The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

THE SHEER GALL OF IT: Well, I suppose there are worse things in the world than having to put up with this sort of thing, of course, but at the moment I don’t much care what they might be. Most people will give their own troubles more thought than those of a suffering humanity, simply because our troubles seem all that more real to us than other people’s troubles. And so it is with my gall bladder. I realize that the vast majority of humanity does not give a rat’s ass about my gall bladder, and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about my gall bladder if I were them, either. It’s a boring subject and one that I would just as soon not think about myself; I only bring it up because my gall bladder has a nasty habit of making me pay attention to it whenever it feels I am not sufficiently stroking its already hyperinflated ego.

I’ve mentioned my ongoing struggles with my gall bladder in these pages before, assuming pages is the right word for a totally electronic medium devoid of paper, pages, or any other wood-based product. Given this past history, I will assume that everyone will agree with my opinion, which I have arrived at after a long period of careful study and deep medical analysis with some of the most intelligent medical specialists available, that my gall bladder simply doesn’t like me, that it does not now nor has it ever wanted to be a part of the ongoing collective known as Akaky Akakyevich Bashmachkin, and would, in fact, prefer to be Robert DeNiro’s gall bladder, assuming he still has one. Being my gall bladder has always seemed a terrible comedown for it; it had high ambitions to be the bile dispenser for a great artist like DeNiro, and here it is, stuck underneath the liver of a not that funny would be humorist and a not so good photographer, dispensing bile to help digest meals served up here in some of the lowest dives in our happy little burg as opposed to digesting the finest culinary masterpieces available in Hollywood, New York, and Paris. Yes, indeed, it’s not every would be artiste who can say that they’ve got organs experiencing a Faulknerian funk, but I can, thanks be to God, although I wish I wasn’t the one having to deal with this particular organ and its celebrity hungry moods.

The gall bladder’s latest snit started yesterday morning when it stuck a gallstone into the bile duct and wouldn’t remove the damn thing despite my threatening to call in the local gendarmerie and have a SWAT team put a well-aimed combat boot through it. You may not know this, but stuffing a gallstone into an otherwise perfectly functional bile duct and leaving it there for a while causes a condition known as biliary colic. Biliary colic is a fun condition as conditions go, coming complete with such hilarious symptoms as pain radiating out along one’s rib cage from the backbone to the breastbone until you feel like you are standing inside an iron maiden waiting for someone to finally push the door shut on you and finally end it all once and for all. There is also the constant sweating of bullets, usually .50 caliber, although at times one graduates from small arms to ammunition more suited to artillery pieces, the upping and downing from one place to the other as you try to find a comfortable position in which to sit, stand, lay down, etc., etc., and all the while the gall bladder is sitting on its ass under your liver and laughing at you, because there are no comfortable positions, Bubba, none whatsoever, and there is no way of making the pain go away.

You could, if push came to shove, and it will, take a couple of aspirins or maybe an occasional Motrin to help ameliorate, attenuate, and otherwise assuage the more or less constant pain, but for these wonderful analgesics, the end products of much pharmaceutical ingenuity here in the United States and around the world, to actually have some helpful effect on the pain they have to stay in your body for a while, and that, frankly, isn’t going to happen, not with you barfing your guts up every two minutes. So you just basically have to put up with this arrogant little bastard and its temper tantrum until it pulls the gallstone out or the gallstone falls out of the bile duct on the head of some unsuspecting passerby rushing by intent on getting to the Can-Can sale at their local Shop-Rite before the store runs out of those big cans of fruit cocktail and cling peaches in heavy syrup that the kids like so much.

I have noticed, as I have gotten older, that this whole prima donna, I don’t have to do anything I don’t wanna do attitude is effecting more and more of my organs. The long time reader will already know that my pancreas has already gone on a long-term sit down strike for shorter hours, requiring me to pump my own insulin before meals, something I am sure is absolutely illegal over in New Jersey, and that the eyeglasses I have had to wear since I was a mere stripling must now go the way of all flesh, to be replaced with bifocals. I have not, as yet, succumbed the siren song of bifocals; they will cost me some five hundred dollars, I am told, whereas simply taking my current glasses off and holding the document up to my face to read costs me nothing. It is inconvenient as hell, but I expect to pay some price for the benefits of being free, and squinting at stuff is hardly a high price to pay for anything, although it is annoying as hell.


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