Monday, April 12, 2021

New grad

Message left on Annie's voicemail: 

"Hi, this is Jenny, uh, Belli. I work for, like, Big Law Firm, and I really am an attorney, I mean, the lawyer kind (giggles). I hear good things about your doctor, I mean everyone says so, and I was wondering if he sees patients, I mean, clients, well, I mean, my client, and if he like, does reports and things and stuff like that. You know, like, legal reports that I can use for his case.  My client has a, uhmmm, what does he have,  hold on, oh I am really messing this up (giggles). Oh here it is he had, like, a brain injury.  So can you call me if this is okay and I can send Dr. Grumpy, you know, records and stuff, and that will explain this better. 867-5309 is my cell number, and he can, like, call me too. “

Monday, April 5, 2021

To have and to hold

Seen in a chart: 






Thank you, M!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Going green


Dr. Grumpy: "How often do you get migraines?"

Ms. Thac: "About twice a week. I have one today, actually."

Dr. Grumpy: "Do they..."

Ms. Thac: "Do you mind if I take my migraine medicine here?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, go ahead. Do you need some water?"

Ms. Thac: "No, thank you."

Takes a plastic bag and glass pipe from her purse, starts packing a bowl.

Monday, March 22, 2021


My first year at BSU I had this dumb-as-rocks dorm roommate. He wrote college reports in crayon, lost tuition checks his dad sent him, and routinely stepped on eggs our suite-mates had hidden in his shoes. Like most college guys, he was obsessed with meeting girls, but he had some, uh, non-traditional approaches.

1. Bizarre idea to meet girls #1.

Our dorm was co-ed. Odd numbered floors were women, even numbered were men.

Mike decided to bounce golf balls, LOUDLY, on the floor of our room. His idea was that the girls who lived beneath us (and he had no idea who they were) would then come up to our room, ask him nicely to stop, and he could invite them in.

All that happened was they called the building office to complain, and we got written up.

I wasn't even in the room at the time.

2. Bizarre idea to meet girls #2:

This involved, I swear, the lobby vending machine that sold little containers of milk. He noticed that a lot of women would get some milk to study with, so he set up camp near it with a shitload of quarters. Anytime he saw a girl going to buy some he'd get up and strike up a conversation while waiting his turn for milk. This idea was such a remarkable success that one night he returned to our dorm room with 18 containers of milk, out of money, and with no phone numbers. He needed to borrow quarters from me to do his laundry that night, because he spilled milk all over his shirt trying to drown his sorrows in overpurchased dairy products. He also discovered he was, after a point, lactose intolerant.

3. Definitely NOT a good way to meet girls:

Our room overlooked the lawn behind the dorm, and one spring day a lot of pretty girls were out sunbathing. Mike watched them for a while, and then decided to, uh, relieve some tension while doing so. For unknown reasons he didn't realize that if he could see them, they could see him.

Mercifully, I was downstairs on the patio with friends, so anyone who looked up and saw what was going on in my room could immediately see that I was definitely not the person up there.

I googled him last week. He sells real estate in Nevada now.

Monday, March 15, 2021


Dr. Grumpy: "Any health changes since I last saw you?"

Mr. Otitis: "I had an ear infection, that was about it."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, so at your last visit I ordered an MRI of your back..."

Mr. Otitis: "It was a bad ear infection. I had to see my family doctor for it."

Dr. Grumpy: "All right, but..."

Mr. Otitis: "I mean, it was like bloody diarrhea, except it was gushing out of my ear."

I stop stirring my coffee and push it away.

Mr. Otitis: "Anyway, can we talk about my MRI?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Let's do that."

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Beyond

Saturday afternoon


Andy: "Local pharmacy, this is Andy."

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Andy: "Thanks for calling back, we've been trying to get a refill for Alma Childrin, on her Fuximab?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Hang on, let me look her chart up... Actually she died last month."


Andy: "So is that a no?"

Monday, March 1, 2021

When in doubt, cut it out

Dr. Grumpy: "Have a seat... So what can I do for you?"

Ms. Calgerepep: "I'm not sure I'm in the right place... I thought I was supposed to see a brain surgeon."

Dr. Grumpy: "That's definitely not me. What were you referred for?"

Ms. Calgerepep: "I have migraines."

Dr. Grumpy: "Actually, I do handle that. You are at the right doc."

Ms. Calgerepep: "What do you do for migraines?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, we can get into more detail on that later, after I take your history, but there's a large number of medication options."

Ms. Calgerepep: "I don't want medications. I just want the migraines taken out."

Dr. Grumpy: "I understand that, but treatment is really more finding the right medication for each person, why don't you tell me..."

Ms. Calgerepep: "See this is why I wanted to see a brain surgeon. I want someone who can just go in there and take the migraines out."

Dr. Grumpy: "Migraine treatment doesn't work that way, unfortunately. There really isn't a specific thing to take out."

Ms. Calgerepep: "Now you're lying to me. You just want to be able to bill me, when you aren't even the right doctor. We both know I need a brain surgeon to fix them."

Dr. Grumpy: "Ma'am, I promise you that..."

Ms. Calgerepep: "You must be in this with my family doctor. I'm out of here."

She leaves, slams door.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Seen in a chart

Thank you, B!

Monday, February 8, 2021

Random pictures

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for stuff you guys have sent in.

First we have this ad. Beer (at least  in my area), isn't typically sold as a "family pack."


"It's a good deal. I mean, isn't kindergarten old enough?"

Next, from the "It may be explosive, but I'm not so sure that's a spaceship" department:

A reader who ordered take-out pizza says the box stickers made her think all the guys working in the CPK kitchen were wearing condoms:

Then there's this unappetizing-sounding menu item:

"Why don't people order our crab rangoon?"

And, finally, a reader cleaning out some old boxes found this catchy-named catalog:

Monday, February 1, 2021

Multiple choice

Dr. Grumpy: "Is your family doc still Dr. Stevens?"

Mrs. Unsure: "No, I had to change."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, who..."

Mrs. Unsure: "I think she moved away, or retired. Actually, she may be on maternity leave. I could have that mixed up. She may have died, or maybe she didn't take my insurance anymore. Anyway, it was one of those sorts of things. I'm not really sure.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Mary's desk

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."


Mary: "No, we don't. You might try the Ketamine center on the west side."


Mary: "No, that's just not something we handle in our practice."


Mary: "Not that I'm aware of."


Mary: "Uh, on the west side, by the stairs and water fountain."

Mr. Nmda: "THANK YOU!"



Monday, January 11, 2021


Sunday morning. 2:18 a.m.


Mr. Sleepy: "Hello?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, Mr. Sleepy, this is Dr. Grumpy., we met yesterday afternoon. I'm the neurologist taking care of your mom."

Mr. Sleepy: "Ummm yeah. What time is it? You woke me up."

 Dr. Grumpy: "Sorry. I called because your mom took a turn for the worse about an hour ago. As you  know she had a stroke, and it looks like around 1:00 she had a serious heart problem develop. We called in a cardiology team, and I came in, too. Unfortunately, even with our best efforts, she died a few minutes ago."

Mr. Sleepy: "My mom died?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, sir, the cardiologist is still in the room with nursing, but asked me to call you. He'll be out in a minute to answer..."

Mr. Sleepy: "You woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me my mom died? Are you serious?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, we thought..."

Mr. Sleepy: "I can't believe this. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure that if she's dead now, she'll still be dead in the morning when you could have called me at a more decent hour."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, but..."

Mr. Sleepy: "Don't they teach you people common courtesy in medical school?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Sir, I..."

Mr. Sleepy: "I'm going back to bed. Tell the nurse I'll call in the morning to make arrangements."


Monday, January 4, 2021

Seen in a chart


Monday, December 28, 2020


Early last week I received a text from Local Hospital, saying that my name had come up in the hospital's mysterious vaccination hierarchy, and gave me a date and time to get my COVID-19 shot.

 It was in a part of Grumpyville that, quite literally, I didn't know existed. I assumed there was going to be a secret password or knock, but it wasn't included in the text.

So, at the appointed time, I drove to the secret site, which turned out to be the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall. The building itself, long-devoid of dollar stores, drive-thru liquor emporiums, porn shops, landscaping companies, and crematoriums, was apparently chosen for its massive parking lot, rather than the building itself.


"Are you shitting me?"

Local Hospital had set up a bizarre array of tents, traffic cones, folding tables & chairs, and outdoor heaters. Realizing that putting up a sign that said "COVID VACCINES HERE!" would bring in hordes of people who'd found it after taking the wrong freeway exit, they simply had signs that said "PRIVATE EVENT." This had the intended effect of making passersby think it was simply a large outdoor wedding, the kind that are commonly held in snow at an empty strip mall in the freezing Midwestern winter.

In fact, it fooled me (and most everyone else) judging by the number of confused people who pulled in and asked the heavily-swathed security guard (I'm pretty sure he had a flask of brandy somewhere on him) if this was where the COVID shots were .

 It was.


"No, it's not a cartel meeting, why do you ask?"


So I pulled up to the first table. At this point there was a sign saying to roll down the driver's side window and leave it down. I suppose this wouldn't matter back in my ancestral home of San Diego, but here in Grumpyville it was a balmy 28°F (-2 C) and there was a mild snowfall. And I'm sitting in this, with my car window open.

I pulled up to the table where another unidentifiable person/biped/android checked my hospital ID, driver's license, and appointment time, asked me if I had an elevated temperature (which really wasn't possible at that point), ran through a list of Coronavirus, SARS, and Ebola symptoms to make sure I didn't have any, then waved me on to the next table. It was kind of like being in the line of boats at the beginning or end of Small World, but without the music. And a lot colder.

At the next table they checked my temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Like wearing masks, having someone point a gun-shaped thing at my forehead to check my temperature to go anywhere would have seemed entirely bizarre and creepy a year ago, and is now normal.

Finally I pulled up into the vaccine tent itself and stuck my left arm outside the car window. They asked me to put the car in park, as understandably a sudden lurch forward with sharp objects involved was undesirable. It was also the closest I'd been to one of the giant propane heaters, for which I was grateful.

After a minute, a person in some sort of giant Hazmat suit came over with a syringe and asked to verify my name.



"Ibee Grumpy."

"Hey, Ibee! Good to see you, it's me, Kim McBoob, under all this. Haven't seen you in a while."


Kim and I had gone to medical school together a LONG time ago. She went into radiology, then specialized in reading mammograms, and somehow we'd both ended up at the same hospital in Grumpyville.


Dr. Grumpy: "Kim, what are you doing out here?"

Dr. McBoob: "I was bored, no one has been coming in for mammos between the pandemic and holidays, so I volunteered to give shots."

Dr. Grumpy: "When was the last time you gave shots?"

Dr. McBoob: "Before today? Same time you did, back at the Big City VA."


At this point I was more terrified I was going to lose my arm than have a reaction to the vaccine. Dr. McBoob tried to make me feel better by saying...


Dr. McBoob: "Don't worry, they had us watch some Youtube videos on giving injections this morning. Hold on, this will sting a bit..."

Dr. Grumpy: "Aren't you  supposed to swab the site with alcohol first?"

Dr. McBoob: "Oh yeah, you distracted me. Hang on... There ya go! Now you can pull over to area 51, there, where the guy with the blue flag is."

I pulled over to the largest part of the parking lot. The wind had picked up and it had started to snow more. There a fellow gave me, literally, the following instructions:

"You doing okay? Good. Pull into space 27 there, where the lady with the yellow flag is. You'll need to wait 15 minutes. If you feel like you're having a serious allergic reaction, or you're, like, about to stop breathing, please honk your horn and turn on your hazard lights so we can come help you. Also, remember to leave your driver's side window down and the doors unlocked so we can reach you if needed."

Really, he did.

I pulled into space 27, by the lady with the yellow flag. She handed me a paper with the Lot number of my shot and the sentence "If you develop anaphylactic shock please remember to honk your horn and turn on your hazard lights."


"Pardon me, may I borrow your Epipen?"


So there I was. I've received a remarkable scientific breakthrough, and all I can think about is that my arm hurts, it's freezing cold, and snow is blowing into my car through the window I have to keep open. I was wondering, if I did call for help, would a rescuing nurse, doctor, or St. Bernard be more appropriate?



"You the guy who honked? Hello? Hello?"


Maybe I could ask the security guard to borrow his flask. After all, I'd now been vaccinated.

Faced with my bleak prospects for the next 15 minutes, I did what countless previous generations of Americans did in difficult circumstances: I played Toon Blast. Although my fingers were, admittedly, starting to get numb with frostbite.

After about 10 minutes yellow-flag-lady came over and asked me if I was having any trouble breathing. When I said no, she told me I could leave because they needed the parking space for the next person. I was more than happy to be able to roll up my car window and crank the heater up, 

For those of you who are curious, it hurt for about 2 days, longer than the flu shot, but not nearly as bad as the shingles shot.

And I'm still pretty pissed that it hasn't, to date, caused me to develop cool superpowers.



Also, is anyone else pissed off that Cyborg replaced the Martian Manhunter in the JLA reboot?


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