A Change Of Pace

Friends and their medicines

By Steele Coddington | October 1, 2008

SteeleI have a friend who is certifiably weird. He has a pet chimpanzee, Kong, named after some famous primate. A dog, cat, horse – anything! But a chimp? He tells me it’s like having another wife, but more intelligent. I warned him that that remark could get him in real bad trouble. But who am I to criticize good relationships these days.

Anyhow, he was recently prescribed medication for an arthritic/rheumatic condition and asked me, “Would you take this medicine?” I told him, “Hell no, you take your own medicine.” Ignoring me, he read the warning on the bottle: “This medicine may cause severe and sometimes fatal side effects.” Knowing him well, my first question was, “Can you still drink your nightly bourbon?” I wanted to lower the evaluation of the medicine’s efficacy to a level he might understand because his fondness for bourbon far exceeded his grasp of the consequences. “No,” he said, “No booze allowed with this medicine as it could exacerbate the possible side effects that would affect my bone marrow, blood, liver, lung, kidney or skin problems.”

“Well, if you don’t take the medicine, will your malady kill you?” He thought that over and said, “No, it wouldn’t kill me, but I would continue to have pain.” I asked, “Are you taking anything for pain now?” “Yes,” he responded, “several ounces of bourbon nightly.”

My main worry at this point was how I could escape this responsibility in case he was recording our conversation for his lawyer, who I happened to know was ethically motivated by excessive greed and was a pervert. He cheated at golf. So I said, “You need to get a second opinion to confirm your own indecisiveness so that your decision is what a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances.” “That,” he said, “is why I talked to you.”

“Who is your MD?” I questioned. “He’s not an MD,” my friend explained. “He’s a veterinarian. We had a few beers last Saturday and I tried to get him to fill out a prescription for Kong, who is more human than most humans, and described my symptoms, pretending they were Kong’s. After listening, he referred me to his own general practitioner and said to take Kong along as the party responsible for the patient.” Since it was a doctor’s recommendation, my friend went to the MD and had Kong sign in on the register.

I told him that was smart and to take the doctor’s advice. But I did comfort him by pointing out that earlier this year, Fifi, one of the world’s oldest chimpanzees died in Sidney, Australia at age 60. But the well-known chimp, Cheeta, who starred in the Tarzan movies is still alive at 75. Fifi apparently had arthritis too. One morning she couldn’t get out of bed, and peacefully died that afternoon after eating coconuts and cupcakes.

So my final advice to my friend is to listen to your doctor, and if he says you can drink a little bourbon, jump up and down, beat your breast and dance with Kong. But if he prescribes a coconut and cupcakes, get a second opinion from your veterinarian.


Political Science for Dummies

DEMOCRATIC: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

SOCIALIST: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST: You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.

JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION: You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

IRAQI CORPORATION: You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send tapes of mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION: You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

BELGIAN CORPORATION: You have one cow. The cow is schizophrenic. Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish. The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow. The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk. The cow asks permission to be cut in half. The cow dies happy.

FLORIDA CORPORATION: You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

CALIFORNIA CORPORATION: You have millions of cows. They make real California cheese. Only five speak English. Most are illegals. Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.