Thursday, November 20, 2014

Medical Stuff

1. During a recent visit the doctor informed me that I was fat and needed to lose a few pounds.  Indignantly, I replied: “I’ll need a second opinion.”  “Fine,” he responded.  “You’re ugly, too.”

2. My Uncle George will never forget the night he spent in the hospital.  The nurse awakened him from a sound sleep to give him a sleeping pill!

3. Our local hospital has a firm rule: when  patients are discharged they must be taken to their automobiles by wheelchair.  So against his will the nurse’s aide put the elderly gentleman into the chair and wheeled him to the car.  “Is your wife going to meet you?” the aide asked.  “I don’t know,” replied the old man.  “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom getting out of her hospital gown.”

4. Did you hear about the two podiatrists who opened offices on the same street?  They became arch enemies.

5. If you see a nurse smiling through all kinds of difficulties you’re probably seeing a nurse who’s going off duty.

6. A man came into the emergency room with two badly burned ears.  The doctor asked how it happened.  “My wife had sat the iron next to the telephone.  When the phone rang I picked up the iron by mistake,” the victim replied.  “Then how did you burn the other ear?” the physician inquired.  “They called back.”

7. A man who had been seriously injured was brought to the hospital.  The doctors informed him that he needed a brain transplant.  They could put in a woman’s brain for $300 or a man’s for $40,000.  “Why such a difference in price?” the patient asked.  The doctor responded: “The male brain is much more expensive because it’s seldom been used.”

8. Yesterday afternoon a young man who had swallowed three dimes and two quarters was admitted to the hospital for observation.  When I asked about the child’s condition, the nurse replied: “So far, no change.”

9. I asked my doctor if eating a lot of carrots would help my eyesight.  “It should,” he said.  “Did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses?”

10. Sign at a plastic surgery office: “If life gave you lemons we can give you melons.”

11. A psychiatrist congratulated his patient on making a full recovery.  “Big deal,” said the patient.  “A month ago I was Napoleon and today I’m a nobody.”

12. A comatose patient gave birth to twins-a boy and a girl.  Since the mother was unconscious her brother  named the kids.  A few days later she made a miraculous recovery.  Realizing that her brother is an idiot, she shuddered to think what he had named the kids, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that the little girl was named “Denise.”  “And what did you name the little fellow?” she inquired.  “Denephew,” was the brother’s reply.

13. Since childhood I’ve had trouble sleeping because I’m afraid there is someone or something under the bed.  My psychiatrist wanted to charge me $100 an hour to fix the problem.  For $10 my bartender gave me good advice:  saw the legs off my bed.

14. After surgery for carpel tunnel I asked the doctor if I would be able to play the piano. “Of course you will,” the doctor confidently answered.  “That’s great!” I responded.  “Because I couldn’t play a lick before the surgery.”

15. A man came into the doctor’s office and announced that he had shingles.  A nurse had him put on a gown and the doctor looked him over from head to toe.  “Sir, we can’t find shingles anywhere,” the bewildered doctor said.  “The shingles are out in the truck,” the workman replied.

16. A very ill man was admitted to the hospital.  His doctor promised to have him back on his feet in no time.  Two weeks later the patient was discharged and the next day he was back on his feet; he had to sell his car to pay the doctor’s bill.

17. I always felt stupid when around well educated people, so I went to the doctor for help.  “Doctor,” I said, “can you give me something to make me smart?”
“Take one of these little red pills every day and see me when they’re gone.  That will be $100.” 
I followed his instructions but when the pills were gone I still felt stupid.  Upon my return to his office the doctor prescribed slightly larger purple pills which cost me $500.  They didn’t help, either.  Next he gave me green “horse pills” that cost $1,000.  Once again, there was no difference in my mental abilities.  Angrily I marched into the doctor’s office, grabbed him by the collar, and said, “Doc, I think all your pills were worthless.  You just prescribed them to get my money!”
Smiling, he replied: “Now you’re getting smart!”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Political Ads

Thank goodness election season has ended. For the last month or so my family and I have been bombarded by TV and radio ads. Worst of all, however, were the vexing telephone calls that seemed to be perfectly timed to reach us at supper.  I have no idea how they know when we're eating supper, but somehow they know. 

For some strange reason the politicians ignore us the rest of the year, but beginning in October they constantly remind us how much they care and describe the many good things they have in mind to make our lives better.

The strangest aspect of all this is that we learn that the politician who is being represented in a particular ad is wonderful and perhaps even saintlike, while his/her opponent makes Adolph Hitler look like a choirboy:

Ring, ring!” Against your better judgment you answer the telephone. A taped message begins: “Hello, this ad is in support of Representative Frank Goody. Representative Frank is just like you and your friends (except that he has about twelve million more dollars than you and the rest of the folks in your neighborhood will ever see). Representative Frank was a boy scout, and helped little old ladies across busy streets. While other boys played sports and rode their bicycles little Frank donated blood and entertained unfortunate children at the local orphanage.

After graduating fifth in his high school class (the class had six people) Frank decided to devote his life to others. As the mayor of Straight City he was tough on crime. By the end of his term over 1,000 jaywalkers were incarcerated, while those merchants who wished to poison our children with sugared drinks were driven out of town.

In his first term in the House of Representatives he helped make sure that he and his fellow lawmakers
would not have to live under Obama Care. Always looking to get to the bottom of things, Representative Goody and his trustworthy secretary, Miss Goodbody, made numerous fact-finding trips to Hawaii, the Bahamas, Paris, and the Riviera.

When elected to the House of Representatives, Frank helped pass a resolution to raise the salaries and benefits of federal lawmakers so that all members of that group could escape poverty.

Senator Goody's opponent, Susan Bedevil, is a no-good rat. She hates children and if elected will pass legislation that will starve our kids. In addition, she's for putting six-year-olds to work in sweat mills.

Susan Bedevil also hates senior citizens. She would love to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. She'd wants to see old people starve to death.

Bedevil would destroy the middle class. She would love to see them starve, too.

She's a war monger and can't wait to get into office and start something with the Russians or the Chinese, or maybe with both. Then she'll send our children, our old people, and the middle class off to war to fight and to starve to death.

If you like peace and prosperity, if you want to live in a paradise on earth, and if you want someone in office who cares about you, vote for Representative Goody.

Paid for by the Reelection of Representative Goody Committee.

I'm Representative Goody and I approve this ad” (although most of it is pure hogwash).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


*Opening theme song:

Coldfinger, he’s the man The man with the freezing touch Such a cold finger He beckons you to his icy rink of sin But if you have any brains you won’t go in Frozen words he will pour in your ear But his touch will freeze up your beer For a girl knows when he has kissed her It’s the frozen kiss of death From Mister Coldfinger He loves only cold He loves only cold He loves cold! (If you want to sing along, please scream the last three words).

*James Bond, the debonair British secret agent, enters the office of the secret intelligence boss, the Department Undersecretary of the Monitoring Bureau (DUMB).

Bond: “Good morning, Miss Moneynickle,” the spy says to the pretty secretary.

Moneynickle: “Hello, sexy,” she replies with a wink.

*The Undersecretary, Bond’s boss, responds over the intercom: “Bond, quit flirting with that woman and get in here!”

Undersecretary: “James, we have a problem. This is a photograph of the notorious Coldfinger. The man cannot stand the heat; he keeps all his rooms at five below zero. As a child he began a life of crime in his neighborhood. At the age of six he was busted for swiping the neighbors’ ice cubes and then dumping them down his pants. At ten he spent time in jail for stealing electric fans. We want you to go in disguise and see what’ he’s up to.”

Bond: “This gives a whole new meaning to being frigid.”

Undersecretary: “Never mind the puns, 007; go see Q to collect the gadgets that will help you to succeed on this mission.”

Q: “Quit looking at my secretary and pay attention to what I’m showing you, 007. Here is the car you will use. Go ahead and start it.”

Bond: “This is fantastic! It emits an oil slick to make the bad guys following me skid off the road! What button do I use to activate it?”

Q: “No button is necessary. The old tub naturally leaks oil. Our budget was cut after the government bought the queen three more castles. We got a great deal in buying this car from a retiring police officer; I believe his name is Columbo.”

Bond: “Great. What else do you have?”

Q: ”Open this jar, James.”

*Upon opening it a foul-smelling thick smoke is emitted.

Bond: “Where did you get this?”

Q: “Los Angeles, of course. Now here is a ‘heat’ pen.’ When you remove the top a nuclear-generated reaction will instantly raise the temperature around you by 50 degrees. 007, are you listening to me?”

Bond: “Of course. You made the brilliant suggestion of removing the top.”

Q: “I was talking about my pen, James, not my secretary. You will wear these special shoes. If you kick someone with either shoe a rocket will shoot out the end and turn your opponent into ashes.”

*007 arrives at the casino where Coldfinger is playing a lethal game of ‘go fish.’ Bond arrives in a covered wagon and wears pioneer clothing.

Bond: “Valet, please park this wagon for me.”

Valet: “Who are you?’

Bond: “My name is Bond, Ward Bond. I’m a wagon master. Haven’t you ever watched the reruns of Wagontrain?”

Valet” “Yeah, I believe you, and I’m the Lone Ranger. What’s this all about?’

Bond: “ I’ll tell you if you promise to keep it a secret. My name is Bond, James Bond; I’m a secret agent here in disguise to investigate one Mr. Coldfinger.”

Valet: “How do you know I won’t tell someone?”

Bond: “See this license? It’s a license to kill. If you talk you die!”

*Bond enters the gaming area. There he spots Mr. Coldfinger, who is sitting on a huge block of ice while he plays a cutthroat game of cards. Bond becomes suspicious when he realizes that Coldfinger always wins. 007 then spots a beautiful young lady looking out the second floor window. She is using binoculars to read the other players’ hands. She then relays this information to Coldfinger, who is wearing an earpiece. Bond breaks his way into her room.

Bond: “So, you’re cheating for that good-for-nothing Coldfinger!”

Miss Kitty Litter: “If I don’t, he will kill me. Oh well, let’s get romantic.”

*Always a fast worker, five minutes later Bond begins to give Coldfinger the wrong information. During the next three hours the villain loses over forty matchsticks. He’s fit to be tied.

*Later that evening Bond sees Coldfinger at the dining area. The bad guy approaches our hero.

Coldfinger: “My name is Frosty Coldfinger.”

Bond: My name’s Bond, James Bond.”

Coldfinger: “Would you like a drink, Mr. Bond?”

Bond: “Thank you. I’ll have prune juice, shaken, not stirred.”

Coldfinger: “Prune juice?”

Bond: “I’m not getting any younger, you know. My character has been featured in films since 1962.”

*Coldfinger invites Bond to play golf the next morning. He accepts. Like most crooks, Coldfinger is a cheat. He drops golf balls close to the hole and is not beyond kicking a ball to a better spot. Going to the eighteenth, they are tied. Reaching into his golf bag, Bond opens the jar of L.A. smog. Coldfinger and his caddie cough and curse, but cannot see Bond nor the hole. After a few minutes the air clears.

Bond: “I believe I have a hole in one.”

*An angry Coldfinger gets a double bogey and thus has to buy Bond’s lunch.

*Bond later returns to Miss Kitty Litter’s room. There he finds her dead, frozen in a large block of ice. No doubt this was the work of Coldfinger.

*The next day Bond learns that Coldfinger has taken over the electric plant in Warren, Pennsylvania. Bond goes there and sneaks into the building to see what the villain is up to.

Coldfinger: “Gentlemen, now that we have possession of this key plant, we control the world’s supply of electricity. Anyone who craves air conditioning will pay through the nose! We will make a fortune!”

*At this point Bond, who is pretending to be a hall tree, unintentionally burps. Coldfinger orders his subordinate, Odd Jobber, to get the spy. Bond runs outside but is soon cornered by Odd Jobber, who throws a pointed shoe to dispatch his enemies. Bond ducks under the first throw.

Bond: “This makes me think of the old Ed Sullivan show.”

Odd Jobber: “How’s that?”

Bond: “He was always talking about having a ‘really big shoe!’”

*After another miss with his shoe Odd Jobber is able to corner Bond and begins strangling him. Bond responds by kicking the villain in the knee, which instantly turns the bad guy into a pile of dust. Unfortunately, 250 security forces working for Coldfinger take 007 into custody.

Coldfinger: “You have killed my best killer and friend! I bet he suffered!”

Bond: “No, actually I think he got quite a kick from it!”

Coldfinger: “You will die, Bond, but first I will introduce you to my Grandmother Coldheart.”

Bond: “Well, hello there. You wouldn’t look too bad in a bikini.”

Coldfinger: “Bond, for just one second quit thinking about women! It is now time to kill you!”

Bond: “May I write a last note to my dear mommy?”

Coldfinger: “Okay, but make it snappy.”

*Bond pulls the top off the pen and soon the room is heated to 45 degrees. Coldfinger screams and jumps into the nearest refrigerator. Meanwhile, about 500 of the intelligence agency’s best fighters enter the building and begin a colossal battle with the villain’s army. After cooling off, Coldfinger dumps several ice cubes down his pants and goes after Bond. Eventually he dazes 007 and makes a run for it by jumping into Bond’s car. Unfortunately, the old jalopy has no brakes. We watch as Coldfinger drops off a cliff.”

*Later, back at the Undersecretary’s office:

Undersecretary: “Once again you saved us from the bad guys, 007. I would like to reward you with a vacation, but something horrible is happening in the states. It seems that the Americans play a game called ‘baseball.’ Someone has been stealing bases! Here’s a plane ticket and good luck!”

*Two minutes later the Undersecretary turns on the intercom:

Undersecretary: “Get going, 007; quit flirting with Miss Moneynickle!”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Battle of the Bulge(s)

As winter gave way to the colorful flowers, budding trees, and growing grass of spring, I noticed that my everyday clothes seemed to be smaller than usual.  “Dear,” I said to my wife, “Could you take out a few stitches in these pants?  They’ve shrunk over the winter.”

“They didn’t shrink, dear,” was her reply.  “You’ve expanded.”

Reluctantly I accepted the fact that too much time in the recliner mixed with too many tacos with extra cheese sauce had indeed made me a bigger man.  At  that point I headed to the grocery store, where I dutifully stocked up on cottage cheese, Cheerios (very low sugar content), vegetables, and fruit.

For the next two weeks I was very proud of myself.  Jumping onto the scales after ten days of self-imposed deprivation, I discovered that I’d lost almost two pounds!  By then I was a mere twenty-three pounds over my goal.  This would be a piece of cake!  On second thought, that is probably not the best way to describe one’s dieting procedures.

Then came vacation time.  Our son asked us to go to Europe with him.  Who could turn down such an opportunity?  I swear that within ten minutes of the invitation Bev had her bags packed and was on-line ordering the tickets.

Our first destination was Dusseldorf, Germany.  Our son went off to do his own thing, so Bev and I followed a path along the beautiful Rhine River.  All that walking made me ravenous.  Honestly, for a few minutes I did look around for a watercress restaurant, but had to settle for more traditional German cuisine.

One hasn’t lived until he’s devoured fried wiener schnitzel.  Along with the meat was served a large plate of French fries.  Admittedly, I devoured this high calorie meal, but I neutralized the damage by ordering a diet Coke!

The next stop was  the Netherlands.  Aboard a boat that served as a restaurant we ordered what the natives call pancakes.  They were thin pieces of a floury substance that covered the entire plates.  One was stuffed with bits of apple, while the other was covered with cherries.  On top of each pancake were two scoops of ice cream, while on the side were  containers of syrup and  dishes of whipped cream.  Still conscious of my weight-reducing program, I only drank two beers with my meal.

Never go to Brussels if you’re trying to lose weight.  Shops there offer waffles that are sensational.  I should know-Bev “forced” me to eat about ten of them.    The city also offers some of the world’s best chocolate, which, of course, Bev and I had to sample.  Feeling guilty, I walked two extra laps around the city square.  Realistically, I should have jogged to Moscow.

In Norway we followed narrow winding roads up the mountainsides on our way to some of God’s most beautiful scenery-the fjords.  Towns were few and far between, so at a store we stocked up on potato chips, Oreo cookies, French bread, cheese, and, of course, chocolate candy.

At our first stop in the land of fjords we enjoyed a roasted chicken, a salad, and assorted fruits.  This was probably the first and last healthy meal that we consumed on this trip.

On our  return to the states we were fortunate enough to get first class.  In that section of the plane one gets more leg room and seats that actually can be transformed into rather comfortable beds.  On the other hand, the airline over does the feeding part.  First, one is offered a glass of Champaign.  I don’t particularly like its taste, but why not take something that‘s offered to you?  Next, one is served two appetizers before the main course is served.

Some of the choices were rather exotic.  One of the main courses looked like a giant moose’s eye covered with some kind of rich sauce.  After devouring the main course I couldn’t be rude by refusing dessert, so I ate a large piece of what I think was carrot cake.  It might have been my imagination, but it seemed like the plane began tilting toward  my side of the aisle.

Once back in the states I made a firm promise to myself to get back on my diet.  I forgave myself for eating like a pig while on vacation, and   I even came up with a motto for the trip: “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may (must) diet.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Driving the Mrs. Crazy

If there was ever a picture-perfect driver, it had to be my father.  He didn’t speed, he didn’t tailgate,  he kept his hands on the steering wheel at the “ten-two” positions, and he used the mirrors just as I was later  taught to do in driver’s education.  I doubt that professional instructors were as proficient.  Yet, Dad had to have been one of the world’s worst driving instructors.  Why?  He simply had no patience.  No matter what he was teaching, the “student” would be told once and then he or she was supposed to “get it.”

For some reason my mother had never learned to drive an automobile.  Then, sometime during the early 1950s (or so I am told; I was an infant) Dad decided that Mom needed to get her license.  After driving to the local fairgrounds he stashed the four children into the backseat and proceeded to give Mom a fifteen minute course on the basics of driving.

He showed her the gears of the standard transmission and then demonstrated the use of the clutch.  “You have to let the clutch out slowly or you’ll kill the engine,“ he bellowed.

With Dad riding shotgun Mom took the controls.  Immediately my father resorted to his number one teaching technique-screaming:  “&^%%^&!  I told you to let the clutch out slowly!”

Poor Mom, already frustrated, was giving us a ride to remember.  The old Chevy, much like a bucking bronco, would lunge forward, come to a sudden stop, and then once again lurch ahead.  Dad’s instructions became louder and more urgent: “You’re letting the &^%$$%^& clutch out too fast!  Quit grinding the  &^&^$^$&&^ gears!  $%^^&&&&&!”  Thankfully, Dad didn’t order her to “throw out the clutch;” she was so discombobulated  that she might have taken his orders literally.  I can just imagine her yanking the clutch from the floorboard and then heaving it out the window!

Displaying much horse sense, a nearby nag watched our car hop and spin around the track for a few seconds before wisely galloping into a nearby barn.  There, no doubt, he was much safer than we poor souls who were trapped in the backseat.

After what seemed an eternity Mom completed a lap around the track.  Jerking the automobile to a halt, she pulled  the emergency brake, turned off the key, and announced that she was through with driving. True to her word, she never again ventured behind the wheel.  I have no doubt that Mom could have learned to drive, but unfortunately fate had given her one of the world’s most ill-suited instructors.

To get from place to place Mom became a world class walker.  Even in her seventies it was not unusual for her to walk ten miles in a single day, and she walked at a brisk pace, too.

A few years later Dad took it upon himself to teach my two sisters the art of driving.  I must admit that they were two of the worst drivers I’d ever seen.  However, once they left home and escaped  Dad’s harassment, they miraculously transformed into excellent motorists. Go figure!

Whenever possible I  avoided driving with him. When forced to do so, I simply tried to ignore the ranting and raving.  Thankfully, my brother-in-law took pity on me; he taught me the basics of driving and didn’t yell or scream.  It’s too bad Mom didn’t have such an instructor.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Special Homecoming Queen

The Ohio State University, originally known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College, began “Ohio State Day” in 1912.  Later changed to “Homecoming,” the event was created to bring alumni back to campus each year.  A key part of the festivities included electing a Homecoming Queen.

To be selected Homecoming Queen, much like being selected to be a cheerleader, is a prestigious award for which most young women can only dream.  In 1926, the OSU College of Agriculture nominated one Maudine Ormsby to rule over that year’s Homecoming festivities, but the young lady had two humongous problems to overcome.  First of all, although she was seen around campus and ate her meals there, Maudine was not registered as a student at the Ohio State University.  Secondly, unlike many of her fellow coeds, she was not exactly beautiful, at least not in the conventional sense of the word.  Indeed, she was a large gal; she might have been the heaviest female on campus.  On the other hand, Ms. Ormsby was ahead of her times, for she was one of the few practicing vegetarians in the region.

To the surprise of college officials, this rather homely female was elected Homecoming Queen for 1926.  Those officials, perhaps with smiles on their faces, had refused to disqualify Ms. Ormsby over the technicality of not being enrolled, and as for her looks, no doubt the Ohio State brain trust realized that real, lasting beauty lies within the soul.

Surprisingly, the alumni and the students were more excited about Maudine’s victory than she was.  She went along with the festivities, but never displayed either nervousness or excitement.  She neither smiled nor frowned as the crown and cape were placed upon her. For Ms. Ormsby, it was just another day.  

Later that evening, after the parade and other festivities had been completed, Maudine skipped the big dance.  Perhaps that was a good decision, for she didn’t look like the most agile gal in the world.  In fact, she could be described as having four left feet.  So instead of attending the dance she contentedly spent her evening at a barn not far from the main campus.

You see, Maudine Ormsby was a cow.  No, I’m not an insensitive male chauvinist pig describing an overweight lady.  I’m talking about the kind of cow that moos, gives lots of milk, and eats hay.  As a joke the College of Agriculture had nominated this creature for Homecoming Queen, and when the student body elected the hay burner, Ohio State officials went along with the funny business.

To this day some folks argue that the joke was an affront to the tradition and seriousness of Homecoming, but I think they protest too much.  Although Maudine Ormsby was rather homely (if you are a bull, you may disagree), no real harm was done.

Although Maudine did not meet the physical standards of Ohio State’s Homecoming Queens either before or after 1926, Buckeye fans, with tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, would argue that she’s prettier than any Homecoming Queen ever elected at that “school up north.”