Category Archives: Bagatelles

Frivolous amusements

He Was One Heck Of A Guy – The Eulogy

DrHGuy Memorial Service Walk-through: Act II, Scene 12, Alternative B

Being Really Prepared

I’ve been considering eulogies lately. I hasten to interject that this is not a subtle signal that my demise is fast approaching. On the other hand, I do have some concerns that, should my friends await my last breath before preparing their tributes or, worse yet, attempt a genuinely extemporaneous last salute, the results will be suboptimal.

While Duke of Derm and Lord of Leisure, for example, are fine buddies, the veritable iodine-added salt of the earth, and precisely the sort of fellows one wants covering ones back, they do not, I’m sorry to report, have the comic chops for the kind of performance that – well, that I deserve.

I am, consequently, faced with two alternatives:

1. Making new friends with a flair for public speaking, compositional skills, and a sense of humor resonant with my own.

2. Preparing a script and stage directions for my eulogy myself, after which my acquaintances can audition for roles in that one and only performance of what should be, as far as I’m concerned, the greatest show on earth, based on stand-up comedy style, acting technique, stagecraft, theatric range, and the likelihood of not only outliving me but also maintaining the physical and cognitive capacities necessary to assure that the show will, indeed, go on.1

It will surprise no one who knows me to learn that I have chosen the latter course of action. 2

The Research

As a result of this process, I’ve come to realize that the time and labors required to live an altruistic, productive life of the sort that offers eulogizers a treasury of good deeds, accomplishments, and evidence of service to humanity from which to choose, can be put to more efficacious use assimilating memorial performances already proven successful in uplifting the spirits of the audience and enhancing the reputation of the deceased. Many of these speeches suggest goals reached and obstacles overcome which can be advantageously attributed to the individual memorialized without the messy inconvenience of him or her actually executing these acts.

I’ve begun the research and will close today’s post with a few excerpts from selected eulogies, not all of which are suitably laudatory for our purposes but all of which are certainly striking.

New York Fire Department Captain James Gormley on Captain Francis Callahan, killed at the World Trade Center:

Some people equate camaraderie with being jovial. It is anything but. Camaraderie is sharing hardship. It is shouts and commands, bruises and cuts. It’s a sore back and lungs that burn from exertion. It’s heat on your neck and a pit in your stomach. It’s a grimy handshake and a hug on wet shoulders when we’re safe. It’s not being asleep when it’s your turn at watch. It is trust, it is respect, it is acting honorably.3


Rev. Howard Moody on Lenny Bruce:

There are three characteristics of his that I especially want to recall: his destructiveness, his unbearable moralism, and his unstinting pigheadedness.4


Robert Hunter on Jerry Garcia, his longtime songwriting partner:

Without your melody and taste
to lend an attitude of grace
a lyric is an orphan thing,
a hive with neither honey’s taste
nor power to truly sting.5


Robert F. Kennedy on Martin Luther King Jr., given impromptu during a campaign stop in racially charged Indianapolis:

What we need in the United States is not hatred, what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.6


Dan Aykroyd on John Belushi:

What we are talking about here is a good man and a bad boy.7


Jacques Pépin on Julia Child:

She was the original antisnob, enjoying a glass of Gallo burgundy as well as a glass of Lafite. She loved iceberg lettuce.8


Rev. Louis Saunders on Lee Harvey Oswald:

Mrs. Oswald tells me her son Lee Harvey was a good boy and that and that she loved him. And today, Lord, we commit his spirit to your divine care.9


Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison on President James Polk:

The death of the late Ex-President of the United States is announced to have taken place last Friday night, near Nashville, Tennessee. His complaint was chronic diarrhea. The transition from Presidential chair to the grave has been swift and startling. Neither humanity, nor justice, nor liberty has any cause to deplore the event. He probably died an unrepentant man-stealer. His administration has been a curse to the country, which will extend to the latest posterity.10


Rich Tillman at the memorial service for his older brother, NFL player turned war hero Pat Tillman, immediately swearing into the microphone said he hadn’t written anything, he said and with asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides:

Pat isn’t with God. He’s fucking dead. He wasn’t religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.11


From The London Times on French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of Deconstruction Movement, a central tenet of which is that “there is nothing outside the text:”

Is Derrida dead? A conceptual foundation for the deconstruction of mortality

Can there be any certainty in the death of Jacques Derrida ? The obituarists’ objective attempts to place his life in a finite context are, necessarily, subject to epistemic relativism, the idea that all such scientific theories are mere “narrations” or social constructions. Surely, a postmodernist deconstruction of their import would inevitably question the foundational conceptual categories of prior science — among them, Derrida’s own existence — which become problematised and relativised. This conceptual revolution has profound implications for the content of future postmodern and liberatory science of mortality. Is God dead?

It was, perhaps, Alan D. Sokal who most heuristically challenged the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook in his brilliant exegesis of Derridian principles Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Dr Sokal’s inclusive review of the literature (see especially Hamill, Graham. The epistemology of expurgation: Bacon and The Masculine Birth of Time. In Queering the Renaissance, pp. 236-252. And also Doyle, Richard. Dislocating knowledge, thinking out of joint: Rhizomatics and the importance of being multiple), and his eerily exact summary of the complementarity principle (Instead of a simple “either/or” structure, deconstruction attempts to elaborate a discourse that says neither “either/or” nor “both/and” nor even “neither/nor” while at the same time not abandoning these logics either) make his reading of Derrida irrefutable. We know only two things. We do not know. And M Derrida is in no position to enlighten us.12


Coming Attractions: Even better eulogies to follow soon.

  1. That still leaves finding singer-dancers for the chorus line, composing the music, sketching out the choreography, arranging for soloists, … , but one thing at a time. []
  2. I had, in truth, rejected the first option by the time I finished “Marking new friends.” []
  3. Excerpted from A Wonderful Life: 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit by Cyrus Copeland []
  4. Ibid []
  5. Ibid []
  6. Ibid []
  7. Ibid []
  8. Ibid []
  9. Ibid []
  10. From The Liberator, June 22, 1849 []
  11. American Tragedy by Mike Fish. []
  12. The London Times Oct 11, 2004 []

Lord of Leisure Vs Semliki Forest Virus

Contest Continues For Years With Unknown Rules and Indeterminate Scoring – Yet Isn’t Cricket

This is your mouse's brain on Semliki Forest Virus

To quickly and efficaciously invoke the mood appropriate to this tale, the reader is advised to imagine an introduction offered by either Rod Serling uttering half-ominously, half whimsically, one of his cryptic preambles to a Twilight Zone episode, “Submitted for your approval, … ,” or Alfred Hitchcock, walking on screen toward the silhouette of himself to Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, then turning toward to camera to sonorously announce with exaggerated precision, “Good Evening. I’m Alfred Hitchcock and tonight … .”

Because this is a story of the Scientist Becomes Science Experiment genre.

The Plot

In 1972, Lord of Leisure,1 Duke of Derm, Princess of Peds, DrHGuy, and 96 or so other overachievers were in the first semester of their second year of medical school in the heartland of America. Part of the second year curriculum, at least in those days, was microbiology, and part of microbiology was the “Mouse Encephalitis Lab.”

While the ultimate didactic purpose of the lab has long been forgotten by Lord of Leisure and DrHGuy, the preparation stage is permanently lodged in a prominent portion of the cortex.

The essential step in the lab exercise was inducing encephalitis in a number of rodents by the simple expedient of injecting their brains with Semliki Forest virus.2

Thus it was that Lord of Leisure, equipped with a virus-loaded syringe in one hand and a mouse in the other, brought them into approximation to effect entry of the virus via the syringe into the mouse’s brain.

That’s when things went awry.

Inserting the needle of the syringe into the mouse as directed, Lord of Leisure applied pressure to the plunger but to no avail. Perhaps the needle was clogged or the lumen was wedged against the mouse’s skull or jammed into a cul-de-sac of tissue. Regardless, the virus remained in the syringe rather than in the mouse, endangering the lab exercise (from the medical students’ perspective albeit not necessarily the mouse’s).

Conscious of his responsibility, Lord of Leisure readjusted his grip on the syringe, positioned his thumb squarely on the plunger, and in a particularly masculine maneuver, applied significantly more pressure,3 forcing the syringe’s contents from the cylinder into the needle and finally into the mouse – but only briefly.

Upon exiting the syringe, the Semliki Forest virus solution ricocheted off whatever part of the mouse’s anatomy was blocking the needle’s exist directly backwards into the eyes of Lord of Leisure.

Panic ensured – especially and understandably on the part of Lord of Leisure.

But wait – the trauma has yet to peak.

The Dark Ages

After a few hours of flushing his eyes, the Lord of Leisure took steps to assess his situation as a potential Semliki Forest virus host. In those pre-Google days his options for garnering somewhat esoteric information were limited.

First, he tracked down the wooden clog-shod, 6′ 6″ effete microbiology instructor who devised the lab and provided the virus, although he was nowhere in the vicinity when the lab was in process. It was, in fact, a few days later that Lord of Leisure was able to query him about the risks he faced and likely outcome of the incident.

The microbiologist was not worried.

Well, more accurately, the microbiologist wasn’t concerned about Lord of Leisure’s angst or any of the problems (e.g., a prolonged, horribly painful death) he might face.

He did admit that he didn’t know if Lord of Leisure were in any danger but, on the other hand, apparently felt capable of tolerating that ambiguity.

Lord of Leisure describes his next approach:

My own research of what little was then known about the Semliki Forest virus revealed that human brain tissue could be afflicted with the virus, which was best known for its incubation period that could be as long as 20-25 years.

I did not find this comforting.

Model of Semliki Forest Virus

See? This is the part of the story where the dynamic tension is greatest, the potential for catastrophe weighs heaviest on our protagonist, and the pathos reaches seemingly unendurable proportions, yet it is not, if the reactions of several of our fellow students are any guide, without a certain macabre hilarity.

One friend, in fact, continued to mention the viral incubation time in his Christmas cards to Lord of Leisure, in a sort of annual countdown, for those 25 years.

As it came to pass, the incubation period elapsed without Lord of Leisure running in circles, exhibiting restlessness, or manifesting any of the symptoms those encephalitic mice demonstrated. He is now out of the woods – or, as he prefers, “out of the Semliki Forest.”

Here’s the kicker. When I asked Lord of Leisure for details in preparation for writing this post, he Googled “Semliki Forest virus” where he found 310,000 hits, including the information that the danger to humans is minimal, as indicated by this excerpt from Wikipedia:

The Semliki Forest virus (or Semiliki Forest virus) was first isolated from mosquitoes in the Semliki Forest, Uganda by the Uganda Virus Research Institute in 1942. It is known to cause disease in both animals and man. It is an Alphavirus found in central, eastern, and southern Africa. The Semliki Forest virus is a positive-stranded RNA virus with icosahedral capsid which is enveloped by a lipid bilayer, derived from the host cell. … Semliki Forest virus is spread mainly by mosquito bites. It is not able to infect mammals through inhalation or gastrointestinal exposure although rodents in the laboratory can be infected by intranasal instillation. The virus is able to cause a lethal encephalitis in rodents, but only one lethal human infection has been reported. Even in this one case, the patient was immunodeficient and had been exposed to large amounts of virus in the laboratory. Semliki Forest virus has been used extensively in biological research as a model of the viral life cycle and of viral neuropathy. Due to its broad host range and efficient replication, it has also been developed as a vector for genes encoding vaccines and anti-cancer agents, and as a tool in gene therapy. [emphasis mine]

So, boys and girls, although Lord of Leisure and DrHGuy recall precious little about mouse encephalitis, we do have a grasp on the real lesson to be learned from this Parable of the Mouse Encephalitis Lab.

Google is your friend
(Whether your microbiology instructor is or not)

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. In addition to his sporadically ongoing Lord of Leisure Photo Gallery series, featuring shots of outdoor scenes such as Greer Springs In The Missouri Ozarks, Lord of Leisure has made numerous contributions to the Heck of a Guy blog, The Ziploc Omelette Buffet recipe, birding observations, participation in the blogumentary of Chocolodka Production, a key role in The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973, and Hilton Head Vacation Expert in Residence on Crossword Puzzles, Sports, Photography, and the Great Outdoors as well as story-teller par excellence. He also serves as spouse of Hippie With Tiara, no stranger herself to these posts, and father and father-in-law, respectively, of the recently wed Son of Science and Eager Teacher, whose recent adventures in adulthood may well find their way to future Heck of a Guy entries. Lord of Leisure also has a daughter and son-in-law, both of who have inexplicably escaped the Heck of a Guy spotlight – for the nonce. []
  2. It should be noted that medical school was awash in fun projects of this sort, each of which prompted in DrHGuy a nostalgic longing for his halcyon undergraduate days as a English major, when an onerous assignment consisted of reading The Red Badge of Courage or The Pearl (both the 14th century, Middle English alliterative poem and the Steinbeck novel – each is gruesome in its own way). Not once in a lit course – including Contemporary American Poetry – was DrHGuy expected to inject a tissue-destroying virus into the brain of a mouse. []
  3. OK, show of hands – who thought DrHGuy was going to use, instead of “applied significantly more pressure,” the phrase, “plunged ahead,” as a play on “plunger?” []

I Have Been Away On Assignment Today

Read All About It – In A Few Days

Today’s blogging time was given over to fulfilling my responsibilities as the Heck of a Guy’s daredevil reporter (and editor). If all goes well, you should see the results in 3 or 4 days.

The Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaques

Plaque #1 Available For Pre-Order

The Original Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque

In response to the pleas from the populace, The Heck OF A Guy Blog, in association with AlignMap, the Internet’s premier site dedicated to optimal treatment plan adherence and implementation, has commissioned a series of artistic memorializations of DrHGuy’s walker exploits in the service of Patient Compliance, achievements initially reported in Awaiting Weight-bearing – Still and Walkernastics.

Pictured atop this post is the first offering from the series, the descriptively entitled Triumph Of Patient Compliance: A Tribute To DrHGuy’s Performance Of A Unauthorized Alvin Ailey-Inspired Choreographic Sequence Adapted For Adherence To Post-Hip Pinning Rehabilitative Instructions For Avoidance Of Weight-Bearing On Right Leg With Physician Prescribed Accompaniment By Assistive Walking Device, which captures the courage, aesthetic integrity, and athletic elegance of DrHGuy’s dynamic adherence to treatment in a compelling charcoal on marble etching.

The Only Authentic Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque

To protect buyers from product devaluation secondary to fakes and cheap knockoffs, these limited edition pieces, each signed, dated, and numbered by DrHGuy himself, are distributed exclusively through the Heck of a Guy Mercantile and Schwag Emporium. Each plaque is accompanied by a Certificate Of Authenticity establishing the item’s provenance, including the stipulation that the artists, designers, subjects, and sellers have no connection to known terrorists, foreign or domestic.

The Heck Of A Guy Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque
is the ONLY patient compliance commemorative plaque
with documentation certifying that no profits from its sales
are sent to known terrorists1

To assist buyers in demonstrating their fiscal savvy to spouses and neighbors and provide documentation for those so imbued with altruism that they purchase a plaque with the intention of donating it to charity, the Certificate of authenticity also alludes, with an ambiguity that itself approaches artistry, to a True Market2 valuation at least sixteen times higher than the incredibly low price actually charged in this special introductory offer.3

Pre-ordering The Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque

The production run of these limited edition pieces will be completed soon, at which time these items will be offered to the general public. Prior to the shipment’s arrival at our retail outlet, however, Heck Of A Guy and AlignMap readers have the exclusive opportunity to pre-order this especially significant First Edition Of The First Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque.

Viewers can pre-order a maximum of five plaques at the opening list cost – a price guaranteed regardless of the spiking that is all but inevitable as demand for these highly desirable collectibles drives up the frenzied bidding in the secondary markets.

Further, only pre-order customers can reserve the lower numbered – and thus far more prestigious, and obviously more valuable – imprints from this numbered set.

Investing In Family Values

Imagine the delight your family will experience when these investment-grade emblems of heroic patient compliance grace your home, destined to become family heirlooms so treasured by your children that, following your death or institutionalization – whichever comes first, fights will break out and irreparable psychological damage will be done as those covetous offspring battle each other for the chance to once again cash in on your efforts by selling the complete set at an outrageous mark-up on eBay.

  1. We were, as readers may well be, surprised and appalled to discover that commemorative items sold by our competitors don’t carry the same guarantee that profits from their sales won’t be used by terrorists to buy weapons and toxic agents with which to attack the country we love, especially since their products are, ironically, purchased in disproportionate numbers by the most patriotic citizens. We certainly acknowledge, however, that customers have the right and the freedom to purchase the kind of items we sell from anyone they like – as long as they don’t mind possibly helping the terrorists win and being enslaved to godless, non-English speaking foreigners. []
  2. The True Market is a self-contained, fully regulated marketplace, which, by virtue of its residing exclusively on the hard drive of the laptop which produces the Heck Of A Guy Blog and, in one of those cosmically serendipitous coincidences, rigorously micromanaged by the Heck Of A Guy Blog, is uncontaminated by other exchanges and markets []
  3. While including such a document with commemorative items is not unusual, the Heck Of A Guy Patient Compliance Commemorative Plaque #1 package goes beyond the industry standard by adding a second Letter of Attestation, issued by the Independent & Prestigious Heck Of A Guy Bureau of Attestation and printed in an typeface with no affiliation to that used in the Certificate Of Authenticity, attesting to the certification and authentication of the Certificate Of Authenticity. The panel of Heck of a Guy experts are confident that, had they actually spent hundreds of hours researching the tax codes, pertinent statutes, and appropriate rules and regulations, they would find no specific prohibition to the plaque purchaser-donor challenged by the IRS to respond by contemptuously exhibiting before the Federal agents the referenced Certificate Of Authenticity and the Letter of Attestation, both of which are impressively replete with colorful seals, all manner of embellishments, a variety of adornments, and indecipherable quasi-legalistic terminology (especially “herewith,” “forthwith,” “pursuant to,” “once upon a time,” and “when pigs fly”) set on paper of distinguished appearance and high rag content. []

More Nuggets From The Mail Mine – Dennis Rodman, Houri, Screw Your Buddy, & More

16 Tons & What Do Your Get?
Another Day’s Post, That’s What

As was the case yesterday in Mining The Mail, today’s post consists of gleanings from emails of yesteryear.

Defending Dennis Rodman

… which places me yet again in that uncomfortable situation I’ve come to term Defending Dennis Rodman Syndrome. These are circumstances in which one is forced to point out that some criticisms seem bogus – even though they are directed toward the most deserving targets.

During his years with the Bulls, Rodman was frequently accused of being (1) perverse, disgusting, and idiotic and (2) ineffective (or worse) on the basketball court. I was always willing to stipulate to the first group of charges. Heck, I would chime in with anecdotes of Rodman displaying those behaviors.

On the other hand, accounting him a worthless player on the championship Bulls teams requires invoking imaginary numbers, bookkeeping tactics currently used only in the motion picture industry and organized crime, and moderate amounts of hallucinogens. I once heard a talking head on ESPN characterize Rodman as no more than another warm body, interchangeable with any of fifty other NBA journeymen one would find seated at the end of the bench at any professional game. This blasting took place immediately after the same sports show host had described the preceding night’s game, during which Rodman alone out-rebounded the entire opposing team, scored 16 points, and, as the announcer begrudgingly noted, nullified the other team’s 2nd best offensive player. It takes a special kind of guy to do all that and still be called ineffective.

The experience with Rodman himself was the first of these situations I happened to recognize as a recurring prototype. There were other episodes meeting criteria for the diagnosis of Defending Dennis Rodman Syndrome that preceded that time and I’ve noticed lots of similar circumstances since then.

Two examples of Defending Dennis Rodman Syndrome come immediately to mind.

  1. I’ve had to admit that I have occasionally used a Microsoft product that not only worked adequately but worked better than the competing product from Apple. And, for the record, I don’t believe Bill Gates is the Antichrist.
  2. I’ve been unable to condemn every program or legislation favored by Bill Clinton or the male half of the Kennedy clan – even if they actually have tried to sleep with everything in or out of a skirt.

I do detest being forced to defending individuals or institutions that I dislike for my own reasons.

Next thing you know I’ll be defending Andy Rooney.

The Name Game

… I’ve been preparing for the next meeting of the “Illinois Metro West Psychiatric Leadership Task Force,” a name which at first seems descriptive until one ponders the possible geography of an area in the “Illnois Metro West,” the nature of the task this task force is undertaking, and, of course, the oxymoronic splendor of “Psychiatric Leadership.”

And that title pales in comparison to the name of the other committee on which I serve. I am a member of (and I am not making this up) the “Resurrection Health System-ProCare Mission/Values Task Force Subcommittee for Customer-centered Care/Physician Collaboration.”

I think the existence of two slash marks in the title just about says it all.

I’m convinced both of these committee names were created by a committee.

Get a Job

Those individuals I interviewed for the job must have all read the same self-help book, “Clichés: The Guaranteed Way to Get a Job.”

I cannot recall interviewing an applicant who didn’t tell me “No one ever accused me of being afraid of hard work.” No, they weren’t afraid of it — they could sit idly in the midst of folks working like mad without showing a trace of fear.

And everyone seems to have memorized the same answer to the old standby job interview query, “What is your greatest negative trait in regard to work?” An interviewer can scarcely get the phrase out of his or her mouth before the instant response is delivered, “I care too much about my work.”

But the most popular (and least explicable) phrase among job candidates must be “I’m a people person.” In many cases, it seems that the interviewee can’t wait for the chance to interject those words into the dialog with the interviewer and is not to be denied by the lack of an appropriate fit for the phrase (“yes, I’ve been a receptionist for the last 4 years because I’m a People Person,” “Good morning, I’m Joe Smith. I’m applying for the job. And, yes, I’m a People Person.”). They seem to believe it is a magical incantation that, once uttered, immediately produce not a rabbit from a hat but at least an offer of employment – despite those 3 years of incarceration for fraud and embezzlement.

I was once hiring for a position that would effectively mean working alone from midnight to 7 AM, punching data into a pre-internet computer. Every one of the applicants thought his or her most important qualification for the job was that he or she was – say it with me – a People Person.

I suppose this means our staff will be peopled by “People People.”

What’s The Word?

I receive, from a couple of sources, email messages containing a Word of the Day. These unpredictably selected words have lately demonstrated, at least to my skewed perception, an sexualized skew. Recently arrived specimens have included

houri (HOOR-ee). A noun defined as (1) One of the beautiful virgins provided for faithful Muslims in the Koranic paradise or (2) A voluptuously attractive young woman.

osculation (“äs-ky&-‘lA-sh&n). A noun defined as the act of kissing

ecdysiast. A noun, devised by Mencken no less, in response to Gypsy Rose Lee’s request that he invent a dignified replacement for the word “strip tease.” Mencken replied that he had no brilliant suggestions, and the best he could think of was an analogy with the molting of animals. He considered moltician, he said, but feared it could be confused with mortician. Mencken then turned to the scientific term for molting — ecdysis — derived from a Greek verb meaning to take off or strip off. Following this line of thought, a strip-teaser would become an ecdysist or ecdysiast. Miss Georgia Sothern chose the latter and publicized it, and the word stuck. Gypsy Rose, Empress of Ecdysiasts, was none too impressed, observing of Mencken, “What does he know about stripping? We don’t wear feathers and molt them off.”

There is, however, a flip side.

My nomination for the most disappointing Word of the Day I’ve yet received is – insert fanfare here – bissextile (by-SEKS-til)

Now, doesn’t that seem promising? I was thinking of something that might be found in a sentence such as “Adam was so polymorphously promiscuous that he scored in the 99th bisextile.”

Alas, such prurient hopes are dashed when one reads on to find this term is only an adjective with the definition, “Of or pertaining to the leap year or the extra day in the leap year.”


The previous champion of this genre was “prick-song” which denotes “written music.”

No Dice

I agree with Einstein that God doesn’t play dice with the universe.

No, it looks to me as though God’s preferences tend toward something on the order of Screw Your Buddy1 – and I’m pretty sure He cheats.

  1. Screw Your Buddy, AKA “Anaconda” and several variants  in the spirit of “Fuck Your Friend,” is a card game in which an unwanted card is forced onto other players. I became familiar with this amusement, appropriately enough, during my first year of medical school where it was my lab’s game of choice during lunch. []

Wedding Announcements Made Unique

Another Exclusive DrHGuy Wedding Fix

The Unique Wedding – Same Old Announcement Conundrum

While the desire for a unique wedding has become almost universal among prospective brides and grooms these days, those same nearly-weds appear placidly satisfied with publicly published announcements of those weddings and the engagements that precede them that are tired cookie-cutter versions of the same old templates newspapers have used for generations. These black and white photos and paragraphs can, however, be enlivened – assuming one values creativity and passion over soul-deadening adherence to the so-called facts (which I have found, in any case, to be vastly overrated). For example, …

The Raw Material
I came across the visages displayed atop this post in a well-known newspaper. If I correctly understand the arrangement, the subjects in those photos paid the periodical to have their images, along with announcements of their engagements, weddings, and the like, published where friends, family, God, and, more to the point, I could see them.

While the pictures were fascinating, the captions, were – and I must be blunt here – tragically lame, rehashing the same trite clichés about “planning a June wedding,” “the groom is a graduate of … ,” “the ceremony will be held at … ,” etc. that fill newspaper society pages every day, everywhere.

Clearly, these folks were not getting their money’s worth.

I have rectified the problem by blacking out, in an uncharacteristic display of tact, the text and identifying information that originally appeared in the paper and then providing, as replacements for those standard (i.e., dull) announcements, my own alternative compositions that, I humbly submit, are not only far more interesting but are also more in synch with the photos.

The New, Improved Announcements

From top-left, and continuing clockwise,

Society Newcomer Surprises Wife

Dzems Djordievic-Dikic commemorates his entry into the fashionable circles of the Argentinean elite with the generous donation of Carlotta Lennardotten, his former mistress, current wife, imminent ex-spouse, and a recent graduate of the Lake Titicaca School of Economics, Astrology, & Cosmetology, to the society slave auction sponsored by the Buenos Aires Association for the Preservation of Rich Political Outcasts. “Call me ‘old-fashioned,’ but I appreciate these traditional slave auctions,” Dzems remarks, “What’s the point of these modern so-called ‘charity auctions’ where you buy a slave today and tomorrow it’s as if she is free again? That makes a joke of a valid economic transaction and insults those women whose owners decide, of their own free will, to sell them.” Captain Djordievic-Dikic, a career war criminal whose name translates into English as “Pig’s Squeal Fang-gnasher,” denies bitterness about his exile from his homeland consequent to his recent convictions by the World Court on charges of drug smuggling, war profiteering, and genocide, wryly commenting, “Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”

Engagement & Sentencing To Run Concurrently

Rudy Connors expresses his delight over his engagement: “I’m one lucky guy. Not only did I persuade a wonderful girl like Catherine to marry me but how many sex offenders can combine reporting to their probation officer with pillow talk?” His fiancée, Ms Catherine Jenkins, plans to leave corrections work soon to focus her efforts on their new business, The Wheaton Christian Pre-teen Genital Tattooing & Piercing Academy.

Alone No More – Pretty Soon

Alexandra Kerstin announces her engagement to Wayne (“call me Wayne”) Williams. Ms Kerstin is the winner of the Miss Illinois, Miss Socket Wrench, and Miss Upper Midwest America titles, a nominee for both the Nobel Physics and Peace Prizes, a visiting professor at MIT, and an actress who has appeared as the ampersand in Will & Grace, Sex & the City, and Law & Order, but is best known as The Perpetual Bridesmaid, holding the record for most bridal parties in which she was a participant (bridesmaid in 281 weddings, maid of honor in 133 ceremonies) while never herself being the bride. This Always A Bridesmaid phenomenon, as Ms Keratin, who is also ranked in the top ten nationally in three different martial arts, points out, certainly has nothing to do with her acceptance of the marriage proposal from her unemployed, thrice divorced fiancé whom she met last night at the Last Shot Bar, Grill, and Disco. Asked why Wayne was not present for the announcement and photo shoot, Alexandra quiets her sobs long enough to explain that Wayne, who recently succeeded in obtaining his GED on the third attempt, did leave a message on her voice mail saying that he might stop by for the occasion – unless the guys at the garage could work him in this afternoon to rotate his tires.

Groom Celebrates; Bride Choked Up

Lieutenant Anthony “Mad Dog” Haskins enjoys the festivities on the occasion of his wedding to Miss Brenda Haynes. Lt Haskins, a noted serial killer and holder of the Tri-state record for most murders committed within the borders of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin during a consecutive 7-day period (excluding major holidays), admits that this was not a case of love at first sight. “In fact, when I first met Brenda, I hated her. I thought she was one of those uppity bitches, but I fell in love when I saw how she had changed when I visited her in the ICU,” referring to Ms Haskins’ hospitalization following his botched attempt to strangle her. “No,” he explains, “she hasn’t come out of the coma yet, but we decided that it would be silly to delay the marriage while we wait for her to recover.” Miss Haynes had little to say but was radiant and, according to family, “looked just like herself.”