One Eye

One Eye 

The nurse who gave me the clap had only one eye. The other one was a glass prosthesis. In fact, her nickname on the wards was “Susan One-Eye.” Off the cuff, we called her “Susan Free for All.”

As a physician, it’s difficult for me to admit to this, but for my entire career I have yet to be able to discern in anyone who has a glass prosthesis, which eye is the real one. This is because the glass eye usually seems to be making eye contact, as it’s always fixed and looking dead straight ahead. Also, because the good eye seems to be looking at something other than me, no matter how hard I attempt to look at it, for some odd reason it always seems as if the intact good eye is the one deviating off course.

At one time in my life, when meeting an Internet date or a “fix up,” usually for the first time at a bar, if her two functional wandering eyes spent more time looking around the room at other men, than making eye contact with me, I would take this as a sign that the odds were fairly high there was going to be little or no hope for a second date. much less a one night stand. But if she only had one good eye, I never would have perceived the hint, as the prosthesis would always be looking at me. The  advantage in this blind date goes to the one eye.

Sometimes the glass eye scenario forces me to tilt my head back and forth or up and down to see if I can detect the eye motion necessary to determine which eye is working, a quirk that probably makes me idiotically look like a horse in a paddock when its handler approaches. Horses happen to have an inclined-plane retina, which makes them bob their heads to focus at close quarters. This leads many horse lovers to mistake this anatomical accommodation as meaning, “Yes. I really do love you” when in fact the horse is only trying to be able to see who is coming to visit. They rely more on voice, touch and the smell of a carrot or oat treat to discern a known friend.

I guess it doesn’t really matter, because even when a person is the beholder, it must still appear to the person with the disability, that full eye contact is being made by the beholden—especially because that person can only see out of one eye anyway. However, I feel stupid when I realize that all my attention has been riveted on the blind eye.

This is when I default to looking at the teeth, another quirky behavior I inherited by being the son of a dentist; and must then wonder if the person I’m talking to is aware that I am quietly sizing up their dentition as though appraising the health of a horse at an auction.

It also didn’t matter when I was having sex with Susan One Eye, because by that point my eyes were rolling back in my head in my head while both of hers were becoming symmetrically glassed over.

The advice I must impart, however, is that if ever meeting a person at a cocktail party who seems to have strabismus, such that one of his or her eyes seems to be deviating off course and not looking directly at you—do not ever make the mistake that if it happens to be the left one, cover your tracks with lame opening-line small talk, and blurt out:

  • So, what’s wrong with your left eye?

The answer will invariably be:

  • Nothing. But the right one is glass.

So, what will you say next?

  • You have perfect teeth. Are they real. Or caps….or maybe dentures?

(Beauty is in the eye of the beholder)



Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences 

None of this promiscuity, however, was without other unintended yet completely innocent consequences. At least two of us ended up with a case of HPV or genital warts.

The farmer’s daughter also had oral cold sores, otherwise known euphemistically at that time as “the kissing disease,” but better known now to be the Herpes Type 1 virus…which she was good enough to share with me. Call it by any other name; it’s still just a  sexually transmitted salivary venereal disease of the oral vermicular.

The problem with venereal disease is that like any highly communicable disorder, even the common cold, it spreads by geometric multiplication. It is only linear, for example, if a man goes to a prostitute or a mistress, gets something he then gives to his faithful wife, in which case the train stops at that terminal. Usually so does the marriage. But this was an era when the worst of the STDs was still not enough to kill you and, in most cases, was easily curable. If not, they were simply common “ho-hum” nuisances with little or no attached social stigma. Even the cold sore did not have a known etiology, much less knowledge of how easily it could be transmitted. At the same time a wart was simply that: a wart. So what?

But if the 1960s had been the era of not so free love, it was soon supplanted by the 1970s being the era of crass, casual promiscuity. Nobody knew then that HPV is associated with causing cervical cancer. At the same time nobody really paid much attention to any of the STDs until the early 1980s when having Herpes Type 2 or the genital variety became a widely advertised social stigma, a stigma soon to be dwarfed by the appearance of the potentially lethal HIV virus. HPV and HSV should have been a warning that viral VD was replacing bacterial VD and that unlike bacteria, viruses not only do not respond to antibiotics, but also have a nasty knack of being able to permanently insert themselves into the human genome.

That fact, along with the sudden appearance of the super venereal viruses helped to usher in the 1980s as an era of renewed sexual sobriety and gave great credence to Talmudic scholars who in pointing to the traditional religious proscriptions against fornication had warned the world for centuries as they autistically rocked back and forth in their libraries. Or in taking it directly to the Wailing Wall, they might perseverate as they autistically beat their heads with the holy books or beatific bricks:

  • I told ya so, I told ya so, I told ya so, I told ya so.

I only got “the clap,” once, from a very promiscuous nurse when I was a Resident. She had let it be known that she was on a mission to screw every house officer in the hospital, to wit every house officer in the hospital seemed more than willing to sign on to help her accomplish this odyssey. When it abruptly became symptomatic, I knew at once why they called gonorrhea “the clap.” Whenever I tried to pee, without any premonitory warning it was so horribly painful it I stood straight up on my toes like a ballerina on point, only then to segue immediately into a crude version of Flamenco. I was clomping around in my clogs, holding my hands high over my head, slapping my palms together, clenching my teeth and whining through a sheepish grimace. It also left me with a residual urethral stricture that to this day sometimes causes me to pee with a forked stream reminiscent of the forked tongue lies I had told to put myself in this payback circumstance I so well deserved in the first place.

The Urologist who treated me found the whole thing professionally amusing, adding that if all I got was a stricture, I should consider myself to be lucky and then refused to fix it. He said the cure could be worse than a problem that would serve as a permanent reminder of my wayward habits anyway.

  • White man pee with forked stream. Ha, ha.

You would think that would have taught me the lesson that even nice people can get VD…but no. By the time I had married for the second time in my late fifties and estimate I had sex with perhaps fifty or so “nice” women, one of whom was even “nice” enough to generously share her type 2 genital variety of herpes. It may sound like promiscuity, but for the most part, except for a few insane or widely scattered sexual benders in the 1970s and 1980s, most of my relationships would still be categorized as sequentially monogamous. Some short. Some long. But always in a faithful sequence.

Magic Johnson and Long John Holmes, the former having survived HIV and the later who died of it, who each admitted to having sex with 3000 women or more, would come to serve society as more permanent reminders, as well as being unfortunate yet unwilling icons, of the Golden Age of Sexual Promiscuity.

My brother once told me I was lucky that my dick hadn’t developed gangrene and fallen off. His statement harbored a combination of satire, envy, and truth as well as a premonitory HIV vision of a deadly future to come.

He said:

  • Watch out, Al. If you keep this up you’re going to come down with a bad case of the Faccala.
  • The Faccala? What the hell is that?
  • It’s a VD you can get when you indiscriminately fuck the fish in the fish tank. It started in Rome in 49 B.C. That’s why the Italians dry the things out and salt ‘em down before they eat them at Christmas. “

Don’t give a dose

To the one you love most

(Social Proverb)





Women: Woe-to-men

Women: Woe-to-men 

When I was twenty-one
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for city girls
Who lived up the stairs
With all that perfumed hair
And it came undone
When I was twenty-one

(It Was a Very Good Year: Ervin Drake)

My social life at medical school was a monument to heartbreak, lust, lasciviousness and casual indifference. Chalk it up to youth, arrogance or simply a single-minded ambition to succeed at a career, while first leaving any other ancillary part of life to be last.Doctors, in general, are good at this approach to life, which probably accounts for their extremely high divorce and suicide rates.

When I arrived at school, I was still dating the egg farmer’s daughter but became smitten by a stunningly beautiful, exceptionally sweet woman of Norwegian descent who had the uniquely unusual combination of jet-black hair and deep blue eyes.

I met her at a party that I was reluctantly dragged to by George, a Chinese student in my dorm who had come from the University of Minnesota.  Although I was not in a party mood, he said he knew some girls from back home who were working in Boston and wanted me to meet them.

George had the interesting distinction of having made his tuition money by working on Alaska King Crab fishing boats. Despite the fact of this being considered one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, George said the worst part after having survived the raging seas on the fishing trip; was then having to fight off the snarling fangs of wild Alaskan dogs when walking home. He said the trick was to wrap your left arm in a thick towel, then hold it out for the dog to grab. After the dog took the baited arm, you then killed the dog by slitting its throat open with the heavy fish filet knife you kept in your right hand. Jim Bowie didn’t even have it that bad when he explored the North American wilderness.

When I met this woman,  we had such an immediate rapport that although not sleeping together until a few weeks later, we did spend the entire weekend at the apartment where the party had been held. However, it must have been a bad omen for the future of the relationship because my Italian grandmother died that weekend; leaving everyone at home was hot under the collar because I could not be located until the following Monday when I then heard the horribly tragic news.

Somehow, even though she was already cold and blue, according to some family members I had still managed to insult the old lady.

Can you believe it? Grandma died and nobody could find him.

  • Yeah. Poor grandma.
  • Right. He must think that being a prima donna medical student is more important than grandma dying.

It really didn’t matter. She was dead and had no money. Otherwise, the hypocrites would have used my absence  against me in the disposition of her Will. Aside from having to attend the funeral  I also had the unpleasant task of having to announce the death of our relationship to the farmer’s daughter I had left behind at home.

She did not take it well at first, but recovered quickly enough, started dating a Harvard student, moved to Boston and stayed in his apartment. She then tracked me down and we continued to periodically see each other when he was not around or away somewhere. She tried to tell me they were “just good friends,” but I wasn’t  that stupid. To me, it was just free pussy and her guilt or not was her own problem. In fact, they were lovers and later got married.

This was screwy. I was cheating on my new girlfriend with my old girlfriend who was cheating on her new boyfriend with her old boyfriend. To make matters worse, I had good reason to believe that my new girlfriend had sex with her old boyfriend one weekend when he came through town on his way to being shipped out to Viet Nam. She had ended their relationship before she moved to Boston but in holding out a bit of hopeful despair he had enlisted in the army. This is the desperate ploy of “maybe if you think I might die soon, you’ll be sorry and take me back.”

She told me she was letting him stay at her place for two or three days and was going to let him know about us as being more of a final, formal, definitive goodbye. Maybe I was paranoid or simply jealous, but I thought her bedsheets told a different tale when I snuck into her apartment the day he left after she went to work.

To me, they looked like the ones that medieval Royal families hang over the parapets to prove to the peasantry that the Princess and the Prince have indeed consummated their marriage.

I suppose for her it might have been the alternative age-old guilt trip played out as: “I do feel sorry for you and if you happen to die in the jungle you’ll have something nice to remember me by, but I really don’t love you anymore, so here is your good-bye fuck.”

Perhaps it was true. And perhaps not. It didn’t matter to an immature, jealous hypocrite, because not only was it all incredibly screwy but it was also hectically schizoid to say the least, as I began to forget what story I had told to whom or when. I was beginning to drive myself crazy by seeing one woman in Cambridge, then jumping on the MTA to run out to Brookline to see the other one; all on the same day while thinking I had to sexually satisfy them both. Big ego. Bigger sex drive. Big cheater. Bigger bastard.

This is where the cover-up excuse of having to study in the library had its greatest utility as it was also a time before cell phones, GPS devices or e-mail searches could easily ruin the best of alibis. But being in my prime, I could easily orgasm three or four times a day; leaving the only real issue my ability to keep my stories straight. Those were the days! Now I couldn’t get an erection even if I could find the little devil. But at least that keeps me out of potential trouble.

However, over the period of about a year my old girlfriend became more committed to her new boyfriend, then ended our affair when she announced their engagement; while over the same period I was completely trashing my relationship with my new girlfriend. My personality had combined cocky arrogance with condescendingly mean-spiritedness, all topped off with a tincture of casual indifference.

I thought that women were a dime a dozen and that if necessary, she could be easily replaced. However, in short order, I found out the hard way this was not to be the case when one dark, gloomy day in November she dumped me rather abruptly, almost to the day my grandmother had died the year before.

It had rained. Then it had poured.  Then came the great deluge; and when the flood finally receded, along came the great drought. Both women would probably have made wonderful wives and seemed on equal footing as potential soul mates. That was the problem: indecision. But trying to find replacements for either of them was virtually impossible because I had failed to realize that on the scale of one to ten, I had let go or lost two elevens.

Indecision, indifference and a bad personality had left me no better than a lonely Noah, grounded on the summit of Mt. Ararat, sitting at the tiller of a large barge that had become grounded.

Mathematically, trying to juggle two women at the same time computes to: Two minus two = None


It’s a lesson too late for the learnin’
Made of sand, made of sand
In the wink of an eye, my soul is turnin’
In your hand, in your hand.

Are you going away with no word of farewell?
Will there be not a trace left behind?
Well, I could have loved you better,
Didn’t mean to be unkind.
You know that was the last thing on my mind.

(Tom Paxton)










Miami Bleach

Miami Beach 

My roommate M. once attended a medical conference in Miami Beach and happened to overhear a conversation on the street that offers an insight into Jewish interpersonal relationships.

Two little old Jewish ladies passed each other on the street. One looked at the other, calling out in a startled voice:

  • Myrtle, Myrtle. Is that you? I haven’t seen you in so long I almost didn’t recognize you. In fact, now that I’m really looking, I can see that you don’t even look like yourself. In fact, you look terrible. You lost weight, your color is gray. You’re pale. And your hair never looked like that before. It used to be so radiant. It doesn’t even look like the normal hair that I remember. What happened? What happened to you and your lovely radiant curly red hair? Now it’s stringy and blond.
  • Oh, Sylvia. It’s so nice to see you, again too. And yes, I’ve had a terrible time. I got cancer and had chemotherapy. I nearly died. In fact, I have no blood cells and all my hair fell out too, so I had to go get a wig.
  • Myrtle. I’m so sorry to hear about that and I’m certainly glad you survived the cancer. So as far as your hair is concerned, don’t worry. Your hair looks so natural; no one will ever notice the difference.

Jewish Sex

Jewish Sex 

A  widowed Jewish lady living in Miami who was about eighty years old had the habit of going down to the beach every day with a blanket, an umbrella and a cooler full of ice cold drinks. She was dressed in an old-fashioned one-piece bathing suit

One day she spotted a skinny little old Jewish man, dressed only in a small  pair of black swim trunks, walking along the shoreline. She called him over to her blanket and then proceeded to attempt small talk with a person who turned out to be a man of very few words.

  • Nice day, yes?
  • Sure, yeah. Nice day.
  • Nice blue sky, yes?
  • Yeah, yeah. Nice and blue.
  • Nice waves too, yes?
  • Beautiful water. Gorgeous waves. Yeah, yeah.

Then she opened the cooler and said:

  • Want a cool drink?
  • Yeah sure. Nice and cold.

Nudging him closer under the umbrella she said:

  • Nice cool shade, yes?
  • Yeah, yeah. Nice shade and a nice cool drink.

Just then two small kittens walked by, and the woman having become increasingly frustrated by his terse inarticulations along with trying to prompt more than only single word responses, pointed to them, and said:

  • Pussy cats, yes?

With that the little man jumped up, ripped off the woman’s bathing suit, threw off his own trunks and slam-bang fucked her silly into the hot sand. After he was done, the startled woman, sat up, dusted the sand off her bottom, turned to the man and said:

  • My god. I haven’t had such good sex like that since my poor husband died twenty years ago; and even then, it was nowhere near as good as this. But let me ask you something. How in the world did you know I needed that?
  • My dear lady. How in the world did you know my name was Katz?

Dating Woes

My Jewish Date 

I had no idea how philosophical differences alone could affect a relationship until I dated a Jewish Psychologist. She worked at St. Luke’s hospital when I was a Resident and was not only beautiful but also extremely intelligent. After a few dates that seemed to go well, I asked her if she would go with me to Yankee Stadium to see a ballgame, which she excitedly agreed to.

Because the game started at 7:30 p.m., I told her I would pick her up at 6:00, which would give us plenty of time to navigate the subway system, be on time or perhaps even see some of the batting practice. When I went to see the Yankees, I wanted to saturate myself in the entire experience.

She told me she would still go, but that I couldn’t pick her up until 7:00 because she was in psychotherapy herself three days a week and couldn’t miss a session.

At that time in my life I gave little credence to psychotherapy, paid it lip service at best and in her case wondered intuitively why her professional training did nothing to help her fix her own problems.

When I asked how long she had been in therapy, she told me about five years. I then asked what she was working on and why it was taking so long to work it out. The response was something to the effect that therapy was indefinite because the issues were so deep seeded it would take a lifetime to sift through it all, adding how could she do her job effectively if she did not look at situations from the patient’s point of view. It was a circular argument in addition to which she never divulged any of her supposed issues. That was confidential.

I chalked it up to her avoiding intellectual intimacy until she got to know me better. That was Ball one.

Then I asked if there was any way she would consider making an exception on this one night because I already had the tickets and would it make that much difference if she missed a small particle of the brain shrinking process.

Replying in the negative she said it would interrupt her continuity, would leave her feeling guilty and emotionally naked, all of which would then make the baseball game more of a negative than a positive experience. I should have dumped her right then, but gave her the benefit of the doubt, even though I thought… what could be better therapy than a Yankee game?

I gave the baseball tickets to a friend and took her out to dinner instead, although the conversation was rather superficial because I was afraid to ask if she had made any progress in getting her personal demons under control. Now the count was one Ball and one Strike.

That was when I found out she was a vegetarian and had to endure the predictable interrogation about why I ate meat and how she knew if we stayed together she would be able to convert me to her culinary preferences. That was Strike two.

Strike three occurred several weeks later when I invited her to go sailing on the Hudson River with a Jewish Urologist I met when I moonlighted in the Nyack Hospital Emergency Room. He  invited me to crew for him on his thirty-foot boat which he raced every Saturday.

I did warn him ahead of time that I had only sailed small boats for recreational fun with no actual racing experience. He said not to worry, that he didn’t take it too seriously, that bringing a date was fine, and that he had plenty of sandwiches and drinks. He intimated that the whole thing would be just a peacefully fun outing.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

He used my date as ballast, announced that we could not drink beer or eat our sandwiches until the race was over and then because there was virtually no breeze, we then spent several hours, overheating in the sun.

This was while listening to him repeatedly curse the weather conditions or how poorly his boat was performing; along with veiled oblique reference to the fact that I was lacking sufficient skill to read his mind in being able to perform my duties. He finally capitulated by motoring back to the dock; constantly bemoaning the fact of a badly ruined day.

When we finally moored, he handed each of us one half a tuna sandwich and one seven-ounce pony bottle of Rolling Rock beer. This was some gala outing all right: stuck in the doldrum horse latitudes with a horse’s ass, half a sandwich and half a beer. That put an end to my sail racing career, as well as any further desire to go to sea with Doctor Captain Bly.

When I angrily recapitulated my frustration over the experience with my psychologist sea nymph, all she did was make excuses for his behavior. Even though I insisted instead that he was a selfish egocentric, lying prick; I was too annoyed to argue the point as I secretly thought:

  • Wow. Maybe you should take him on as a patient; because based on what I just experienced, you could get on the hook of coming back to see you in perpetuum.

The count was still holding at one Ball and two Strikes.

The last straw was when we went back to my house where the first thing I said because of being so stressed, was that I was going to have a beer.

She started the dialogue:

  • But you just had a beer on the boat.
  • That was not a beer. Seven ounces was a teaser. Twelve ounces is a beer.
  • But why then do you think you must have a beer to relieve your stress?
  • Maybe because I don’t go to counseling three times a week.
  • That is not funny and maybe if you did go to counseling you wouldn’t feel compelled to drink so much beer.
  • But I like beer; I only have two a day and I don’t think I need counseling anyway.
  • Two beers a day is a lot. You don’t have to drink every day and everyone needs some counseling at some point in his or her life.
  • I don’t think I’m screwed up enough. And you only think that way because you’re in the business.
  • Well if you think you must drink beer to relieve your stress, you are screwed up.
  • This conversation is going nowhere. And just because you’re making me so aggravated right now I’m going to drink another beer. That will make three.
  • See, just like I said, you’re an alcoholic, and an angry one at that.
  • I am not. I just like to drink beer and right now I’m annoyed at your value judgments.
  • Two beers a day is an alcoholic habit.
  • O.K. You win. So now that you have me really upset; because on top of spending a wasted day with a psychotic doctor who thinks he should captain the America’s Cup Team, and also because I have to listen to you berate my social habits, right now I am going to sit here and drink an entire six pack, which I never do. So, I would like you to politely not pass any more commentary on it. On top of that I won’t be able to drive you back to New York because I will be drunk.
  • Fine. I’ll make a salad. But we need to explore this issue some more, which is something we can do when you’re not drunk, or more in control of yourself and your emotions. I can help you with this.

The only thing I did explore later was her body, during which time she admitted to being addicted to sex, not beer, and liked some of the kinkier aspects, including being tied up, taking herbs or “cleansing” enemas, and having anal sex. That was Ball two.

This confession did perhaps shed a bit of light on some of her own personal psychological issues, or perhaps her childhood relationship with her parents; but I was then too afraid to ask; and didn’t really want to know.

If I did ask, I knew I might be in for ninety hours of listening to her self-analysis, although the sexual aspects had piqued my imagination enough by all its potential prospects. This might, include being able to punish her nagging with daily bondage, including anal torture and mouth gags to block her carping for a while.  But the vision was tainted by the additional dread of having to withstand the idea of a lifetime of perseverations about having to go on both the Heineken beer and the White Tower burger wagons.

Just the thought of never again having any more burgers or beers was impossible for me to entertain; as it far outweighed the prospects of a lifetime of kinky bedroom romps.

The count had now gone to two Balls and three Strikes. And she was out.


Take me out to the ball game



Jewish Mothers


Jewish Mothers 

One thing that could be said for Medical School was that it was a great repository for Jews and Italians. If a Jew did not go into “wholesale” and an Italian did not go into “organized crime,” there were few other avenues open for these groups to succeed in financially. Because of a long tradition of bias and the closed doors of WASP society, they gravitated to Medicine or Law as areas where individual effort tends to be recognized or valued more than heritage.

Both groups are highly goal oriented, having been pushed hard by their families. The only difference is that Jews verbally preseverate more about success whereas Italians tend to resort to the physical punishment of a Baccala swat to stimulate interest in books.


  • What will happen to you if you don’t study? You’ll never be a mensch. You’ll always be just a nebbish, a schlemiel, and a nobody. You’ll live in a hovel. You’ll have no money. You’ll have to use food stamps. You’ll have to move back home. All the neighbors will laugh at a son who moves back home to live with his mother. You’ll never find a good wife. What kind of a son should put such a heavy weight of such embarrassment on his own mother? An Albatross on his mother’s neck. Why would you want to be such a nobody? And why would I want to raise such a nobody to be such a nobody’s nobody? You’re killing me. You know that? You are literally killlll-ling your own mother.

As opposed to Italian:

  • Shut up and study. If you get another C, I’ll bust your head open.

Verbal abuse. Physical abuse. Whatever.

I still think I would rather be occasionally swatted with a dried fish than continuously nagged half to death. The fact is, I really knew very little about the Jews. They were a minority at every level of my educational experience to whom I did not pay a great deal of attention; and far before I knew had Jewish ancestry. (2% DNA).

In grade school, I knew the boys occasionally wore funny hats that were okay to snigger about, but not to their face, or also that they got really mad if the school bully yanked one off their head and stomped on it. They also had weird rules about food and hygiene. Their Priests were called Rabbis, and even though they never got the holidays right, they still always went around saying they were the chosen ones.

Our own Priests usually set that one straight by telling us that they were not chosen at all, that they did not believe in Jesus, that they were responsible for having the Romans kill him. Furthermore, anyone who did not believe in Jesus could never get to Heaven anyway; which would be good as then the only Jew living in heaven would be Jesus himself.

Then when I found out they never had a Christmas tree, but rather called their holiday plant a “bush”, I really did feel bad for them. After puberty however, “bush” took on a completely different meaning for me, at the secular level.

At Duke, the jocks periodically beat up the nerdy intellectual Jews or tossed them around like footballs.

Imagine my shock then when I discovered that all the Jewish boys were circumcised, and that I was too. When I asked my mother about it, she said it had nothing to do with religion and that she had it done to me because the Pediatrician said it was the right thing to do, Arbitrarily just like that: and only because it “would be better for me in the long run.” Nothing at all mentioned about personal hygiene, or disease prevention. She also assured me that it did not mean I was secretly Jewish.

It was another shock when I found out that her 6th great grandfather was a Sephardic Jew, making the circumcision more like the crypto-Jewish secret rituals that 17th and 18th century Jewish refuges practiced in Appalachia.

When I got to Medical School and befriended Michael., I learned a quite a bit more about Jews and Judaism. However, but being exposed to Michael as a non-religious Jew, I still do not believe I got the so called “kosher” version of the facts.

He told me the following:

  • Good Jews live by the rules.
  • The rulebook is called the Torah. Orthodox Jews obey the rules.
  • Most Jews are not Orthodox, so most Jews forget about the rules.
  • The entire culture of the Jews revolves around the anatomy of the chicken.
  • A chicken’s ass is called a tuchus. A tuchus, conversely, is anyone who behaves like an ass.
  • A beautiful ass is called a nice tush; but not a nice tuchus.
  • Chicken soup is a panacea. If offered some by a Jewish mother, do not refuse it under penalty of intense preseveration about its virtues.
  • Kosher means that a Rabbi blesses food, but most Jews don’t really care what they eat or if it ever got a blessing.
  • Chickens are good. Pigs are bad. Bad food is pig food or chazerei.
  • The ‘ch’ in chazerei must be pronounced as though you are nearly choking to death.
  • Jews traditionally avoid pigs, but most Jews do not really care what they eat. Bacon is OK, unless you are orthodox. A BLT is a “nice sandwich.”
  • Orthodox Jews who bring attention to themselves by wearing a Yarmulke and ear braids are stupid and deserve to be abused.
  • Having to eating Gefelte fish and Matzos is one of the rules.
  • Eating Gefelte fish and Matzos reinforces the concept that Jews are quintessential masochists as both are tasteless forms of food.
  • Mogan David wine is another obligatory holiday torture. But it isn’t really wine.
  • A non-Jew is a Goy.
  • A bad Jew is a Kike.
  • If a Kike happens to be a rich uncle then he is really a good Jew.
  • Bad Jews buy Mercedes cars, because Mercedes invented Zyklon-B for Hitler’s gas chambers.
  • It is OK for Jews to have sex with Goys but they cannot marry one.
  • It is preferable to avoid Goys and stick to your own kind; unless you want to use them for sex.
  • Jewish women only have sex as a duty to procreate the race.
  • You can tell how many times a Jewish mother had sex by counting the number of her children.
  • It is mandatory to have a Jewish son.
  • It is a curse to be a Jewish son.
  • A Jewish man is lucky, then, if he has only daughters because then his wife will still be obligated to have sex with him.
  • A good Jewish son is called a doctor or a lawyer.
  • A good Jewish girl will marry a doctor or a lawyer.
  • A shyster is a cheat who might even try to screw another Jew.
  • It is still OK to marry a shyster, as long as he is rich and never gets caught, like Bernie Madoff.
  • A Bar Mitzvah is a party thrown for a thirteen-year-old boy that signifies he has become a man.
  • A Batz Mitzvah is the same party given to a girl that signifies the day she officially becomes a Princess.
  • The bigger the Mitzvah; the richer the father.
  • A Princess is only a Princess until she marries. Then she becomes a professional shopper and begins to avoid having sex.
  • Jewish women hate to cook; they only do Deli. This is known as whining and then dining.
  • Deli is Jewish for: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Chutzpah means having balls. Real chutzpah is killing your parents and seeking a plea bargain because you are an orphan.
  • It takes a lot of chutzpah to tell a Jewish woman to cook.
  • A Yenta is a gossip.
  • Most Jewish women become Yentas just before the birth of their first grandchild at which time they automatically become a pain in the tuchus.
  • A Mikvah is a ritual bath.
  • Orthodox Jews will not have sex unless a woman first sits in a Mikvah. Regular Jews think this is stupid because if she happens to be horny, it is completely self-defeating masochism.
  • Orthodox Jews have different plates for every category of food. Regular Jews think this is impractical; and like to eat deli off the same paper plate.
  • A Putz is a foreskin and also refers to someone who is as stupidly useless; as is the foreskin in general.
  • A Putz in gorgle is a foreskin stuck in your throat. Being more of a curse, it is not equivalent to getting a blowjob.
  • A Schlemiel or a Schlimazel is a person with perpetual bad luck.
  • Historically, the Jews have always had bad luck; as well as a penchant for perpetual suffering, aimless wandering, and passive acquiescence to sado-masochistic torture.
  • The perfect 50th Wedding Anniversary present from a Jewish man to his wife is an around the world guilt trip.
  • Sometimes it is worse to be Jewish than it is to be Black.
  • Perseveration is the national language of Judaism.
  • A Jewish Christmas = Chinese food and a movie.

That’s the short list

It is also the short list of the fifty or so new words I had to learn to become an honorary Jew.

All this preparatory homework helped considerably for the one occasion I was invited to a Bar Mitzvah given by a friend of Michael’s father. The man was obviously wealthy because the party it was given at a private country club, and was extremely opulent in its scope as well as the number of guests. Having never been to one, it was interesting to observe the way tradition and religion became a perfect rational blending with modern hedonism. But I think the father took it to extreme when he attempted a literal consummation of the manhood concept by introducing a belly dancer as the finale to the show. Apparently, it was going to be her job to deflower the poor thirteen-year-old boy later in a motel room after she wiggled around an hour or so for the guests.

It was  hilarious watching this woman chase after the poor frightened skinny little boy who ran around the catering hall as though his very life depended upon a successful escape. He was quick too. Chunky butted Fatima with her clacking cymbals, gyrating navel and her pendulous heaving breasts, with pastie covered nipples, never did catch the new little man.

I did have to admit however that it was better than the stilted Catholic ceremony of Confirmation that not only had nothing at all to do with manhood, but was followed at home by a boring little cake and ice cream party along with the obligatory smiley face poses for the family album. Yes, a few forced smiles, posed with the same Pastor who tried to feel my mother’s tits several years later at a cocktail party. He was exposed for the lecher he really was when Wild Turkey being a bit stronger than Mogan David, lit him up and strengthened his resolve.

At least a Bar Mitzvah signifies something practical as opposed to an affirmation that a boy is now a bona fide lieutenant in the army of God, along with the Confirmation ceremony’s reaffirmation of chastity, sanctity, holiness, and piety. That is unless the young boy wants to participate in the secret Catholic rite of passage to manhood by bending over and pulling his pants down for the Jesuit who taught him sexual hypocrisy at Wednesday night Catechism.

Because it’s all about manhood anyway, the Confirmation party could have taken Aunt Rose’s Christmas theme to even a more adult level by having a stripper jump out of a giant white coconut cake replete with whipped cream and Maraschino cherries dolloped on her nipples. That way after having put on a brief but overdone reactive façade of false offense, even the perverted Pastor would probably admit to being furtively pleased.

Michael’s family had a summerhouse on the South Jersey shore, and although I would rather have been in the Hamptons, I did decide to visit there one summer weekend. That was when I found out what it really meant to be a Jewish son who had to suffer the slings and arrows of an inquisition inflicted by the Torquemada of Beach Haven, New Jersey.

Queries by Jewish mothers are like those tactics used by a prosecuting attorney. After being subjected to several malpractice suits, I learned the hard way that the best defense is to offer little in the way of voluntary information or elaboration. The best answer is always a simple “yes” or “no;” or a better answer yet is to say: “I don’t know” or “I just can’t remember.”

Politicians being investigated for corruption or scandal are masters at this defense.

When queried by an attorney the problem is that if you open even one door just a small crack, then all the windows in the house get blown open and the track of questioning becomes a nightmare of open ended pitfalls that spew forth in a geometric proliferation.

Here is how an innocent conversation goes completely wrong.

(How it should have gone)

  • So, what do you boys do with your free time on a Saturday night?
  • I don’t know. Really nothing much. Usually we study more of what we already studied so we can all get better grades than anyone else.
  • Good boys!

How it went instead:

  • We usually go out to bar.
  • Why do you go to a bar?
  • To have a drink and maybe meet a girl.
  • Why would you want to waste your time drinking and what kind of a girl do you think you might meet in a bar?
  • But what’s wrong with having a drink. Beside that we study so much anyway we never get to meet any women.
  • You want to waste your time getting drunk and meeting a girl in a bar? Do you know what kind of a girl hangs out in a bar? Not the kind of girl that works hard and studies and who wants to get ahead or get a decent husband. You’ll meet the loose kind that smokes and spreads her legs for anyone.
  • That’s kind of the idea.
  • Don’t be facetious. I’m serious. Nice girls, at least nice Jewish girls never hang out in bars and drink and smoke and pick up men. You might even get a disease.
  • Jewish girls can get a disease too.
  • Not the nice ones. Not the kind I’m thinking about. Not the good ones. You know the kind, Michael. Girls like Kathy up the street. Why don’t you call Kathy up and go out with her to dinner and a movie?
  • Mom, Kathy weighs 90 pounds and has Ulcerative colitis. She can’t even eat popcorn at the movies much less have a steak for dinner.
  • Then why not Cynthia. You know Cynthia. She’s a gem, a doll, a darling. Her mother says that all the girls in the dorm think she’s just adorable. The last time I spoke to her, her mother said she was even making all her own clothes.
  • Great. You want me to go out with homely Cynthia wearing her own knitted pants suit.
  • Don’t talk like that. Her mother and I were best friends. When your father was sick she came and visited. None of your father’s other so-called friends came over. She comes from a lovely family.
  • That doesn’t make Cynthia any prettier or more debonair.
  • Now you’re being rude. And how many beers did you drink anyway? Is that what’s making you talk like that? Beer? And is that what you are learning about in that school? How to drink in bars. How to drink beer. How to drink beer and find a goyisha smoking slut for a wife. How to drink beer and become a drunk like some Irish. What kind of a drunk shikse wife do you think you’re going to find in a bar anyway? Nice girls don’t hang out in bars. Not nice Jewish girls.
  • No, ma. They all stay home and make their own clothes. Could we please stop talking about this ? I think I have to leave now ; go back to school and study.

A similar situation occurred many years later when I leased my office for two days a week to a Jewish physician who used it on the days I was not there. He had a relatively domineering mother who even went as far as arranging vacations for him at the Club Med, especially to improve his chances of meeting the right girl. He did in fact meet the right girl. She was Jewish. She was a business entrepreneur. She was rich. She was pretty and she was personable. She played golf and tennis, as did he. Perfect, yes?

No. The fatal flaw was that she was in her forties, but even worse she was not interested in having children…and for mother that was “over and out.”

One day B’s mother appeared in the office, which also happened to have a private back entrance, inquiring if her son had come in yet because he had promised to meet her there at that time for whatever purpose.

  • No Mrs. B., he’s not here yet. He didn’t come in.
  • But it’s four o’clock and he said he would meet me here at four.
  • Mrs. B, we’ve been here all day and he hasn’t come in yet.
  • But how do you know he didn’t come in the back door? Sometimes he goes in the back door to do work in the back.
  • Yes, Mrs. B. but we have been using the office all day and I know he is not in the back.
  • But how do you know. When was the last time you went in the back? Maybe he came in the back door when you were not looking.
  • Trust me, Mrs. B. he did not come in the back door and he is not working in the back. I just came from the back and he is not there. Maybe he’s just a little late. Why don’t you just sit in the waiting room and give it a few more minutes.
  • He’s never late for me. Are you sure he’s not in the back? He never minds if I go in the back when he works in the back. You don’t mind if I just go back to have a little peek for myself, do you?

With that, she burst through the inside door to the office without permission, went in the back to look for herself, only to discover that indeed, he wasn’t there. Then she came back out to the front, said she couldn’t understand why he wasn’t there; and went into the back room again…just to be absolutely sure about it.


No, no.  A  thousand times, no



© Photo  Keep the Faith

Easily Understood Universal Medical Advice: Don’t Do It

Don’t Do It…….

Hey, I was under the weather and I wasn’t getting better

So, I went to get a physical check and when I went to the Doc

It was a heck of a shock

He told me told me boy you are a miserable wreck

He said your liver’s all swollen and your stomach’s got a hole in it

From drinking too much for too long

And there’s a good indication

You got bad circulation cause your blood pressure’s almost gone

And you got no reflexes in your solar plexus when I tap you on the top of your knees

He said your pulse ain’t steady and your lungs getting ready to collapse every time that you breathe.

And at the rate you’re going all the tests are showing that boy you’ll never live to get old

But I came up with a plan to make you healthy again

But son you got to do what you’re told

And then he told me

If you dig it…Don’t do it

And if you like it, better leave it alone

And if it’s too much fun that ought to clue you son

That you’re probably doing something that’s wrong

And I’m surprised at you and all the things you do

Boy cause that ain’t what your body is for

And if you think it’s bad so far wait til after this guitar

Cause the doctor said a whole lot more

He told me cut out your boozin’ quit those drugs you been usin’

And don’t be smokin’ no cigarettes

And you know, love on a stranger now days boy,

Man, it’s just like playing Russian roulette

And get that grease out your diet; better boil it don’t fry it

And don’t chew no more barbecue

I wouldn’t tell you no lie so take this rule, and apply

My son, now listen to what you got to do

And then he told me

If you dig it…Don’t do it

And if you like it, better leave it alone

And if it’s too much fun that ought to clue you son, ha, you’re probably doing something that’s wrong

And if it’s too good to ya well don’t let it fool ya cuase you’re playing in the danger zone

And I kept waiting and waiting for the man to finish but the sucker just went on and on

And then he told me better cut out all sweets

And don’t be cramping yo feet

In them pointy toed I-talian shoes

And he said boy look it here you’re gonna damage you’re ears

Playin’ them loud rock, rhythm, and blues

And if a rabbit won’t eat it buddy you don’t need it

That’s the rules of your new menu

You better get you a pen, I ain’t gonna say it again

Cause there’s a whole lot more that you need to do

You need to lose some weight,

You need to stand up straight

Boy your posture is a terrible disgrace

You need to suck in your gut you need to tuck in your butt

You need to clear them zits up off-a your face

And then he told me

If you dig it…Don’t do it

And if you like it, better leave it alone

And if it’s too much fun that ought to clue you son

Yeah, you’re probably doing something that’s wrong

And if it’s too good to ya don’t’ let it fool ya

Cause you’re playing in the danger zone

And I kept waiting and waiting for the man to finish

But the sucker just went on and on

and on and on and on and on….


Little Charlie and the Night Cats

Big Break Album

Alligator Records 1989

Copy right: Printed without permission





I don’t need no doctor

‘Cause I know what’s ailing me

I don’t need no doctor

‘Cause I know what’s ailing me

All I need is my baby

You don’t know I’m in misery

(Humble Pie)

Late in my career I went back to school for a Masters Degree in Medical Management. This was a paranoid backup plan I had worked out if Managed Care would one day put me out of business. At least I would then have the credentials to go into hospital management. Because I still a clinical medical practice to take care of, it was a grueling enterprise that took five years. But if I learned anything at all by this endeavor, it was that all assumptions are: False, Limiting, and Reversible.

It was a lesson I should have already empirically learned on the wards at the VA hospital when I had to take care of a man who had an unusual complication of long-term alcohol abuse in which the cerebellum in the brain becomes affected similar to how it scars the liver in alcoholic cirrhosis. This often-irreversible syndrome requires a great deal of alcohol consumption over decades to affect the brain.

Because the cerebellum controls balance, this man literally had the gait of a drunken sailor or a sea-sick landlubber, which made anyone who saw him, feel compelled to stand by for a catch in case he fell down. He looked like the protagonist in the Monty Python sketch, “The Ministry of Silly Walks.”

After the diagnosis was secured I was assigned to explain his problem. After a very lengthy, diligent explanation about how alcohol had damaged the back part of his brain, which included drawings and visual schematics, he looked up at me when I was finished and said:

  • So, what kind of doctor do you think you are?
  • I’m not really a doctor yet. I’m still a medical student.
  • Well mister, you’ll never make it in this business, so maybe you should think about doing something else.
  • Why do you say that? I’m only interested in helping you understand what’s wrong with you, so you can change your habits. This might prevent further trouble. Some of your balance issues might even improve if you stop drinking. If not, it can only get worse.

Of course, I had assumed he knew what I was talking about and that my carefully studied little lecture had made enough of an impact to inspire a trip down the road to total sobriety. Nothing was further from the truth, because the opposite reaction had  caused him to completely lose any faith, trust, or confidence he might have had.

  • That’s just what I’m saying, pretty boy. You can’t possibly know what you’re talking about. Like I said, I been drinking hard for over thirty years.
  • Correct. That’s the point.
  • Not really. The point is that you can’t be right, because this is the first time in thirty years something like this ever happened to me. So, it can’t be the booze. Now what’s really wrong with me?

What I really wanted to say was:

  • Well, perhaps you can’t ever cure being Irish.

Unbelievably, déjà vu came knocking thirty years later when our next-door neighbor in the Hamptons presented to the hospital with liver failure associated with ascites. This is a condition in which the liver is so scarred it cannot properly function, subsequently causing the abdominal cavity to fill up with clear yellow serous fluid. In being a serious sign that portends a very poor short-term prognosis, it can even make a man or woman look ten months pregnant.

Usually the kidneys shut down next or nearly unstoppable upper G.I. hemorrhaging occurs expressed as continuous vomiting of blood. This is a result of extremely high pressure in the varicose veins located in the lower esophagus that dilate because the liver doesn’t work; causing back-pressure into the spleen; which also enlarges.

His predicament was no surprise, as I would notice him regularly wandering around his yard, starting to drink beer at ten a.m., which he conveniently kept perched in front of him on the home-made shelf provided by his expanded abdominal girth. Meanwhile, his wife, who had smoked her lungs to death, was inside their house attached to an oxygen tank.

As a perfect pair, the couple was a veritable monument to self-inflicted abuse.

When he was hospitalized with cirrhotic liver disease, I saw him briefly when I stopped by his bed for a courtesy call, but was taken aback when he asked me what was wrong. He said his doctor told him he had liver failure. When I reaffirmed that his problem was the result of years of drinking to excess, he dismissively parroted the man at the Boston V.A. by saying it could not possibly be true for the same precise reasons I heard many years before. He said he had consumed beer all day long for well over half a lifetime but this was the first time something like this had ever happened to him; ergo alcohol could not be the problem.

Saying nothing more than “good luck and get better,” I walked away because I had seen that that movie once  and it wasn’t very good the first time around. In this case he wasn’t even Irish. He was just an ignoramus.

Enough said about assumptions.

My mother put it differently whenever I did something that I assumed had seemed like a good idea at the time; but turned out just the opposite.

  • But mom. I thought…
  • Yyou know what thought did, don’t you?
  • No mom, what?
  • A man thought he had to fart.

Anyone who studies medicine comes to know it as a discipline in which two great truths are axiomatic:

A: Never make assumptions.

B: Never, say never.

Especially never assume that a patient knows what you are talking about or understands anything you are saying without soliciting your own personal validated feedback. One must ask at the end of the visit:

  • Did you understand what we discussed and do you have any other questions?

As far as patients are concerned, they believe that too many doctors speak a foreign language, but are often afraid or too intimidated to ask for an understandable translation. They simply nod their heads like dumb jack-asses, or worse, talk through the explanations without listening, then go home to tell family or friends:

  • The doctor didn’t spend any time with me at all. And he didn’t tell me anything either. He’s an incompetent boob.

That is, assuming the doctor really takes the time to speak plainly, or unless the patient has taken it upon himself to become an overnight Internet expert about his own personal health; in which case, the only medical advice he weeds comes form Dr. Google.

So, there it is. Just another one of life’s many negative feed-back loops.


The father is Jim Beam

Pacemaker Sex

Pacemaker Sex

The prior story about a female Resident getting fisted by the electronically paced flailing arms of a D.O.A. John Doe paled in comparison to what happened to my loan shark friend, Chubby.

One of his sideline enterprises was to pimp women to local clients including police officers, lawyers, bankers, and a few other unsavory fellow shysters. The women were not a consistent cadre of reliable girls from a “stable” but instead were usually indiscriminately pulled off the local sidewalks or out of grocery store parking lots. For this reason, the women were also not consistently available, such that when something suddenly came up, he would place phone calls to line up the Johns.

He solicited sex from just about any woman he saw and when he scored would temporarily procure them for his client base until the women got tired of it or did not need the money anymore. he said:

  • Doc, you can’t believe how many housewives are broke and what they’ll do for a buck, especially when economics is bad. Recessions are always good for me.

The going rate in the 1990s was about one hundred and three dollars an hour for intercourse and thirty-three dollars for oral sex, although he once got a staggering one thousand and three dollars out of a retired but impotent eighty-year old business tycoon and former CEO of a major US steel company who paid just to have the girl sit naked in a chair and talk to him for an hour. The arbitrary rounding on the price was based on a superstitious love of the number three.

Several years later, this same tycoon was indicted in an insurance fraud scheme in which he tried to smuggle a vintage Mercedes-Benz sport coupe out of the country after reporting it stolen; an act that everyone who knew him and how much money he was worth thought to be stupidly perplexing in its perverse logic.

Chubby said:

  • I don’t know, doc. It’s like he just got a soft spot in his brain.

Later in life, Chubby happened to have had a heart attack. Several years after the fact he then had an AICD (Automatic Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator) implanted for unexplained fainting that later turned out be related to poor blood flow in the posterior cerebral circulation. Even though the essential point was that implanting it was probably not necessary, it was done anyway because of uncertainty about the possibility of lethal ventricular arrhythmias. This underscores the fact that sometimes medicine, for all its sophistication is nothing better than a guessing game.

These electronic devices are set to deliver sequential shocks of about 15 to 30 joules of direct current internally to the heart which will reset the cardiac rhythm if a life threatening one is detected. The shock is not at all comfortable. It can also be felt by anyone who happens to grab hold of the victim who might be collapsing when the arrhythmia then secondarily causes his blood pressure to bottom out. Some spouses have stated they suffer from the guilty dilemma of deciding between letting their loved one fall down, as opposed to being exposed to the shared experience of internal electrocution. Personally, I thought the original contract called “For better or for worse.”

Chubby reluctantly accepted to have the implant but said he would feel much better about it if we were going to put in a pacemaker that would give him a permanent erection instead of an electrocution.

  • You doctors are all numb. Forget Viagra. With modern technology yez should be able to do a better job with boners.

One afternoon I received a frantic call from him. He said he wasn’t sure what had happened, but he thought his device had discharged.

  • Doc. I think my thing went off.

When I asked the circumstances, he said he had picked up a tried and true regular at the supermarket, a local housewife who had already been paid thirty-three dollars for blowjob.

As she was in the middle of the head-bob he said he was suddenly lifted two feet off the bed, that all he saw was a bright white light, and that his hair stuck straight out off his head. At the same time, the girl had been blasted and fell across the room, then banged her head on the bedroom door.

She got up screaming that he was a crazy demented pervert and what a shitty way that was get off, as she bounded out the door, following that diatribe with a statement that no matter what he might ever pay her, she was never coming back.

  • Doc. The woist part of it was I lost my thirty-three dollars and didn’t even get off. But oh, what a thrill!

As all the data is stored in memory, when one of these devices fires it is customary to interrogate it to see if the shock was appropriately sensing a real event. So, when Chubby came to the office to let me look at it, I discovered that the trigger for the shock was a paroxysm of not a lethal ventricular tachycardia but rather a harmless one that had originated in the atrium. Perhaps the excitement had over stimulated his epinephrine producing adrenal glands as well as his testosterone loaded gonads.

The device was fooled into doing its job by a rapid heart rate that was associated with an abnormally wide configuration of its cardiac complexes. It was essentially acting appropriately in an inappropriate situation; as was the housewife whore when she perceived she was being perversely abused.

I felt compelled to share this story with a colleague at the specialty hospital I had customarily referred not only Chubby, but also numerous other cases for AICD implants. Although the implanting physician, Joe, was amused, he then told me he had a story that might be even better than mine.

He queried:

  • You know how the Japanese perfected the art of autoerotic asphyxiation?

With me answering in the affirmative, he then told me about the wife of one of his patients who had brought that art-form to a new escalated jaded height. He said her affect was a little rough around the edges. She also tipped the scales at an estimated 250 lbs.

Apparently, her husband had suffered a heart attack, and then required an AICD implanted, but because of his relative debilitation, along with a lack of stamina she became accustomed to screwing him in the female-on-top sexual position.

On one occasion, the device discharged but instead of reacting negatively this woman immediately derived a great deal of pleasure from the experience. I suppose it was like having a mini electric socket inserted into the vagina, which in her mind was better than any orgasm she could achieve by using a conventional AA battery powered vibrator. Or perhaps her blubber not only attenuated electricity but then also made her threshold for sexual stimulation much higher than that of her average contemporaries.

But the perverse thing about the whole scenario was that the woman then educated herself about shocking devices. Then each time she went with her husband to the clinic to have his device was checked, she would beg the doctor to turn down the rate sensor on the AICD, so that there would be a greater probability of the thing going off when she climbed on top to rev up the sex.

So here is this poor bastard with a bad heart to begin with, losing consciousness as his heart is fibrillating, while he is getting jolted; as simultaneously his lovely fat wife also gets a DC shock jolt as she sinks into the stirrups to giddy-up the old dying horse. If nothing else, at least this was a clear-cut situation of her ability to turn the worse for him toward the better for herself: A classic combination of both positive and negative feedback loops.

Not only does it go to show that everyone has a different threshold for pain, but also gives great credence to the aphorism: To each his own.

I said to my colleague, Joe:

  • Yes. In the category of interesting clinical pacemaker anecdotes; you win the gold medal.