Strangelove to FeelGood. . .Is There a Doctor in the House?

I find myself at a very interesting age (38, 39 next month). By all accounts, I still “look” like a relatively young man. To look at me, you might even think I’m in my late 20’s. Unless, of course, you slowly creep up on me and get a better look. Then you can see the criss-crossed wrinkles beginning to take shape around my eyes and while you’re that close, you can probably catch a whiff of Ben Gay or Icy Hot, which is now used to keep my joints in motion, or I would end up “locking up” like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz . By the way, it is probably best, when you DO run into me, to “creep” up on me. If people start “bounding” towards me, I generally get startled and take on a defensive posture, quite possibly the “Crane Technique” (if my knees hold out). I’m also at the age where I am losing some of my ability to “hear” like a normally-functioning human being. So the subtle “creep up” will be best in that scenario. It is usually just a pleasant surprise when someone does. “Oh, I didn’t see you there,” I’ll say, “What a pleasant surprise”. However, do NOT confuse this with “sneaking up” on me, in which case, I will probably lunge at you with the ferocity of a lioness protecting its cubs OR will simply become so frightened by your aggressive approach, that I will keel over and suffer a massive heart attack .

These are precisely the types of things I think about while I am waiting to be seen at the HOSPITAL. Which is exactly where I found myself yesterday for about 12 hours. Now, let me just assure you that I am OKAY. As far as You know. Thanks for the Well-Wishes and there is no need to send flowers. Although, donations are ALWAYS welcomed. But, while sitting there, amongst a crowd of roughly 423 people next to a trash can that smelled like urine and a drunk man in a wheel chair who kept asking me what was wrong with me and telling me about the best places to get a “cheap beer”, I realized something. I am getting OLD. . . ISH . (the emphasis on ISH) In fact, I hadn’t realized how my physical ailments had manifest themselves in my subconscious, until I came home last night and decided to take part in one of my ALL TIME favorite things to do. . . read my own stuff. Not including the 3 or 4 entries about Poop or Poop-related themes, I reference the inability to Poop or Pooping dificulties at least 1,483 times in my blog (thought I’d save you the time of looking yourself-You’re Welcome). So as much as I didn’t feel like telling my new friend at the hospital, what my “ailment” was. . . I will share it with you. . . You are SO lucky to be reading this today.
I’m kidding. . . I don’t really want to get into the “guts” of my problems right now. It just got me to thinking about Doctor’s Shows on Television. Ones that I’ve enjoyed over the years and that I think are worthy of giving a nod.
However, before I do, I just wanted to share a few of the “funnier” things that happened while I waited to be seen by “DR. CLOR “. . . That was my doctor’s actual name. It was on his Hospital I.D. and everything. I told my wife it sounded like a “Superhero Name” . Though, after seeing him for 20 minutes after a 12 hour wait, I don’t think his ‘Spidey Senses’ made the right diagnosis. Dr. Clor, looked to be about MY age, which I found a little disconcerting. Even though I shouldn’t be surprised. More and more people in positions of “authority” seem to have started to become MY AGE or YOUNGER . However, I DID ask, after he’d made his appraisal of my malady, if he could send his FATHER in for a second opinion. Let me just say, he wasn’t Dr. “Laughalot“.
After my first 10 second examination, CLOR (sounds like THOR ) decided to go and take care of someone else, which right away set the tone for me not liking him. I watched as he left my “semi-private” curtained area to tend to either the guy puking his guts out in the “room” adjacent to mine or the heroin addict that was having difficulty remembering if he’d taken drugs in the last 24 hours. (Can’t they just size that up at the “Intake Area”?) But as he left, I looked at his shoes. I wanted to remember what they looked and ‘sounded’ like, so that in 10 hours, when he returned, I could See and Hear him coming under my “Curtained Area of Designation”. (I can usually tell it’s a doctor coming down the hall, because a FULL money clip clicking off of Jaguar keys-in a front pant pocket as he walks, makes a distinct sound. I may be losing my hearing somewhat, but I KNOW what that sounds like) As he closed my curtain and I glanced at his loafers, I noticed something. No, not the color of his socks (blue). It was. . . “Poop”. . . on the hallway floor. Right there in front of God and everybody. Diarrhetic Poop. Just about that time a nurse walked by. I saw the bottoms of her Dora the Explorer Scrubs . “Isn’t that what they wear in OB/GYN?“, I thought briefly. “Oh HELL NO!” I heard her shout, as I saw her standing beside someone’s apparent wayward “stool sample”. (I was given a “scenic room”, across from the VERY Public and Communal Bathroom) The next few minutes were spent calling “housekeeping” and “code brown” to the Emergency Room while orderlies, doctors and nurses sidestepped the “sample”. I laughed. My wife, held her nose and averted her eyes in disgust. That is when I let her in on the fun I’d already experienced in the waiting room, while she had been dropping the kids off at school. I was sitting there, ignoring Pete (the wheelchair-bound drunk), when a toddler decided to walk up to the urine-filled wastebasket next to me and throw up. No Parents around. No Warning for the slew of us needing to experience this, like we needed to be anywhere NEAR each other. No means of immediate escape for Yours Truly. He just walked up and, “BLAAAAAHHHUUGHH” (that’s “comic book” for vomited)
The whole time spent at the Hospital yesterday, seemed to take on a similar tone for the day, (emotionally, not the sound of vomit hitting linoleum) None of which seemed to make my condition lessen or improve in anyway. Laughter may very well BE the Best Medicine. But seeing all of this miserableness (a word) going on, really just made me feel worse. Around 3:30 or so, my wife decided rather than leave the kids at the curb waiting for a stranger to abduct them, that she should go get them from school. After all, what could she do for me that hadn’t already been done? As she left me to Rest (because there’s NO WAY I could find comfort like that at HOME) I started to let my pain-medication kick in. (That is the ONE bright spot in my hours spent there- GOOD DRUGS ) I let my “mind” listen to all of the hilarity going on around me. I’m sure they must have had the DYING people in OTHER parts of the Hospital, because everything going on in MY part of the ER was downright comical. I lay back on my hard mattress and remember a few Doctor Shows from years gone by. Here is a List of some of what I consider:

#10 Doogie Howser, M.D. (’89-’93) I think the premise of the show was completely ridiculous, though after my most recent trip to the “doctor”, not as far-fetched as I’d once thought. Neil Patrick Harris was very believable in the role that would catapult him onto the Broadway stage in such hits as ‘Proof’ and ‘Cabaret’. Oh yeah, he’s been in some movies and has that “Show” on that one “Network” about dating a MILF or something. I especially liked the relationship he had on ‘Doogie’ with his best friend “Vinnie”. His friend trying to keep him “grounded” in the World of Teenagerism (not a word), while being about the biggest dolt on the face of the earth. The chances of those two characters being friends in “Real Life” are about as good as Neil Patrick Harris playing a “straight guy”. . . Well. . . yeah.
#9 General Hospital (’63-I guess it’s still on) I remember Luke and Laura. I also remember having “Mono” at an early age and having to watch this every day for a month when I couldn’t go to school. Luckily for me it was the year that some “Evil Scientist” had his sights set on “Freezing the World”. Wow, that was some great stuff! I’m not sure what else this show had to do with Hospitals or Doctors. I suppose the characters were doctors or something. I remember that Rick Springfield used to be a doctor on there for a while. I think his latest ‘gig’ was to play himself on a few episodes of ‘Californication’. . . I LOVE when actors are left with SO few opportunities in Hollywood, that they are only offered ‘cameo’ appearances in cable shows playing pathetic Caricatures of themselves. (I think we have a code Red on Jessie’s Girl)

#8 Quincy, M.E. (’76-’83) Yeah, I was pretty young when this was out and he wasn’t a doctor of LIVING people, he worked for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, but “Oscar” could get some tail for an old guy, eh?. . .EH? I think this was probably the CSI or NCIS or whatever of its day, only THIS one actually had an actor in the lead role that I gave a crap about. Also, if my memory serves, it kind of had a “Scooby Doo” vibe to it and typically ended with Jack Klugman getting the “big-haired” girl and laying a smooch on her (that’s what they called it back then), that made everything alright, so “Quince” could move on to figure out another unexplainable death, whom anybody who’d read Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew as a kid could have figured out. Pure Joy.

#7 Third Watch (’99-05) Just another in a LONG list of cancelled NBC shows, that have me wondering if I’m the only one that watches QUALITY TELEVISION (or remembers NBC having some). This wasn’t a “Doctors” show, exactly. There were actually more firefighters, cops and paramedics involved. But, to be honest, in ANY of the shows billed as “Hospital or Doctor” shows, couldn’t you really just plug in a banker or a secretary (sorry, personal assistant) and call it whatever you wanted? I think where this show went wrong was in “Killing Off” all of its enjoyable or remotely interesting characters. I’m not certain, but shouldn’t you keep a few of those around? Because what’s left when they’re gone? Well, they did find out for about a season, while keeping this one on life support. NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: If it ain’t broke, don’t try to “Rework” it. Leave it alone and go make another reality show .

#6 Crossing Jordan (’01-’07) Jordan Cavanaugh. . . Say it again. . . Jordan Cavan Ahhhh — just kidding. But she(Jill Hennessey) made me Happy Inside. As far as equal time for the ladies, they had “Woody Hoyt” (the fat kid from Stand By Me aka. Jerry O’Connell ) for the ladies. They also had the creepy and ambiguous Steve Valentine for those of the audience that weren’t sure “what” they were up for. This show chronicled the experiences of yet another Medical Examiner (Jordan) and her quirky team of misfits on finding out the COD (Cause of Death OR Cash on Delivery) of the victims of each show. However, NBC had to go and “muck up” the works, by introducing a ‘sexual tension‘ between Jordan’s character and (ahem) Woody’s character. Why do they do that when they run out of ideas for a show? Didn’t “Moonlighting” get that out of everybody’s system? THAT is the ONLY show in which that worked for any length of time. In the end they even managed to screw THAT up.

#5 M*A*S*H* (’72-’83) I’ll be honest. I have never seen the original MOVIE that this show was based upon. I hear it was pretty dark and wasn’t half as entertaining. But I think there is something to be said for a show that can galvanize a nation. I think this show did that. Upon its debut and amidst the fallout of the Vietnam War, we clung to this Oddball Cast, as a part of our family. My favorite character was probably the same as everyone else’s. I Loved Hawkeye. Oh, sure Klinger was okay, but the “dressing in drag” thing went on WAY too long. Luckily, they finally caught on to that and phased it out. But this show had it all. Humor, Drama, Poignancy and the Guts to unapologetically take on some themes that were being played out in our own country at the time. All this without being preachy or flippant (unless you were Hawkeye). The final episode will always hold a special place in my heart and perfectly brought to an end, one of the Best Shows of All Time. (Doctors or none)

#4 House (’04-the present) A show, that offers as its lead, someone that epitomizes everything I have been and quite possibly still am in a Leading Actor. I am in awe of Dr. House. (played despicably well by British actor Hugh Laurie with fiendish ferocity) He always has a smart-ass comment. He is as confusing and brilliant as he is tormented. He has MORE problems than his patients or coworkers could ever fathom. Yet, week after week and time after time, he gets the job done because no one else can pull their heads out of their butts long enough to see what the “real” problem is. I’m sure I’m giving myself too much credit in drawing similarities between myself and a fictional character, but that’s also something ‘House’ would do. I recommend to anyone that likes reading me or my ‘bit’; watch this show. He makes me proud to be better than most people.

#3 Scrubs (’01-Did they cancel this or is ABC trying to keep it going now?) Another show boasting a character who thinks like I do. Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley – who even in beer commercials can’t escape type-casting, but that’s Okay) says what we all want to say. I do too, but most of the characters in the show, either ignore him or realize this character flaw (actually a wonderful attribute that we should all possess-saving us both time and explanations to ‘stupid people’) and go about their fictional day. I guess (Zach Braff) is pretty funny as “J.D.”. His relationship with best friend “Turk” is pretty solid and closely resembles the typical “I Scratch Your Back, You Watch My Ass” ‘guy-friend’ mentality out there. But they had to go and introduce the ‘sexual tension’ thing again with “Elliot” (a chick, despite the name) that kind of set this one in a downward spiral. Now if they’d thought to put some ‘tension’ in there between the “Janitor” character and J.D., they might have had something. No matter, this one is still a heckuva’ good time and I Laugh out Loud, every time I watch it.(I don’t LOL, because to me, that’s disrespectful and seems more like a snicker)

#2 St. Elsewhere (’82-’88) Okay, forget Howie Mandel (believe me, I do), this was an AWESOME show. It really brought a more “contemporary” spin on the whole M*A*S*H* thing, in my mind. There were episodes of this one that would have you laughing, crying and saying, “What was THAT?” all in one sitting. The term St. Elsewhere , is actually slang for a hospital in poor condition, used to treat outcasts, uninsured and other social ‘deviants’, that can’t be treated in hospitals that can actually make them WELL. A LOT like the one I was at yesterday. So I guess you can see why this one stuck out to me as a “winner”. I think the last episode of this one has to go down as one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE FINALES (which I can’t find a clip of, but this has Maura Tierney (of ER) and is a spoof) . It turns out that the entire 6 seasons of this show, took place inside of an “Autistic” Kid’s MIND (and in a snow globe). Though, that premise failed to gain a lot of critical acclaim, I think it wonderfully imaginative and only rivals the “Who Shot J.R.?” episode, in my earlier, years as something to call MY GENERATION’S. If only TV Executives today had half of the episodes, inside of what “some” say are imaginative minds, that the autistic kid had. . . Well, we wouldn’t be watching so much CRAP on TV today. Don’t even get me started on MOVIES. (at least not NOW)

#1 ER (’94-’09) What can you say about the End ALL, Be ALL of Hospital Shows on Television? . . . I don’t know. . . The last episode SUCKED?. . . That being said, I was never more invested in a group of Television Characters than in any other show in my LONG LIFE. Sure, Clooney said goodbye, so did Margulies, Edwards, Wiley, and the guy that was the ‘Soul Glow’ guy in “Coming to America” (sorry LaSalle. . . YOU did it), but the show went on without them. Sure, it was never ‘quite’ the same, but you were led to believe those comings and goings were necessary. They were. Not just to make the CELEBRITIES involved richer in a feature-film career, but in infusing the show with some ‘young blood’ and keep it ‘fresh’ for so many years. I agree that there were some seasons in which this played out better than others, but all in all it worked for the duration. I did watch the last show. It did bring me to tears and I guess it did make you think that life was going on without “US”. So maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I just hope “Carter” stuck around after “shootin’ hoops” and became Chief Resident.

I realize I left out Marcus Welby, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Grey’s Anatomy and some others, but that is only because. . . I wanted to. . . I don’t feel very well and don’t have time to do ‘write-ups’ on shows I don’t remember or that I think are a big pile of CRAP. (yes, Grey’s Anatomy) As far, as what my “Super Doc” said? Well, he gave me a couple of little “viles” to take home, and let’s just say I get to answer the question as to “why” they are called VILE. Apparently, since I can’t “commence with the poo” on Demand , he thinks it might go better at home. I was reading the “instructions” (which come in 12 languages-NO LIE) and it says that I am supposed to first “drop a deuce” in a “clean” empty margarine container. As if I’m going to “pinch a loaf” in one we’re using. “Honey, can you pass the . . . OH-GOOD GOD!” But if I thought I was having “issues” before, that ain’t nothing compared to me trying to work myself up to this little “feat” of dexterity and disgustingness. (nope, not a real word-but definitely needs to be)
I don’t understand why “DoogieMan” couldn’t just do what they do all the time, when I go to the doctor? “Here’s some pills, take a couple days off and come back and see us in a week or two, if you still feel like Crap”. Now they’re assigning HOMEWORK and this isn’t “normal to me in any way, shape or form. . . which is actually the problem. . . nevermind. He asked me to describe the pain. “I don’t know”, I replied, “Let’s just say THIS is South of the River” (pointing to my ‘guts’ area), “Let’s just say there’s something going on there ALL OF THE TIME”. Doogie looked at me seriously, mind you, and said, “So your pain isn’t ISOLATED?” . . .
I looked at him and responded, “NO, My pain likes to get out and mingle Doc. It likes to PARTY!” . . . I bet his Dad would have laughed. . .

‘Til Then. . . Go Figg’r!

Peace Out – Later



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