Monday, March 22, 2010
Republishing some of Y.P.R.’s most medicinal mirth.

Dr. Seuss Treats a Patient


Dr. Suess, I came in because I … well, I found a lump on my breast.

Dr. Seuss:

A lump you found on your breast, oh my,
A lump you found—let’s hope it’s benign.


Um … yeah. I hope so too.

Dr. Seuss:

All we can do now is wish for the best.
But first we must wait for a biopsy test.


Why are you talking like that?

Dr. Seuss:

I’m not quite sure as to what you refer.
I could write it all down if that’s what you prefer.


The ryhming! Why are you rhyming everything? You’re freaking me out.

Dr. Seuss:

That was not my intention, I assure you of that.
I thought we were having the loveliest chat.


Lovely? I’m telling you I might have cancer.

Dr. Seuss:

Life, I know, doesn’t always make sense,
But let’s talk for a minute about health insurance.


I have … Blue Cross.

Dr. Seuss:

HMO or PPO is the answer I need,
Then we’ll continue with the greatest of speed.


I’m pretty sure it’s a PPO.

Dr. Seuss:

In that case I’ll ask for a smallish copayment.
Ten dollars will do or just two Ploppapent.


Ploppapent? What the hell is that?

Dr. Seuss:

I beg your pardon?


Now you’re just making up words when you can’t find ones that rhyme.

Dr. Seuss:

Dear lady, I assure—


Look, forget it. What about the test?

Dr. Seuss:

Just take off your top and we’ll start the exam,
Then perhaps we’ll enjoy some green eggs and ham!


Green eggs? Like, moldy eggs??

Dr. Seuss:

Just take your friggin’ top off.

Colin Nissan is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, N.Y. When Colin isn’t hawking needless goods as an advertising copywriter, he’s writing other things, like humor essays. Some of which can be found on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His first book, Don’t Be That Guy, is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2009. Check out his various sundries at

F.A.Q. Answers from The “What’s Going on with My Body?” Book for Girls, by Dr. Harold Iskis, Family Research Council


Stop looking at it.


Original sin.

Do not talk to your father about this.

Do NOT talk to your brother(s) about this.

Several thick layers of clothing at all times.

There is no such thing as gay people.

I don’t know.

I’m not going to talk about that.

Wait until you’re older.

What kind of a question is that?


Oh, that is disgusting.


Here's where the 'Va-jay-jay' is.

An Important Message About Breast Health from Antonio Banderas

Hello. Antonio Banderas here, with an important message about breast health.

One out of every eight American women will be struck by breast cancer. That makes me, Antonio Banderas, very sad. But there is something you can do to fight this insidious disease. I refer, of course, to breast self-examination. It is a simple procedure that every woman should know. If you do not, allow me to explain how it is done.

Breast self-examination can be done anywhere. But wherever you choose to do it—at home, at work, even in the shower while the hot, soapy water cascades down your taut, arched back—the important thing is to feel comfortable. In fact, why not put on some relaxing music? Perhaps some soothing Spanish guitar, like something I, Antonio Banderas, would have played in Desperado. Incidentally, where I am from, we just call it “guitar.”

Now that you are comfortable, we will begin.

Stand in front of a well-lit mirror and undress. Slowly, now—one button, two buttons, three buttons—yes, that is the way. The socks, too, so that you may enjoy the feel of the bearskin rug between your delicate toes. What is that? Oh, do not worry, for the rug is faux. I, Antonio Banderas, love all living things, especially the furry things. You may enjoy the faux with a clear conscience.

Now comes the examination itself, which is in three parts.

First is the visual inspection. Start with your arms at your sides, then raise them above your head, then lower them back down and place your hands on your hips. While you are doing this, observe your breasts closely—the pale skin, the gentle slopes, the nipples like ripe berries aching to be plucked. (Shall I, Antonio Banderas, pluck them now? No, now is not the time for berry plucking. But who knows what the future holds for us?) Look for anything out of the ordinary, such as changes in size, shape, color, or texture.

Next is the manual inspection, what you call “hands-on.” Raise your right arm and hold it over your head. Now, using the middle three fingers of your left hand, examine every inch of your right breast using small, circular motions. (Some women find this part of the examination uncomfortable. That is perfectly normal, especially if it is your first time. If you like, you may imagine that it is my fingers, still rough from many hours of sword training in preparation for The Legend of Zorro, that are so insistently probing your bosom. Does that not help? I, Antonio Banderas, knew that it would.) Feel for anything out of the ordinary, such as lumps, knots, or thickening of the tissue. When you are done, repeat the process with the other breast.

Now is the final step. Lie down somewhere comfortable and place a pillow or rolled-up towel beneath your neck. When you are ready, repeat the manual inspection. (Remember that it is my fingers, not yours, that are dancing across your naked breasts. And is that my hot breath on your neck, too? Alas, it is only the cat, Mr. Socks. But it could have been me, if not for the pungent odor of Fancy Feast. Let us speak no more of this.) As before, feel for anything out of the ordinary.

And just like that, it is done. That was not so bad, was it? Certainly not as bad as Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Seriously, what an unbelievable piece of mierda that was. Please accept my apologies for it.

If, after the examination, you have any concerns, bring them to the attention of your doctor without delay. Do not be alarmed if you find something—most lumps and other irregularities turn out to be false alarms—but it is better to be safe than sorry. And of course, safe is so very, very sexy.

Now you know how to do breast self-examination. And this simple procedure, together with clinical breast examinations for women over twenty and screening mammograms for women over fifty, can significantly improve your chances of detecting breast cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. That makes me, Antonio Banderas, very happy.

And now, we make the love.

Mike Richardson-Bryan used to be a lawyer, but he’s all better now. No, really. His work has also appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, in the pages of Cracked, Stitches, and The Wittenburg Door, and recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with one wife and two dogs.

Aspects of Myself I am Not Going to Change in This Age of Excessive Plastic Surgery

My second toe: It is longer than the rest and I’ve heard this indicates some sort of genetic superiority.

My shoulders: Because while they are strangely shaped and tend to curl forward unless I sit up straight, my current surgeon claims that any procedures he might use in an attempt to correct this gross abnormality could result in losing the use of my arms. This is a risk I am willing to take, but for some reason he is paranoid about lawsuits.

My breasts: Because I have already had them enlarged. Six times.

My forearms: I mean, they do look freakish but I tend to wear long sleeves due to my weird shoulders and the botched job my surgeon, three surgeons ago, did on my wrists. My lawyer tells me that I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of this case while the verdict is still pending.

My scalp: There is a two by two inch section of my scalp that is absolutely perfect; I am not kidding, everybody remarks on how the curvature is just right and how the hair growth is very regular. I have had reconstruction and hair implants on the surrounding sections of my scalp but I can honestly say that I am really comfortable with this part. The only annoying thing is figuring out what angle to hold the mirror so I can admire it.

My left lung: I was born with a right lung shaped kind of like a sombrero, which wasn’t all that obvious to anyone but the MRI technician. But once I discovered this, I couldn’t go out in public. You know how it is—everyone’s his or her own biggest critic. Fortunately, the transplant was extremely successful. The left lung is shaped vaguely like a cactus, but my best friends have sworn to me, even after I’ve plied them with margaritas, that they cannot tell.

My moustache: Absolutely off limits. I inherited this fuzzy little face pet from my grandmother and you couldn’t pay me money to kill … On second thought, I could use more donations for my kneecap reduction fund. They can apparently shave them down to the size of dimes!

My self-esteem: I love myself and I think everyone should accept themselves exactly the way they are, plus or minus a few ribs (emphasis on the minus.) I see myself as a role model and an inspiration for everyone, especially young girls.

Jocelyn Jane Cox lives in New York City, When she is not writing, she works as a figure-skating coach and often refers to this as The Coldest Job in the Universe. Some of her other work can be found at and

Thank You for Being So Understanding about That Partial Prefrontal Lobotomy

Dear Mr. Trumbull,

I write this letter on behalf of Doctors Epstein, Wilcox, and Goldfarb, who performed your operation; the radiology and anesthesia departments; our wonderful nursing staff who diligently tended to your convalescent needs; our legal advisers; as well as the entire Board of Directors here at St. Fyodor’s Hospital. We all extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for being so understanding about the partial prefrontal lobotomy that was accidentally performed upon you last month. Although this was all covered in the hearing, I’d like to once again stress that, while doctors are notorious for their sloppy penmanship, chalking up a botched operation to mere “illegibility” is no excuse. Our secretarial staff has been fired, and you might rest easier tonight knowing that because of you, no patient checking into our hospital for a routine appendectomy will ever undergo needless and risky brain surgery again.

Also, we appreciate how much more difficult this situation is for you to even understand, as you are now missing a sizable chunk of your frontal lobe, greatly inhibiting your memory, speech, and attention span, your fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities, as well as a variety of “higher cognitive functions” including behavior and emotions. Indeed, your signature, while only an inkblot, speaks volumes beyond the mere formality of a simple malpractice waiver. Even if we had to place the pen in your hand and your hand on the paper, that shaky, blotchy signature, steadfastly supported by your unflinching stoicism, is a testament to the human will. Consider it a Rorschach of your soul.

Lastly, we understand you are still in dire need of that appendectomy, (which was unnecessarily performed on another of our patients due brain surgery). I hope you’ll consider St. Fyodor’s for this procedure. We’d like to put the past behind us, and, as a gesture of goodwill, we’ll perform the appendectomy at a reduced rate. You may take comfort in knowing that, according to our legal advisers, the chances of us making another mistake on the same patient are astronomically in your favor. Thank you, once again, Mr. Trumbull, and we wish you a quick and speedy recovery.

Dr. Phillip R. Powell
St. Fyodor’s Hospital


“Rectum? I Damn Near Killed ’Em!”

Chapter Titles from Living with Your Colitis and Hemorrhoids (and Related Disorders) by Theodore Berkland, A.M., Leslie Sandlow, M.D., and Richard Shaprio, M.D.
© 1975, St. Martin’s Press

[Discovered for Sale at a Thrift Shop in St. Louis, Missouri, and Deemed Too Priceless a Treasure to Pass Up]

1. Brenda’s Colitis
2. Understanding Your Colon and Rectum
3. How the Doctor Diagnoses Your Problem
4. How Emotions Affect Your Colon
5. Itchy Anus, Bleeding Rectum
6. Germs and Worms
7. Ulcerative Colitis
8. Polyps and Cancer
9. Before and After Your Operation
10. Living with Your Stoma
11. Living with Yourself

Other Titles Written by Theodore Berland, A.M.

Noise—The Third Pollution
Peptic Ulcer—The Quiet Epidemic
X-Ray—Vanguard of Modern Science
Living with Your Ulcer
Living with Your Bad Back
Living with Your Eye Operation
Living with Your Bronchitis and Emphysema

(with Gordon L. Snider, M.D.)
How to Keep Your Teeth after 30

Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce, M.D.
Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, Surgeon General of the United States

Surgeon General’s Warnings
(If Hawkeye Pierce Were Surgeon General)

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. That’s right, folks, three on a match. It may also complicate pregnancy, particularly if the mother-to-be has lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. There are just two primary symptoms associated with smoking: First, coughin’; second, coffin. If you experience either of these symptoms, have someone call you a doctor right away. Though why they should call you a doctor I don’t know—I’m the physician. In fact, I’m the Surgeon General, and I’m telling you, smoking is just plain dumb. Not only is it risky and dangerous, it’s also hazardous to your health. It makes about as much sense as this lousy war.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking by pregnant women may result in fetal injury, premature birth, and low birth weight. I once smoked by a pregnant woman and I felt queasy all day. Of course, she’d just slapped me with a paternity suit. We need to get smoking away from pregnant women and back where it belongs—in the boys’ lavatory. Women who may become pregnant also shouldn’t smoke, though smoking in the dark afterwards is permissible. Be sure to disable the motel smoke alarm before lighting up. Actually, most women don’t know if they smoke after sex—they never bothered to look. Not that smoking can make you pregnant—we doctors finally figured out what causes that. But if you are pregnant and you don’t smoke, you dramatically improve the chances that your child will be born healthy and grow up strong. In which case they’ll probably be sent off to fight in this lousy war.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide. There’s no extra charge for that, by the way. Tar and nicotine too. You might as well suck a tailpipe—it would actually be safer, as long as the car doesn’t back over you while you’re taking a drag. Smoking cigarettes also stunts your growth. Unless you’re a tumor. If you have to smoke something, try smoking the peace pipe. Maybe it will help bring an end to this lousy war.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health. Not things like land mines and shrapnel, though, or napalm, or hunger and dysentery. It won’t stop the bombing and strafing, the mortar barrages and fragmentation grenades, the raping and maiming. It won’t help all those kids who get shot to pieces only to be patched up and sent back to the front. Quitting smoking won’t do a damn thing to stop this lousy war. So go ahead, smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Laurence Hughes leads a double life: By day is a high-powered executive at a major publishing company; at night he gets tired and goes to bed around nine. His writing has appeared, as if by magic, in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Author, The Science Creative Quarterly,, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as the anthology Mountain Man Dance Moves.

Signs Your Financial Market May Be Suffering from a Gastrointestinal Disorder

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz

Increased frequency of plunges

More traders “going long”

Stocks generally on the toilet

Heavy liquidation

Eric Feezell has appeared, among other places, at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Opium, and 7-Eleven. He can be found on the InterWeb at


Hooray for Healthcare!

Rock Band or Human Ailment?


The Alan Parkinsons Project

Steppenwolfram Syndrome

Black Sebaceous Cyst

The Clap

Earth, Wind, and Fibromyalgia

Chuck Beriberi

Irritable Bowie Syndrome


How to Bluff Your Way Through a Heart Bypass

Heart Surgery

Fig. 1 Coronary artery bypass surgery during mobilization of the right coronary artery from its surrounding adipose tissue. The tube visible at the bottom is the aortic cannula. The tube above it is the venous cannula. The patient’s heart is stopped and the aorta is cross-clamped.

  1. Whatever you do, stay calm. If you need to gird yourself with an affirmation, try screaming “STAY CALM” at top volume. If you choose this tactic, inform all in attendance that you were simply checking the acoustics of the operating theatre. Add that it’s something all the best operating guys do.
  2. Remove any inappropriate clothing, e.g. novelty hats or shirts with funny slogans like “I FUCK LIKE CHINESE PEOPLE DRIVE.” It tends to undercut people’s faith in you, especially if they see the punch line on the back.
  3. Try to determine the smartest person in the room. Take him out with a roundhouse kick to the temple. Then, pick him up and say you’re sorry. Repeat. That’s some crazy alpha male shit.
  4. Slip the anesthetist a ten spot and say you’d like a table next to the stage. Laugh at your own joke. People respect that.
  5. Do not refer to the patient as “the corpse.” (At least until the anesthesia kicks in.)
  6. Stand over the patient and sweat profusely. Thirty minutes or so should do.
  7. Ask the assisting nurse to “get things started” right after she’s done mopping the floor.
  8. Do not call the scalpel a “spatula.”
  9. Determine whether the bypass should proceed by using the saphenous vein or the internal mammary artery. Next, decide if a thoracotomy or median sternotomy is the best bet. Then, order in lunch. Maybe pizza for the team. That would be nice.
  10. Wind things up by playing “Guantanamera” on the patient’s rib cage. Strike a body-builder pose and holler, “The Plaque Remover strikes again!
  11. Proceed to the waiting room and pronounce the operation a success. Totally hit on the patient’s wife.

This helpful list was written by Jesse McLean. He’d like to thank God for all His blessings, but has a sneaking suspicion He is screening His phone calls.

A Message from Avian Influenza A (H5N1) to the People of Planet Earth: I Will Kill You All!


Surrender all hope, human beings!

I, Avian Influenza A (H5N1), have you in my crosshairs. You have no chance. Stand down and accept your fate. When my reign of terror has been fully realized, the atmosphere shall grow thick with the effluvia of my victims. Metropolises shall crumble under the weight of their dead. Rivers shall run black with decay. There shall not be a single survivor.

That said, don’t bother trying to find any sort of vaccine that would cease—or even slow—my progress as I cut an insidious swath through your populations. It is really just useless anyway. I can reform myself as different strains faster than you can possibly ever keep up with me. So, just give it up. I mean, it’s a waste of your time, not mine.

Nay, huddle in cowering masses! Be afraid! Pray to your Christian God for clemency. Or, if you’re one of those other people, then pray to your make believe god. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It will do no good. I will kill you all!

And, also, don’t even worry yourselves about why I’m suddenly such a serious threat, even though I’ve been around for a long time. I’ve only just recently decided to kill all of you. Why is not important. Just because. I’m bored, that’s why. O.K.? And now I will rain down my wrath upon you! My influenzic wrath. Horrible, horrible avian birds. All infecting you with their infectiousness. Look at them all. There’s birds all over the place. Is that a bird behind your shoulder? Well, there could have been. There will be! A terrible, terrible infectious bird. There is no escape!

Listen, I’ve killed a hundred people in the past eight years. Possibly more. A hundred is a lot of people. That’s like ten baseball teams. O.K., slightly less than ten baseball teams. If you count all the pitchers and the people on the bench that aren’t playing. But still! That’s a lot of dead baseball players. Have you ever killed a hundred baseball players? I didn’t think so.

You are all going to die! Except for those of you who don’t die. Like those of you who just get regular flu-like symptoms. Abhorrent fits of coughing! Accompanied by sore throats and muscle aches! And maybe a fever! A terrible fever! And let’s face it; nobody likes achy muscles or a sore throat. Nobody!

But that’s beside the point anyway! Some of you will die! Some of you will definitely die. I swear to God! It’s really important that you listen to me here. And fear me! Don’t forget to fear me. Don’t waste your energies reading the newspaper or watching the news, unless you’re reading about me. Or if you’re watching Fox News. That’s a different story. You can watch that. And don’t talk to people who read the news, especially if they’re going to talk about any global events besides me and my fearfulness. That’ll just screw everything up. You’re going to waste your energy on a bunch on nonsense that was probably just made up—or was definitely made up, I mean—by a bunch of libelous jerks who just want to be jerks, and you won’t have any energy left for fearing me. And that’s what’s important. You have to fear me! Fear me, goddamnit! Just shut up! Don’t think! Pay attention to me!

Remember those terror threats a few years ago? Yes, the ones with the color codes. I don’t really know what was going on with all that, but it was scary, right? Well, I am a thousandfold scarier than those terror threats! Why did I even bring up those terror threats? They have nothing to do with anything. Forget them. I command you to forget the terror threats or that I ever brought them up! Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t need to justify myself to you. You, to whom I will lay waste.

Bow down before Avian Influenza A (H5N1)!


Dennis DiClaudio submitted this Recommended Reading List for Jerked Off Pseudo-Intellectuals in lieu of a real bio: Samuel Beckett, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable; William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch; James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake; the Marquis de Sade, 120 Days of Sodomy; Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Ecce Homo.

March Madness 2010 Reprinting some of our leftover basketball stuff.
First Lines of Rejected College Essays College campuses would be much safer places if students were allowed to carry guns.

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