Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Three things that really get my goat but that aren’t Donald Trump. (One is worthy of capital punishment. Or worse.)

Look, I’m suffering from Trump burnout. Maybe that’s why I haven’t posted here for over a week. He may be the gift that keeps on giving to comedians, but for me, Trump….

I was about to use the old cliché that Trump sucks the oxygen out of the room, but that’s not really what he does. He’s one of those noxious people who instead noisily blows methane into the room. He not only makes it hard to breathe. He makes it stinky and explosive.

If you’re a fan of that kind of thing, be sure to go here. Meanwhile stop complaining that today’s piece isn’t political. It’s not supposed to be political. Or at least it’s not that kind of political. Without further ado, here are the three things that truly deserve a fair share of outrage.

And the rotten tomato you rode in on.  Normally, I am opposed to capital punishment. But I make several exceptions to the no capital punishment rule. For example, I strongly support the death penalty for the people responsible for making sure that tiny paper stickers get glued on fruit and tomatoes. Hey wait! Where do you think you’re going? Stay right here and hear me out.

The purpose of the stickers is to let the people at the cash register know what it is you want to buy, so that he or she can charge you for it. As if the poor nincompoop wouldn’t know a lemon from a watermelon on his or her own. Or a little yellow grape tomato from a great big beefsteak tomato. Or a plum from a pomegranate. 

The problem is, when you get home you have to peel the damn stickers off. It’s not so bad if you’ve got longer fingernails and you’re trying to get a sticker off a leathery avocado. But try it with a soft, thin-skinned fruit like a plum or a tomato. You end up picking, and picking, and picking until you finally tear off the fruit’s skin with the sticker. Then the fruit begins to bleed, its juices making a sticky mess of  your hands, your shirt, the table you’re working at, and the fruit itself.

These accursed Sticker People should not only be executed, they should be executed by having their skin slowly peeled off by sadists with very long fingernails, until they bleed out like an overripe plum.

The “vocal fry.” It’s grounds for a very special form of physical punishment. Vocal fry? If I ended every declarative sentence with a question mark you’d know what I’m saying? No? Well, then watch this explanation, then come back?

Okay, vocal frying drives me up a tree? Something about it tells me, “This person is a little snot who ought to be separated from society?” But no, I don’t really advocate capital punishment for this bunch. Instead, I think the courts should hire board-certified surgeons to humanely remove the vocal cords of every vocal fryer in America. And humanely sew up their lips while the surgeons are at it. Got it? (No that last sentence wasn’t a vocal fry, it was a question.)

Patronizing physicians’ assistants. This is a particularly powerful pet peeve of mine (say that three times fast) because I’m at an age when body parts start to break down, rust out, wear out, or fall apart, just like very old cars. I’ve heard all the loud sloshing noises that my heart, with all its leaky valves, generates during a sonogram. It sounds like a big plunger having a go at a badly stuffed toilet. But I’ll take a heart attack, please, in preference to several other pernicious ailments that are gnawing away at my body. 

I get that I’m a hell of a lot closer to the end of the road than the beginning. I’ve been on this doomed planet for almost 79 years and as the old saying goes, nobody’s getting outta here alive.

But we’re all going to get killed a lot faster by those accursed Physicians’ Assistants, or PAs, with their overly-sweet, patronizing explanations, a jarring mixture of baby talk and technical jargon, delivered in a cooing voice, about why you’re dead meat (but let’s pretend you’re not.) 

Their tone of voice is the same one you might use when house training a puppy, with lots of high pitched sing-song praise if you say anything at all that indicates you’re not brain-dead. It’s a good thing they phone it in, because if  you were  in the same room with one of them, they’d probably pat you on the head and toss a strip of bacon at you.

The last, of many similar calls, went something like the two paragraphs that follow. (Note: add a touch of vocal fry for maximum effect, and make absolutely certain that the PA has no last name): 
“Hello, Mr. Crank? This is Jessica? Jessica who? I’m the PA from Doctor Poshmanoogarly’s office? I have such good news for you, Mr. Crank! Your biopsy came out negative! (BRIEF PAUSE)  
“How-everrrr, Doctor Poshmanoogarly did notice on your most recent cat scan a bit of atypical osseous calcification on the left suborbital nodule of the right anterior lobe. So he’d like you to come in next Wednesday to discuss surgery. What’s a suborbital lobe? Oh, Mr. Crank, you’re soooo sharp!”
Okay, I’ll come in. But there had better be a strip of bacon, or at least a Milk-Bone, waiting for me when I get there.


Marc Larivière said...

Je partage votre exaspération, Monsieur Crank ! C'est un emmerdement permanent de décoller ces foutues étiquettes sur nos fruits et légumes divers... damned useles stickers, en effet, en France comme aux USA, on nous prend tous pour des nincompoops, des nigauds, décidément...
Thank you for your posts that are so funny AND instructive that I cannot but look them up, every morning... J'ai bon espoir que vos prochaines élections de mid-term vont retourner la situation politique chez vous, car votre POTUS est vraiment inquiétant !

The New York Crank said...

Merci, monsieur. Pour plusieurs moments, j'ai pensé que vous étiez un médecin (en retrait) de mon connaissance (Allo, André et merci encore pour le repas formidable à Paris!) mais, après plusieurs recherches vites sur l'Internet, je découvre que maintenant j'ai DEUX lecteurs françaises. Bienvenue à mon blogue Marc!

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Marc Larivière said...

En effet, je suis retraité, mais ni médecin ni parisien... I only used to teach your language, ( the Queen's though...), tried to I mean, for years, in a High-School, and now live in the native City of our "Wonderful" President of the Republic, like your own President would say...
Bien a vous, Monsieur Cranky...
BTW, "la friture de voix" (ie, vocal fry) sounds weird to me too, and irritating, I guess it's only possible in English, as the ends of statements are usually said in a lowering voice but it couldn't hardly be used in French...

Bill said...

Chaps me when I'm expecting an MD and in walks a PA. I don't wanna have to tell the story twice.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about physician's assistants is this:
"I'll have you get on the scale now."
"I'll have you roll up your sleeve." Etc.

When I suggested to the morbidly obese PA who was less than half my age that he try, "Please," he looked at me as if I had two heads.

Buttermilk Sky said...

And they never look up as they type away on their computers, theoretically documenting everything you say. And every time they ask the same questions. Any allergies? High blood pressure? Cancer? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ON THAT THING, PLAYING CANDY CRUSH?

No more doctors for me.