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Humor

All Entries Health Humor Life and Death

Those Good Old Time Diseases

August 25, 2017

I was a first-grader at Van Nuys Elementary School the first time I came into contact with the medical system. As a healthy child, the only thing that slowed me down was the occasional off-color weenie on “Hot Dog Friday.” None of the hair-netted ladies behind the steam table thought for a minute that I could have something as serious as Ptomaine Poisoning and wouldn’t have been able to recognize it even if I had. Instead, one of them took off her apron and marched me downstairs to the nurse’s office where she laid me down on an old army cot that smelled of other 6-year-old kids.

Nurse Blumenthal looked like every other grammar school nurse – a clinical version of the Pillsbury Doughboy with a red cross centered squarely on the front of her hat. She was probably a cracker-jack clinician at some point in her career. But, you could sense that 30 years of working nights at the V.A. hospital had eroded her diagnostic skills to the point where she was grateful just to have a place to spend the twilight years of her career. read more

All Entries Family Health Home Life Humor Life and Death Medicine

Watching Grandma Circle the Drain

July 26, 2017

There’s only so many ways you can get rid of a dead body. Regardless of how it got that way – stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, run over by a truck, pummeled, poisoned, choked, tossed off a building or just withered from old age – its final demise has to be handled with care.

Up until recently, you only had two choices. You could bury Grandma in a casket or cremate her. Both cost a lot of money and take weeks of planning. Or, if money’s tight, you could always drive into the middle of the desert in the dead of night, dig a hole by the glow of your car’s headlights and toss Grammy in – sort of the Home Depot approach to traditional funeral services. It’s done all the time – at least in gangster movies.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, funerals can cost between $6,500 and $10,000. Cremations can be significantly cheaper, at $800. But then, there’s that nagging question of what to do with those messy ashes. Do I keep them in an urn on top of the mantel or do I put them in a box out in the shed? And, who gets to keep them? What if I lose them? read more

All Entries Family Home Life Humor

Five Minutes from Lorraine

July 7, 2017

During the period affectionately known as the Baby Boom, routine amniocentesis and maternal sonograms were still years away. And while the 50s and 60s can claim fame to some of the best music in the history of the universe, its struggling medical practices offered no help to new parents trying to choose a name for their children. That being the case, one would think the prudent thing to do would be to spread your bets equally across two columns of names: one for boys and one for girls. But my parents were so convinced that I was going to be a girl, they put everything on pink and let it ride. When I finally did appear, I was a surprise to everyone—even me. I wasn’t a girl.

Nowadays, new parents can avoid some of the stress of choosing a name by asking for the sex of their new baby weeks or months ahead of his or her arrival. While it does narrow down the naming choices by 50%, it still doesn’t make the task any easier. In Germany, new parents get help from the government by requiring strict conventions that insure that a child’s name is consistent with the baby’s gender. The name can’t be interpreted as being offensive or ridiculous (a practice the United States has yet to embrace) and its spelling must be conventional, probably to avoid any little Adolfs running around Marienplatz in dresses. read more

All Entries Home Life Humor Romance

Expelled from Match.com!

June 16, 2017

I haven’t been on a date in years. And, for good reason. By the time I endure the excruciation of the hunt, anticipation of the first date, the cost of dry cleaning my best leisure suit and trying to figure out what base I’m on, it’s just not worth it. It’s much easier just to stay at home and pretend I’m having a good time by trolling the online dating scene and taking care of myself.

Last year I enrolled at Match.com using the pen name of “MrMarvelous” just to see if there was anyone out there as desperate as I was to meet their perfect mate. After blowing off an entire day’s work perusing the women within 100 miles of my zip code, seven major metropolises and all of the neighborhoods I’ve ever lived, it became readily apparent that of the 40 million single men and women who subscribe to on-line dating services, most are looking for the same thing – and their profiles reflect it. So, to leverage myself against my male competitors and attract more than my fair share of the lovelier sex, I decided to create the following original member profile to flaunt my rapier wit. After all, isn’t that what women want: a man with a sense of humor? read more

All Entries Business and Work Communication Humor

Putting Lipstick on a Pig*

May 17, 2017

As someone who’s written professionally for a number of years, I’ve always added spice to my work by writing in clear, succinct euphemisms – terms the average businessman or woman understands. Instead of going back to the drawing board for each game plan, I like to hit the ground running by thinking outside of the box.

I’ll usually begin by going after customer-centric, low-hanging fruit, getting my manager’s blessing with subject matter, to avoid getting thrown under the bus. After years of working with difficult editors, I’ve found drilling down and touching base with management helps deliver more bang for the buck when the marketing department keeps moving the goal posts. For instance, last week, I got the following note from my senior editor:

“I got your email and wanted to let you know that you’re on my radar. This time of year, I usually don’t have the bandwidth to circle back around with all hands on deck; especially when there’s an 800 pound gorilla in the room. But that’s par for the course. I want to take time to run your idea up the flagpole to see who salutes, before you spend time getting your ducks in a row. While I understand that your idea has legs, I think it’s important to slowly move the needle forward by putting on the record to see who dances. read more

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