I was recently visited by a young stonemason (that is, a stonemason, not a stoned mason), who mentioned something about his training “back in the day.” He didn’t look old enough to have an actual period in his life that could be called “back in the day,” but you couldn’t say the same for me, and suddenly I was transported to my very own “back in the day,” when I worked at Mass General Hospital as a young 20-something, some 100 years ago.
I was a brain surgeon back then. I’d cut into people’s heads to fix aneurisms and so forth, and occasionally would screw with people’s minds by performing a little sneaky rewiring, as a kind of practical joke. It was hilarious to visit patients afterward and see them try to drink from a cup of water but instead pour the water over their heads or throw it into their faces. (Don’t worry – I’d always fix it later, for a relatively small fee.)
When I wasn’t performing high-end brain surgery, I was ordering supplies, making photocopies, and answering phones for the cardiac unit. I’d get calls from vendors about bills, and sometimes from lab personnel calling in sick. “Cough, hack, achoo! Tell Dr. Stragglebeard that I’ve got the dreaded cantankervirus, and I’m very contagious.”
One guy always used to tell me when his wife had diarrhea. “Can you tell Jerry that I have to take care of the kids today? It’s my wife: she’s throwing up, diarrhea, whole bit.” I heard this often over my tenure. When he called in sick, diarrhea was often involved.
I was made to tell his boss these details each time. The throwing up. And the diarrhea.
Now you understand what life was like back in the day. Wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure.
I have always considered myself essential in the sense that I’m game to stay open when people like you are shutting it down. In a sense, I’m essential because I believe I’m essential. And once a person believes he’s essential, that person has no choice but to stay open.
Meanwhile, you’re closed. The American public comes to you with their problems but finds an outstretched palm in their collective face. Not only is that not helpful when maybe the American public needs drapes during a major pandemic, but it’s also not particularly sanitary! Put your (maybe; who knows?) coronavirus-infused hand six feet back, pal.
My main concern: several businesses and rock people I frequent and/or watch onstage are guaranteed not to survive the Democrat(ic) Pandemic Plot. For example, what becomes of The Harvard Bookstore? How about The Modern Homebrew Emporium? Matt Murphy’s Pub? Busted Knuckle? Adi’s Bike World? Jack at Phil’s Barber Shop? George and his people at La Flamme? Eco Builders? Brookline Booksmith? China Fair? Rockler? Abodeon? Leavitt and Pearce? Grant Lee? Mike Doughty? Peter Parcek? Audio Lab? As you can imagine, I could easily go on.
I predict a wholesale slaughter. (But don’t quote me).
At least we know we’ll get a new president sometime in the next five years.
I know you follow this blog on a daily basis from your outpost in southern Rhode Island, the twin cities, San Diego, etc., and so you’ll fondly recall my blog post from November, 2013, in which I talk briefly about a certain portly, aged gentleman clad only in a loincloth, who rides up and down the streets of greater Boston on a scooter. I’ve caught sight of him in Harvard Square, in Brookline, in West Roxbury, and just last week spotted him motoring through Cleveland Circle in Brighton. He’s unmistakable, an aging Sasquatch of a man, mostly nude, riding around on secondary roads with his baggy white flesh exposed. It’s like this is the only way he can cool down during the hot summer months. Hey, I get that. It’s why I ride my scoot.
Of course, I don’t ride nekked.
I can’t tell you his brand of scooter because I’m always caught unawares by his sudden emergence, riding across my field of vision. And then he’s gone. He’s like a rare bird alighting in your backyard maple tree long enough for you to spot him and yell for the kids, but not long enough for them to see him too. In those few seconds, it’s impossible to pull out my smaht phone and git me a pitcher. Perhaps if I spent more time staring at my phone whilst driving I’d be at the ready when the naked scooter man happens by. Of course, then I probably wouldn’t see him.
Truth be told, he’s not totally bare; he does us the favor of covering up his groinal region – previously employing a loincloth, and last week opting for something more Speedoesque – but otherwise he hasn’t changed: still plump; still with thin wisps of gray hair sprouting from the sides of his helmet; still on that scooter.
The first time I saw him was so long ago (like decades) that I should be forgiven for assuming that he must have passed on to the next life by now. The naked scooterist is a survivor.
I’m suddenly reminded that in the late 1980s, when I worked at Mass General Hospital, there was a guy who used to roam around the Charles Street area wearing nothing but a speedo and a little holster for his essentials (keys and a few bucks?). Short, sinewy, with black hair in tight curls, he seemed perfectly normal but for the lack of clothing. I imagined back then that he must have had a mental illness. Perhaps exhibitionism is the word.
You’re probably wondering if I ever roam the streets similarly scantily-clad. The answer is no. It turns out I’m not one of those very few (if any) people who look good in a speedo. (Or a loincloth.)
Have you met any of my friends? Let me tell you something, they’re a bunch of real jerks!
Between Tim, Mark, Todd, and Eric, you’d think one of them would shoulder some of the group’s emotional baggage, but no. All that baggage has to fall on my shoulders.
Then there’s Bob, who’s constantly contributing emotional baggage to the mix and is rarely shouldering it. Meanwhile, he has Howard, Steve, and Chris as his trusted lieutenants, willing to take a bullet for him, willing to shoulder great heaps of emotional baggage on his behalf, and still he is running a deficit between the emotional baggage he contributes and the amount he and his team shoulder.
This drives me bonkers! Get your shoulders into it if you want people to identify you as someone who has both give and take responsibilities, in terms of baggage that’s emotional in nature.
Meanwhile, I asked a couple of my enemies (you know who you are) about the fake emotional baggage they’re allegedly – and I do mean allegedly – contributing to the community, and it turns out they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. It’s so refreshing! They’re extremely strong and powerful in their denials. They tell me that they are actually contributing emotional energy, not baggage. That’s the kind of attitude I wish some of my friends would have. Instead, they are meek and mild and friendly.
The reason that you can’t understand the dichotomy between my friends and my enemies is that I have a kind of a double-negative sort of thing going on.
Score one for my enemies.
Trumpian Tweetage Haiku Continuum
Dems are going nuts!
Isn't it nice when
Countries help rebuild neighbors?
Thanks to Saudi A!
NBC FAKE NEWS
The Harvey Weinstein Story
Look at their license?
Two wins now in doubt.
Dems love Sessions now
Same thing: lyin' James Comey
Saint-like. Really sick.
Russia: "nothing to
do with meddling." Why isn't
Hillary looked at?
The Special Counsel
I’ve done nothing wrong
The phony witch hunt
The soon to be released book
Looks like a big hit
Fake News Media
Together with the witch hunt:
My best poll numbers
Must go nuclear option.
NO MORE DACA DEAL!
We don’t have a wall
Not going to have a country
FUND THE BORDER WALL
Trade Wars are good and
Easy to win. They get cute?
Don't trade; we win big!
Promote the Fake Book
Mentally Deranged Author
Now that collusion
With Russia: a total hoax
Kim Jong Un, I too
Have a nuclear button.
And my button works.
Tax cut/Reform bill
Massive Alaska Drilling
Sanctions on North Korea
World wants Peace, not Death
Women I don't know. FAKE NEWS!
Army Navy Game
He's bad on Crime, Life, Border.
Vets. Guns. VOTE ROY MOORE!
Time Magazine Called
Prob'ly "Person of the Year"
I took a pass. Thanks!
The Christmas Story
Mother, Father, Baby Son
Jesus Christ. Bahrain.
Matt Lauer just fired
When will top executives
Be fired for Fake News?
Subscribe To The Blog
Things I've Actually Published
Produce This Audio Play!
Ever wanted to produce a radio play? Think you have the mettle? Read on!