September 5, 2005

Doctor, Doctor … Mr. M.D. …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:17 pm

Stethosclpe.jpgCan you tell me what’s ailing me?*You may wonder how a collection of aging Vietnam Era types who hang together, travel together, and party hard and long, which invariably includes drinking like sailors on liberty sipping an occasional libation and eating like a pack of hungry wolves enjoying fine victuals, manages to continue to remain ambulatory and relatively healthy. If you hadn’t thought about that, trust me: It’s quite remarkable.

The reason why, in defiance of the aging process, we’re all still raising hell is because, like all first-class teams, we have a Team Doctor, and he would be “Doctor Doctor.”**

Doctor Doctor didn’t sign on to be the Team Doctor, but it just sort of worked out that way. Each of us makes our regularly scheduled visits to see Doctor Doctor for checkups, and during any given week, at least one of the Usual Suspects needs an appointment for an ache … here or a pain … there. It would be an understatement to say that he knows us all very well. He knows all our HDLs, LDLs, liver enzymes, and assorted other diagnostic markers lurking in our blood. He has a keen diagnostic sense to begin with, but knowing all of us provides him with an edge in getting to the root cause of any given malady. “Martinis this weekend was it?”

On special occasions, Doctor Doctor (sometimes with his lovely wife, Mrs. Doctor Doctor) has even been known to show up at one of our drunken brawls social gatherings. He’ll even have a beer or two (I’ve never seen him drink more than two) while, I suspect, he silently surveys the gang for clues as to what symptoms he’ll be hearing in the weeks to come. “You think your arm might be sore from pitching a dozen games of horseshoes, or from lugging all that ice? Maybe the upset stomach has something to do with the tequila and kielbasa?”

He practices “non-preachy” medicine, resting assured that we all know what’s good for us and what is not. Doctor Doctor always listens and always carefully considers the treatment options. He has never failed to spot a potentially serious problem, and, unless it is a matter that requires immediate attention, he always chooses the conservative approach. “Well, it could be ‘X,’ or you might need ‘Y,’ but let’s try ‘Z’ first, and check back with me in a week.” I like that approach, and I like him. He’s a good doctor and a good guy.

What would you guess is the question that is most often posed to Doctor Doctor by his Usual Suspect patients? The question is regularly asked following his handing one of the Usual Suspects a new prescription, and the question is ……..

”Can I drink with this?”

* Reference for younger readers.

** I dare not name Doctor Doctor, lest his professional standing suffer as a result of being identified as the de facto Team Doc for the collection of aging reprobates that is The Usual Suspects.

Napoleon Dynamite.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:17 am

Napoleon Dynamite.jpgThe other night I felt myself becoming unhinged. I thought my head would explode from watching the horrendous hurricane images and listening to the political firebombs being tossed about.

I shut down the computer and plopped myself in front of the television seeking an absolutely mindless diversion. News was obviously out, as was anything remotely resembling a “reality” show. (I had more genuine reality than I needed). I also skipped over my usual favorites, such as the History Channel and Channels. I didn’t want to think about anything. The Military Channel was out too, as I had seen more than enough destruction on television in the previous two days.

I scrolled through the HBO offerings and came upon “Napoleon Dynamite.” I had remembered reading about this movie months before at Impact in a post that was written by a high school teacher who described the popularity of this movie with his students and his use of the movie to his advantage in the classroom.

The movie, which was filmed entirely in Idaho, is about what might be the world’s biggest nerd who lives in what might be the world weirdest family. The plot, if you could even call it that, was simple – the mondo nerd helps another nerd friend (from Mexico) get elected as the high school class president.

It was just what I needed.

I thought it was hilarious. I’m not sure what to make of having been so entertained by a movie that has reached almost “Rocky Horror Picture Show” cult status among high school kids today. Was it hurricane burnout, or am I mentally and emotionally regressing?

Then again, maybe it’s simply a very funny movie.

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