Monday, June 14, 2021

Seen in a chart

 Here's some items that I've recently encountered in medical charts.


First, from the "she looks good for her age" category:


Next from the "that narrows it down" department:



"How vague can you get?"

Apparently time and chief complaint are now interchangeable:

And lastly, this helpful system telling me that an accountant will be making care decisions instead of me, no matter what I choose.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Show and tell

This is Frank.

As you guys know, for a little over a year I've been working as a courtesy clerk at Local Grocery, bagging purchases, collecting carts, and dealing with the public.

In that year, which rapidly became the most insane year any of us could have imagined, me and my co-workers have faced toilet paper wars, fights over cans of beans and bottles of hand sanitizer, and assholes who feel they need to scream at a guy collecting shopping carts for minimum wage about mask requirements.

But nothing - and I mean nothing - could have prepared me for what happened last week.

I was working the afternoon shift, bagging groceries as people came through. An endless stream of produce, canned stuff, frozen food, whatever, which I'm tossing into bags and trying not to smash anything. Fill a bag with 5 items, turn, put it in the cart, wash, rinse, repeat.

And then... it happened.

As I leaned forward to bag a lady's purchase, somehow, without me noticing it, part of my work shorts got hooked on the metal piece that holds the empties up.

When I turned to put the bag in her cart... RRRRRIPPPPPPPPPPPP.

The lady dropped her sunglasses.

The guy behind her stopped talking on his phone.

I was so zoned into grocery-bagging-autopilot that I didn't even realize what had happened until the cashier I was working with yelled "OH MY GOD! FRANK!" as she dropped the handheld scanner.

I looked down. This is pretty much what everyone saw:



My manager looked over when he heard the cashier scream. Thinking quickly, he grabbed the intercom mic and yelled for anyone working back in deli to bring an apron up front, like, NOW!

Unfortunately, while this would (sort of) solve the problem, it also resulted in all the customers at check-out suddenly looking around to see why an apron was needed so urgently, as I covered my tighty whities with a plastic bag of frozen pizza dough, asparagus, and 2 cans of minestrone.

The sunglasses were okay.

The handheld scanner was also okay.

My dad ran to Target to get me another pair of shorts.

They let me wear the apron home that night.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Dangerous drugs

After a drug comes to market, a lot can still go wrong. Even though it's been carefully tested, there are sometimes side effects, possibly serious, that won't be found until a large number of people have been on it.

So every drug company out there has a website and phone number where people can contact them to report side effects they've experienced. When this happens the company gets in touch with the physician involved for details.

Last week I put Mrs. Busybody on a new medication. She took her first dose a few hours before her neighbors hosted a large wedding at their home, complete with a live band in the backyard and a DJ in the garage, blasting merrymakers with tunes until the wee hours of the morning.

Mrs. Busybody wasn't invited.

So, of course, sometime after midnight she wandered down the hall to her computer, to contact the drug manufacturer.

When I came in on Monday morning, the drug company's "Adverse Event Reporting" form was sitting on my fax machine, wanting more information on this:

Monday, May 17, 2021


Growing up we were in a group of 3 families that did a lot together. Vacations, holidays, barbecues... the usual. Inevitably, this sort of thing leads to a lot of pranks.

And in the summer of 1975, a truly great one happened.

That year my family was moving from central city to suburb area, with all the usual preparations that entails. Because of the distance we wouldn't be able to keep our old phone number (people back then ONLY had landlines, young ones).

The other 2 moms in our 3-family group did something awful.

They printed up flyers on colored paper. It's been 46 years since then, so my memory isn't exact. But it said something like this:

"Due to my personality defects and physical shortcomings, I have no friends. Since I am relocating out of state, I am throwing a final, huge, party at my house. Food, drinks, and entertainment provided. Please call to RSVP and get the address."

And it had our home phone number.

They took the flyers to the city's largest mall, and handed them out everywhere. They put them on car windshields in parking lots. They stood at the bottoms of escalators and gave one to anyone who stepped off.

My parents were taken entirely by surprise when the home phone went wild. Call after call after call. Everyone wanted to come to the huge party that we weren't having. The phones back then couldn't be unplugged easily, either, as they were generally hardwired into the wall.

My Dad finally took all our phones off the hook, wrapped the receivers in towels to muffle the "phone off the hook screech" and put them in drawers. My parents thought it was some insane mistake until their friends confessed.

The phone kept ringing insanely until it was turned off when we moved the next week.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Random pictures

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

First is this, seen at a grocery store:

I mean, what have they improved here? Does it have 4 legs? 3 wings? Is the bird all white meat only? Also, does that mean the old, unimproved, chicken they were selling last week wasn't edible?

Next, for those who don't want improved chicken, but prefer it environmentally friendly, is this. Which, the more I think about it, sounds even worse...


For those who like their tote bags haunted:


Then there's this sales claim, because the world "surge" isn't scary enough as it is:

And, lastly, is this ad, long ago noting the benefits of not just drinking Coke, but doing so from a cup and saucer, with a spoon on the side (given the history of Coke, the spoon could mean a lot...).

Monday, May 3, 2021



I was called to ER to see a stroke patient.


Dr. Grumpy: "How did this all start?"

Mrs. Folger: "I woke up, and when I tried to get out of bed, I couldn't walk without holding on to stuff. My right arm and leg were both weak and clumsy."

Dr. Grumpy: "When..."

Mrs. Folger: "So, like anyone else, I figured it was because I hadn't had my coffee yet, so I sort-of-staggered down to the kitchen and brewed a pot."

Dr. Grumpy: "Did you call 911?"

Mrs. Folger: "No, I mean, after my 3rd cup the weakness still wasn't getting better. So that's when I figured I needed something stronger and drove myself to Starbucks. Which wasn't easy with the right side problem, believe me."

Dr. Grumpy: "Did you..."

Mrs. Folger: "Anyway, after I got there, the barista called 911. She wouldn't even let me order."

Monday, April 26, 2021

Beware of the Dragon

 What was said:

"She uses Mirtazapine, 7.5, at bedtime, which helps her sleep."

What the computer typed:

"She uses mate has a penis, 7.5, at bedtime, which helps her sleep."

Thank you, Jay!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Pauli's Exclusion Principle

 Seen in a chart:

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?"

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