Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday guest post- Officer Cynical!

From our favorite man-in-blue:

Last night, near the end of my shift, I happened upon a disabled car in the middle of a busy intersection. I pulled in behind him and put my overhead lights on, then went to talk to the driver to see what needed to be done.

The driver and a passenger were there, waiting for traffic to clear so they could push it out of the street. As I was talking to them, I noticed a guy in one of those serious, heavy-duty, motorized wheelchairs cruising by on the sidewalk, but didn't pay him much attention.

Well, as we started pushing the car, this guy suddenly jumped out of the StephenHawkingmobile, ran over, got behind the dead car, and helped us push it through the intersection and onto a side street. Then he ran back to the chair, hopped in, and motored away. It was like seeing a new-fangled superhero or something.

I still don't know what the hell happened.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Annie's desk, August 29, 2012

Mrs. Autoclave: "Hello?"

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

Mrs. Autoclave: "Do you have my test results?"

Annie: "Yes, your neck MRI was fine, and so he'd like to schedule you for an EMG."

Mrs. Autoclave: "Is that the test where they stick needles in your arm?"

Annie: "Yes."

Mrs. Autoclave: "Does he use clean needles?"

Annie: "Of course!"

Mrs. Autoclave: "He's not, like, re-using the same needle on every patient, is he? Or just rubbing it down with a paper towel between patients?"

Annie: "No. It's a disposable needle. He throws it away, and uses a new needle for every patient."

Mrs. Autoclave: "How do I know he's not just fishing it out of the garbage?"

Annie: "You can watch him open the package before the test."

Mrs. Autoclave: "I'm going to have to think about this. I don't trust you people." (click)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Skool Nerse announcement

This is Mrs. Grumpy.

Look, kids.

There are all kinds of ways to fake being sick/injured/dead to try and get sent home from school.

Pretending to have a weird rash that "suddenly came up" before the math test is not a good one.

Especially if you do it by rubbing your face and hands vigorously with Cheetos.

Your neon-orange "rash" washed off pretty damn easily when I took a washcloth to it.

And now you smell like the inside of a vending machine.

Nice try, though.

Patient quote of the day

"My blood pressure is intermittently sporadic. It happens randomly."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Life on rounds

I recently got a new doctor's bag because my old one fell apart. While talking to a nurse at the hospital, I started fiddling with the shoulder strap.

Nurse: "What's wrong?"

Dr. Grumpy: "My bag is hanging funny."

Hysterical laughter breaks out at nurse's station.

Dr. Grumpy: "That didn't sound good, did it?"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday afternoon

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

Mrs. Adna-Thompson: "Hi, I'm one of your patients, and I'm at Glove World amusement park today."

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

Mrs. Adna-Thompson: "Well, we're in line for the Fiery Fist O' Pain, the roller coaster that goes upside down a few times. I'm afraid the upside down part will give me a migraine."

Dr. Grumpy: "So..."

Mrs. Adna-Thompson: "So, can I hand my phone to the attendant? I want you to tell him not to send my car on the upside-down part."

Dr. Grumpy: "Um, I think that's a function of the track. There's nothing he can do about it. Why don't you just not go on the ride?"

Mrs. Adna-Thompson: "That's what the attendant and my husband both said! You're no help at all!"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Random Sunday Pictures

First, from our recent trip, we have this picture taken at Lagoon. Apparently to dissuade masochists and guys looking for a painful prostate check:

I really love Lagoon. But not this much.

Next, in a similar vein, we have this unusual public service announcement tie-in from Local Grocery:

Have some wine. Then bend over.

It was a long driving trip. Fortunately you can try and amuse yourself with Siri:

"What do you mean? African or European?"

Emma sends this picture, which she says was taken at a store in Hackney:

And, lastly, yet another example of...

"My, what lovely dentures you have."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sentence structure

English, like any language, has rules that are needed to convey whatever a sentence is trying to say.

Sometimes those are at odds with space limitations in a newspaper.

While I understand this headline for a "human interest" story, it still doesn't sound good.

Thank you, Lee!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Yesterday I got dragged into doing a car accident evaluation for an insurance company. Generally I try to avoid these, but for various reasons couldn't get out of this one.

The hallway from my exam room to the lobby is a straight 10 feet, so I use it to watch patients walk when they come in.

On the way back to my room the patient limped on his right leg, and held a cane in his right hand.

Afterwards, on the way back to the lobby, he limped on his left leg and held the cane in his left hand.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Breaking medical news

In case you missed this groundbreaking work last month, the Journal of Caffeine Research (with a name like that they should be hanging out in my office taking notes) found that:

(drum roll, please)


Shocker, isn't it? You'd think that with all the previous pioneering research in this field (Landis, J. et al. Animal House, Universal, 1978) further studies wouldn't still be needed.

Better yet is how they obfuscated the subject to make it sound more interesting: they put sex into it. This is a guaranteed way of getting your paper more attention than it deserves.

Basically, they interviewed 648 college students about "risky sexual behaviors" and found that if you're drunk you have a much higher incidence of having casual sex, or inebriated sex, or both. I suppose this could also be done using a more mundane topic such as "more likely to incorrectly sort the recyclables" but who would read that?

Since such information is hardly new, they decided to put a twist on it by studying risky sex following the consumption of energy drinks, both with and without alcohol. And, in a stunning conclusion, found that the incidence of banging near-strangers went up considerably when alcohol was involved, rather than just a plain old energy drink.

Now, on the surface this may sound like some vaguely interesting paper about regular energy drinks (such as Red Bull) vs. those mixed with alcohol (i.e. J├Ągerbombs) but let's face the facts: it basically found that alcohol consumption leads to a greater incidence of risky behavior than being sober. No shit, Sherlock.

You could do the same sort of research about coffee vs. coffee + bourbon, or milk vs. milk + schnapps. Those haven't been done yet, so if you're a grad student desperate to publish in the "Spiking Drinks Quarterly" (or just trying to meet girls) this is your big chance. Please see the definitive paper on the subject (Ramone, JJDTMR Somebody Put Something in My Drink, Sire Rec., 1985).

This research was supported (according to the article) by a government grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sadly, I'm not making that up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Then why ask me?

Mr. Tophi: "Look at this thing on my foot. It really hurts. Is this from my Parkinson's disease?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, that looks like gout."

Mr. Tophi: "Funny, that's exactly what my podiatrist and internist said, too."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Does she live near a nuclear plant?

Reading notes from another doctor yesterday I discovered this line:

"The pain radiates from her neck into the right shoulder, then down the dorsal aspect of the arm and hand into the 7th & 8th fingers."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Skool nerse time

This is Mrs. Grumpy.

Dear Parents,

I encountered quite a few of you last month, as I got suckered into doing the summer vision and hearing screenings at Douglas C. Kenney Elementary School.

This is basically a volunteer job for the nurse involved. The district pays us (literally) minimum wage to be there. The tests are done routinely during the school year, but, trying to be accommodating, they offer them in July, too. So a teenager flipping burgers over the summer is making the same as the nurse checking his vision. I'm not telling you this for sympathy, but rather to make you understand that I'M NOT DOING THIS FOR THE MONEY. I do it because I care about your kids, and (more importantly) because it gives me a few hours away from mine.

Bringing your child in to get his hearing tested is a good thing. Bringing in his 18 siblings, or even just one screaming infant, defeats the entire process. To accurately test Junior it needs to be QUIET.

Since you apparently don't know what that means, here it is: no other kids playing loud video games, an infant screaming because you haven't changed her diaper in 2 weeks, talking loudly on a cell phone about which movie to see with friends later, eating a bag of extra-crunchy Cheetos, or all of the above. Also, you don't need to change the baby in my small office. There's a bathroom across the hall, and we are not testing your kid's sense of smell. Or mine.

Don't tell me it's okay to do any of these things because the front desk girl told you so. She's the chewing-gum-popping daughter of the woman who works there during the school year, and is too busy texting her friends to pay attention to what you're asking. She's not saying yes, just nodding her head in time to whatever song is playing. 

If you can't sit in here and be quiet, then go out to the fucking lobby and leave me and your kid in here. I'm not going to molest them. You can check my license online. I've never been in jail, gotten anything worse than a traffic ticket, or coached at Penn State. If this option absolutely, positively doesn't work for you, then GTFO and have your precious child tested during the regular year like everyone else.

Next is the vision issue.

I understand you feel Junior looks cool, cute, or whatever while wearing sunglasses. But he needs to take them off to do vision screening. We are not outside in direct sunlight, and hopefully he isn't in the Witness Protection Program. We are inside, under generic fluorescent bulbs. Wearing sunglasses may work for the top 2 Snellen lines, but not when they get toward the bottom.

Also, I'm sorry the eye chart isn't the one your kid fucking memorized from Wikipedia so she wouldn't have to get glasses. We know these games. As hard as it may be to believe, we school nurses were once kids. And most of us have our own, too.

Finally, I am NOT, in any way, shape, or form, responsible for your child being blind or deaf, or you being stupid. The school district is doing this testing free of charge. They are NOT giving out vouchers for eyeglasses, hearing aids, or doctor visits. If your kid failed the hearing test because you just had to bring his twin siblings and their Game Boys, and now you have to pay to go see a real audiologist, THAT'S NOT MY FAULT.

Don't give me bullshit like "the last nurse passed him," "you didn't set the machine right" or "his sister didn't have a problem." I DON'T CARE. Contrary to popular belief, I do not have some sort of personal vendetta against your child (you, maybe, but I won't hold that against him).

Also, telling me that any problem the test found is my fault doesn't fly. You'd think I'd be shocked that so many of you feel I should personally pay for new glasses/hearing aids because "he didn't have a problem before you did the test," but sadly I'm not surprised at all. And no, I'm not paying for them.

Have a nice day.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer vacation

At my family's request, I am ending the current Summer vacation series. I will return to regular blogging on August 20, 2012.

Grumpy Summer vacation, day 3

Today my aunt drove us to pick up our rental car. We'd decided to leave the legendary Grumpy Family Truckster at home and rent a car. We loaded it up, and off we went to Las Vegas. Since the kids had so much fun there last year, we wanted to go back.

Approaching Vegas, we passed one of it's most famous celebrities.

"Don't run over my blue suede shoes."

We decided to stay at the Flamingo this time, as the staff we'd spoken to last month had told us about all the great pool features, including it's huge size, and the waterfall they can swim through. Unfortunately, we discovered they hadn't been entirely truthful. Yes, they do have a humungous pool with a big waterfall. Unfortunately, kids aren't allowed in it.

Families with kids are limited to 2 small pools. One is surrounded by fountain statues of Flamingos spitting into the pool (I SWEAR!) and the other is even smaller and has a water slide and dinky waterfall. Both were packed wall-to-wall with people, and not nearly enough chairs available. So I sat on a concrete wall while the kids swam, and pounced on the first chair I saw open up (okay, so I waited until this old lady's family wasn't looking, then I pushed her off a chair, threw her glasses in the trash, and grabbed her marble rye). My kids were similarly unimpressed with the pool, and kept asking if we could go to another hotel.

As I tried to relax and play Russian solitaire on the iPad (sorry, Klondike fans, I learned this one from my grandfather, and it's my game of choice) a couple next to me were playing dominoes while their kids swam. At some point this innocuous tile game became a proxy between them to fight over who's fault a recent speeding ticket was, why the kids wear out shoes so fast, when can they afford to go to Hawaii, and (finally), who's turn is it anyway. At that point the game ended when she turned the board over and sent tiles flying everywhere.

Another issue was that while families weren't allowed in the big adult pool, childless couples were allowed in the kiddie one. So a pair of newlyweds came over to try out the waterslide, then decided to stay. Since pool chairs were at a premium, they shared one. Being newlyweds, this proximity resorted in them starting to make out, then using strategically placed towels to go further. After they finished I wasn't sure if I should applaud or not.

One thing that I find incredibly annoying about Las Vegas is that all the pools close at insanely early hours, usually 5:00 for kid pools, 7:00 for adults. I don't understand this at all, especially in Summer when it's daylight until at least 8:00 p.m. Hotels everywhere else keep pools open till at least 9:00, and often 10:00 or 11:00. Except in Vegas.

While walking to dinner we engaged in the popular Vegas sport of avoiding guys handing out cards with hooker's phone numbers (except for Frank, who tried to get the ones with pictures on them. Craig wanted to, but doesn't have Franks lack of inhibition). During this time the kids kept bumping into each other, until finally a fight broke out over who stepped on who. Of course, this sort of thing always seems to happen when you're dodging cars/hookers/hobos/Elvis, making the situation as chaotic as possible. After we got them separated Mrs. Grumpy pointed out a remarkably appropriate sign nearby:

Sums up traveling with kids, huh?


For dinner we went to the Planet Hollywood buffet, which is done up with movie posters. This one caught my eye:

Somehow, I just don't see a movie today being marketed with that tagline.

Afterwards we walked over to the Cosmopolitan hotel. (MOM! ARE YOU READING THIS? GOOD!). We did this because my parents were in Vegas a month ago, and Mom made a big deal about how neat the Cosmo's lobby is. She (YES, MOM, YOU!) told us we should take the kids there because they have these really cool columns with TV screens that show changing pictures, and that the kids would love them. So we went.

Well, I guess they changed the pictures since then (or my mom needs new glasses) because when we got there the lobby columns were showing a silent movie of a silhouetted, but obviously nude, woman. And she was doing some sort of semi-erotic dance with a large dog. I am not making this up.

When I called my mom tonight to tell her this, she said "well, I only told you they were interesting." Great, ma. I'll have Marie call you when I find her dancing naked with Snowball in the bathroom.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Grumpy Summer vacation, day 2

This morning I noticed that I only had one day of deodorant left, and so we stopped at Target. Thanks to the miracle of GPS, it's possible to find pretty much anything, anywhere, provided they haven't started doing extensive road construction since the last time your GPS unit was updated. Which, of course, they had. So we drove my cousin's borrowed truck in circles for an hour trying to buy one stupid deodorant stick.

Today we went over to a cousin's house. The original plan was for the kids to spend the day out in their yard, which has all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately, some local inhabitants had other plans.

Damnit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not an apiarist.

So we went to an aquarium instead, where we got to see the bravest man in California cleaning a tank:

Yes, folks, the fish really were in there, all cowering in the left corner. So much for using them as watch fish in my swimming pool.

And then, because the cousins outvoted us, we ended up going back to (drumroll, please) Lego Land! Did I mention that I can't wait till these passes expire next week?

Lego Land, like every amusement park on Earth, has a generic "Wild Mouse" type roller coaster. Here it's called "Technic." It's not bad, but while waiting in line you're subjected to this horrible synthetic-industrial-pop soundtrack that plays the same 30-second sequence over and over AND OVER again. Until you want to move like Shields & Yarnell (yes, I'm old). How the people who work on the ride put it up with it all day I don't know, but you'd think one of them would snap sooner or later and add "going Technic" to the American lexicon.

Lego Land sells these little plastic packets, each with some sort of collectible minifigure in it, and they change minifigure sets (16 in each! Collect them all!) every 3 months. And once they're gone, THEY'RE GONE. Never to be released again in any form.

This is what they look like.

Now, I personally don't give a shit. I mean, they're freakin' Legos! And each minifigure is $2.99 ($3.22 with tax- you learn that fast). But my kids saved up a crapload of money just to buy them here (Grumpyville has 3 Lego stores, but that's not good enough for them). Of course, each kid has a specific request: Craig wants Little Red Riding Hood, Marie wants King Neptune, and Frank wants Astronaut Soldier That Looks Kind Of Like The "Halo" Guy.

Of course, they don't actually SELL the damn things labeled, so you can see what they are. They're in giant bins in every Lego store (and there's one every 50 feet here), sealed in identical plastic wrappers. You have no clue which one is which. So your kids (and everyone elses) stand around fondling packages, trying to figure it out. "Dad, does this thing in the bottom corner feel like Neptune's trident/a picnic basket/a space rifle?" And, of course, I have no idea. It feels like a hard piece of molded plastic, okay?

You'd think they'd put a label on them, to help kids. But the store dude told me that's not allowed, because it brings down the value for collectors. Yes, collectors. People who will pay big money in a few years for a sealed plastic packet, that for all they know has a broken figure and a rat turd in it. Because what's the point of blowing 2 months worth of salary on a small plastic toy if you actually know what it is?

So, each Lego store usually has one employee with a good sense of touch who can feel around and tell you what they are, sometimes. Not always. You have a 1 in 16 chance of being right.

THEN there's the guy at The Big Store, which is the main sales place at the park entrance.

I don't remember his name. Something like Ricardo. He reminds me of Franck Eggelhoffer, the insane wedding planner (played by Martin Short) in "Father of the Bride (1991). Complete with the nonspecific accent and flamboyant mannerisms.

But damn, this guy is good. No matter what they pay him, it isn't enough. He sells his weight in minifigures every 10 minutes. He should have his own TV show.

Kids find him and ask for, say, the Easter Bunny figure, and he takes it from there.

"The Easter Bunny, yes? You want Ricardo to find an Easter Bunny for you?" And with great theatrics he walks over to the bin, runs his fingers over 200 packets in 10 seconds (he doesn't look at them- sometimes he closes his eyes for effect) and then whips one out, snaps his fingers, announces "Ricardo has found the Easter Bunny!" and tosses it to the kid. Then it's the next kid's turn. This guy has some sort of zen-Lego magic touch. Even the other employees are in awe of him.

The best part is when some kid questions him "Are you sure this is the Easter Bunny?" Ricardo claps his hands and indignantly exclaims "Ricardo is NEVER wrong!" and goes back to his next request. And, I must admit, on this and several past trips  (he draws a crowd, he's that good) I've never seen him screw up yet.

Then the real insanity begins.

Every Lego Land employee has one or more of these coveted minifigures on their name badge, and kids can trade if they see one they want. So my kids will bring some from home to do this. Marie loves to buy them in the store, pocket the accessories, and then trade the naked figure for a fully equipped one, pull off their aceessories, and repeat (warning: this doesn't always work, depending on the employee). I've actually seen roller coaster rides delayed because kids are trading figures with the guy who works the controls.

Where this makes you want to pull your hair out is when your kid just spent 30 minutes looking for a certain figure, finally gets Ricardo to find it for them, is overjoyed to have bought it, and one minute later trades the damn thing to a guy selling churros outside the store. This happens all the freakin' time, and makes me glad I brought my Rogaine.

At one point, in an exchange that had me in hysterics, I watched as Frank traded figures among 3 park employees and 4 other kids who were walking around Pirate Shores, and at the end of 10 minutes he discovered he had his original figure back, with absolutely no new accessories.

I don't understand it either.

But you know what has REALLY pissed me off on this trip? It's going to sound stupid (because it is).

They used to have this great attraction where families would race firetrucks against other families. Four families would compete in a vicious, no-holds-barred competition to pump giant Lego fire trucks across a track, aim 2 water cannons to put out a fake fire, and then pump the trucks back. You play for pride (not even a cheapshit $2.99 Lego figure, FFS) but for 10 seconds afterward the victors can bask in the glow of having won.

Hell on wheels. With kids.
Not anymore.

Now, for reasons which the staff will only explain as "an accident happened," YOU CAN'T RACE. You all try to pump the cars slowly across the track, getting to the fire at the same time (waiting for the other trucks to arrive) then put out the fires, get back in the trucks (waiting for the idiots who can't figure out how to work a toy water cannon to finish) and then go slowly back to the finish together.

WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF THAT?!!! If you're going to do some manual labor at Lego Land, it should be to prove you're better at it than other families!

Obviously, it's really pathetic that this pisses me off as much as it does, and likely takes the phrase "first world problem" to a new level.

I'm going to bed now. King Neptune, Astronaut Soldier Guy, and Little Red Riding Hood are looking like they want to start a threesome, and I'm keeping them from getting it on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grumpy Summer vacation, day 1

This year we decided to start the trip by flying to San Diego, to visit my family there.

The flight from Grumpyville to San Diego yesterday was going fine, until the flight attendant brought Craig a little packet of artisanal hypoallergenic goldfish crackers. She complimented him on his hair, and he quickly become even more insufferable about it (hell, I didn't think that was possible).

Today we (and some cousins) went to Lego Land. This will, mercifully, be our last trip there because my kids are getting pretty damn old for it (they insisted on going! Not us!) and our annual passes expire next week. So this gives me a good reason to be done with the place. I have nothing against LL, but it gets old after a while. There's a reason you don't hear Super Bowl winners yell "I'm going to Lego Land!"

I suspect most of their "Master Builders" (that's what they call them, I swear) are working at the new Florida park, as the California one could use some upkeep. One of the big construction dinosaurs ("Lazy Pete") you see near the entrance is pretty well covered with black gunk. You get a frighteningly good look at it on the Coastal Cruise ride.

This a boat ride that takes you around various (fairly impressive) Lego structures of world monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, etc. But the ravages of nature affect the Lego models just as much as the real ones, but on a more dramatic scale. Today the Lego man cleaning the windows on the Opera House was partially trapped in a spider web, and there were gigantic (by comparison) pigeons perched on the Eiffel Tower. With, I assume, huge bird droppings threatening to crush cars and pedestrians below.

From a perspective view these would make great horror flicks.

The annoying thing about Coastal Cruise is the guide's patter, which never changes. "Make sure you have your seatbelts on!" (riders look for seatbelts) "Just joking, there aren't any!" or (in a part where a Lego figure looks like he's about to fall on the boat) "Don't worry folks, he's been hanging on there for 14 years, and he hasn't LEGO yet!" They also always add something like "He's made out of 1,324,863 Lego bricks and took 346.57 hours to put together."

This is minor league stuff of course. Let's face it: the ride by which ALL corny boat ride monologues are measured is the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. As far as I can tell (as of my 2008 visit) the patter there hasn't changed since I was kid. I guess this is part of the attraction. ("You're lucky your guide is such a crackpot!"

The cultural impact of the Jungle Cruise (most famous line is about hippos wiggling their ears) is such that it was further immortalized by Weird Al Yankovich in his song "Skipper Dan."

So, I think the bottom line here is that when you're working on the Coastal Cruise, you're in the minor leagues, and hoping to be called up to the majors in Adventureland.

The models also need to be repaired. Take this Lego butterfly that's up on a pole:

It looks good. I mean, pretty impressive when you realize it's all made out of Lego's. But on the next pole over:

The butterfly on the right has lost a chunk of one wing (likely fallen, shattered, and pieces picked up by passing kids as free Legos). The one on the left has lost pretty much everything, and what remains looks like one of Gene Simmons' evil robots from the 1983 movie "Runaway."

Over in Miniland we witnessed a traffic accident:

I hope all the Lego people are okay, and that the school bus driver has good insurance.

Frank, for whatever reason, has named his winkie "Bob." As we passed the theater showing "Bob the Builder in 4D" They have an overhead recording that says "Come on in and join us! Because no one can get enough of Bob!" The 5 of us broke into hysterics, leading many to assume we were nuts. Which we probably are.

They've installed a new water ride since we were last here, which was originally used for interrogation at Guantanamo Bay. It's called "Pirate Reef" and consists of a boat-flume type ride, with a single drop. Craig, who LOVES soaker rides, conned me into trying it with him.

It looks deceptively harmless. You figure, "Okay, maybe I'll get a little wet." Sucker.

You first realize something is amiss when they make you put EVERYTHING attached to you into a plastic bin before boarding: watches, glasses, phones, toupees, cameras, jockstraps, facial moles. Then off you go, in a boat that holds maybe 15-20 people. After getting in you realize that the bottom of the boat has 3-5 inches of water in it, and your feet are soaked. This is your first warning.

You chug around the little loop peacefully, then start the slow climb to the top. You are trapped.

And then you have the drop.

As you hit the bottom there's a split second where the water splashes up, you get a little wet, and you think "that's not so bad."

Then you get walloped. Because of the landing basin's design the entire water displacement of the boat and people in it is projected directly UP OVER YOU. So while you're thinking "this isn't so bad" the mass of water is right above your head, and starting to come down.

On impact it takes you completely by surprise. The practical effect is that you're completely underwater for 1-2 seconds, and get SOAKED. There is nowhere to hide. The entire boat gets it equally.

And it isn't over. As you come out of the downpour you go between 2 large Lego pirate ships. With 10 water cannons on each side, shooting down at you. Manned by the last people who went through the ride, and now looking to take it out on the next group of riders. They can also shoot at each other, but prefer to hit you. After you pass this there's a few more H2O sprayers to get through before returning to the dock. Where they cheerfully return your goods to you, as you drip all over.

Of course, you're now soaked, and so decide to stop in the pirate ships yourself to spray the next group of suckers. Craig and I got on different pirate ships, and battled each other.

Then the next boat came down. And in our determination to soak its payload we suddenly realized that the tsunami wave it generates would soak us again, 20 feet up on the pirate ships. DRENCH!

As we walked away from this aquatic conflagration I realized that, in spite of both of us being completely soaked to the skin with our shoes filled with water, Craig's hair was miraculously dry, perfect, and radiant.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grumpy Summer vacation, 2012

Since I'm spending the morning frantically looking for plane tickets, my sunglasses, and kids, a special guest blogger has kindly offered to make the traditional announcement for me:

Thank you, Ambassador!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vote Grumpy, 2012!

As the 2012 Presidential campaign goes on, I think it's time that I introduce more of my platform.

Certain phrases will be retired, or have strict limitations on them:

The words "artisan" and "artisanal" can only be used to refer to products manufactured by a company with fewer than 20 employees, and cannot be used for anything naturally grown (like lettuce, FFS). If it's not handmade, it's not artisan.

The use of the phrase "reaching out" and its derivatives will be punishable by death. I am sick of hearing "I'm reaching out to you today" or "We're trying to reach out." Bullshit. Do you say "I reached out to Mom to wish her a happy birthday?" No! You freakin' called her. Or sent her a card. Or email. Or whatever. "Reaching out" is what you do when trying to get pancake mix off the top shelf.

"Reaching out's" evil twin "touch base" will also be banned. Not only is it stupid, it sounds like a code phrase Jerry Sandusky would use. It will be strictly limited only to baseball announcers where appropriate.

Saying "think outside the box" will be punishable by being interred in a large box. Without airholes.

"Empower" really needs to go. It's stupid. I mean, hell, I empower my kids to take out the garbage, and they still don't. It's condescending. Worst of all, it brings back memories of a horrific blind date I went on in the early 90's where this girl kept saying it. She empowered me to pick a restaurant. She empowered me to order for her. She empowered me to decide what show to go to, and where to have a drink after the show. And after all that she didn't even empower me to sleep with her.

Want to use the phrase "push the envelope"? Under President Grumpy you'll be sealed in a big paper envelope and pushed into the Grand Canyon.

Do you always "give 110%"? Good. Because pretty much all it says is that you're a moron who failed 3rd grade math. If you're caught saying it when I'm in office you'll be sent back to grade school. And have to sit in one of those tiny desks.

The Disney company will be forbidden to use the word "classic" in advertisements for pretty much anything. And they can't use artisanal, either.

There will be a minimum wait time of 25 years before Hollywood can even think about remaking a movie. Violators will be forced to watch the new "Total Recall" until they gouge their eyes out.

The phrase "goes" to refer to people speaking will be replaced by the rightful "says." Believe it or not, this one drives me crazier than any of the above. It started when I was in High School, and just keeps spreading. Like Ebola.

Politicians who espouse screaming and yelling at the opposition will be dropped into a desert with an equal number of equally stubborn people from the other side, under circumstances where their mutual survival depends on finding ways to work together and be polite. This will be aired as a TV show called "Modern Sandbox," with advertising revenue and T-shirt sales going toward the national debt.

Remember: Vote Grumpy in November! Unlike my competitors I actually have my birth certificate immediately available (sort of - I think it's in an old briefcase in the back of my Dad's closet) and I don't own an Olympic horse that I'm spending $77,000 per year on. I've also never driven with a dog strapped to the roof of my car. And I've never been to Kenya. Or Africa. Or the moon. After all, these are the REALLY important issues you should be paying attention to, not silly things like the economy or women's rights. And, like any good politician, I'm for sale. Someone (hell, anyone), please buy me. I take Paypal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

OH NO! That will never come out of my shirt!

Yes, worse than getting blood or grease stains on your clothes:

Thank you, Webhill!


They turned off the air conditioning at my office last night for repairs, so when I got here early this morning it was quite warm. Since on Fridays no one else comes in until 9:00, I took off my shirt.

I went up front to get water from the cooler, and found myself at the front window, face-to-face with the lung doctor next door. He'd just gotten out of the elevator across from my door.

The bottom half of the front window is fogged. So for all he knows...

This can only improve my reputation.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Today I'd like to share this bracelet, which was sent in by Beth (thank you, Beth!). Her husband got it after being treated at an outpatient surgicenter:

Now, I don't know about you guys, but I don't find this particularly reassuring. Granted, the word "excellent" is pretty overused these days, but still. They might as well write "Our goal is anything above mediocre care" or "Our goal is to avoid being on Fail Blog." I mean, this is surgery for crap's sake. I don't think "very good," even when all capitalized, sounds especially comforting.

I could probably go on with a whole post about how many resources are wasted on these stupid bracelets, which my kids bring home from school for one cause or another almost every freakin' day. With various shit like "I believe in art class" or "Support your local pencil factory" or "Eat at Rigatoni's House of Overpriced Pasta." They end up all over the floor, and then get tossed in recycling. But I think I'll stop there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life at the cheap motel

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, we'll try this new medication, and I'll see you back in a month. Any other questions?"

Ms. Viridae: "Yeah, it looks like I have, um genital herpes. Can you call in some Valtrex for me?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, that's not something I treat. I recommend you go back to your family doctor to have it properly evaluated and get the right medication."

Ms. Viridae: "I'd rather not... I think he's the one who gave it to me."
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