Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Things You Learn When Your Child Is in the Hospital

The first time your child is in the hospital, you learn
Where the bathrooms are, where the cafeteria is, which outlets you can use, how to order what the dietitian allows, which is the closest elevator, how to get the IV stand into the bathroom, and that free parking is pointless since the parking lot is built for compacts and filled with SUVs.

Doctors really are as hot as they look on television, but the nurses aren't.  You can see the physical therapist's thong when she bends over.

Your house didn't burn down while you were away.

There are lots of camps, clubs, and activities to keep your other kid busy.

You have friends you never knew you had.

The second time your child is in the hospital, you learn
There are no good places to scream and cry, but you can hit the walls of the elevator pretty hard without making a dent.

It's easy to make doctors laugh.  The paramedics who ride helicopters look like action stars.  That the best person to put in a difficult IV is a little old Mexican woman named Rosalina (but everyone just calls her "mother").

Dishes can fill the sink, dirty clothes can pile up, and flowers can wilt.  None of it's important.

Your other kid will hit you, swear, and call you the worst names he can think of.  He's just as scared as you are.

Your friends are willing, even enthusiastic to help you.

The third time your child is in the hospital, you learn
If you hit the walls of the elevator hard enough, you can hear the bones in your hand creak, which is very satisfying, but typing will hurt for a few hours.

Doctors aren't bothered by people who stare at them angrily.  That sometimes you have to remind them of things they forgot.  That sometimes you have to make sure they don't give the wrong medications.

You never liked the cats.  All they do is shit on the floor, beg for food, and sleep.  Wouldn't it be great to be a cat, and never have to think again?

Your other kid will die someday, too.

That you can't close some wounds, you can't gather some shards, and some voids will never fill up again.

That telling someone you're sending prayers or good thoughts is an insipid, meaningless thing to do.

That any god who could help should have done it by now.

That if nothing in the whole world can help your child then what good is the whole world?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Useless Photos

I'm writing this week about all the pictures I was compelled to take because I thought they were funny enough to write a blog post about.

Then I found out they weren't.
This note some mother left in her kid's lunch via napkin.  I suppose the kid dropped it while running.

Blog a picture you can't explain.

A group of magic pendant collection for sale.  Jews stop earthquakes the way pirates stop global warming.
This is what happens when you use a copper bottomed pan too long.  You get AWESOME!

A water bottle we got from our school.  Turns out it's not dishwasher safe, but it's a great metaphor for what the district did to my school.

All markers are secretly made by Microsoft.

I love pierogies, but not that much.  Nobody loves them that much.  Nobody does.

You can't see, but all of these have the same ingredients.  I doubt the effectiveness of these products.

A space shuttle trainer just rolled by one day.  I missed the shuttle flyover, but this is a good second place.
What the hell is cream soda made from?  My life has no meaning until I found out!

My driver's license picture hasn't changed in years.  When the police pull me over, they'll wonder why an old man stole my driver's license.

The destruction of a great piece of urban art called Defenestration.

Any team except Warner Brothers.

GDC 2015: Why is Nike at the Game Developer's Conference? I worry about those shoes.

Can ANYONE eat with a hex key?

My book was taken off the shelf of the bookstore.  The sadest picture.  Well, other than dead kids.  Other than starving children.  Oh, fine, never mind.

I bought this collection of Jamestown Colony settlers.

The next day, the tube was empty.  HAHAHAHA!  Oh, wait, that was Roanoke Colony.  Never mind.

A conventionally grown sweet potato on top of organic ones.  Notice the difference?

This sign warns you not to use 30 year old cell phones.

The picture didn't come through, but it shows a gay popcorn machine.  I guess it comes out in rainbow colors.

I don't know why I took this picture, but DAMN Hillary Duff is hot.

If your kid gets sad when balloons deflate, just tie beach balls to wires.

I guess Tuesday is going to be the long-awaited start to my football career.  I intend to follow the lead of Refrigerator Perry.

French.  Translates to "Come in Greece." It has a picture of a penis on it.

Condoms for small men.

"Dump Cakes" has to be the least appetizing name for a dessert.  Well, other than cat poop cookies.

One sign of the apocalypse is the inability to do even simple tasks.

A crank in a hospital that does nothing.  Perhaps it's to occupy people with OCD.

A computer named after my son.

A store on Oahu that stocks diapers next to condoms.  Best advertising ever.  Bonus humor: lollipop condoms.

A carpet on Oahu with native designs.  The Hawaiians obviously invented DNA a hundred years ago.  Well, they got it a little wrong...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hospital Color Codes

We all know hospitals use Code Blue for emergencies.  Some know Code Red means fire.  A few know Code Brown means "get housekeeping, someone had an accident."  However, it turns out there are several more secret codes.  Here's a list from one Bay Area hospital.

As you can tell, this list is woefully inadequate.  For example, a Code Gold means elopement.  But what if you're just marrying the wrong person?  What's the color for "your parents don't approve of the union?"

(My nurse friends are telling me elopement means "trying to run away."  They're also telling me I don't have any nurse friends.)

In any case, I have come up with a more comprehensive list of codes hospitals should implement immediately.

Indigo - Birthday party!
Teal - No clean scrubs
Chartreuse - Terrible taste in clothes
Cheetah - Needs to be restrained
Lion - Lies about medical history
Monkey - Excessive body hair/terrible odor
Platinum - Wealthy patron
Palladium - Radioactive/The Hulk
Romulan - Geek
Black - Shot by police officer
White - Into NASCAR
Delta - Obese
TARDIS - Has two hearts
Bright - Reads I Can Write Funny regularly
Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why Rape Jokes Aren't Funny

Some things just aren't funny.

You expected me to say that, didn't you?  Wrong.  I'm going to start with the TV show Firefly.

If you're not familiar with the show, it's sort of a western in space.  The main characters fly around in a space ship and buy and sell merchandise.  It's like a cinematic version of Elite.

If you don't know Elite either, you need to brush up on geek culture.

Anyway, in the last episode, a bounty hunter named Jubal Early breaks into the ship and tries to take one of the crew.  He threatens the ship's doctor with these words:
They make psychiatrists get psychoanalyzed before they can get certified, but they don't make a surgeon get cut on. That seem right to you?
I asked about those words at a party.  I met a therapist and asked him if he was required to be in therapy.  He told me no. 

"Well, sometimes I meet with other therapists to make sure my approach and methods are sound.  For example, if one of my patients kills themselves."

I asked if that happened to him often.

"A few times.  You know, sometimes people make jokes about suicide.  I don't think they're funny.  They make me sick to my stomach."

That's the crux of it.  Jokes are often pointed at painful moments in the past, but not when people are suffering in the present.  I'm pretty sure Jews didn't make jokes about the pogroms when they were being attacked.  I'm pretty sure Native Americans didn't make jokes about being given small pox infected blankets while they were coughing up blood.  I'm pretty sure American GIs didn't make jokes about exhaustion during the Bataan Death March.

Jokes aren't funny until the horror is long over.  It took 20 years before Hogan's Heroes could be made.  Even then, many survivors (and families of survivors) hated the show.  When Mel Brooks filmed The Producers, he made fun of Nazis and World War II, but avoided the Holocaust; when he made History of the World Part I, he had no problem with Inquisition jokes (even showing Jews being tortured).

Time matters.

A rape crisis has been going on for thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of years.  We've only recently started talking about it, analyzing it, trying to stop it.  In 2010 alone, there were 1.3 million rapes in the US.  That's just a guess; under-reporting makes it difficult to get an accurate count.  Victims often hide their abuse.  They've been taught to feel shame, to feel guilty, to feel it's their fault.

It's hard to find rape jokes funny if you're one of the millions of victims.  It's hard to them funny if your child has been raped, you wife has been raped, your brother has been raped, your friend has been raped.

Chances are you know a victim.  Chances are they didn't tell you.  Chances are they'll suffer from the aftereffects forever.

No matter how carefully crafted your joke is, no matter how much it makes you and your friends laugh, there's always someone who thinks it's horrible.

And they're right.