Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, I'm Dr. Grumpy. Have a seat. So..."

Mr. Query: "Just to make sure, you went to medical school?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."

Mr. Query: "And residency?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes. I also did a fellowship."

Mr. Query: "Okay, thank you. My internist did medical training, so I always want to make sure the doctors she sends me to did, too."

Monday, January 29, 2018

Seen in the chart

Apparently there's a new type of cancer out there:

"Pink, some brown, reddish, too."

Oddly specific time frames:

"It's been such a long time, I think I should be going."

And, from the "you never know who you'll run into" files:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Breaking news

From around the globe, Dr. Grumpy's crack team of reporters bring you the stories that shape your world.


Unless you live under a rock, you've heard of the recent false alarm where residents of the 50th state erroneously received a civil defense warning that there was an incoming ballistic missile.

What you probably didn't know is that the dirty movie website Pornhub, in looking at Hawaiian stats, noticed that as soon as the alert went out their online traffic suddenly dropped 77%. One can only imagine viewers frantically zipping up their pants and knocking a Kleenex box over as they try to find a place to hide from a nuclear bomb (there isn't one by the way, so just finish what you're doing).

Even more impressively, as soon as the message went out that it was a false alarm, Pornhub's traffic suddenly stiffened up, shooting to 48% over their normal traffic level. Presumably people were trying to calm down with a different type of excitement.


In the largest scandal of its type in world history, the Kingdom's beauty competition was rocked this week when it was revealed several contestants had used Botox and plastic surgery to alter their appearances.

The annual dromedary beauty competition at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival was forced to disqualify 12 camels after it was revealed they'd undergone cosmetic surgeries and Botox treatment to make their ears, lips, noses, and jaws look more attractive. I am not making this up.

None of the disqualified camels would speak to reporters, though one did spit.


Douglas Francisco pulled into a bank's drive-thru teller window, then promptly passed out with his car running.

Concerned bank employees knocked on his window for a while before he woke, at which time he apparently didn't know the kind of drive-thru he was in and ordered a burrito.

After being told he was at a bank, and not a Taco Bell, Mr. Francisco made a run for the border but only got a short distance across the parking lot before he passed out again.

He subsequently failed police-administered sobriety tests and was arrested. Officers noted he "made several statements that were differing with reality."


From the "where are they now" files...

David Joyner, who played Barney the Dinosaur on the long-running (and amazingly irritating) children's show, is now running a tantric sex business in L.A.

Mr. Joyner, for a modest $350, provides 3-4 hour sessions to female clients which consist of ritual bathing, chakra balancing, and serious humping.

This leaves many of us wondering a few things: What's REALLY purple? What was going on under the costume? And does he yell "STOOOOOOPENDOUS!" during the throes of ecstacy?

"And when he's tall that's what we call a dinosaur sensation!"

And that's the way it is.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Old Bastard

His name was John. Granted, I never called him that. I always called him "doctor."

Every residency program has one on staff. An old, semi-retired physician who's rumored to have trained under Osler or Charcot. Brusque, rude, and brilliant.

John was all of that. Came to work in a suit and tie every day. He always sat in the same seat in every meeting and lecture. One of the few docs old enough to have literally seen every neurological disease. He'd started in the era where top-of-the-line brain imaging was the pneumoencephalogram and ventriculogram. The number on his American Academy of Neurology certificate was 2 digits long.

We were terrified of him. He wasn't mean, but intimidating none the less. If you were answering a question, you knew you were on the wrong track if you heard him starting to chuckle softly in the back of the room, and when he took his unlit pipe out of his pocket and began puffing on it... you'd really screwed up.

At the same time, you'd go to him for help. Due to his long experience he could explain things sometimes no one else could. Occasionally you'd get invited into his office (it had been his for over 30 years) which reeked of tobacco. The hospital was no-smoking everywhere, but he didn't care. He smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, and a pipe on top of that. The little room was packed with bookcases, creaking under the weight of neurological tomes going back to the 1930's. Although it was a chaotic mess to everyone else, John would always go to a specific spot in the room, pull out and blow the dust off a book, and open it to exactly where the answer was.

John was a widower, and his only son and he had a tenuous relationship at best. He was a workaholic, and the neurology department was his life. He'd come in on weekend mornings to read the paper and have his pipe and coffee in his office. For dinner each night he dined alone at the same table in the same Michelin 3 star restaurant. Only once did I know him to have a dinner companion, when an old acquaintance of his was in town: Sir Roger Bannister, the world's fastest neurologist.

Shortly after I completed residency, John was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. He didn't even bother with treatment. Nor did he miss a day of work. Once he told others about it, it was no longer to be discussed. No one was to bring it up with him. He and his pipe continued to teach and lecture and glare at us until he no longer could. I, and many others, including his son, visited him in his last days.

His office was still locked and untouched when I left the area a few months later. No one dared go in or move his books or pictures. They were, for better or worse, all that was left of him.

A friend of mine from the department and I were talking about John's solitary life, with nothing but his work left. He commented that "it's a lesson in how not to live."

But... John never really died.

He's at my office every day, and follows me to the hospital. When writing a note I'll sometimes hear his chuckle and realize I'm not thinking the patient through correctly. He sits across my desk from me and argues about cases. When doing an EMG/NCV he'll chew me out if I do the wrong muscle, or tell me to do it over if it didn't sound right. If I forgot to check something on exam he'll make me go back and do it over.

There are many lessons to be drawn from John, both good and bad. I'll try to learn from all of them.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Random pictures

Time to hit the mail bag for stuff you guys have sent in.

First, this picture pretty much speaks for itself:

"You can park by the trash can, Phil, unless there's a shopping cart in the way."

Here's a restaurant's hours from their department of redundancy department:

Then there's this ad for a "spinal reset." Apparently the key to spinal health is growing a series of spikes on your back so you vaguely resemble a stegosaurus. Or Godzilla. Or look like you've been repeatedly impaled by a unicorn. Or narwhal. Or were attacked by a badly malfunctioning ice-cream-cone-baking machine.

Then there's this sign, for those who've been afflicted by a bootie cootie (thank you, ER's Mom, for that awesome phrase):

And finally... I don't understand this at all:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Seen in a chart

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Mr. Snow: "Boy it's freezing out there."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yeah, even just walking from my car to the elevator was bone-chilling."

Mr. Snow: "How does he handle it?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Who? Dr. Pissy? His space is closer to the elevator."

Mr. Snow: "No, your fish. Ed, or whatever his name is."

Dr. Grumpy: "Ed doesn't go outside. He's been in that same spot for almost 20 years."*

Mr. Snow: "Yeah, but I imagine the winter must bother him somehow, like seeing snow out the window. He must get cold in here."

Dr. Grumpy: "Nah, he's fine. The indoor temp here is pretty much the same year-round."

Mr. Snow: "That's weird. I mean, my dog can't stand to go outside when it's this cold. I figured your fish would be the same."

* Ed is not a Betta of unusual longevity. It's just been easier over time to name all of them Ed.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Breaking news

From around the planet, Dr. Grumpy's crack team of reporters bring you the stories that shape our world.


An unidentified fellow, trying to save money by not paying his subway fare, attempted to jump the barrier at the Covent Garden Tube station.

His plan went horribly wrong when he somehow got his penis caught in the metal gate mid-leap.

Police officers and transportation workers were finally able to free his winkie, but not before he was filmed by bystanders.

Whatever money he was trying to save probably wasn't worth it.


A Russian man, who was "bored," stole a combat vehicle from a military tank-driving school and went for a ride.

During his outing he smashed a car, then lost control of the armored vehicle and crashed through the front of a grocery store. At that point he got out of the car, pilfered a bottle of wine, and ran away.

Police arrested him shortly afterwards, still carrying the bottle of wine.


Local butcher Chris McCabe was trapped inside his store's walk-in freezer when wind blew the door shut behind him. Fortunately, the freezer had an emergency release safety button. Unfortunately, it had frozen solid and couldn't be moved.

Attempts to kick the button loose were unsuccessful.

Keeping a cool head, Mr. McCabe grabbed a frozen, 3 lbs. black pudding and used it to repeatedly smash the button until it loosened enough to allow him to open the door.

He told reporters that “black pudding saved my life, without a doubt.”

Friday, January 12, 2018

11:25 p.m.

Mr. Lung: "Hello?"

Dr. Grumpy (trying to wake up): "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Mr. Lung: "Hi, I'm calling to find out what my PET scan showed?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Um... I didn't order a PET scan on you. In fact, I don't think I've ordered any tests on you for some time."

Mr. Lung: "I know. My lung doctor ordered it, to follow-up on a nodule. But my appointment with him isn't until the morning."

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, I don't have the results, and not sure I'd know what they mean."

Mr. Lung: "But I don't want to wait until morning!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Then you'll have to call his office and see if he'll tell you."

Mr. Lung: "It's late. I don't want to wake him up."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No comment

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Seen in a chart

"Gee, how flattering, doc."

Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2, 2018

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

Mrs. Mycelium: "Hi, I have to cancel my appointment for this afternoon. I'm having an emergency!"

Mary: "Okay, do you..."

Mrs. Mycelium: "We went to take our Christmas tree out, and discovered THERE WAS MOLD ON IT!"

Mary: "I'm sorry to hear that. Would you like to reschedule now or..."

Mrs. Mycelium: "You act like this is nothing! THIS IS MOLD! I already called 911, and the girl there had the nerve to tell me mold wasn't an emergency!"

Mary: "Why don't you call me back when..."

Mrs. Mycelium: "I put the tree outside, but the mold may already be taking over my house! Do you know the number for a HAZMAT emergency? I can't find one!"

Mary: "No, I..."

Mrs. Mycelium: "Then can you call 911 for me? I bet they'd take this a lot more seriously if the call came from a doctor's office."

Mary: "I can't..."

Mrs. Mycelium: "OH MY GOD MY DOG IS OVER BY THE TREE! FLUFFY GET IN HERE! I need to go to the vet now!"

The line went dead.
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