wanna go HOME now...

  State of the Bag

9 May 2000

4:29 PM: Well, uh... I'm not fat!

I went in for a 41 year checkup today. First complete physical exam in who knows how many years. All kinds of interesting tests. I can see the prostate exam getting a little too popular with some people, for instance. I also really liked the electrocardiogram - all these sensors taped to my chest, and then two to my ankles - ankles! - all of it finally hooked up with alligator clips to the Machine that Goes Hummmm. I felt like I should have bolts in the side of my neck. What is that ankle business? I clearly don't really understand how this test works. I was waiting for them to run current through me or something, they made me take all the metal out of my pockets. Maybe they did, I didn't feel it. Cool.

The worst was, naturally, the pulmonary function test, which I gather is the medical term for "Blowing your lungs out." You blow into this little electronic gizmo that looks a bit like a breathalyzer, and once it clicks you have to keep blowing continuously without inhaling until it clicks again, which believe me it takes its own bloody sweet time doing. Like 6 birthday cakes in a row. It should have normally been just 3, but the first test showed Severe Degradation - basically I should have been dead or close. Doctor gave me the benefit of the doubt about that and tested me again.

So now, great. I have COPS in my lungs. Crap Obstructing Pulmonary System. Well, some name like that. Yes, shock, I've been smoking for nearly 20 years. He very kindly pointed that out a few times. Also when showing me the X-ray of my lungs - he was pointing out how big and empty they were, which I thought was pretty good, showing how much I know about anatomy. Oh, right, it's supposed to be all those little sacs that put oxygen into the blood, not a big concert hall.

His way of casting a dark and ominous shadow on my future was a little obscure sometimes, though. "If you don't quit now, you'll be sitting on a park bench when you're 60." Um, and? That sounds nice. I'll bring Walnettos. Ah, the point is that I won't be able to do anything else because I won't be able to breathe and stuff. OK. Can I get a laptop? Perhaps I'm not approaching this issue in the right spirit.

But I'm only 184 pounds, and I really truly am 6 foot 1 inch tall. Have I been growing??? Yikes. Either that, though, or all those other doctors were lyin to me. Bastids. So if I have a large frame and 15% body fat, I'm ideal. Or a medium frame and 10% body fat. Now all I have to do is not measure my body fat and I'm set. "Medium", "large", these are such subjective terms, after all.

7:33: Speaking of electroshock therapy, I could use some of that right now. My body is still moving but my brain is empty. Only I can't just fall over and enjoy that feeling, because in marked contrast to the last few ... weeks? months? , Today I actually have to finish something. I forgot about the utterly predictable, regular-as-clockwork monthly content post again, just like last month. So I gotta get this current thing I'm working on done and out of here, so I can start on my next deadline scramble.

This should not be a problem, it's not like I have that much to do. Unfortunately, it involves thinking, not just typing. I can do stuff like, well, this right here, all day long no problem. But when my brain has to actually grapple with what I'm reading and hold ideas about it in place, there's just a puff of smoke and an icky burning smell.


7:57: And Today's Lesson is:

Calamari, coffee, and doughnuts don't mix.

Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.

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