have the ronus?
“Several of us do! See you tomorrow!”
DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES NO LONGER DO THAT
CELL PHONE NOISE
“Hello, Mr. on the Dead? This is Medicine calling!”
“Are you dead yet?”
“Huzzah for us! We did that. Your body is trying to kill you so darn hard, Mr. on the Dead!”
Yes. I have cancer. Thank you for reminding me.
“You are Shelley Duvall, and your body is Jack Nicholson, stomping up the stairs with an axe and enraptured by the evil spirits of Colorado or winter or whatever the hell Stanley Kubrick was on about. I do not understand that man’s films!”
He sometimes chose the emotional truth over narrative cohesion.
“He did! How is your bump-nugget?”
Still not following.
“Your Satan’s playground. Your cave of wonders. Your knick-knack-paddywhack.”
Are you talking about my asshole?
Fine, I guess. Why?
“The doctor may or not be fiddling with it!”
I’m just coming in for a meeting. No treatment today.
“Who is the doctor: You or the doctor?”
The doctor is the doctor.
“Then I suppose it will be up to him whether or not to go knuckle-deep! Do not interfere with a man of science, Mr. on the Dead! He has the right to jimmy around in your inground pool at any moment! It is sort of like prima nocte.”
“Yes! You may also call it Droit du seigneur if you prefer the vulgate.”
That didn’t exist. It was a medieval myth
“The doctor will not myth your butthole! He gets a bullseye every time!”
It’s clean. I’m freshly showered.
“Some do not wash as well as they might! When you rub your thumb against your egress, does it make a squeaky sound? That is how you know it’s clean!”
“We will move on. What form of dessert will you be bringing the staff?”
I didn’t know it was required.
“The next time you are scheduled to be poisoned: Do you want poison in the IV bags or water?”
“Then I suggest you stop and purchase some snickerdoodles.”
“Do you have questions for the doctor?”
“He will not be answering them! The doctor will be signing copies of his book and posing for pictures. Do not be asking for wacky poses!”
That sounds like a meet-and-greet.
“He will not be greeting you!”
God, I need better insurance.
“Oh, thank you for reminding me! Your insurance will not cover this visit. Please bring $478 in singles.”
“The doctor likes it when his patients make it rain.”
“Dollar dollar bill, y’all!”
Is there anything else?
“Yes! Here comes the hot-stepper.”
“Ahem. Here comes the hot-stepper.”
“Poison or saline, Mr. on the Dead?”
“Here comes the hot-stepper.”
Wooooord ’em up.
“I’m the lyrical gangster.”
Wooooord ’em up.
“Still love ’em like that! Oh, wasn’t that fun?”
“I enjoyed it!”
“Just a few more things and I will let you go. When you come in the office, please pep yourself up a bit. Sometimes people come in here and they are just depressing-looking.”
“You want to avert your eyes! All pale and either bloated or deflated. Do some jumping jacks! Get some color in your cheeks!”
Again: I’ll try.
“Do not be coming up in here dressed in a white coat and try to trick the doctor into thinking that you are the doctor. He is very susceptible to that trick!”
Won’t do that.
“He falls for it often! Sometimes, he even begins courses of antibiotics that have been prescribed to him illicitly!”
Not gonna do that, I promise.
“Are your gums bleeding?”
“They will be! Moving on. Will you–”
Wait, what about my gums?
“–be poaching…I said we were moving on, Mr. on the Dead.”
“Will you be poaching eggs this morning?”
“What about elephants?”
I will poach nothing.
“Neither is acceptable for our patients!”
“All right. We will see you at 2. Would you like do another chorus of Hot-stepper?”
I would not.
“2 it is!”
DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES NO LONGER DO THAT
CELL PHONE NOISE
“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!”
“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.”
“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?
“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?”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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!”
CELL PHONE NOISE
“Mr. on the Dead? This is Medicine calling!”
“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?”
“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!”
“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 ‘cancer!’ No, wait. It does not rhyme with ‘cancer.’ It is cancer.”
THIS IS HOW YOU TELL ME?
“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!”
“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?
“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!”
PANICKED IDIOT GOOGLING IN A PANIC NOISE
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!”
“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!”
DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES NO LONGER DO THAT
CELL PHONE NOISE
“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.”
“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!”
“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!”
“Lips to hips!”
“Tongue to bung!”
“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!”
“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.”
CELL PHONE NOISE
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
CELL PHONE NOISE
“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.”
“I am calling to inform you about what you need to for your procedure. Isn’t that a nice word, ‘procedure?'”
“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?”
“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.
Why is that good?
“The doctor is very racist.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
“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.”