Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Life with Dog

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Ah, Otto… What would I do without you?

  1. You’re walking along with your pet human for your regular after dinner walk.

  2. You smell a delicious chicken leg bone just a few feet away.

  3. Your pet human sees your interest in the bone and immediately barks, “No!" and directs you away. You comply.

  4. Suddenly you have an urgent urge to poop and must use the closest tree.

  5. Your human, as he is trained to do, reaches into his pocket, pulls out a little plastic bag and waits patiently.

  6. You have to strain to get anything out because you’ve already gone twice today, but you manage.

  7. Finished, you get out of the way to let your human do his work. While he does so, you make for the delicious chicken leg bone waiting for you nearby.

  8. Your human searches for a trashcan, giving you extra time to wolf down the bone. It’s wonderful.

  9. You’re eating as fast as you can but it’s a good size chicken leg and you can’t just swallow the thing (don’t humans know that???).

  10. He turns and sees you chomping. “No! No! No!" he barks again. You hold your position and keep chewing.

  11. Your human even tries to take the bone out of your mouth, but it’s just too good. You’d never hurt him, but you have really really really strong jaws. He can’t win.

  12. Your pet human gives up in exasperation. You finish the bone, smacking your lips after the last chew.

  13. He’s cross for a minute, but you know it won’t last: your pet human is a pushover.

  14. He chuckles as he figures out you just gamed him but you’re not worried. You’ll be able to pull this trick at least a half dozen times before he’s prepared for it.  

Making procedural lemonade

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Sitting in the dermatologists waiting room yesterday, I saw two women exit The exam area. The first one looked burdened, a heavy frown on her face. The second was more relaxed, lost in thought.

"Did you get all that?" said the first to the second. "What the procedure entails, what you have to do to get ready?" I was surprised. If I’d had to pick one for having a procedure, I would’ve picked her. The second woman looked up with a smile.

"No problem,” she said brightly. “Got it all." Her smile turned into a grin. "Looks like I’m going to have to hire someone to clean my house!"

Her friend  was speechless. Whatever she’d been expecting it wasn’t that.

With a "Let’s go!" the woman getting the procedure led her friend out of the office.

By this time I shared number two’s grin. No doubt: whatever the procedure was, number two was going to get through it just fine.

Off topic: Descent, a poem

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

If you are, have been, or may become a Rod Serling fan, you’ll understand how I came to write this poem a few years ago while staring out the window on a long flight.


by Ed Brownson

Through acrylic
I expect to see Rod Serling sitting on wing
Legs crossed, flashing that famous half smile
A tray table in front of him fastened to nothing
Holds his ancient Underwood, the sort with
Circular keys in bleacher rows and the “W”
Improbably missing. Lack of a “W” is no
Impediment for Rod: his forefingers push
Letters onto a sheet of paper carefully
Avoiding the bare metal lurking between
The “Q” and the “E”.

Once in a while
He leans back for a frown or forward
Into a thought and I worry he’s conjuring the deep
Or bringing us down on some crepuscular
Island where deception holds court and Rod has
A lock on the rules because – no question here –
He wrote them. Then turbulence, and all of us
Who chose window over aisle press eyeballs
To plastic thinking angels or speed bumps or
Aliens at least but Rod just flashes the rest of his
Smile and shrugs.

Now the Underwood
Transforms into a flight recorder box – how in hell
Do I know what that thing is? – and unflappable
Rod starts tearing it apart. I bang on the window
Loudly objecting: dismantling a recorder while sky
Diving doesn’t seem very wise. Next, no warning
We’re inside a cloud and Rod and the tray table
And the box disappear along with the wing
As if we’d snapped tight those cheap shutters
That cover the windows. Long seconds pass by
Before we break back into blue.

Rod’s gone!
No sign of his seat on the wing, no tray, no
Recorder even the Underwood’s not to be found.
Panicked I crawl over the guy snoring next to me
Sprawl across a couple in the seats beyond the aisle
Hoping he’s only switched wings, but Rod’s not there
And I have to think hard about where else I can
Look ‘cause I really need to ask him how to write
A story with no “W’s” and while I’m at it find out
Why his skinny black necktie never once
Blew out in the wind.



I’ve published Descent with a Creative Commons license.
You can print the poem but you can’t rewrite it and  you can’t publish it without contacting me.

Creative Commons License

Medical system FAIL

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This happened yesterday. The only info you need to make sense of it are a) I was in the hospital for a few days about two weeks ago due to high fevers following an endoscopy (a look down the throat), and b) when they were looking, the docs saw something that concerned them,  declaring it Must Be Removed. I agreed. Now if only I could get it done…

Rather than polish it up and risk losing the, er, spontaneity, here’s the eMail I wrote to my friends.

Went to ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) clinic today to get the thingy in my throat removed. The following happened:

1. Doc saw me, said situation is exactly what the docs in the hospital had said two weeks ago: growth on pharynx, probably papilloma, needs to come out. Said he’ll do an excisional (right word?) biopsy removing the whole thing (unless it extends into my brain or some other inconvenient spot). I said hooray for that! (more…)

Dogs, cats, humans

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Ok, I’m getting sentimental here. But I’ve opened yet another door of the Medical Winchester Mystery House – an autoimmune condition this time – and I’m in need a bit of sentiment. I’ll write the gloomy stuff later, but right now…

I’ve posted (and posted and posted) about Otto, my dog. I’ve said less about my ex-cat (ex-mine that is, not ex-feline), Orion. Orion now lives with a dear friend, partially due to my medical adventures, but he’s still a frequent visitor.

More important, Orion and Otto are… well, it’s kind of hard to say what they are to each other: lets just call it a really really strong bond. Orion was here first, and when Otto arrived as a 7 week old puppy they fast became inseprable. Breaking them up was one of the sadder things I’ve ever had to do. It’s been sadder yet for the two critters.

During Orion’s last couple of stay-overs, I started taking notes on life with a cat and dog. Anyone who lives with both knows that the usual cat rules and dog rules – and your life – change erratically.

So here are the notes. And please: send along your own observations. No doubt we can come up with a book. (more…)

Pic of the week 16 February

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Otto performs a laparoscopic squeakectomy

Otto performs a laparoscopic squeakectomy
Otto is REALLY good at removing squeakers from toys. If he doesn’t do it the moment he gets his little paws on a new one, it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.

Last night a friend came by for dinner. As it was raining all day and he’d been stuck indoors with his dog, Jake, he brought Jake along for some R&R with Otto.

After much trading of toys, guarding of bones, and competing for chewies Otto normally ignores, my friend and Jake left. They left behind a small red squeaking ball. Otto of course found it.

This afternoon Otto ran about the house squeaking it constantly. This evening, when I went to throw it for him, the squeaker no longer squeaked. It just rattles around inside the ball, a dead piece of plastic. 

Somehow Otto managed to disable the squeaker without the usual shredding and body parts. A sort of laparoscopic squeakectomy. I’ve called him the surgeon before when he’s dismembered some stuffed critter; I guess he’s upgraded his skills.

Scene 1: "Nooo! I don' neeed a kidneeee!"

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

For those who don’t know how most operations begin (may you long cherish that small bit of ignorance) here’s a primer.

You check in to a Pre-Op room hidden deep in a hospital. You are led to a little curtained-off cot, one of half a dozen in a row. Nurses come by with papers. You sign your life away, agreeing for the third or fourth time to the same procedures that landed you in the room in the first place. 

Your clothes, any dignity you might still have, and all other belongings are taken away to be returned “later”. Hearing the word “later” your mind substitutes “the other side” and tries to imagine what that might be like. You shiver uncontrollably. (more…)

Is the ink on my diploma dry yet?

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I have this defining personality trait (we won’t call it a flaw): I’m curious about everything. In college, I took to research like a duck does to wet and never looked back. Living in ground zero of the AIDS epidemic in my younger adult years, I joined the treatment advocates and immersed myself in things medical and pharmacological. Later my pursuits of medical knowledge extended into other areas as family and friends succumbed to various life-threating illnesses and conditions.

Now faced with my own battles with liver cancer, liver transplant, and a maniac bout of hepatitis C, it is axiomatic for me to research my own issues. I know the docs can smell me and my questions coming. Depending on their schedules and temperaments, they either sharpen their pencils and prep their answers, or quicken their pace and exit the area.

So I’m sitting in “Club Moffitt” (aka UCSF’s Moffitt Hospital) for more than a few days (post-surgery fluid leakage, don’t ask) and as the staff doles out my various meds, one seems to be at a different dose than I’ve been taking at home. I’m not quite sure though (my protein/fluid problem doesn’t make for clear thinking) so I ask a friend to stop by my place, get the Rx bottle and bring it by. He kindly does so.

Sure enough, the dose they’ve been giving me is incorrect. I’d told the nurse earlier of my concern, and she asked me to bring her the bottle when it arrived. I do. She examines it.

“You’re right,” she says, handing me the bottle. “I’ll make the changes. Thank you, Dr. Brownson.”

After 20 seconds or so, it is clear she’s not being ironic. I laugh out loud, as does another nurse near by.

“Uh, I don’t have the degree quite yet,” I say. The nurse, flustered, goes on her way.

Maybe they’re planning an honorary degree as prophylaxis against bugging the docs with so many questions? Who knows. I can say that was the best chuckle I’ve had in three weeks.