Saturday, September 25, 2010

Turn and Cough

"Good morning Mr. Momberg. My name is Dr. Smith ... you may call me Adam."

I was once again staring into the face of a baby faced medical student ... whose name I have changed to protect the innocent (me) and of course Doogie Howser. Each time I visit my Internist, he is shadowed by yet another a new medical student. They all go through the same routine: acting like real doctors and asking the same inane questions that the REAL doctor will repeat 15 minutes later. Of course, I understand the drill ... the doctors are part of the university teaching staff and their students learn by treating patients. 

This one actually gave me permission to call him Adam. 
"So ... I see that your blood pressure is a little high. I am concerned about that."
"You are, Adam?"
"Yes ... I think we need to revisit your medications."
"Well ... Adam ... I prefer you didn't. My pressure is normally in this range and ... "
"In looking at your chart, I see that your weight is the same as well. Have you tried to reduce your caloric intake."

I was losing patience."If you are comparing it to my last visit, that was only two weeks ago ... I've dropped over 20 pounds in the last 2 months."
"Oh ... I'm not sure I can tell that from your records."

I walked to the computer and showed him where the personal history was. "Hey, Adam, is Dr. H coming in soon?"
"He'll be here shortly. Now I have just a few other questions for you ..." I zoned out  ... "Any changes in meds? upset stomaches? headaches? sleeping okay .... "

Finally the question I was waiting for ... "So what did you come in for today?"
"I have a hernia."

Silence. "Well ... let's examine you." He had me hop up on the table and checked my heart. 
"Actually, Adam, the hernia is in my groin ..."
"I know ... I just need to get your vitals." (Vitals? I thought the hernia might be vital enough.)
"Okay ... let's have a look in your ears."

He stuck that ear cone in my ear and mumbled something about looking clear ... and then when he pulled the instrument away the cone stuck in my ear. He apologized and tried to look professional fumbling with more instruments.

Thankfully, just about that time Dr. H came in. He shook my hand and asked the student what he found out. Adam impressed him with some fancy medical findings that made me sound like a terminal cancer patient (I SO wanted to say ... hey Adam ... tell him about the cone getting stuck in my ear ...  but I held back.)  Then it finally came out ... "Mr. Momberg also feels that he has a hernia."

Dr. H looked over at me and I nodded in agreement. He reached down and deftly checked the area I pointed to and said ... "Yes he does."

Dr. H. entered the info in the computer and then asked me the question that I dreaded, "Joel, do you mind if Adam here checks it as well. I want him to understand how it's done and what it feels like." 

"Okay ... sure." I growled at Dr. H as he smiled. 

"Okay Adam ... reach in here ... no this way ... a little to the left ... now ... up. "

"Woah!" I jumped.

"Sorry," Adam said. He finally finished and thanked me.

Dr. H did too. "Thanks for allowing this Joel ... you know how important this is for our students."

"No problem," I started to feel guilty and then overcompensated ... "Any time you need to do this you know I understand."

"Thanks ... I knew you would."

He then opened the door as my pants were around my ankles and invited in (I kid you not) 7 medical students to literally try their hands at examining my hernia. 

I looked at him and said, "I'm really going to kill you." Once again ... he smiled.   


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Something Smells Fishy

I was supposed to go fishing today at 5:30AM.

What's up with that?

I know the answer that you fishermen will give ... "Hey dummy ... Fish like to feed early in the morning. That's the best time to drop your line."  Is that true? Do fish really feed earlier in the morning?

I checked.

And guess what? Today, the best time to fish in St. Pete is 9:42AM - 11:42AM. I'm not sure why fish care about 42 minute segments ... but they apparently do.

By the way ... I had lots of time to check because I overslept. I really got up at 4 AM although my buddies will say I'm lying ... and then ... I fell back asleep until my brother in law Tom called my cell phone at 5:38 to tell me that they were shoving off and ended with a few expletives that the rest of the crew screamed in the background.

I always have problems waking up early in the morning.

I remember when we went to Alaska to fish for salmon a couple of years ago. There was no need for a clock. It was always daytime. The sun never set while we were there. Sleep? Forget it ... even when you covered the windows ... it was still hard to sleep.

Drinking was essential.

After a week, I understood why beer pong was the number one sporting event in Alaska.

There were four of us on that trip: Tom, Doug (who brought all of his fly fishing gear and caught a lot of underbrush and a moose) and Ward.

We had a great time ... caught plenty of fish every day and even met a few bears along the way. Yes ... bears ...  we met in some very remote spots.

On one of our fly-outs, we were guided by boat through the flats covered with thick fog. We all wore waders over our jeans ... (waders are waterproof high boots that protect you when you step into the cold water, the mud and the slush.)

We had a very successful outing that morning and headed back to the seaplane to fly back to our camp. The seaplane was old and cramped and had no ventilation.

It was a perfect place for brother Tom to let loose one of his world famous, lethal, gaseous bombs from the very back of the plane.

There was no doubt who did it.

Tom ... of course ... looked perfectly innocent as the entire plane turned to growl at him.

Just then, the guide opened the door of the plane and stepped in. He immediately smelled the foul odor and said ... "Guys ... I forgot to mention ... the mud out here smells awful. You can tell in this plane how bad it is."

Tom smiled and looked out the window. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Skip ... Call Up Lou This Morning

Wrote a little song about the USF/UF game yesterday at the Swamp.

Sing along .... The melody is from Skip to my Lou.

Got the first score right away.
First half really went our way.
Then the game kinda got away...

Skip ... Call Up Lou This Morning.

BJ looked good most of the day.
Then he threw a pass away.
Oh well ... there's not much to say

Skip ... Where Is Lou This Morning?

Guess it helps to have a guy
Like Demps who really flat out flies
It's just the truth no alibis

Skip ... Don't Be Blue This Morning.

Noon games really bring the heat.
Fans were sweating in their seats.
Oh I forgot ... I was in a Suite.


Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah.

That's New Year's Day ... for those non-Jews reading this. Jews of course know this ... The Cohens or Levys or Rosenblatts or others who have Jewish last names ...

WELL .... THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THAT RULE: The CFO at All Children's Hospital has a last name of Stenberg ... he's about as gentile as they come. And there was Candy Stein from Ohio ... also a shiksa.

Anyway ... I spent RH with my Dad ... Sam.

He and his buddy Izzy were sitting in the back of the social room at Menorah Manor with the visiting semi-rabbi leading the service. I say semi because he's not a real rabbi but knows his stuff ... and he's free. The last rabbi was fired for sleeping with one of the staff members. He rode a motorcycle to work and looked just like Lloyd Bridges.

As the new semi rabbi sings ... Sam and his friend Izzy, who of course can't hear a thing, decide to complain loudly.

Izzy, "Sam ... can you hear what this guy is saying?"

Sam, "You said you're praying?"

Me (whispering ... stupidly), "No Dad. Izzy asked if you hear what the rabbi is saying."

Izzy, "You're not staying?"

Rita (on Izzy's right) "I can hear what he's saying."

Izzy, "You can hear him? You're lucky."

Rita, "Hmmmph ... I can't walk ... but I'm lucky."

I turned Sam's page to 36 instead of 29 and point to the words that the rabbi was singing.

Sam, (pushing my hand away) "I know ... I  know."

Izzy, "Your Dad knows where we are."

Let us PRAY. 


By the way ... check out this great book.
Not just for Jews!

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Betcha Can't Hit Me With A Quarter!"

Remember the good old days when a homeless guy would come up to your car and spray the windshield with some kind of Grade D Windex solution before the light changed?

Well ... The newer version of jobless/homeless wear brightly colored orange vests, hang out in the middle of the busiest intersections in St. Petersburg and apparently own a company that manufactures cardboard signs with crayon sayings like "Haven't worked ... Need food" or "Bless you I'm a vet" or "The dog ate my homework" (oops ... Sorry ... That was my sign in grade school).

I know I seem to write about these folks every so often in my blog ... Especially the creative ones that walk the streets and have more interesting stories like ... "My car broke down in Nevada and I walked across the country trying to get 68 cents for gas."

They hold a special fascination for me.

Hey ... just passed an orange vest in Tampa .... I guess he and his lovely wife drove their BMW across the bridge and are trying to expand the business model to the Greater Tampa Bay Area.

I guess better be kinder with my comments .... one day, "they" might be "me".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Orange Peelyuns

My middle daughter, Alissa, is in town and I aked her the other night as we were driving if she remembered  Mr. "Spahkull".

She giggled. "Sure I remember him. He visited my preschool."

"Yep ... And you said Mr Spahkull had some orange peelyuns with him. I wanted to call your teacher to find out what the heck a Mr. Spahkull was and why he was carrying orange peelyuns around."

Alissa laughed so hard she spit out her drink. "You eventually figured it out."

"Only after I ran into Mrs. Weissman and she told me that Mr Spahkull was really Mr. Sparkle from the City Sanitation Department ... The guy who wears the trash can costume and can't pronounce most words in the English language ... Like orange peels."

"That be him!"

Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...