Archive for May, 2007


Big Words Newsletter Bonus! ‘Zero Tolerance’ from Crass Menagerie

May 4, 2007

I noticed that I’ve had a lot of posts and blogs lately, but a defecit of new humor material, so here’s a little ditty about my eroding constitution.  Luckily, the reason I wrote this article turned out to be a sinus infection and not some flesh eating mouth virus, so all is well.  This is a bonus rant for my newsletter subscribers (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading).  Enjoy, kids!

Zero Tolerance

My immune system has officially packed up and left the office indefinitely. My body (and my constitution) are falling apart at the speed of sound, and it’s only a matter of time before I’ll have to climb into a protective bubble before I leave the house every day. Since I turned thirty, my internal defense systems have been dropping off one by one. Without the aid of vitamins, exercise and a healthy diet (which we both know aren’t going to happen), I’ll be riding a pine box six feet deep by the time I’m forty. Like my old man says, it’s hell to get old. Youth is truly wasted on the wrong people.

Two years ago, I caught my first big flu bug, and my body expelled more fluids than a water main malfunction at Splash Mountain. I spent two straight days hugging the toilet bowl, pouring sweat and projectile vomiting. Luckily, the phrase ‘projectile vomiting’ is crucial in the world of comedic writing, so the 48 hour round trip on my bathroom floor was not a total waste. I ate some frozen haddock the day before (which everyone assures me had nothing to do with it), but I’ll be damned if I’m eating any sort of frozen fish again. Call it aversion therapy if you want, but this little behaviorialist has taken fish off his grocery list. I’ll stick to tuna fish from now on.

I’ve had two wisdom teeth and a neighboring molar yanked in the last year. My teeth are marked for death, so there’s not much point in fighting it. My dentist assures me that I’ve stopped picking up new cavities among the nest of rot that’s taken up residence in my mouth, but this news is merely cosmetic. After root canals, caps, crowns, fillings, and other agonizing trips in the dentist’s chair, my mouth is on the ‘do not resuscitate’ list. I was put on a special kind of fluoride toothpaste for a brief time that cost twice the amount of regular brands and couldn’t be bothered to keep up with the brushings. I’ll stick to Crest, thank you very much. This week, I’ve discovered that what I thought was another molar heading towards extinction was in fact just a floating infection that traveled from one end of my nerve endings to the next. I’m currently taking a horse-sized dose of penicillin to combat this.

I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up allergies in my twilight years, as well. Late in the fall every year I wake up with itchy eyes coughing up colors that most people see in a box of crayons. During one of Buffalo’s famous ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ bursts of spring, I sneezed every two and a half minutes until spraining my groin. Nothing works internally anymore. This is what you have to look forward to. All the while I figured a lifetime of poor health, denial and total neglect would be a recipe for longevity and personal fortitude. I was wrong. The older you get, the less resistance you have to every little microbe, germ and avian flu that happens to wander along.

Unlike most college-age morons, I will no longer have the option of walking around in ten degree weather with tacky sweat shorts. I never understood the stupidity behind that anyway. Who in the hell is dumb enough to walk around during snow squalls wearing shorts? When I get a cold now, it hangs on for three months. It’s not fair that these idiots can coast through their late teens and twenties with little to no common sense and a clean bill of health when I have to put on a Mr. Rogers sweater and my rubbers to stay healthy during a light drizzle! No one should have to wear rubbers. Either kind. Maybe that’s why I‘m sick all the time. Maybe I just have AIDS.

If it was AIDS, I could understand the eroding immune system. Hopefully it’s the good AIDS that Magic Johnson has. The good publicity AIDS where I’m otherwise healthy for the rest of my life. No, that’s not it either. I’ve had more than my share of blood tests and I’ve never gotten a ding on that one. My immune system is simply falling apart. A stiff belt of bourbon will no longer cure everything, but it’s not for a lack of trying. If starving it and feeding it don’t work, drowning it does work sometimes.

So I’ve started taking multivitamins occasionally to improve my vim and vigor. I drink massive amounts of water to flush some of the toxins that I dump into my body every day. I’ve cut back on my toxins by eliminating my traditional two o’clock toxin injections directly into my eyeball. I take one to two hour naps every day. Admitting that you are no longer immortal and all powerful is what really smarts. I have an Achilles hell now. My entire body. Acknowledging this is more depressing than an entire season of American Idol.

In another five years, I’ll have to start eating dried prunes in the morning or some such nonsense to fortify my ailing body. I may have to break my twelve year streak away from doctors. Men don’t go to the doctor. This is why they die young. Women have to go to the doctor every year to climb into the stirrups and spread their legs, but men avoid them. Like most guys, I’ve adopted the defeatist viewpoint that doctors and dentist charge too much and do too little. They’re fighting a losing battle. My teeth are just going to fall out eventually and my body is going to do what my body is going to do. I’m screwed when I have kids because their only purpose for the first five years of their lives is to spread disease and rot to everyone within a mile radius. Children are walking Petri dishes that are a million times worse than the monkey from Out Break.

I’m from the old school. I’ve always believed that what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. This belief is false. I’ve also believed that it’s better to tough out a sick spell with positive thinking instead of relying on strange voodoo products like ‘over the counter medication’ and ‘remedies that aren’t morphine drips’. When pharmacists start prescribing valium or vicodan for flu bugs, then I’ll wait in line with the rest of the walking corpses for a shot. I guess I’ve got to start taking better care of myself. In ten more years, I’ll be bending over and paying a stranger to perform sign language in my ass for routine prostate exams. Not really looking forward to that. No one can predict who the doctor will be, but he better hope that I didn’t order fish fry the night before.

Talk to the bubble,

Tom ’the good AIDS’ Waters

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