Talking Back To Your Parents

, , , , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2018

At some point when I was a kid, my father got the bright idea of using me for weight-bearing massage “treatments” by having me walk about on his back barefoot while he was lying on the floor. Mom usually gave me a hand to keep me stable. I have no clue if it ever worked to actually help with anything, but he kept periodically having me do it. When I was little I still thought it was fun.

His back seemed to gradually get worse as I grew older: lower spine problems. He mostly stopped having me do the walking massages as I aged into my teens.

Then one day when I was 17, when I hadn’t done it in several years, he seemed to be having some particularly bad back pains, and decided to have me stand on his back again. For some reason he was just absolutely convinced it would magically cure him, and somehow managed to rope Mom into agreeing with this. The problem is that at this point I weighed about 115 pounds — only about 15 pounds less than him — and could tell this was a terrible idea.

I refused. He insisted. I refused again and protested, pointing it out as being foolish and dangerous at my weight relative to his — he is a man of very slight and narrow build. He called me ridiculous. He and Mom both kept insisting, urging, and nagging me, and telling me I was being ridiculous. “Nothing will happen!” “Come on, it’s just a few minutes!” “Just stand on his back for a bit!” “Come on! Just help out your dad!” “It has to be you; there’s no one else, and you still weigh a lot less than Mom!”

After much protesting from me and nonstop insistence and urging — from Mom in particular, who’s always been very good at managing to bully me into doing just about anything against my will — I gave in, despite my better judgment. I very shakily stepped up on Dad’s bare back. His skin was sliding around sickeningly on his back under my feet. I nearly fell off right away, despite Mom doing her best to hold me up there, barely managing to stabilize me with her own entire weight. Meanwhile, he was very impatiently urging me to quit hesitating and being a coward, and get on with it already.

When I finally managed to stand on him properly, putting my entire weight on his back, he grunted alarmingly. Very alarmingly. And then he went abruptly very quiet. After maybe a couple of steps on him, Mom helped me get back off. Then, there were some very pointed, meaningful and alarmed looks between the two of them, but they didn’t actually say anything. I took this to mean I could finally escape the living room. Frankly, I just didn’t much care what was going on as long as I was no longer forced to participate.

There was a quiet commotion behind my back and for the rest of the day, I kind of made a point not to ask any questions for fear of being made to take part in some other poorly-thought-out treatment.

Though they’d never included me in important family concerns or given me any details about dad’s health problems, the general state of things became obvious to me in the next couple of days. What they’d made me do was indeed — Surprise! Surprise! — an incredibly terrible idea. Clearly I was too heavy, and it damaged his back even further. It was pretty severe, as far as I could tell, based the fact that he’d been forced to stay home from work for the next full week while spending pretty much all his time lying flat on the floor, except for occasional doctor’s appointments that Mom somehow had to find a way to cart him to.

Despite knowing it was stupid, I still felt guilty about what happened.

They didn’t say anything to me beyond a vague statement that Dad’s back had gotten worse — as if it was actually even possible to pretend that this had no relation with what they’d made me do. But there was never any hint of admitting that they’d done something foolish or that I’d been right. Unsurprisingly, in the following years, it became clear that Dad’s back was significantly damaged forever after this incident.

Lesson to be learned here: once in a while a teenager really does turn out to be smarter and have more basic common sense than both parents put together.

Title Goes He—Pork Chop!

, , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2018

Doctor: “Did you bring your MRI?”

Patient: “I drove home to get my MRI, and, yes, I got it; but when I was there I was looking in the refrigerator and I saw pork chops, and I started thinking about pork chops for dinner and how great those are going to be! Well, the pork chops forced the MRI out of my mind, and I forgot all about the MRI and left it on the kitchen table!”

Monthly Roundup: July 2018

Friendly Healthy Hopeless Learning Legal Related Right Romantic Working | August 6, 2018

It’s time for the July roundup! Our editors have decided among themselves which stories in July deserve the extra attention, regardless of the number of thumbs-ups they received. Out of the 817 stories we posted in the month, we’ve singled out fifteen.

If there are any stories from the last month you feel we should have included, please let us know in the comments!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite stories in the poll below! Note: You can choose up to three. The winner of the previous roundup poll was Dusting Off The Scum, from the Working category!


Must Be Friends With Aaron Schlossberg – Monkey see, monkey do!

Making A Collect Call – When common sense is offline.

That’s Some Truly Wonderful Bulls*** – This story is truly wonderful.

The Adventures Of Man-Bear – When Boris is too busy, you call in Man-Bear!

I Plead For Fifth – How to infuriate a librarian that thinks you can’t read.

I’ve Got A Lunch Hunch – Want to see how a lunch-stealer tries to justify it?

A Good Comeback Helps The Medicine Go Down – Your new healthcare plan won’t cure you, but it sure will judge!

This Wedding Is As Right As Rain – The most beautiful weddings aren’t always under the sun.

What’s His Deal? – The best way to deal with entitlement is to annihilate it.

The Key To Pressing Charges – Crime doesn’t pay, but it does sometimes pay the victim!

Needs To Learn To Housekeep Their Mouth Shut – Sometimes the best way to deal with customers is to give them exactly what they want.

A Physical Education – Violence begetting violence can be controversial, but oh so satisfying!

So That’s How Scotty Does It! – How to become a miracle worker.

Angelica Was No Angel – When customers lie, you lie right back!

A Pinch Of Good Parenting Can Go A Long Way – When it’s all an act, join the play!



Please choose your favorite story of the month!

View Results

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Same Old Tired Story

, , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2018

(My nurse recounts this story to my father, her coworker, after I wake up from appendix surgery.)

Nurse: “I’m getting her to recovery and expecting her to be out for another few minutes when she suddenly sits up, turns to me, and tells me in the most deadpan voice, ‘Hey, I’m going to throw up now. Sorry,’ and spews. Then she makes a face, lays back down, and falls right back asleep.”

Dad: *snorts* “Funny thing is, sleep-walking and -talking runs in our family. I do it, and my sister does it. It wouldn’t surprise me if my daughter does, too.”

Nurse: “She warned me. Maybe she just woke up for a minute.”

Dad: “She’s a teenager. She hasn’t been awake since she was twelve.”

(And that’s when I ACTUALLY woke up from the surgery and started grumbling about feeling groggy. Either way, I don’t remember puking, or telling the nurse I was going to. And to be fair to my dad, it’s ten years later, and I’m STILL always tired.)

Will Fight You On This Tooth And Nail

, , , | Healthy | August 5, 2018

(I study dentistry at a dental clinic in France. The dental clinic is split into what we call services: surgery, prosthetics, urgent care, etc. That means that a patient who wants the teeth we remove to be replaced by a prosthesis needs to coordinate his appointments with both services. It’s more complicated than just going to a regular dentist, but in France clinics make you pay exactly what healthcare reimburses, making it free for everyone, apart from “better” acts, like implants. The basic stuff is 100% covered, though, and that’s why poor people come here. Every service is clearly labeled. I have this interaction while working in the surgery service, with a patient who has six teeth left, and NO prosthesis.)

Me: “So, according to your file, we have to remove those three teeth.”

Patient: “But you will replace them, right?”

Me: “It says in your file that you have an appointment in prosthesis; they will take care of it.”

Patient: “But I want you to do it now! It’s in two months!”

(It is rather urgent that his teeth be removed, as they have already become infected in the past.)

Me: “Ah, well, then, we can remove the teeth now, and you can go to your planned appointment. In fact, it’s not that bad; we require about two to three months of healing before we can make a fully-functional prosthesis.”

Patient: “What will I do without my teeth, though? I’d rather stay like this and come back in two months!”

(The teeth we’re talking about are premolars. His front teeth, the incisors, are long gone, as are his back teeth, his molars. The premolars serve no purpose if they’re not surrounded or faced by other teeth.)

Me: “Are you sure? They could get infected again and cause you a lot of pain. They’re of no use to you, you can’t eat with them, and we don’t see them when you smile.”

Patient: “I want to keep them! What would I do without them?”

(I don’t know, the exact same thing you’ve been doing for the past ten years with your six remaining rotten teeth? He ended up leaving and refused any care. Bet he’ll b**** and moan when, in two months, they tell him they can’t do a nice prosthesis for two other months…)

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