meander

my blood pressure was high. my mind was confused.

you’re stressed, said my doctor. reduce your stress.

you should leave the city, said my shrink. take a vacation. get away from your job. go back to your roots. meander in the countryside.

so i booked passage to southern turkey.

there I found the ancient maiandros (mαίανδρος) river, whence comes the word meander. by strolling along the banks of this winding river, i would by definition be meandering. the river’s modern name is büyük menderes, the turks having owned it these last five hundred and fifty years or so.

where to start, the river’s source (dinar, where are found the ruins of celaenae-apamea) or mouth (on the aegean near samos)? i couldn’t worry about this, as it would cause stress, which i was to avoid at any cost, so i flipped a coin (a turkish lira, 1989; atatürk’s head) and began my meander at dinar.

the river being 341 miles long, it took me some time to negotiate it at a slow pace (i never took more than ten steps without pausing to contemplate the water and my life).

by the time i was done, i felt a lot better.

 

For The Daily Post

arches

I had a  wonderful life. Just didn’t realize how much of it depended upon my health. You’ve only got one body. Your body is all you’ve got.

My wife and I would go out dancing. She loves to dance. I noticed that my feet were getting tired easily.

I’d play basketball with my boys and the bottom-insides of my feet would become painful and swollen.

Reaching to a higher shelf, it was hard to stand on tiptoe.

Then one day after a shower, I noticed my wet footprints on the floor. The whole foot was there, heel to toe.

I knew in a flash that I had fallen arches.

I used to have high, beautiful arches. I could run like a deer. Now, flat feet.

The thing is, my wife has always been a foot person. It’s mostly a guy thing, interest in the feet. Women will focus on the shoulders of a guy, or his hands or forearms, or his hair or eyes or chin. The feet, not so much. But Beatrice from the beginning zeroed in on mine. She’d run her fingers back and forth on my arches and… I’ll draw the curtain there.

All our kids have beautiful arches. Beatrice has beautiful arches, although I’d love her just as much if she didn’t. Just so long as she doesn’t have cankles. I don’t like cankles.

Now I wear slippers around the house. I never used to. I gloried in my naked feet.

I keep my orthotics, my shame, hidden.

I have some ungents but I don’t use them because you can smell them.

I joined a support group but I tell my family I’m going out for poker night.

I drink to ease the pain and heartache but I just claim to be an alcoholic.

I wear socks to bed, even in the summer.

At the public pool, I wear “pool shoes.”

I am consulting a podiatrist about having my feet removed, to gain sympathy, support, and acceptance from my spouse.

Say a prayer of thanks every day for the good health you enjoy.

 

For Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Woman spots mold on new tampon

[Headline, Huffington Post]

If an ice shelf the size of Texas breaks off the continent of Antarctica and floats away to melt in the sea, it will not directly affect my day, at least until sea levels rise high enough to flood my neighborhood. That sort of global-warming consequence doesn’t trouble me. If all the polar bears disappear tomorrow, I don’t care. I rarely hunt bears, on foot or from a helicopter with a high-powered rifle. I never go to the zoo. They say that when you get the kids every other weekend, you should take them to the zoo, but I’ve never done so. My favorite bar lets me park my children in an empty poker room as long as they keep quiet, so I just take them there.

But global warming vis a vis tampons is another matter. When warmth-loving molds and fungi and viruses begin to invade my personal space, it’s time to take action. I don’t personally use tampons, except perhaps occasionally on my “strange” days, but if mold can go there, what’s to stop it from showing up on, for example, my doobies?

Remember that molds reproduce more quickly than we do, and I’m not just complaining here about the lack of action in my life. Molds evolve quicker. That’s why a mold has already learned how to eat a tampon. Humans have evolved to the point of eating at McDonald’s, true, but McDonald’s is not Modess.

I don’t want to live in a world where I have to compete with an evolved mold for my job. I’m already losing out to our neighbors to the south. I might never work again. Say, could that be an upside to this mold invasion?

But seriously, if molds can learn to eat a tampon, why can’t they learn to eat the tamponee, or tamponess? I don’t wear underpants, but if I did, couldn’t the mold move in there and stage itself for an attack? I’m freaking myself out here.

My buddy tells me that there are molds that can talk. I think that’s what he said. How is that even possible? I guess molds must have mouths or how could they eat? But how tiny those mouths must be. When they talk, you’d be lucky to hear even a squeak. Plus, once you pull the tampon, I’m not wanting to hear the mold’s comments. Or get my ear near it, neither.

Why can the mold feel the global warming and I can’t, anyway? I’ve been spending my nights in the car and it’s cold out there. They say that there are more tornadoes, or is it hurricanes, but all I’m seeing is rain. Cold rain. Cold rain and mold growing on everything.

Radioactive Home Remedies

Learn Fun Facts recently posted a blog entry I wrote on the subject of radioactive nostrums.

Thanks, Edmark!

Bad Dreams

Todd Smith woke to find a raccoon biting his chin.

“I was at camp, dreaming that my mom wanted me to shave. Christ, I’ve only got about four hairs.”

Aaron Goldberg woke to discover that all his teeth had fallen out.

“I’ve had the same dream a hundred times. Out come the teeth. My therapist told me I was worried about losing my job, or maybe I was keeping a secret from someone. Turns out, she didn’t know bubkes about gum disease.”

Arvis Portlander was taken into custody at Microphonics, Inc., his place of work, nude in his cubicle.

“It was a lot more fun in my dream,” he said.

Matty Logan, seventh grader, came down to breakfast on a Wednesday-morning school day.

“My mom was in tears. I asked her what was wrong. She told me she had had a dream. In the dream I grew up and moved to the West Coast. I didn’t call. I didn’t write. I ate fast food and got thin. Not fat. Thin. I married a girl who was all wrong for me. The grandchildren were born and never knew my mom existed. At least she could have helped out at the time of their births, but no, my wife’s mother was a complete tyrant. She forbade my mom from flying out when the deliveries occurred. What did I do when this mother-in-law behaved like a Hitler? Nothing. I was under her thumb. At that point my mother contracted cancer but did I come home and visit her in the hospital? I came home, yes, but only to collect my childhood toys, which she had kept for me, dusted, all those long years. I wanted the toys for my children. Me, Matty Logan, monster. I tore out her heart, but still I should eat my oatmeal because the school bus was not going to hang around waiting for me to show up five minutes late.”

Bradford Simmons opened his eyes in the morning and thanked God that it had only been a dream.

“You know when you’re in a situation  where you’re totally screwed, but then you wake up and it’s only a dream? That just happened to me, in spades. I was back with my ex, only this time she understood me.  You know what I mean? Understood where I was really coming from, and she was going to make me pay for it.”

Fredrico Pascareli lives in Chicago.

“I’m a Cubs fan. I don’t have bad dreams. I don’t need them.”

The President left the White House suddenly on Friday afternoon. Reporters followed him to a psychic’s  home on U Street NW in Le Droit Park. He went into the residence and stayed for an hour, with Secret Service agents circling the building and pacing on the porch. When the President emerged, he held an impromptu press conference next to his limo.

“I had a dream last night so intense that I shared it with my Cabinet this morning. The members present were unable to shed light on the meaning of the dream. I convened the NSC and then the Joint Chiefs. No help from either, although members of both used the occasion to push their agendas in a transparent fashion that I found rather pathetic.

“I deemed the matter of sufficient importance to obtain an appointment with Madame Rose… Yes, she provided me with the answers that I required… No, I cannot share those answers… No, I cannot share the dream. It has been classified… No, I cannot share the actions that I will now take, but I can assure you that they will be significant… There are those who will be held responsible for their actions in my dream. There are those who will suffer consequences most grievous… It was just a dream but Jesus it seemed so real!”

Man’s Hand Attached To Ankle In Emergency Procedure

[Huffington Post]

I don’t have to bend down to tie my shoes anymore, ha, ha.

But seriously, the only doctor who knew how to save my hand was tripping on windowpane at the time. I’m lucky he  didn’t attach my hand to my butt.

The good news: I’m right-handed and my ankle hand is the left one. Although it’s attached to my right ankle. Weird.

I’ve always been troubled a bit with a stiff back. Now I don’t have to bend down to pet the cat or pick up the morning paper.

Buying socks is difficult, though.

Twice while wiping, I’ve kicked myself in the groin. Such is the life of the man with a hand on his foot.

In the hospital while recuperating, I met a woman whose foot was attached to her wrist in an emergency procedure (same doctor). I tried to joke with her about our situations and she kicked me in the nose. Unexpected.

Speaking of feet, I’ve always been a “foot” man. In bed with my wife, I fondle her feet. Unfortunately, she says that when I’m lying there on my back with my head on my pillow, the feel of my lower hand edging over to her feet is “just plain creepy.”

It’s a lot harder to twiddle my fingers.

Guaranteed Weight Loss: No Dieting Necessary

Why do diets fail? Because you want to eat! It’s only natural.

Civilization is set up to feed you. Your culture surrounds you with good things to eat. You’ve got to be sick in the head to ignore the blandishments of the food industry. You’ve got to be mentally ill, literally, to lose that blubber. You’re not a fat slob; you’re a child partaking of the fruits of humanity’s evolution toward perfection.

Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be thin. And there is nothing wrong with acting upon this desire.

But not by dieting, for cryeye. Want to end up in an asylum? Go check out your local mental facility. A lot of thin dudes in there!

What are the alternatives? Surgical intervention? Lipo? Medication?

Friend, your body is a temple, not a lab rat. Only God above should be allowed to mess with it. Do you want some money-grubbing sawbones mucking around inside your digestive tract or sucking your essence out from under your skin with a garden hose? I don’t think so.

Which is where the Inner Me Institute comes in.

Park out front. Come in. Tell us how many pounds you want to lose (forty minimum, three hundred maximum). Let us run your credit card and confirm that your payment clears.  Step into one of our private treatment rooms. Change into a tieback hospital gown. Lie down on a comfortable treatment table and let one of our friendly young service techs intubate you. In the blink of an eye, as it seems, you’ll wake up thinner. As thin as you want (and have paid for).

No angst. No drugs (except for the one that knocks you out and keeps you under). You’ll just lie there with enough water flowing into one of your veins to keep you alive.

“When are you going to begin?” you’ll ask when you wake up. You won’t even know that days or weeks or months have passed, until you stand in front of a mirror (with our help) and behold your new self.

One of the young techs will drive you home in your car. Go inside when you get there, accept the admiring stares of your family, and eat something (some vomiting may occur).

When the weight returns, come right on back!