Monday, October 3, 2022

Little Shop of Horrors

This is Craig, reporting from the bakery.

For unclear reasons Local Grocery recently had a day where the store (for that matter the entire strip mall) was overrun with flies. We have no idea why. It was kind of like The Amityville Horror, but with a produce section and canned soup aisle.

Since this isn't exactly the kind of thing that attracts people to grocery stores, the management pulled out all the stops to get rid of them, with exterminators, zappers, No-Pest strips... everything short of calling Rent-a-Frog.


Hi, Ho. You rang?


Anyway, this particular night my shift-mate happened to be a girl named Marie (I kind-of know her, which can be kind-of embarrassing).

As the shift died down and closing time inched up, we began running out of things to clean, donuts to box-up, and cake orders to enter. So Marie decided to turn her attention to dealing with the flies.

She wandered off to get a fly-swatter, but came back with something entirely different.

Apparently, Local Grocery's floral & plant department had recently gotten in a shipment of Venus Flytraps for Halloween.




Oops, I meant Dionaea muscipula:



So Marie noticed them, piled them into a shopping cart, pushed it back to the bakery, and set them all over the counter, cake display, cookie island, and pretty much everywhere people looking for baked goods would be thrilled to encounter a carnivorous plant.

Marie, apparently having seen the Rick Moranis musical WAY too many times, was under the impression that the plants were aggressive stalk-and-ambush predators, capable of annihilating the store's swarm of flies in a matter of minutes (why they hadn't done so in the floral department didn't occur to her for some reason, and I learned long ago that arguing with her was pointless).

"I'm a mean green mother from... uh, the bakery department."


She got out her phone to film it, apparently thinking we were about to witness the Grumpyville Flytrap Massacre and it would really boost her YouTube channel. She was still waiting when the shift ended.

As anyone who's actually owned Venus Flytraps can tell you (like my Dad, who she apparently doesn't listen to), if they catch 1-2 flies a year it's impressive, the ones they do catch are the stupidest, slowest, ones of the swarm (it's called evolution, folks), and it takes at least a week to eat each one.

The store closed at 11. I got woken up at 3:00 a.m. by the morning shift donut & bagel baker, calling to find out why there were Venus Flytraps all over the bakery. I told him to call Marie and went back to sleep.

I heard her phone ringing in the next room as I dozed off.

Monday, September 26, 2022


Dr. Grumpy: "Are you allergic to any medications?"

Mr. Protist: "Um... I got really sick once from amoebic dysentery. Does that count?"

Monday, September 19, 2022

Annie's desk

Annie: “Dr. Grumpy’s office, this is Annie.”

Ms. X: “Hi, I was wondering if I could talk to Dr. Grumpy, I have a medication question?”

Annie: “Well, can you tell me…”

Ms. X: “I just need to know, hypothetically, what would happen if someone stopped Ozbixacu abruptly in a 9-year-old boy.”

Annie: “Dr. Grumpy doesn’t see anyone under 18. Are you a patient? Who is this?”

Ms. X: “My name isn’t important. I need an answer. Now. Either give me the answer or get the doctor on the phone.”

Annie: “Look, I can’t just…”

Ms. X: “I am so done with you so-called medical people.”


Monday, September 12, 2022

Random pictures

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

First, from the Guardian Angle Department:

Next is this lodging establishment:

Here we have a recycling can, apparently for people with partial bisection injuries (I don't think Darth Maul counts as "partial").

One reader says she discovered this uplifting decor at her dentist's office:

And, lastly, nurse Jenn says this drawer is in the galley of the nurses station she works at:


Thursday, September 8, 2022

In memoriam

This is the launching of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, July, 2014.

Photo credit AP


This is the launching of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales in May, 1939.



If you look carefully, the same lady is in both pictures:




Monday, September 5, 2022

Seen in a chart


Monday, August 29, 2022

Friday afternoon

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

Debbie: "Hi, it's Debbie, Dr. Nerve's office manager. Are you going to be covering his new partner, Dr. Axon's, hospital patients this weekend?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Does he have any hospital patients?"

Debbie: "No. He doesn't even have hospital privileges yet, so he won't have any hospital patients."


Dr. Grumpy: "Then why are you asking?"

Debbie: "Because Dr. Nerve told me to."

Monday, August 22, 2022

Undercover Angel

Dr. Grumpy: "What can I do for you?"

Mr. Bedsheet: "My wife says I kick in my sleep."

Lady Bedsheet: "He does! About an hour after he dozes off his legs start thrashing around, and it keeps me up."

Dr. Grumpy: "Do they..."

Lady Bedsheet: "Actually, I took a video of him doing it last night. Would that help?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Sure, why don't you put it on and I'll have a look."

Lady Bedsheet: "Let me get my phone." (rummages in her purse)

Mr. Bedsheet: "Doc, do you mind if I come around to that side of your desk? I want to see what it looks like myself."

Dr. Grumpy: "That's fine, why don't you stand right there." (I took a swig of Diet Coke)

Lady Bedsheet: "Okay, this woke me up just after midnight last night, you can see them kicking here..."

(I suddenly tried desperately not to blow Diet Coke all over her phone)


Lady Bedsheet: "What was I supposed to do? You always sleep in the buff."

(I managed - barely - to get the Diet Coke down


Lady Bedsheet: "A different angle? Who am I, Spielberg?"


Lady Bedsheet: "Look, Dr. Grumpy is a doctor. I'm sure he looks at schlongs all day in his job."

Mr. Bedsheet: "He's a brain doctor! They don't look at schlongs!"

Lady Bedsheet: "Dr. Grumpy, is this true? Do brain doctors look at schlongs at work or don't they?"

Dr. Grumpy: (desperately trying to regain control of the appointment) "Um, how many nights a week does this happen?"

Mr. Bedsheet: "What? That she films my schlong? Apparently at least once."

Lady Bedsheet: "Harold, can you stop saying 'schlong'? I'm sure the doctor would prefer a more medical term."

Mr. Bedsheet: "I think he'd prefer you go sit in the waiting room."

Lady Bedsheet: "Fine. Dr. Grumpy, did you see enough of the video to understand what's going on?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Most definitely."

Monday, August 8, 2022

Mary's desk

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

Ms. Cricetinae: "Hi, um, can Dr. Grumpy work me up for fur, I mean hair, loss, and weight changes?"

Mary: "No, you'll need to call your family doctor for that."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Well they won't see me for it."

Mary: "Well, I don't know what to tell you there, but Dr. Grumpy doesn't..."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Okay, the truth is that it's my hamster, Tulip. He's been losing weight, and fur, and I think he needs his thyroid checked and other stuff, but I don't want to pay for a vet. Can't Dr. Grumpy just draw the labs and bill them under my name to my insurance and say they were for me?"

Mary: "No, we can't do that. It's fraud. And Dr. Grumpy doesn't see hamsters, or know much about them."

Ms. Cricetinae: "But what about Tulip?

Mary: "Take him to the vet."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Thanks for being totally useless."


Monday, August 1, 2022

Saturday night, 8:24 p.m.

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

Mrs. Cartography: "Hi, I'm sorry to bother you on a weekend, but I'm on vacation and I guess I forget to bring my Fukitol pills."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, do you have a pharmacy you want me to call it to? Where are you?"

Mrs. Cartography: "I'm in Hawaii, in... hang on. It says this is Lahaina. Do you know a pharmacy here?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No but let me..."

Mrs. Cartography: "My phone says there's a Dumpster Drug in Honolulu. Can you send it there?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, are you going there soon?"

Mrs. Cartography: "It wasn't planned, but I can if I need to. We have a rental car."

Dr. Grumpy: "Honolulu is on another island. You're on Maui."

Mrs. Cartography: "I know Hawaii is an island. I'm not stupid."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's several islands, and Lahaina and Honolulu aren't on the same one. Let me look up a pharmacy in Lahaina for you, hang on..."

Mrs. Cartography: "Well, I'd rather go to Dumpster Drugs, because I use them back home. Why don't you just call it in and we'll drive there tomorrow?"

Dr. Grumpy: "You can't drive from Lahaina to Honolulu."

Mrs. Cartography: "I'm sure you can, there must be bridge or something. I mean, that's what I do when I'm going to Brooklyn."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's not quite the same. Let me..."

Mrs. Cartography: "Oh, never mind. My husband found the Fukitol bottle in my purse. Have a good weekend, doctor."

Monday, July 25, 2022


Going through some old emails over the weekend, I found this one to my office staff. I wrote it roughly 10 years ago, during a family trip to Disneyland.

While waiting to get in this morning we passed a lady yelling at a park employee outside a ticket booth. She was quite upset that the "special Disneyland admissions" she'd bought for a few $100 bills wasn't going to get her into the park. Or anywhere.

Lady: "I demand you honor these tickets! They say they're official tickets, and I paid good money for them."

Employee: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but these aren't tickets. Did you get them at your hotel desk?"

Lady: "NO! The desk was ridiculously expensive. These were much cheaper. I got them from a man selling them at the bus stop in front of my hotel."

Employee: "I think you've been scammed. I can call the police if you wish. He wasn't a Disney employee, and these aren't real tickets."

Lady: "Of course they're real! They have a picture of Mickey Mouse on them."

Employee: "Yes, but that doesn't make them real tickets. In fact, that's a decal of Mickey stuck to them. It looks like they were made on a home computer."

Lady: "Well, he SAID he was an authorized Disney ticket sales person, and was wearing a hat with Goofy on it. Why would he lie about that?"

Monday, July 18, 2022

Beware of the dragon

 Seen in a chart:

Monday, July 11, 2022

Wait, what?

Pissy and I are talking to a drug rep.

"So, doctors, this nasal spray contains batsonshazam, that can be used emergently to stop a seizure, or attack of seizures. It comes 2 units in a box, which is convenient, as it allows patients to keep one at home and one at work, or one in the car, so they can even use it if they have a seizure and lose consciousness while driving."

Monday, June 27, 2022


So today, me, and pretty much every doctor, veterinarian, nurse practitioner, and pharmacist in the country got this email:

Apparently the folks at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) decided that people reading the rules about guidance didn't have enough guidance, and so needed some guidance. Or they just made a bet over the weekend on who could use the word "guidance" in an email the most:

Isn't that impressive? Okay, so what does the guidance in this remarkable document on guidance say? I'm glad you asked!

Here's page 1 (page 2 is more of the same, so I'm not going to bother with it).



For those of you who went to college in the same era that I did, I keep thinking of the word "guidance" now in the same way I used to think of the phrase, "Hi, Bob."


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