Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear Dr. Sealfon,



Congrats on being named neurology chairman at Sinai.

I have no idea why you sent me an announcement. I mean, nothing against you, but we've never met (unless it involved a drunken encounter that I've forgotten). In fact, I hadn't heard of you until I got your lovely card in today's mail. I'm sure Mount Sinai is a fine facility, but I've never been there. After 20 years, I honestly don't remember if it was one of the many medical schools that rejected me in the late 1980's.

So I'm entirely lacking in ideas as to why your institution paid to kill a tree, print a card, and mail it to me to trumpet your news. Annie thought maybe you were fishing for a gift, like those cheesy "Hey! I Graduated from High School Again" notes that the kid who delivers the paper sends. But I have no idea what to get you. A $25 U.S. Savings Bond? A Chia Pet? A "Trees for Israel"* certificate? Given that I'm not exactly down the block from you I'm unlikely to be referring you any patients (nothing personal).

Anyway, good luck in your new job. If anyone at Mount Sinai has even the slightest idea as to why I'm on your mailing list, please let me know. They can also take me off it to spare future trees from any further announcements.

Yours truly,

Ibee Grumpy, M.D.

*For those who didn't grow up with Jewish friends in the 70's-80's, the "Trees for Israel" certificate was a remarkably lame gift for equally lame occasions. It basically was a paper with your (usually misspelled) name typed/written/crayoned on it, saying that in your honor a few bucks had been given to plant trees in Israel. It often misled you to believe that somewhere in Israel there REALLY WAS a tree with a plaque and your name on it, which is a story in itself. Anyway, they made incredibly disappointing gifts ("Wow, Ibee! Mark got you a GI Joe super-charged missile-action tank set, and Joe brought you a "Trees for Israel" certificate." And Joe would be so embarrassed that his Mom got you one that he'd be hiding in a paper bag). So now you know.


18 comments:

Liz said...

Well, I get that when you're a kid a Tree for Israel could be disappointing.....but in the bigger picture, trees are great! The more the better. In fact, maybe 'Trees for Israel' helped offset the impact of printing out that invite!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Good point, Liz. I honestly hadn't thought of that. But if I get him one, then they need a piece of paper for it and...

Lipstick said...

Hmmm...Trees for Israel, that's hilarious. I think you should get him a mood ring.

C. said...

When i read Trees for Israel there was no need to think about it. All my friends in HS were jewish.

Anonymous said...

I still have a card that says, "No trees were killed to make this card, but three baby bushes were clubbed to death to make the envelope."

My wife still cringes when I show it to people.

The Lonely Midwife said...

I think the International Star Registry may be able to help you with your gift giving dilemma. A little more modern than the Tress for Israel. Just a thought:))

The Good Cook said...

When I was a kid, growing up in an all Catholic neighborhood, the lame gift was a Mass Card. It was a card that said a Mass was being said in your honor.

Geez - just what a 10 year old wants. A barbie or a Mass card... let me sleep on that one...

Glen said...

My guess is that cards were sent to everyone in the Sinai billing system who was down as a referring physician for Dr. Sealfon.

That could be from a real referral, or a patient who put your name on a form when they self referred.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dr. G. just think you could only be several degrees from some yak herder in Outer Mongolia.

Say, for example, Mrs. G. was clearing out your collection of Peter Pan books when the twins passed through that stage, too donate the children's editions to a rummage sale to benefit kids in Biafra, and the book contained both a Mass Card and Trees of Israel Certificate hand-signed by Dick Feynman that had been used as bookmarks for when Mrs. G had gotten to stopping points in reading on nights you were on call, and there was also in the book a cute business card Marie was working out a design to surprise you on Father's Day one year, only, you picked up the book when you saw it in the donation box because you figured you'd read Peter Pan one more time before it got away, only you didn't get a chance because it was left in a grocery cart that time when the drug rep detailed you while tomato shopping, and you left before finishing your shopping errand.

So, someone picked up Peter Pan and took it with them to read to a child on a plane trip to Uzbekistan, but on a layover in Moscow the book was stolen along with the rucksack it was in at Izmailova Market when the lady that sells nesting dolls caused a distraction and temporarily loss of diligence, and an Outer Mongolian immigrant streetworker in Moscow considered it a very lucky find when he picked up the book thrown aside by the thief, and saved it to send to his kid who was staying with his yak-herding uncle. On receipt of the book, the child kept the pretty Mass Card and Tree of Israel certificate, but the book with the business card accompanied a relative on a trip to Mt Sinai for genetic counseling, and that is where your business card got connected with the med student deciding to go for residency at Mt Sinai.

Gotta make sure you redeem those Trees for Israel and Mass Cards promptly, otherwise you end up with invitations to graduation ceremonies from people you've never heard of. On the other hand you probably wouldn't have gotten anything for Dick Feynman's autograph as it would have been obviously a fake, as would have been one signed Albert Einstein.

The Dicip Man said...

Dear Dr. Sealfon:

Congratulations, and well done! I always knew you had it in you, and one day you'd finally get the opportunity to send out those announcement cards you had printed up. I was so sure this day would finally come, I bought a bunch of saplings in Israel and I've had a guy on standby waiting to plant them. Uri will be so excited to learn that he can plant the trees, get on with his life, and finally fulfill his dream of coming to the US and selling Dead Sea cosmetics at a shopping mall kiosk. You've made Uri very happy. Mazel tov, and best of luck in your position as "head" of neurology. ("Head," get it? Ha ha ha.)

Peace and love,

Ibee G.

SumDood said...

Anonymous (the long one): That's some good shiat. You should start a blog... then post the link for us to enjoy!

Helen said...

I think you should respond with a card of your own and let him know what YOU've been up to lately.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Good point Helen, but would be a very small card.

"Seeing patients, trying not to kill children and/or dogs, writing blog".

ERP said...

I bet every neurologist in the US got that card in the expectation of you all sending your "difficult" cases to Siani.

Anonymous said...

It was even worse when my mom made my write a fucking THANK YOU note because I got one of those stupid tree certificates. Yeah, thanks a lot.

winrob said...

OMG Nurse K has gone invite only. What going on. I need my ERP, NurseK and Dr G daily fix.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but e-mail the following to the esteemed Dr. Sealfon:

"Dr. Sealfon,

Congrats on your recent promotion. I'm sure you and your family are proud.

However, it's an EPIC FAIL to send notices via snail mail to every goddamn doctor in the country announcing this fact. You are now an internet douchebag.

Enjoy!!"

Somehow, it made me feel better to do that....lol

Anonymous said...

he was fired as a chair recently anyways....

 
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