Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stand-up comedy

Dr. Grumpy: "How bad is your insomnia?"

Mr. Ambien: "It's a problem, but I try not to lose sleep over it."

I'm thinking sterilization...

Mrs. Rock: "I don't want to start any new medications. I've been taking Clomid, and am trying to become pregnant."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay."

Mrs. Rock: "I've been on it for 2 months now, and it still hasn't worked."

Dr. Grumpy: "Has your husband been checked out?"

Mrs. Rock: "Oh, he's overseas for the year."

Dr. Grumpy: "Then, um, why are you taking Clomid?"

Mrs. Rock: "So I can get pregnant. That's what Clomid does. This way I can get pregnant without a guy."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Tis the season

Yes, nothing says "Peace and Goodwill" this time of year more than an octogenerian grandmother driving a 1983 Buick with a prescription windshield nearly mowing my kids down in the Costco parking lot to get a space 8 feet closer to the door (and then flipping Marie the bird).

Or people trying to commit homicide with a Christmas tree ornament.

Thank you, Janine!

Annie's Desk, November 28, 2011

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

Mrs. Worried: "Hello, um, my husband sees Dr. Grumpy."

Annie: "Yes?"

Mrs. Worried: "Anyway, on Thanksgiving, after dinner, he had slurred speech, and was dragging his left leg. It hasn't gotten better yet."

Annie: "That was 4 days ago. Did you go to the hospital?"

Mrs. Worried: "No, it was, you know, a holiday weekend, and I didn't want to bother the doctor. He works hard enough."

Annie: "Okay, let me check with Dr. Grumpy, but it sounds like you're going to need to go to ER."

Mrs. Worried: "There were also some Black Friday deals I didn't want to miss."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh, for hell's sake

Santa Claus is (roughly) 1700 years old. He's changed dramatically over time, from his original name of St. Nikolaos of Myra to the guy we see in department stores and selling Coke on TV.

So it was only a matter of time before the A-word caught up with him, too.

(click to enlarge)

Thank you, Susan!

That would be a "yes"

Over the weekend I was doing some research surveys, and encountered this question:

"If there was no PET scan machine available, would that prevent you from ordering one?"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday guest post

As many of you have noticed, Officer Cynical shut down his blog. However, I'm honored that he's asked me to publish some rants for him. So today I'm going to feature his ramblings in place of my own. Take it away, Officer!

1. If you're in line at the grocery (or wherever), waiting to pay for your crap at the one open cash register, and then they open a second register and say "I can help the next person", that means they can help the next person in line - the one behind the person who's already paying at the previously sole register. It does NOT mean they can help the person at the back of the line who's been waiting a shorter period of time than everybody else in line. Where the hell have people gotten the idea that a newly opened cash register is for the person at the back of the line?

2. If you're merging onto the interstate (AKA freeway, AKA the "I"), it's your job to MERGE. It's not the job of everybody else to slow down, move over, or anything else. This is usually best accomplished by accelerating up to speed that allows you to fit into a space between two other cars already in the righthand through lane. It is NOT a good strategy to just move over into through traffic when you're doing, say, 35 mph, and those in the righthand lane are doing 60. And, in the name of all that's holy, don't hit the brakes at the end of the entrance ramp because you're scared to merge. The people behind you, who are correctly accelerating up to speed and looking for a place to merge, will tend to hate you and wish you ill.

3. If you've successfully gotten onto the interstate/freeway/"I", please pretend these signs (see attached) actually exist, and heed them.

4. Not being one to send e-mail to porn sites, how did "Ass_Titties" and "HornyGirlHere" get into my list of Hotmail contacts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The night

It was the late 80's, at Big State University.

As best I remember, it was a pretty ordinary day. I'd had a few medical school interviews the week before, and was trying to catch up on stuff now. I was taking a jazz class, which required me to listen to several hours of records during the semester. So I spent a big chunk of the afternoon in the music library.

I remember it was late, around 6, when I finally finished. I owed my roommate beer, and so I stopped at a store, then headed back to the apartment.

When I finally got home my roommate was at his desk. He was in architecture, and was always working on something. I walked in and said hi. He said "your Dad called, asked you to call him back", and was back to his work.

I began putting the beer in the fridge, and called home. My Dad answered, and when I said "Hi" he paused and then said "Ibee Grumpy, your life has changed forever."

I'd been accepted to medical school.

It's hard to remember all the feelings that went through me. Relief, happiness, nervousness, and an overwhelming gratitude that I'd remembered to buy beer that night. It wasn't great beer, but hell, it was still beer.

I'd tried to get in the year before. Applied to 18 schools, got 2 interviews, accepted to none.

This year I'd applied to, I think 25 or so schools. I got interviews at 10-15, and spent a lot of time flying all over the country. I'd even applied to law school as a back-up (got in, too).

I don't remember much about the rest of the school year. My grades took a dive, since I only cared about passing now. I went to more parties. Baseball games were free at my school, so I went to them, too. One involved me sitting through a record downpour with maybe 10 other fans until they called the game in the 5th.

It's been a helluva ride.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New page

All right, fans, I've been busy preparing the 2011 edition of the Dr. Grumpy Gift Guide, but it won't be ready for a few days.

However, for those of you already looking for information on semen-shaped jewelry, pink & green men's slacks with giraffes on them, alarm clocks that run away from you, and the other fine products I've featured in the past, there's now

(drum roll)

The Dr. Grumpy Gift Guide page!

It covers my recommendations from 2009 & 2010, and you can visit it by clicking on the above link, or by looking for it down on the right sidebar.

Happy shopping!

Land of idiot shoppers

I have no idea what to say. Just read it.

Thank you, everyone who sent this in!

Black friday deals

So I was surfing Amazon for one of the naval fiction books I like. Check out the awesome "bargain" deals on this one!

(click to enlarge)

I could be up all night wondering which I should order...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011

We will never know exactly when it happened, but in my opinion it was the most important event in human history.

Somewhere, probably in Africa (maybe Asia), there was a meeting.

A branch of the primate family that had started walking upright, and a cousin of the gray wolf, first set eyes on each other. And both realized this relationship had potential.

The records show we've been together for at least 15,000 years, but I suspect dogs (and their ancestors) have been leading us around for much longer. It's impossible not to see how useful they must have been as an alarm system and hunting partner going back to our cave days. And being with us gave them steady access to a food supply. So this has been a win-win relationship from the start. Dogs gave humans a better chance to survive, and vice-versa. So we grew up together.

When humans first came across the Bering Strait, they brought dogs with them. There's even the possibility that they couldn't have made the trip without dogs to pull their sleds.

Most relationships would get old after this long, but not us. If anything, our need for them has increased over time, but in different ways. We may not need hunting partners as much, but their incredible skills for guide/assistance animals, security, search & rescue, and many other jobs, make them invaluable.

Sometimes they can even drive us around (Thank you, Doreen!)

But the most basic part of the deal is still companionship. Humans seem to have an instinctive need for different species companionship. And they like us, too. Because of the nature of the Grumpy household (3 dogs) there is inevitably at least one in our bed at night, and another in a kid's bed. There's something very primordial about dozing off next to a dog. You can envision our mutual ancestors in a cave, with a fire in the background, huddling together with a wild dog for warmth. And as you fall asleep, the dog has one eye on the entrance to warn you of danger.

And on that note, for those of you who didn't notice her name added last month, I'd like to introduce Mello:

How much is that doggy in the window?

Mello is maybe 2 years old, and was found wandering downtown Grumpyville by employees at Mrs. Grumpy's job. She had no collar or chip, and after combing through multiple lost pet sites, and looking for "lost dog" signs, we were unable to locate her owner. So she has now joined Snowball and Cooper in the Grumpy insane asylum.

Making herself at home.

She is an awesome dog, and we are lucky to have her. Great dogs can be found anywhere. All of the Grumpy dogs have been rescue animals, and if you're looking for a new companion, I recommend adopting from your local shelter.

You (and your new friend) will be thankful you did.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today's quiz: Drug ads

The lady in this picture:

(click to enlarge)

A. Is doing the neurology mating ritual.

B. Will be electrocuted if she touches a light switch.

C. Hates shag carpeting.

D. Is performing an interpretive dance to "If I Only had a Brain"

E. Is supposed to have Restless Leg Syndrome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Patient quote of the day

"It was a serious fall. I cracked all the tibias in my arms, legs, and back."

Monday, November 21, 2011

If I have to hear it, you do too

For some reason today I've been infected with an earworm, featuring this classic Monty Python number. So, since I seem to be stuck with it, I'm sharing it with you guys.

Mary, make an appointment for her

It is never a good sign when:

The Monday before Thanksgiving a drug rep who sells Alzheimer's medication drops off a jack-o-lantern bag full of cookies, with a note that says "Happy Halloween!"


Sunday morning, 2:18 a.m.

My cell phone wakes me with a message. It's a patient with a relatively urgent question.

I knew the call would take a while, so stopped in the bathroom, then walked to my home office, flipped on my computer, and opened the patient's chart. This took maybe 5 minutes from the original message.

Then I dialed him up.

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

Mr. Etiquette: "Um, huh, oh."

Dr. Grumpy: "You called me?"

Mr. Etiquette: "Man, you just woke me up."

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

Mr. Etiquette: "Took you long enough to call back, and I dozed off again. I can't believe you woke me up."

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, in your call you said..."

Mr. Etiquette: "That doesn't matter. I can't believe you woke me up. This is incredibly rude."

(hangs up)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How can I leave this behind?

Okay. There are many ways to give yourself a bigger butt if you so desire (I personally like eating PB M&M's).

But injecting your ass with "Fix-a-Flat" isn't one of them.

Thank you, Rick & EMTGFP!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Medical marijuana

In my career I've caught 5 patients smoking marijuana in the hospital, roughly 2 years apart from each other.

For reasons I don't understand, all 5 times they were in the same telemetry room.

There is nothing special about this room. It's a generic room on the 7th floor, facing the nurses station, but no more or less so than any other room. Different nurses have come and gone. But patients keep smoking weed in there.

Room 7310 is truly one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

More fun with Mary

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office. This is Mary."

Miss Meyer: "Hi! I'm having terrible back pain and need to get into Dr. Grumpy right away! It's an emergency. I can't even sit for more than a few minutes!"

Mary: "Well, you're in luck. Our 3:00 patient just canceled, so he can see you this afternoon."

Miss Meyer: "Oh, I can't do that. I have tickets for the premier of 'Breaking Dawn.' "

Nuts and bolts

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

Mr. Lost: "Hi, I can't find your office."

Mary: "Okay, where are you?"

Mr. Lost: "I'm at the hardware store, like you said."

Mary: "I said we were across from the hospital."

Mr. Lost: "Oh. Well, I'm at the hardware store, in paints."

Mary: "Well, your appointment is NOW. Can you come over here?"

Mr. Lost: "It would be a lot easier to find if you guys were in the hardware store. I think more people come here than the hospital."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's criminal tip

When going to court, keep in mind:

1. Don't steal a car to get there.

2. Don't park the stolen vehicle in the police department's lot.

Like this lady.

Journal of Grumpy Physics

Theory: Various mathematical models have been used to postulate the motions of planets, galaxies, neutrinos, baseballs, and other objects of varying mass. However, the movements of certain objects are less predictable. An ongoing study into the variable location over time of one of these items has revealed, to date, no clear pattern for its movement.

: In 2000 an unidentified hospital staff member placed a 24 oz plastic flask of Nestle Coffeemate (Hazelnut flavor) into a nursing station refrigerator on the 8th floor of Local Hospital. A regional neurologist has casually noted the movements of the flask of proto-dairy product at intermittent intervals over time while scavenging for Diet Coke. The flask has been consistently identified over time by it's original expiration date (February, 2002) stamped on the rim.

Findings: The Coffeemate bottle has now been in the refrigerator for over 10 years. Careful observation (okay, lifting and shaking it a little from time-to-time) showed that its weight gradually decreased in the first several months of it's presence, then stabilized. While weight can vary depending on local gravity, the Earth's gravitational force has not changed substantially during this time, nor has the hospital been relocated to a planet with lesser gravity. The contents have not been directly inspected by the author during this time.

The bottle has remained on the same shelf (center shelf, refrigerator door) since its original placement. Its specific location on the shelf has varied (sometimes next to the Ranch dressing, at other times between the ketchup and mustard, and once briefly near a bottle of banana-based ketchup that a Filipino traveling nurse brought). Overall its location has been reasonably predictable within the limitations of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Schrodinger's cat.

It's still there.

Discussion: There have been a number of postulates to explain this sort of object persistence. While local changes in Brownian kinetics or gravity are possible, the most likely cause of the flask's roughly unchanged location is attributable to the nature of Homo Sapiens. This local species appears to be disinterested in removing objects that are not the direct property of a given individual. Therefore, it's likely that only the specific animal which originally placed the Coffeemate on the shelf will be inclined to retrieve it, regardless of its current condition.

Its persistence, in spite of clearly being empty for several years, is likely due to one or more of the following possibilities:

1. The original owner no longer works at the hospital, or at least not on that floor.
2. The original owner has forgotten it's theirs, and therefore isn't touching it.
3. People are lazy.

It should be noted that item #3 is actually a unifying theorem for #1 & #2.

In conclusion, the author would like to note that I didn't put it there either, and so I ain't touching the freakin' bottle. The last time I tried to do something nice like that I almost got my hand chewed off by a rabid oncology nurse.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Religious crime in America

People are so strange.

Thank you, Janine!

Rats to rats

Mr. Muroidea: "I used to be a stockbroker, but I couldn't stand the rat race, and quit."

Dr. Grumpy: "What do you do now?"

Mr. Muroidea: "I have a farm. I raise rats for labs."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's almost plausible

He had me going until the Taylor Swift part.

Thank you, Lee!


The following was left on Mary's voicemail yesterday:

"Hi, it's about 2:05 and I have a 2:00 appointment with Dr. Grumpy, and I'm trying to get there. I'm on the freeway and my son is driving me, so we just passed 24th street and WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING! DIDN'T YOU SEE THAT TRUCK? WHY DON'T YOU PAY ATTENTION NEXT TIME! ARE YOU BLIND? I KNEW I SHOULDN'T HAVE LET YOUR FATHER TEACH YOU TO DRIVE!"

She didn't show up for her appointment, either.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holy Nuts, Batman!

Pareidolia at its finest. Words fail me.

Thank you, Liz!

Compare and contrast

This is the front-passenger side floor of Dr. Grumpy's car:

This is the front-passenger side floor of Dr. Grumpy's car after this weekend on call:

Any questions?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Med School Memories

It was the early 90's in medical school...

There was one sweltering Summer where the classroom's air conditioner was hyperactive, and we measured it at 60°F in there. It was an unpleasantly humid, high 90's °F outside.

So we'd walk to school in shorts & T-shirts, and put on sweatpants and sweatshirts before going into lecture. It was silly. We had to keep warm clothes in our lockers outside the classroom, and during lectures would slug down hot coffee, tea, and cocoa to keep warm.

We called building maintenance repeatedly to complain, without success. I remember at one point a frustrated guy actually dialed them during a lecture, and screamed "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW COLD IT IS IN HERE?" into the phone.

The next day we got to class to find they'd hung up a large wall thermometer, so we could see how cold it was (59°F).

Thanks, guys.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Artisanal Overkill

A fine example of corporate overuse is from April, 2011.

The New York Times interviewed James Goldman, the CEO of Godiva Chocolate. He felt the need to use the word 3 times (!!!) in 2 paragraphs.

click to enlarge

Friday, November 11, 2011

Never saw that kind before

I'd like to thank McDuck Vet for sending this. She says it was in a veterinary supply offer she received.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Dr. Grumpy: "It looks like you had cataract surgery."

Mrs. Nonagenarian: "Oh yes, I was just a girl when they did that."

Dr. Grumpy: "How old were you?"

Mrs. Nonagenarian: "71."


You live out in the boondocks.

3 days ago you developed right-sided weakness and slurred speech, which you attributed to "a pinched nerve in my low back."

Yesterday you came to Grumpyville for a funeral.

This morning at the ceremony your friends noticed you were dragging your right leg & unable to sign the memory book, and suggested you come to Local Hospital (conveniently located down the street from Local Cemetery).

So you limped over here "just to get checked out" before going back to Boondockville.

And now you're angry at me because you got admitted, and demanding I pay for any food in your fridge that goes bad in your absence.

Some days I don't know why I do this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This is my practice

The following is, verbatim, an email that Mary sent me this morning. It speaks for itself.

"Your 11:00 just called. The maintenance people at her apartment building painted her door shut, and she can't get out. She'll call back to reschedule."

Fax follies

This morning I found a records request on the fax machine, with this written at the top.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My life of phone calls

Dr. Heller: "This is Dr. Heller, on behalf of Major Illness Insurance test authorizations. Who am I speaking to?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Dr. Ibee Grumpy. I'm calling to get an MRI authorized."

Dr. Heller: "Okay, let me look at our file... It looks like we denied the MRI because it isn't clinically indicated."

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, this is a young man with memory problems, and I want to make sure his brain looks okay."

Dr. Heller: "Have you checked labs for metabolic causes? Have you ruled-out depression?"

Dr. Grumpy: "His labs look fine. Depression certainly could be the cause, but I want to make sure he doesn't have a tumor."

Dr. Heller: "Our policy is that he needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist for this before we do the MRI."

Dr. Grumpy: "I tried that, but your company doesn't cover any psychiatrists."

Dr. Heller: "That's correct."

Dr. Grumpy: "So how do I go about getting this done?"

Dr. Heller: "You're his doctor."

Monday, November 7, 2011

He's dead, Jim

My car battery died on Saturday, so I took it over to Local Car Place.

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, I bought this battery around Christmas, and it's dead now."

Counter guy: "Hang on, let me check it..." (connects a gadget to battery) "Hey, your battery is dead."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yeah."

Counter guy: "Were you able to start your car with this?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No."

Counter guy: "That's because it's dead."

Dr. Grumpy: "That's why I brought it in."

Counter guy: "Yeah, it's good that you did, because it's dead. Looks like it's under warranty. Did you want another one?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."

Counter guy: "Okay. You'll need one, because this one is dead. It won't start a car."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'll just take a new one."

Counter guy: "Let me get you one. I wouldn't continue using this one, because it's dead."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend reruns

The week after Halloween is the ideal time to prove the theory of evolution.

Certain species of bugs have developed a really bad taste so predators won't eat them (at least, that's what I've read. I haven't personally done insect taste tests).

Did they actually evolve in that direction? What is the evidence?

Let's look in Dr. Grumpy's break room:

Post Halloween day #1: Everyone brings their leftover candy to the office. We put it in a big bowl in the break room. We are too damn sick of candy to touch it.

Post Halloween days #2-3: Predators (okay, me, Pissy, and the staff) arrive. The choicest (i.e., chocolate) items disappear first. Reese's PB cups, M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, Kit-Kats, Twixt, Butterfingers, Three Musketeers.

Post Halloween days #4-5: Other stuff starts to go. Skittles, Laffy Taffy, Smarties, Runts, Starbursts.

Post Halloween days #6 and on: This is when we find the survivors. Just like the unpalatable bugs, some candy types will sit there for quite a while. Candy Corn, Tootsie Rolls, Circus Peanuts, and those horrible taffy things in black and orange wrappers (the latter, I suspect, were only made once in the 1960's and have since just been re-gifted. I think people who got them as kids now give them out as adults, and the cycle continues).

Granted, I have no evidence to suggest that Darwin's staff dumped leftover candy at the office. If they did, however I'd suspect that's more likely to have led him to the theory of evolution than a trip to the Galapagos.

For more background on truly horrible Halloween candies, read this.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sports memories

Since the overpaid crybabies of the NBA have decided to indefinitely postpone their season, I thought I'd bring you a summary of my athletic career. Which I didn't get paid for at all.

In the mid-80's my college roommate suckered me into playing for the Catholic Newman Center's intramural basketball team at BSU. This was because he couldn't find a 5th Catholic guy willing to play. So I was a ringer.

None of us had any reasonable basketball experience, and had never even met before the first game. In spite of this, we put together an impressive record during the 5 game season:

Game 1: Lost, 83-10 (a record that I'm told still stands at BSU).

Game 2: Lost, 75-15 (obviously, we were improving on both offense and defense).

Game 3: Forfeited, because we only had 4 guys show up.

Game 4: Forfeited, because we only had 3 guys show up.

Game 5: Disqualified because we'd forfeited 2 previous games.

And that was our season.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gone phishing

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

Ms. Phish: "Hi, this is Cindy over at Dr. Weneverheardofhim's office, and we want to refer a patient to you."

Mary: "Okay, what's their insurance?"

Ms. Phish: "Hang on, to refer them we need Dr. Grumpy's address and Social Security number."

Mary: "Uh, you don't need his SS number to refer a patient. I can give his medical ID, which is what all plans require."

Ms. Phish: "No, this insurance requires the doctor's SS number."

Mary: "What insurance is that?"

Ms. Phish: "National Illness."

Mary: "We work with National Illness, and they don't..."

Ms. Phish: "LOOK! Just give me the doctor's SS number, or we will never send you another patient again!"

Mary: "Goodbye."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attention Johns!

When negotiating payments with a hooker, it is not advisable to call the police to mediate.


I'm doing an online research survey on epilepsy patients, and it refers to Partial-Onset Seizures as "POS."

So one question says: "How many POS patients do you see each month?"

Dear Smith & Nephew Medical Supply,

On behalf of myself, and everyone else who's trying to diet, thanks for your new line of appetite-suppressing sacral bandage ads.

I don't really know what kind of salad I'd put sacrum dressing on, but right now it could be years before I'm interested in eating again.

Yours truly,

Ibee Grumpy, M.D.

Thank you, Jamie!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday afternoon

I'm heading to pick up the kids, and my cell phone rings. I recognize the number as another doctor's office, and answer it.

Dr. Grumpy: "Hello, this is Dr. Grumpy."

Phone Lady: "Hi, Mr. Lumbago, I'm calling from Dr. Beard's office. He'd like you to see a neurologist."

Dr. Grumpy: "Um, this is Dr. Grumpy, the neurologist."

Phone Lady: "Why, yes. Dr. Grumpy is who he wanted you to see. Are you familiar with him?"

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy. You called my cell phone by mistake."

Phone Lady: "No, we can't give you his cell phone number, but you'll need to call his office. It's 867-5309."

Dr. Grumpy: "This IS Dr. Grumpy. You called me! Not the patient."


Phone Lady: "Is this Dr. Grumpy?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."


Phone Lady: "Why are you answering Mr. Lumbago's phone?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Dr. Grumpy: "Any other questions?"

Mr. Clueless: "Yeah, but maybe it's not related."

Dr. Grumpy: "What's up?"

Mr. Clueless: "My wife is having a baby soon. When does the doctor poke holes in her nipples to let the milk out?"

Bad omen

It is never good when the chart begins: "Patient suffered a head injury with intracranial bleeding when a fight broke out at his Bible study group."
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