Extra Resolve for 2009

Before anyone gets too excited about resolutions for 2009, let’s take a quick glance at the performance of our 2008 goals. We all know the life expectancy of most resolutions falls into two categories; Already Broken and Will Be Broken. After all, self-control has never been a part of the human make-up.

Here’s a few selections from my 2008 list…

#23 – Get Younger
Result: Nope. Age isn’t how you feel or your attitude, it’s the date on your birth certificate. In fact, saying age is all about attitude bends the definition irrevocably. It’s a little like saying being clothed is all about your attitude. No it isn’t! If you’re naked, you’re naked. If you’re sixty-two, then you’re sixty-two.

#42 – Eat More Vegetables
Result: Sorta. On January 4th, I changed the resolution to Eat More Salsa. Let the record show that I did indeed have a record year with my salsa and chips.

#44 – Smuggle Five Bags of Dorritoes Into A Movie Theater
Result: Success! I pulled this off on May 30th. Two on the sides of my thighs (thank you sweat pants), two around my mid section (thank you sweat shirt, hands in front pouch pulling out a bit), and one going sideways along my chest.

#49 – Start A Collection of Uber-Cool Drug Company Pens
Result: Small success. Let’s face it; drug company pens are the coolest. I found several in my desk drawer and in the desk drawers of people I visited throughout the year. (It’s not stealing if it’s a pen or spare roll of toilet paper. Everyone knows this.) Anyway, I ran into difficulty when I found out my health insurance doesn’t cover pens, fingers, or even my entire right arm.

#61 – Find Out What Happened to Polka-Dot Clothing
Result: Failure. Can’t find them. Couldn’t find too many silk shirts either. Look folks, I know they’re somewhere!

#65- Help Chickens Restore Their Pride
Result: Dismal failure! Other birds can fly, hunt, and swim yet the world’s most domesticated bird can do none of these things and don’t think they don’t know this! During 2008, I gave several chickens the opportunity to spread their wings and reclaim the air. I tried letting them swim and even hunt large rats. Now I’m out of chickens.

#95- Wear a tight Speedo style swimsuit in public.
Result: Raging Success. I wore it under my regular trunks. I still captured the ladies attention and avoided the guys.

#96 – Play Tic-Tac-Toe With a Tattoo Artist…On My Arm.
Result: Well, my new tattoo is a convenient conversation starter. I just wish I’d won.

DodoEggs.com is on Winter Break. It will return IN FORCE January 5th.

Baseball Card

When I was young, my biggest hobby was collecting baseball cards. Anytime I found change in my pocket, I would ride my bike to the grocery store and buy a pack or two. I did this fairly often for someone who didn’t have an allowance. The trick, as any corrupt accountant will tell you, is finding creative means for financing your endeavor. For instance, coins could always be found in the folds of the couch, the car’s ashtray, the pants my dad wore yesterday, and the stash intended for my brother’s braces.

The packs had nearly thirty cards and a stick of gum (if that’s what you want to call it). I always chewed the gum then molded it into cute animals using cigarette butts and bottle caps I found in the parking lot. It’s really a wonder I wasn’t sick more often.

What confused my mother about this hobby was the need for a monthly price guide to determine which cards (players) were worth anything.

“Why don’t you just watch the games?” She would glibly ask. “That way you would know who was playing well.”

Watch the games?! Are you kidding me?! The tension at a typical baseball game is barely enough to pull you from a light nap! Look, any sport where you can successfully work a crossword puzzle AND follow the game leaves a lot to be desired. (What’s an eight letter word for slow sport? It has several Zs in it.)

Do you realize that baseball managers are routinely interviewed during the middle of a game? How many other sports would allow such a thing. (You want to interview the football coach right now? He’s in the middle of a game you moron! He’s busy!)

One of the biggest problems is the ball movement to superstitious exercise ratio. The typical baseball game lasts about three hours. During all that time, the ball is in motion only twenty minutes! The rest of the time you’re watching the players run through their goofy, lucky routines. Here’s a quick rundown…

CATCHER: Scratch crotch – adjust facemask left then right – flash gang signs at pitcher

BATTER: Tap plate with bat three times then each cleat – adjust helmet five times – take two billion practice swings – adjust crotch

PITCHER: The farther you spit from the mound the more luck – nod to both the catcher and the first basemen in that order – rub lucky sandpaper – of course, adjust crotch

SPECTATOR: Crochet your entire Christmas list AND keep up with the game at the same time.

Anyway, my view of baseball cards was much an art dealer’s view of his stock. The name on the bottom determines the value and that’s all that’s important.

Extra inning #1: In grade school, my parents forced me to go out for little league. Its experience lasted one year and I hated every minute of it. I was even scowling in my individual picture. I had a grand total of one hit for the entire season. Man, did I stink.

Extra Inning #2: On the bright side, I was the only kid who insisted on tucking his ears into his cap. No one else perfected this aerodynamic technique. It was very useful considering the horrific winds in far left field.

Extra Inning #3: The only positive association I have with baseball was in college. I was sitting next to the future Mrs. Teply watching our “improvised” college team play in a church league. Mrs. Teply’s old boyfriend was the catcher. He ambled up to the plate and squatted down. As his nylon baseball uniform thinned over his rear one could see the effervescent hint of neon green! The guy was playing catcher with neon green, man panties on! I wasn’t sure if Mrs. Teply noticed so I pointed it out. At that point, it was safe to say he was “OUT!”

Band Aid

I’m sitting in the back corner of Mrs. Medder’s study hall with my math book open but completely ignored. Instead, my head is turned to one side; my eyes pulled over my shoulder. In the corner are bits of pencil shavings and stray hairs mixing with the wispy, phantom mass of common dust. There’s no telling how long it’s been there.

I take a silent breath then puff toward the corner. In response, the entire delicate mass shudders a bit. Making the dust bunny dance is the closest thing I have to telekinesis. I imagine myself as the great North wind driving my wares into a fragile tropical hut. It gives me a reason to live.

Being a high school senior isn’t easy especially when your schedual drags you into a study hall at the end of the day. Each day it seems my purpose is to heat the chair I’m sitting in. If the school administration was to place a fertile egg under my posterior, I’d probably be able to hatch it.

“Can I see Matt for a moment?” The voice belongs to Miss Leber the band director. I pop out of my seat then pause waiting for the blood to recirculate.

Mrs. Medder looks at me as if I hadn’t heard. “Matt, I believe your wanted in the hall.”

I skip into the hall ready to move boxes of food into the back of the cafeteria. My shoulders adjust to the prospect of carrying heavy speakers out of the gym. I’m ready for anything that involves movement.

Miss Leber pulls me away from the door and asks, “Matt, are you busy during this period?”

I stifle a laugh. “Well, I am shepherding my flock of dust motes. I’m hoping that whoever sweeps the room continues to leave the back corner alone. I’m not sure what I’d do without them.”

“Very amusing. Look, Sam Hair is currently doing the bass drum for the band and I want you to come in and try to it.”

My eyes narrow a bit. “Sam Hair? But Sam has cerebral palsy. The only place he could keep a beat would be in his head.”

“I know.” Miss Leber’s started chewing on her bottom lip. “He wanted to participate in band so I gave him a shot with the drum and now I don’t know what I was thinking! Obviously, he can’t keep proper time so I need you to help me out. Can you?”

“Will I earn a band pin for my varsity letter? The girls really like that gold harp.”

“Sure, why not. You know the school gets like a hundred of those for about twenty dollars.”

“One final thing then. During the Christmas concert’s playing of Silent Night, I’ve always thought a kazoo solo would be…”

“No, don’t even bring it.” She turned and marched back down the hall. “I’ll see you tomorrow during this period.”

The next day Sam was in the back of the percussion section with a triangle in his hand. The expression on his face was a little hard to read. It was a hybrid of bitter rejection and the thrill of a new love. I decided everything was ok as long as Sam wasn’t sitting directly behind me.

I made the most of my opportunity to awaken my musical talents. With practice, I even learned two different paces (or times or pentameters or rhythms…heck I don’t know, I could go fast or slow!)

At the end of the year, Miss Leber was true to her word. I was called to the podium during awards night with the rest of the band members. And if you look at my varsity letter closely, you’ll see two gold pins sticking through the front. Turn the letter over and you’ll spy the proud gold harp of a band letterman.

Note: Except for the kazoo exchange, this story is absolutely true. When I tell people I went to a small high school, I use this story to help emphasize the point.

Interview with Matt Smith

Miss Nomar: Hello eager readers. I am Miss Nomar your ace correspondent to the world famous DodoEggs.com website. I routinely bring you the fascinating personalities that you crave. So when your neighbors finally remember to start closing their blinds, check me out instead. I ask the hard, semi-permeable, and ridiculously porous questions others in my profession fail to ask.

Today I am sitting across from the architect of America’s most obvious conspiracies. He is the creator of the world’s most infamous advertising campaign, which incidentally, has cost his company almost nothing. He is the founder and CEO of Ka-Boom Cereal Company. His company makes one of the most popular cereals on the market to day, Rainbow Crunch. Introducing Matthew Smith.

Matt Smith: Hello, thank you Miss Nomar it’s really crunchy being here.

Miss Nomar: Crunchy?

Matt Smith: (makes an open palm gesture, as if pulling Miss Nomar towards him) That’s right, crunchy. As in, I’m crunchy…you’re crunchy…he, she, it is crunchy. Come on, the conjugation isn’t that hard.

And hey, have you ever heard of slang. Use context clues baby, I haven’t got all day.

Miss Nomar: (cross look on her face) Oh, you mean the sound your neck will make if you feed me anymore sarcasm. Now, why are you using crunchy?

Matt Smith: (looks aside for a second, pretending not to be fazed by Miss Nomar’s threat) Well ok, it has everything to do with our plan to revolutionize the breakfast eating experience. People have come to associate cold cereal with having a long day or lacking enthusiasm. At Ka-Boom Cereal, we patently reject the idea that cold cereal means Monday or Tuesday or any day that nobody likes.

One way we do this is by including prizes in our products that young people might enjoy. Such as new slang words to try out with you friends. Using crunchy for anything cool was one of our company’s innovations. You can also thank us for new uses of the words “lumpy,” “crotch rocket,” and my personal fave “adios.”

Miss Nomar: Adios is not a slang word it’s Spanish.

Matt Smith: Miss Nomar, you’re not being crunchy at all. (Begins flashing gang symbols) Don’t make me go crotch rocket on you! If’n you ain’t lumpy than you just adios. Feel me. (Outstretches his arm to Miss Nomar and flexes his bicep.) No, really, feel me.

Miss Nomar: (Pokes Matt’s arm with the eraser end of her pencil.) Let’s wander back to your company’s success with Rainbow Crunch. Everyone knows why the cereal is so successful, it cannot be an accident, and yet your company consistently denies knowing any thing about it.

Matt Smith: It’s no mystery. You see, Rainbow Crunch is fortified with everything you need to be a more active you. We use the finest Bavarian hops, barley, corn syrup, and other grains known for a rich, robust flavor. Our additives aren’t made in foreign countries either. Heck, with the guidance of a professional dietitian, it can be worked into any complete breakfast.

Miss Nomar: (Pounds table with her fist) There you go again! It’s a well known fact that eating your cereal colors your…well..you know..one’s poo poo. It corresponds to the color of the box. I know, I’ve tried it for myself. I bought a yellow box and twenty-four hours later my uh, stool looked like a ripe banana.

Matt Smith: Yes, besides the common logo our boxes come in six different colors. You know, the rainbow. It helps our product stand out in the cereal isle.

Miss Nomar: (deadpan look on face) More denials huh? You know, it’s become something of a cult phenomenon. You have people out there who are buying and eating your cereal simply because it adds color to their stool!

Matt Smith: (Grinning broadly, rubbing hands together) That is not the official policy of Ka-Boom Cereal Company. We deny marketing Rainbow Crunch that way. These rumors on the Internet and in male dormitories are that…simply rumors. We can’t stop them being spread any more than we can control what type of milk people eat with it. (Under breath) Whole works better.

Miss Nomar: So, are you replying to Ka-Boom’s leaked inter office memos? I’m sure you’ve seen the news. These documents claim that your product engineers are working on formulas for neon colors?

Matt Smith (Stifling Laugh): I really don’t have any comment on that. In fact, I’m late for another engagement. (Stands) Oh, before I forget, you didn’t ask me about our new Island Tropics Bran Kernels. The vicious rumors that it colors your skin are totally and completely unfounded. I repeat, one bowl will not make you look like a bronze god in the middle of winter.

Dad’s A Goober Awareness Resource

AND NOW A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM –
DAGAR – Dad’s A Goober Awareness Resource
“Helping kids deal with embarrassing fathers since 1975”

There’s a nine-year-old boy (We’ll call him Paul) swimming in the pool. His dad is with him hovering like a hungry salesman on commission. Paul tries to swim toward the other kids but dad can’t be shaken. The boy is offered a high five for everything he does…jumping in…getting wet…going three feet under water…splashing his dad in the face. All earn a “Way to go Champ!” look and an upraised palm.

The lifeguard smiles and shakes his head. Anyone looking hard enough can tell Paul would rather play with the other kids but dad is too eager to notice. With each high five, the look of consternation grows a little darker.

Paul’s thinks, “How many high fives would I have to give if I ever accomplish anything noteworthy!? There’d be no end! Better slack off my entire life, at least until my dad dies.”

And so a goober dad embarrasses another child into submission.

We cannot let this happen again. Give Paul a DAGAR!

There’s a fourteen-year-old boy (We’ll call him Saul). His father wants to bond so badly that he drags Saul into all kinds of father / son activities. Many of these activities the well-intentioned father has no idea how to participate in. The problem? Saul’s dad doesn’t know how to do anything!

Saul and his dad show up at the neighborhood basketball court. Saul’s dad needs to stare at the ball in order to dribble. To the boy’s dismay, his dad has to time each step to each dribble. BOUNCE – STEP – BOUNCE – STEP – (All the time staring at the ball) BOUNCE-STEP-BOUNCE- STEP (Clumsy shot that misses the backboard.)

Saul says to himself, “I’ll never set foot on a playground again.”

We cannot let this happen again. Give Saul a DAGAR!

Raul’s dad has severely bucked teeth and the boy fears he will as well. Raul looks into the mirror and sees someone who’ll never get attention from the girls.

DAGAR‘s quick action plan gets involved with these troubled kids with positive messages like, “Hey kid, if you dad found a way to procreate then there’s a good chance for you too!”

This message brought to you by DAGARDad’s A Goober Awareness Resource.

Trash Happens

Sam and I are sitting in the booth of a common fast food restaurant. Both of us have the day off and our spouses have run off to the next great garage sale. I’ve taken the greasy, wax paper wrapper off my breakfast sandwich and stuffed it into the plastic cup that was once filled with orange juice. A minute later, Sam does the same because he’s unoriginal and likes to copy me. (Watch what happens when I yawn.)

Our seats allow us the benefit of a large window and a convenient view of the front counter. It’s the perfect perch for people watching. Neither of us can figure out why the goofy looking adolescent taking orders refuses to release more than one space age packaged jelly at a time. Many customers are forced to ask twice or make return visits.

“So, what grand discovery do you suppose your wife will come home with?”

I start to spin my cup. “I don’t know. One thing’s a given. It won’t be anything I’m all that interested in. Sometimes at night I’ll catch Melissa telling our boy tales of the magic rummage sale where clean tables are stacked high with designer shoes, rare knickknacks, and practically new appliances all for only fifteen dollars.”

Sam nods, “Yea, Marisa used to rope me into driving on those little excursions. Never again! I saw more out of date women’s clothing than my grandmother’s closet. All I really saw were piles, and I mean piles, of baby clothes. I even saw one were the lady was trying to sell the mini boxes of cereal that she had stolen from a motel! She was asking a dime a piece!”

“Hey, you know the saying, ‘Get it for free, sell it for a fee.”

“No, Matt. You made that up didn’t you.”

That’s when I noticed a beat up, rust fringed pick up pulling into a parking spot near my window. A moment later, a young man wearing a loose, stained basketball jersey stepped out. He complimented the uber-casual look with wide jeans, a ball cap turned backward, and a tattoo that said something akin to “Yo’r Mama.” His companion (I didn’t see a ring, and yes, I looked.) Was a woman who easily outweighed him by sixty pounds or more. She wore a tight tank top (Why? Gracious, why!?) and sweat pants. She tossed her cigarette butt to the asphalt before reaching in and grabbing a child whose hair was tangled into a Celtic knot.

“Look, at this family coming in but don’t really look.”

Sam gave me a deadpan look. “I’m not blind. They parked just outside our window.”

“Here’s what I don’t understand. Don’t we have stereotypes for this very reason?! Don’t those folks who ever look into a mirror and say, ‘Holy Cow, baby, did you realize we look just like white trash? We’ve got to do something about this!”

“You’re sounding arrogant.”

“I am not! Look, there are only two options for these folks. Either they don’t care or they’re too stupid to realize what they look like. If they don’t care, then it’s as if they are willingly assigning themselves to that sort of scrutiny.”

Sam hunched his shoulders a bit as they shuffled by the window. “Maybe they don’t have any money.”

“Don’t give me that! Even poor people are smart enough to handle something with buttons! And heck, I could teach a chimp to brush hair! No, it takes a certain amount of effort to look purposely bad.”

Just then our wives drove into the parking lot to retrieve us. Both popped out of my wife’s SUV and opened the back hatch. Inside were garbage sacks filled with someone else’s garbage (aka amazing bargains). Both females waved for our attention. Fred looked and the women started jumping up and down pointing to their haul in mock celebration. Melissa even held up a new, mildly tacky lamp she had just found.

“Uh, Matt, your car is filled with garbage sacks and it looks like our significant others are thrilled. I don’t’ see any junk in that pickup’s bed.”

“Shut up Fred, the women are just trying to be funny.”

The Sweet Find

I’m sitting in the church’s back room. The room smells musty and it’s a little cramped. There are boxes of Sunday school materials, TV carts, old books on old topics, and a podium still smoking from its near misses with fire and brimstone. Oh, yea, and a huge gray tub of old Halloween candy.

There’s no one in the room with me. I’m completely alone. The box beckons and I become entranced by its corn syrup call.

I open the box by gently sliding the gray lid aside. I don’t take it off (that would be too obtrusive). The sea of candy forms a kaleidoscope of alluring colors. So many choices! I reach in and begin sifting through before coming to some quick conclusions.

*Who eats Now & Later!? Add water and it becomes an adhesive strong enough to hold your dentures in! Or pull them out! There are other fruity or taffy options. Pick one now and then later.

*Bottle Caps are poorly designed. Just like the soda at the DodoEggs.com Manhattan Headquarters it’s flat the second it touches your tongue. Why don’t they make them with the same pop / fizzzzz technology they use in Pop Rocks? Think about it… “Bottle Caps, now with Fizz!” It might make the candy relevant again.

*Tootsie Pops are great! But why do they sometimes develop such a sharp edge? I’ve bled after eating one before! I’ve even heard of a guy in Manhattan mugging a couple with a particularly jagged Tootsie Pop. You’d better be careful sucker!

*Why would you eat a Tootsie Roll when real chocolate is available? No, really, why?

*Also, do you think Nerds could spruce up Grape Nuts cereal? They have the exact same consistency.

*Do remember the 3,545,368 scenes in cartoons where the character slips on a banana peel? This really doesn’t happen but you know what could work? If you spilt a couple small boxes of those sugar coated ball bearings, it might slip someone up.

*Who would win a brawl between a bag of M&Ms, Skittles, and a Box of Milk Duds?p>

One thing I don’t find in the tub is any real chocolate. Ten minutes pass and I’m still tossing waves of sugar candy around the tub looking for chocolate.

A moment later, Mrs. Teply waltzes in, “Oh, there you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you…and look what you’ve found!”

She reaches in and immediately pulls out a Milky Way.

Shakespeare’s Evil Twin

As my great-grandfather used to say, “Some folk are born to the quill, others learn to love it, and some should put it back in the bird.” 

The following is an ACTUAL book report one of my friends wrote when he was in high school.  I think it’s on a Louis L’Amour book named Callaghen.  He wanted me to proof read it before he turned it in to be graded.  I wound up writing RETURN TO WRITER, UNREADABLE AVALANCHE OF ERRORS across the top and making copies for all my other friends to enjoy.  With the advent of the Internet, everyone can enjoy the following masterpiece.

Listen, just read it and picture a uncomfortable 15 year old standing in front if a class and reading this aloud with a trembling voice.

Callaghen 
Shakespeare’s Evil Twin Brother, Eugene  (Name Changed)
Period Four
Mr. Herbert
Reading
   

A barren desert, blazing hot, dry and parched.  A meager detachment stationed smack dab in the middle of it, fighting the elements to survive, but also the natives.

A major who is still wet behind the ears, attempts to lead a small party of cavalry on a scouting mission, in the middle of nowhere.  They are suddenly attacked by the native Indians.  The green major is killed and two regulars are torn limb from limb.  But from the attack sprouts a young Irishman by the name of Callaghen, who failed to get nipped in the bud.  He fends off the Indians, gets the troops to water, leads them back to the post, is promoted to Sergeant, and writes a letter to this one girl who he has only loved.

The Post’s leading officer gets transferred and a new commander by the name of Sykes, takes command.  Sykes is from Wyoming.  Callaghen and Commander Sykes know each other.  From a previous engagement in which Callaghen was demoted for fighting, and for being an Irishmen.  Sykes hates all Irish, but Callaghen too.

While Calleghan, our hero, is remaining at the post, which is immobile, he awaits his release papers, which he needs, from the Army, but what he does not know, is that Sykes, a madman, has his release forms, all signed and everything, but choosing, by his own will, to wait until he gets some use, for evil things, out of Callaghen, who is waiting for the release papers, which are held by Sykes.

Meanwhile a stagecoach arrives with the only girl Callaghen has ever loved.  Then his mother, who is almost six thousand miles away, dies.  Back at the fort, the next day Callaghen is sent out on a scout mission with twelve others.

The troop crosses the trail of several bands of Indians on their way to a rendezvous.

In the distance, a moving cloud of dust was spotted.  Callaghen notices the cloud of dust is shaped like his one and only true love, who usually wears tanned hides, and the dust, which was spotted, too.

The troop, who are now dirty, goes to investigate but is ambushed.  Callaghen manages to sneak away while the troop fends off the Indians.  The stage is rescued by Callaghen, who feels better, and talked to the cavalry stage post where they wait for several days, played and drank.  Fending off Indians, the stage, which was tired, slips away in the middle of the night and escapes but is attacked by a couple of deserters.  Callaghen rescues the troop, hot and tired, that got ambushed chasing the stage, and he also rescues the passengers from the stage.

Callaghen receives his release papers, now happy, and settles down with his one and only true love, and also has a new horse.  The End.

PS Give me an A Mr. Herbert, I really red the book this time!

(Ok, so I added the PS.)

…Old…Fashioned

Dr. Peter Holms was a little like the mechanic in a small town. It didn’t matter what was the problem with your car you only had one option. It didn’t matter whether it was a bad fuel pump, worn tires, or a slight tear in the upholstery if it had to be fixed you went to the same guy. In a medical sense, Peter Holms was that guy.

To prove my point, Dr. Holms delivered my mother, my father, and me! He wasn’t an OBGYN just one of the few guys in a white coat at the clinic. He would have delivered my brother as well but Dr. Holms decided to go golfing that day so his son made the catch.

I don’t know Dr. Holms’ exact birthday but it wasn’t long after the turn of the century. Near the end of his career, the two nurses on either arm were needed to prop the good doctor up and escort him down the hallway. No doubt an important part of his bedside manner was having the pretty nurses help him stay upright.

So in high school when I needed an ingrown toenail cut out, my mother took me too…anyone but Dr. Peter Holms. She had endured the good doctor’s Civil War era style of medicine and wanted to save her eldest from such a cruel fate. A much younger practitioner whose clinic had been built after 1980 removed my nail.

Unfortunately, his work didn’t last. A little less than a year later, my toenail had regrown and was again causing a stubbed toe to draw tears. My mother was in another state so my grandmother (a Peter Holms devotee) came to my rescue.

“Dr. Holms know how to fix things like that.” My grandmother boasted. “Did you know he delivered you too?”

When Dr. Holms (a much younger eighty-something at this point) shuffled into the examination room, I was sitting on the exam bench with my tender foot outstretched off one end. One look and the doctor ordered a nurse to fetch a bucket of ice and a washcloth. Dr. Holms produced a rubber band from his pocket and with a twirl of his fingers wrapped it around the base of my big toe.

“Now keep this in the bucket of ice until I get back.” He ordered. The ice and washcloth showed up. With the exception of my big toe, the doctor wrapped my foot with the washcloth. Like unchilled Champaign, Dr. Holms jammed my foot into the bucket of ice. “I’ll be back in a while. Don’t take that out.”

(Attn reader: Please keep in mind, this story takes place in the 1990s! Not the 1890s! We have options other than ice for numbing nerves.)

The next twenty minutes were painful. I filled my mind with images of my current love interest and the video game I was doing my best to win. My grandmother sat nearby trying to occupy my mind with idle chit-chat regarding my grades. I wasn’t that interested in my grades when I felt fine! There was no way I was going to discuss Latin based prefixes and suffixes with pain marching unhindered up my leg!

Finally the good doctor returned with a handful of gauze and what are best described as the iron hedge clippers gardeners use for inch thick limbs. He took my foot out and placed it on the exam table.

“No you tell me if this hurts and I’ll just put your foot back in the ice for a while.”

My grandmother was in the room so my answer ( $#^&&&!$ that! Get this thing over with!) was kept inside. I more eloquently replied, “Yes, sir. It’s fine.”

With that, Dr. Holms, all one hundred twenty pound of him, stuck the bottom edge of the clippers under my nail and began leaning into it. Like a surprise twist in a horror movie, the gruesome scene happened too fast for me to avert my eyes. I could still feel it of course, but what was another dose of pain? My teeth clenched and I may have shed a tear or two.

A few seconds later, Dr. Holms stood up and wrapped my foot in gauze. “He’s all done. Take care of yourself son.” Then he left to return the clippers to guy who maintains his lilac bushes.

Since then, my nail has always been too scared to grow back (at least not properly).

I found out recently that Dr. Peter Holms finally retired. Three months later he died. If I’m not mistaken, they immediately packed his body in ice and shipped it to the Smithsonian. The curator’s had reserved a spot in their display, “Dawn of Medicine” just for the good doctor.

The Doctor is…

One of the virtues of DodoEggs.com is our amazingly flexible standard of truth in reporting. If the facts don’t match the comic intensity, we stretch them. It allows us write with one foot in the cruel mud of reality and one in the leftover poo-poo of our imagination. As I mentioned in the DodoEggs.com’s very first post (Laying Dodo Eggs), it’s how I made it through college.

But this post is truth to the very last fiber. It’s the painful story of health care on the distant, high plains of central South Dakota. It’s the story of Peter Holms the standard bearer of the medical profession in a rural town.

If you think about it, it’s no huge surprise that there aren’t many doctors in Dakota. Think about a heady young man or woman fresh out of medical school and eager to do the things that mark a medical doctor’s existence. Here’s the priority rundown…

1) Buy a home that’s too big (Maybe two).

2) Buy a car that showcases your newfound status (Maybe two).

3) Begin forking out $$$$$ for malpractice insurance

(Here’s an idea, start a fund where you place 4/5ths of the money you would have paid in malpractice insurance. Then have your patients sign a waiver saying that they will not name you in a suit regardless of the circumstances and you’ll cut them a check from that account. That’s right buy off your patients! I’d sure consider going to a doctor that partially paid me back. It works for credit cards! Oops, I’m rambling…)

4) Begin doling out $$$$$ for the student loans you’ve accumulated.

5) Begin associating with birds of your feather.

(Bonus if you wind up in the society pages gingerly holding a plastic cup with some highbrow adult beverage in it.  I’m sure they’re smiling trying to  rationalize why any one should care that they attend parties and fund raisers.

Those magazines completely annoy me. WHAT’S THE POINT? Should the rest of us who don’t have money or time to hobnob cut out their pictures and laminate them? Try it with your friends then trade.

Hey, I’ll trade you one Bob Stanford for your Susan Monroe. He’s the vice president of Waxford Woodard Investments you know but I think he’s about to be promoted.”

“Is his hair silvering on the side? You know I only collect hob-nobers if they are going silver and is he holding a cup. I love the cup.”

Oops, rambling again.)

Rural South and North Dakota really doesn’t offer the high volume / high dollar clientele that allow a new doctor to really cash in on his long years of school and take care of the above five priorities. So you can’t imagine that successful doctors are rushing to the bitter cold winters, lack of foreign car dealerships, and declining population (North and South Dakota as a whole are slowly growing but the rural areas have been losing people for years.).

Remember Peter Holms? I mentioned him as a long time doctor in a rural part of South Dakota. I have an interesting history with this man and it accentuates the somewhat unique nature of medical care where I grew up. I’ll share it with you in tomorrow’s post.