Becoming The Butt Of An Insult-To-Injury Situation

, , , , , | Healthy | June 27, 2020

My dad served in Vietnam between 1969 and 1972. During this time, he saw many of his fellow soldiers injured.

One drew the lucky straw in a firefight and wasn’t fatally injured. The bullet went in one side and out the other side — of his buttocks.

While he was laid up in the hospital, my dad and a few friends visited him.

They all very solemnly entered the guy’s hospital room and very seriously informed him that the doctors had told them that the patient’s bottom was going to have to be amputated due to the injury.

But they were going to get him a nice wooden replacement from the resident local crafters, all shiny and polished, with a belt to hold it on. And they might even be able to afford a pink plastic one for Sundays!

About that time, the patient cottoned on that this was a prank.

Dad and his friends managed to duck out before the bedpan hit them.

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Relying On The Crutches

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 16, 2020

One morning, during my first year of college, I woke up to discover I couldn’t bear weight on my left leg, nor could I bend my knee. It was eventually diagnosed as a repetitive stress injury from sports and resolved with a simple surgery, but for a few weeks, I was on crutches with no clue as to how I’d been injured. 

I was also in ROTC at the time, and I took the bus to ROTC classes and other events. One day a week, all of us ROTC cadets were supposed to wear our military uniforms. I caught the bus with mine on and made my way to a seat on my crutches. 

A fellow passenger near the front of the bus kindly offered me his and asked, “How did you get hurt?”

Since it was before my doctor figured it out, I replied honestly, “I couldn’t tell you.”

He looked stunned and stammered out, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. Top-secret stuff, probably; I shouldn’t have asked.”

Realizing he assumed I was active duty and had been injured in some fantastic clandestine escapade, I laughed and explained, “No, I mean I have no idea. I woke up with my leg hurting a couple of weeks ago but I can’t pinpoint any specific time that I got hurt. I’m not even active duty; I’m in ROTC and won’t be commissioned until I graduate in a few years.”

He laughed, too, and wished me a quick recovery. I decided to be sure to answer plainly and clearly if asked again!

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Really Ought To Catch (A Different Bus)

, , , , , | Friendly | April 28, 2020

I commute to college by bus and my college gives me a bus pass. Because the semester hasn’t yet started, my pass isn’t valid, so I show the bus driver my military ID, which allows me to ride for free. The following conversation ensues.

Passenger #1: “Hey, what kind of bus pass is that?”

Me: “It’s my military ID. I’m in ROTC.”

Passenger #1: “RW… T…”

Me: “ROTC. It’s officer training.”

Passenger #1: “Is that like the Young Marines?”

Passenger #2: “It’s military training to become an officer.”

Passenger #1: “So, you’re going to be a police officer?”

Me: *Giving up* “No, I’m going to be a pilot.”

Passenger #1: “Do you think you need to be SEALs or Special Forces? Because you’ve gotta have rank before they let you do that.”

Me: “ROTC is how I’m getting that rank.”

Passenger #1: “Oh. Man, flying planes has gotta be cool. I mean, busses, driving, that’s cool. Walking sucks.”

He got off at the next stop. The best part: the conversation meant I missed my stop and had to walk twelve blocks home.

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Danced Right Away From His Problems

, , , , | Romantic | March 26, 2020

(I am married to a fellow Marine, a man with two left feet and no sense of rhythm. He hates to dance; probably inevitably, I am a dancin’ fool. We come to terms with this early in our relationship, or at least I think so.

It’s Friday and we are meeting at the Officer’s Club. This particular club has a DJ and dancing on Fridays. I sprained my ankle earlier this week, so I come limping into the bar on my crutches and greet my husband.)

Me: “I see the DJ is getting ready.”

Husband: *in a tragic tone of voice, glancing at my crutches* “Yes, and I was just going to ask you to dance!”

(I tried to smack him with a crutch but he was too fast for me.)

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This Doctor’s Stubbornness Runs Deep

, , , , , | Healthy | March 11, 2020

(Whenever I start coming down with any sort of respiratory infection, my voice gets deeper. The deeper the voice, the worse the illness is. I am stationed overseas in the nineties when a couple of coworkers notice that my voice is getting deeper. I go to Sick Call the next morning, and the corpsman, familiar with my history of pneumonia, sends me to the nearest US military hospital about 100 kilometers south to get seen by actual doctors.)

Doctor: “What brings you in today?”

Me: “I’m coming down with some sort of chest bug. Every time my voice gets deep, I get sick a few days later.”

Doctor: “What sort of symptoms are you having?”

Me: “At the moment, just the deep voice.”

Doctor: “That could mean anything. It’s probably acid reflux.”

(So far, the doctor has not examined me in any way.)

Me: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Sir?”

Doctor: “I’ll prescribe you an antacid for a week or so. You should also prop up the head of your bed just a bit, to help control the reflux.”

Me: “First, I’m not here for acid reflux. I’m coming down with some sort of twitching awfuls, because my voice is getting deep. When I start sounding like James Earl Jones, I always get pneumonia or bronchitis or some other chest ailment within a couple of days. Every time. Since the deep voice just started being noticeable, I’m trying to get ahead of the disease. Second, I have a waterbed. Propping up the head of the bed will have no effect.”

Doctor: *frowning* “Sure, it will work. Just put a boot under the corners of your headboard. This will raise your upper body slightly and help prevent acid reflux from irritating your larynx.”

Me: *sighing internally* “With all due respect, sir, you cannot tilt water. It always stays level.”

Doctor: “Just raise your headboard a couple of inches. You’ll see.”

Me: *sighing out loud this time* “Sir, it’s a waterbed. Here’s a demonstration: run a little bit of water into that portable basin next to the sink.” *pointing at the small metal basin*

Doctor: “Okay.” *runs water into the basin*

Me: “Now, tilt the basin up on one end.”

Doctor: *lifts one end of the basin slightly*

Me: “Notice that the water stays level, no matter how high you raise either end of the basin? That’s why raising the head of my waterbed will be less than useless.”

Doctor: “Oh. I guess you’re right. I suppose we’ll have to get you an appointment with the gastroenterology clinic to cure your reflux.”

Me: *facepalm* “Sir, I don’t have reflux. Could you please listen to my chest?”

(I was given a prescription for antacid and told to go back to work, all without the doctor conducting an examination. Three days later, I was back in the hospital as an inpatient… with pneumonia.)

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