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Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

A chucklesome comment from Sali Lamo, New Yorker cartoonist: “Not to be a downer or anything, but Michael Jackson’s dying is really going to hurt the credibility of the hyperbaric-oxygen-chamber industry.”

Which is an insightful and previously neglected thought; although I would say this:  people didn’t seem to be put off running when the health convert Jim Fixx, doyen of jogging, dropped dead from a heart attack at the age of 52.

joggers bw

Even now you can’t throw a plimsoll in Central Park, Hyde Park, Stanley Park or Albert Park without it bouncing off the cranium of somebody sweatily loping around its perimeter. And at times it seems that there are more people at any one time taking part in marathons around the world’s great cities than laying on the couch watching them.

Death can kindly stop for anyone, though, and slowly drive them off in his carriage. His  lifetime-sized hourglass currently hangs over Patrick Swayze; and he has previously transported away Syd Barrett, Luciano Pavarotti, Rene Magritte, Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Pausch and Bill Hicks in the glossy landau he calls ‘Pancreatic Cancer’.

death carriage

This coach usually draws up alongside octo- and septuagenarians but can also squeak to a halt alongside the young and healthy. Nobody really knows why. Pancreatic cancer is not genetic. Bill Hicks blamed it on his energetic smoking, which certainly cannot have helped; yet Keith Richards still somehow walks the earth, while Randy Pausch never let a cigarette pass his lips.

Professor Pausch was a computer science lecturer and researcher at Carnegie Mellon whose ‘last words’ were an inspiring ‘Last Lecture‘. Which I’ll get around to watching and getting inspired by at some point. Before I die, let’s say.

The last words of Bill Hicks were a more pithy “I’ve said all I have to say” on Valentine’s Day 1994. And he was as good as his word, staying silent for his final twelve days on this world.

Bill Hicks

To come full circle, though, here are some of the great(est) comedian’s thoughts on the subject at hand:

“Does anyone remember this, when Yul Brynner died, and came out with that commercial after he was dead? ‘I’m Yul Brynner and I’m dead now.

What the fuck’s this guy selling? I’m all ears.

I’m Yul Brynner and I’m dead now, because I smoked cigarettes.’

Okay, pretty scary. But they coulda done that with anybody. They coulda done it with that Jim Fixx guy, too, just as easily. Remember that guy, that health nut who died while jogging? I don’t remember seeing his commercial. ‘I’m Jim Fixx and I’m dead now. And I don’t know what the fuck happened. I jogged every day, ate nothing but tofu, swam five hundred laps every morning, and I’m dead. Yul Brynner drank, smoke, and got laid every night of his life… he’s dead.

Shit.

Yul Brynner’s smokin’, drinkin’, girls are sitting on his cueball noggin every night of his life! I’m running around a dewy track at dawn. And we’re both fuckin’ dead. Goddammit.

Yul used to pass me on his way home in the morning, big long limousine, two girls blowing him, cigarette in one hand, drink in the other. “One day that life is going to get to you, Yul.” ‘

They’re both dead. Yeah, but what a healthy looking corpse you were, Jim. Look at the hamstrings on that corpse! Look at the sloppy grin on Yul’s corpse! Yul Brynner lived his life. Sure, he died a 78-pound stick figure, okay. There are certain drawbacks.”

“Does anyone remember this, when Yul Brynner died, and came out with that commercial after he was dead?
‘I’m Yul Brynner and I’m dead now.’
What the fuck’s this guy selling? I’m all ears.
‘I’m Yul Bryner and I’m dead now, because I smoked cigarettes.’
Okay, pretty scary. But they coulda done that with anyone. They coulda done it with that Jim Fixx guy, too, remember that guy, that health nut who died while jogging? I don’t remember seeing his commercial!
‘I’m Jim Fixx and I’m dead now. And I don’t know what the fuck happened. I jogged every day, ate nothing but tofu, swam five hundred laps every morning, and I’m dead. Yul Bryner drank, smoke, and got laid every night of his life… he’s dead. Shit! Yul Bryner’s smokin’, drinkin’, girls are sitting on his cueball noggin, every night of his life! I’m running around a dewy track at dawn. And we’re both fuckin’ dead. Yul used to pass me on his way home in the morning, big long limousine, two girls blowing him, cigarette in one hand, drink in the other. “One day that life is going to get to you, Yul.”‘
They’re both dead. Yeah, but what a healthy looking corpse you were, Jim. Look at the hamstrings on that corpse! Look at the sloppy grin on Yul’s corpse! Yul Bryner lived his life. Sure, he died a 78-pound stick figure, okay. There are certain drawbacks.”
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Emphyjesus

I am inspired once again by the uproarious Julia at Homemade Hilarity, who has ‘found Jesus‘ in a veritable smörgåsbord of foodstuffs.

My own pilgrimage has led me in a more radiographical direction; the Messiah has evidently been manifesting across myriad internal organs, and medical science has sought him out. Or Him, sorry.

Now, there are behaviourists who tell us that humans will readily ascribe facial characteristics to almost any vaguely convincing arrangement of approximations of human features; that’s why in the clouds yesterday I saw Her Majesty the Queen head-butting Peewee Herman.

Even so, you would have to be the most callous cynic or filthy atheist not to be convinced that our Lord and Saviour is casting his caring gaze and benevolent touch on what I choose to suspect to be emphysema in this unfortunate victim’s lungs:

emphijesus

There he is, skulking behind the ribcage on the right: Emphyjesus.

If you are not convinced, I’ve helpfully zoomed in on and circled the be-sandalled one:

ajesuslung1

Of course, the recognition relies on the clichéd medieval depiction of the Nazarene as a beardy, long-haired, European-looking fellow rather than the near-Eastern gentleman he obviously was (although in this instance he at least is not blond, unless that’s the effect of the X-Ray).

Moreover, if one is to accept the face of that lung, then one must surely also be prepared to explain the odd visage that appears in the other. I’m speaking of that alien-fish face peering around the spinal column:

afishalienlung

What could that be? The emphysema demon that the Jesus is hunting down and exorcising? Should I consult a surgeon or a priest? Or an angler?

Perhaps there’s a clue in this ultrascan. Congratulations to the parents, not only on the impending birth of a shiny new child but on the fact that it is blessed, at first glance, by the glowing presence of the Chosen One:

ultrajesus

Take a closer look, though, at foetus-Jesus in the close-up on the right; it’s a peculiarly wall-eyed Son of Man we’re dealing with here, if Jesus it be, and I don’t recall the Gospels mentioning that level of Holy strabismus. It looks more like one of those grey aliens beloved of UFOlogists, but sporting a badly-fitting and somewhat lank rock-star wig as a rather thin disguise. Either that or it’s a cross between Emphyjesus and his piscine pal. Spooky.

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