Tag Archives: humor

Pharma-Capitol Shenanigans (Pharmaceutical-Palooza Series)

Location : Capitol Hill – An office in the Senate office Building. When: Late afternoon (after completion of a presentation by Hypochondriacs against Big Pharma Commercials).

“I don’t know about you Senator but I don’t think that went too well,” said Abe.

“Were you at the same session that I was at because I think that was a resounding success,” replied the Senator.

“Resounding? I don’t think there were more than 35 Senators there.”

“Yes , but at the beginning we had a full house.”

“But there were open seats.”

“When you get 70 senators out of a 100 to show up that’s a full house.”

“That is depressing.”

“No, that is reality.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s not depressing. There was only 15 left at the end of a thirty minute presentation.”

“Yea that was your fault.”

“How was it my fault?”

“The average age of a US Senator is 60. You lost twenty senators at the mention erectile disfunction.”

“Why did that cause them to leave?”

“It reminded them that they needed a refill.”

“So when did I lose the rest?”

“You lost a few more at the mention of temporary memory loss, hemeroids and frequent urination. It was kind of a steady trickle after that.”

“You’re putting that all on me?”

“Well, that’s probably not fair. Our normal daily attrition rate is similar and for pretty much the same reasons.”

“Again, thats depressing.”

“It could have been worse.”

“How?”

“You could have mentioned side affects related to alcoholism. That would have emptied the place.”

“So whats our next move?”

“Well, normally I would conduct follow up meetings in the next couple of days but I will probably
wait until next week.”

“Why the wait?”

“Well, you got em stirred up a bit today. The frequent urinators will be back in the morning but It will take a few days for the hemorrhoid sufferers to calm down. It could be a while for the memory loss folks if at all.”

“If at all?”

“Yea, they could just think they’re retired. It’s happened before.”

 

Other posts in this series

Pharmaceutical-Palooza

The First Step is Admitting You Don’t Have a Problem

There is No I in Anonymous

Mr. Doe Goes To Washington

The Art of The Conspiracy

In a dimly lit bar ensconced in the chill of a capitol hill winter afternoon, sit three men.

 

 

They are holding an impromptu meeting in light of some unexpected events. The three do not know each other but of each other. That’s the way this deal goes down.
That’s the way they like it. That’s the way it needs to be.

The first one to speak, with some reluctance, was the bearded one.

“If you recall, our most recent meeting discussed giving guidance, mentoring if you will, to a known public figure that may have desired to concoct a conspiracy involving a yet to be identified public figure.”

“I thought we knew who he was and what he wanted,” said the nondescript bartender.

“Shut your trap, you know he likes to dramatize for effect,” whispered Mr Panama.

“Well , we do know the man and certainly the world knows him, “ replied the bearded one.

“ To summarize, part of our council was to advise against direct involvement. Instead, we strongly suggested conspiracy by proxy, that he go through a third party to mechanize events.”
“Mechanize? Has he been watching too many mob movies?” uttered the unassuming bartender.

“Well, if he has do you really want to make him angry?” whispered Mr. Panama.

“Excellent point.”

“Well,” continued the bearded one. “It seems said public figure has ignored our advice and taken direct action. We are here to discuss potential fallout and can we say plausible deniability.”

“Um, yes, we can, um, I can,” answered the nondescript bartender.

“That wasn’t a question you dolt,” interjected Mr. Panama.

“Of course. I knew that. Hey, can I have a better name,” asked the nondescript bartender.

“No, as a member of a conspiracy, nondescript is perfect. It is , well, nondescript,” replied Mr.Panama. “That does remind me of a similar issue. Mr Bearded One, For clarities sake can I suggest we give those involved more distinct monikers?”

“Monikers? Did you just get a thesaurus,” asked the bartender.

“Yea, I’m improving myself. You gotta problem?

“No, It’s just an observation.”

“Distinct Monikers,” echoed the Bearded one. “Yes, we can do that. Let’s call the person seeking advice “pompadour.” His recently identified subject of the conspiracy will be called “the judge.”

“Oh, the picture is becoming clearer now,” said the nondescript bartender.

“Good because I thought I was going to have to do a paint by numbers thing with you two,” mumbled the bearded one.”

“It’s all over the news. How could we not connect the dots,” stated Mr. Panama.
“Yes, which is precisely the problem,” replied the Bearded One. “We need to make sure
we are insulated.”

“Refresh my memory. How did he get a hold of us in the first place,” asked the Bartender.

“A sandwich delivery with shall we say a little fiber,” replied the Bearded One.

“Oh, the old note in the sandwich trick,” said the Bartender.

“Yes but delivered to one of our couriers who then delivered it to the Bearded One,” added Mr Panama.

“So we are untraceable?”

“We should be,” said the Bearded One.

Just then the front door burst open and on its heals followed the last of the winter sun.

A silhouette appeared in the doorway in the shape of a man who could have been Elvis or some other guy with a pompadour.

“Oh no,” uttered Mr. Panama.

“How did you find us?” asked the barman.

“I just asked around for the best Margaritas on Capitol hill,” replied the new but confused arrival.”

“What’s with the miniature poodle on your head,” asked the barman.

“Oh, I let her do that as a puppy. Now it’s the only way she’ll go anywhere with me.

There Is No I in Anonymous

Welcome back folks. We have some new members to Hypochondriacs Anonymous.
I want to welcome Deloris and Timothy Bogenfelter. I’m sorry Timothy did you have something to say.”

“Im Sorry Abe, my son wanted to use the name John Doe. You know, because of the anonymous part.”

“Oh, he’s quite smart isn’t he.”

“Well, he has his moments.”

“Deloris, Aren’t you being a bit harsh to your blind son. What was it? Soap poisoning?”

“What? Blind?”

“Well , he has the cane and he did knock over a few chairs on the way in.”

“Look again. He has his eyes closed.”

“Um, strange, I don’t understand.”

“He thinks he’s temporarily blind. I couldn’t turn off the TV in time before
the drug commercial got to the side effects.”

“I hear you, said Stuart.”

“Well, Timothy barely heard you,” added Deloris. “I had just made it to the TV when they were discussing hearing loss.”

“Sorry,” replied Stuart. “My wife has a good arm and regularly takes out the TV with a small planter.”

“That’ impressive,” added Abe.

“Yea, my wallets impressed,” replied Stuart.

“Deloris,“ said Abe. “We find that our success rate is directly tied to the attitude of the member and the goals they have. What is it that you hope to achieve here.?”

“Well, I’m not shooting for the roof. Getting Timothy to open his eyes would be a good start.”

“Thats very reasonable,” said Abe. “What about the long term? Can we go beyond the roof and shoot for the sky?”

“Well, I’ll tell you Abe, can I call you Abe?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t you?”

“Because Timothy thinks you made that name up.”

“Oh, I can assure you my name is Abe. Please continue.”

“Well, Abe I would like to get to the point where I don’t have to lock up my TV in the armoire.”

“Wow thats a pain.”

“Yes, my back would agree.”

“Abe, In the shoot for the stars category, I would like to do something about these commercials? Aren’t they regulated.”

“Well, there is some scrutiny as in all commercials but they are so full of legalese that they seem to have covered themselves. Maybe when Timothy gets older his understanding of the legalese will help him with his issues.”

“You are joking aren’t you? You don’t understand it. I don’t understand it. Nobody understands it. Do you realize how much damage he could do by the time he even gets a clue? My back will give out long before that happens.”

“I see your point. Well, we have talked with the other chapters about trying to get before congress.”

“Yea, how is that going.”

“Building momentum is slow. We have not been able to get the local chairmen to turn their backs on the media. Just when things start to pick up they see a Cialis commercial and we don’t hear from them for quite a while.”

“Maybe the problem is your chairmen are males.”

“Good point. We’ll have to work on that.”

“That’s fair. Now, can we clear out some of these chairs? Timothy has to find the bathroom.”

The First Step is Admitting You Don’t Have a Problem (Pharmaceutical-Palooza cont)

“Ok people, lets get our weekly Hypochondriacs Anonymous meeting started.
We have a few business issues to get out of the way before we begin our session.

 

Remember, while there is a social aspect to the this group please exclude your feelings from your outside discussions. From what I hear quite a few of you got together with Howie Mamson for coffee last week and as a result this meeting is ten people short.

I believe all ten checked themselves in to City General with heart palpitations. The next time any of you see Howie, please remind him what the thought of caffeine does to him let alone drinking it.”

“Anyone have anything else to add? Yes, Stuart? Do you have something?”

“Yes, I do Abe. I just wanted to add that I had coffee with Howie and the group but I’m fine.”

“Very good Stuart, you’re making progress.”

Sam spoke up, “Not so fast. Abe, Stuart thought he lost his hearing that day so that was really the reason he wasn’t affected.”

“Thanks for ratting him, um, adding that information Sam.
So, he said he did not have a problem when if fact he had a problem which means he really has a problem and belongs here. Is that correct?”

“Um yea,” replied Sam. “It’s a good thing I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I’m going to need a drink.”

“Very well, lets move on to the next topic I want to discuss, commercials from Big-Pharma.”

“Oh, I can’t watch those anymore,” replied Sam.
“You know how hard it is to leave the house when you think you have bladder control issues, Crohn’s disease and ED?”

“Yes, Yes and no I have no clue, ” replied Abe. “That’s why we need to address the problem.”

“I don’t have a problem with the symptoms,” said Stuart. “It’s the side affects that are freaking me out. Oh sure the blindness is temporary but define temporary.”

“Which Is why I am going to recommend not watching any non recorded television,” replied Abe. Recording it will allow you to skip through the commercials. For those that are visually susceptible, I suggest they do not watch at all or have their significant other do the fast forwarding.”

“Abe. My wife is one of the ten in the hospital,” replied Sam.

“Oh well, I guess you’re going to have to quit watching all together or start net-flicking. “

“Folks; next weeks topic is “Avoidance may work but what about a solution.”
So have a good week and for gosh sakes people avoid any news about Zika.”

Pharmaceutical-Palooka (2 For 1 on Side Effects)

 

“You have reached Techno-psuedo-pharmica, my name is Derek. Can I help you”

“I sure hope so my son is a very suggestible hypochondriac”

“Hmm, well I am not sure we have a drug for that mam. Did you see a commercial that would suggest we do?”

“You can call me Deloris and I haven’t seen a commercial for that but you have one for every drug that you make and that is the problem.”

“I’m not following you Deloris.”

“Have you ever tried to explain to a five year old what a prostate is and that he can’t possibly have problems with his”.

“Uh, can’t say that I have.”

“Yea, well lucky you. Timmy, get over here and tell the nice man your problem.”

“I can’t mom, I’m checking my prostrate.”

“Timmy, the word is prostate. If you’re going to freak out at least be literate about it.”
“Derek, I’ll be a second.”

“Ok Deloris”

“Timmy, what are you doing? Oh for gosh sakes, your prostate is nowhere near your toes.”

“Derek, Here is Timmy. Timmy, tell him what you told me.”

“I have chronic prostrate problems.”

“Hi Timmy, do you know what chronic means?”

“Uh, its part of my prostrate?”

“Timmy, its prostate and you are much too young to have problems with it. Now go watch TV.”

“Timmy, give me the phone. Derek , TV is part of the problem. You’re not helping.”

“Sorry mam, Deloris, but you should regulate what he watches.”

“Easy for you to say, I have four other children Derek. You do the math.”

“I apologize Deloris.”

“Apology accepted Derek. But “Techno-Pharmacy-Whatsis” needs to get its act together by the time he hits puberty. Lord knows what will happen if he sees those ED commercials.”

“Yes Deloris, Have a nice day and thank you for calling Techno-psuedo-pharmica.”

It’s That Season Already

Rays of sunshine peaked around fluffy white clouds as another day dawned at the gates. Herbert was on duty at the arrival desk providing for more vacation relief. Apparently St Peter was trying to get an afterlife.

The first shuttle of the day pulled up and a full compliment of arrivals disembarked. Herbert wasn’t sure but given that they all were wearing the same clothes, almost costumes really, he surmised they knew each other. Looking at the manifest he confirmed his suspicion.

“Yep, they’re all political consultants. That explains the plain grey suits and ties in what I assume is this years power color.”

The first person of the group stepped up to the podium.

“Hello I have been asked to be the spokesperson of the group.”

“Of course you have, What’s on your mind?”

“So, Are we correct in assuming these are the gates to heaven?”

“You are correct in assuming so sir.”
Herbert felt strange. He normally was not so formal. Perhaps it was the suits.

“Well, we are quite confused as to how we made it here?”

“Oh, why is that?”

“Aside from the fact that we are all political consultants, we also all basically committed suicide.”

“Well, as to the first part I can only say that is not immediate grounds for relocation to the basement so to speak. Unless you worked for Hitler, Mussolini or various other despots. I have a list here if you would like to check.”

“No, that won’t be necessary. We were not employed by any of those.”

“And as for the second part of your claim, I am quite certain you are mistaken. The shuttle would have taken you to a holding area to adjudicate the circumstances. Are you sure you all ended your lives?”

“Well not physically as such but we all gave up the will to live.”

“That’s not grounds for adjudication. But really; All of you? What possessed you to do that.”

“Well, it was quite a lot of things but mostly we were all tired of not being listened to.”

“Yes, that’s right,” the group shouted in unison.

At this point individuals began stepping forth to add their own voices to the discussion.

“It wasn’t like our advice was hard to understand,” said the average looking one in a suit.

“Yea, it was in plain language,” said another indistinguishable one in a suit.

“Yes,” said another one looking like, well you know the drill.

“We even put it on a flash card around their neck so they could consult it whenever they were asked a question,” added the spokesperson.

“Sounds like a good idea,” replied Herbert. “What did it say?”

“It says and I quote “Whatever you’re are thinking, don’t say it.”

“And that didn’t work?”

“Oh no, They just laughed and proceeded to insult every voting demographic that exists. Some of them we didn’t know existed until they expressed their rage.”

“Yea, And we had to clean up the mess,” shouted another, uh, nondescript arrival.

“Sorry to hear that but that is no longer your concern so you can all relax. I do have one question if you don’t mind?”

“Oh sure, you’re the gatekeeper by all means.”

“There is one gentlemen that kinds of stands out over there in the back.”

“Oh, Harry?”

“Is he the naked one covered in rather large bandages?”

“Yes and those are bumper stickers. He lost his mind before he lost the will to live.”

“You don’t say. What caused that?”

“Oh, the bumper stickers I supposed. Those were his clients last request before he just lost it.”

“What do they say?”

“The candidate apologizes in advance for anything offensive he will say soon”

“That would do it.”

“Does a Progressive Sausage Dream of Clouds?”

“Hey we have to move to the cloud.”

“Why do you , Abe Froehman*, Sausage King of Chicago need to be on the cloud?”

“Because everyone’s doing it and I don’t like to be left behind.”

“Do you even know what the cloud is?”

“No, but it sounds cool and we need to be progressive.”

“Um, yea. You’re a sausage king. To be progressive you would have to come out with a line of vegetarian sausage.”

“You mean a sausage with no meat?”

“Yes.”

“What’s the point?”

“I feel the same about you being on the cloud.”

“Ok, I give up. You’re my tech guru. What is the cloud?”

“Computer Servers on a network that store data.”

“No lightning or thunder? That’s underwhelming. How is that cool?

“Well, it’s not really.”

“Then why is everyone doing it?”

“Well, it’s being used by apps to store data and make the data easily available to other platforms?”

“English please?”.

“You can use an app on your computer and your phone and the app would have access to the same data from either.”

“An app, I don’t have one of those”.

“No Captain Obvious , you don’t”

“Maybe I should get one.”

“What would your app do?”

“How about a sausage race?”

“I assume that would be a game.”

“Of course”.

“How would that help business?”

“Advertising, The player could choose from our inventory which sausage types would race. It would also introduce them to our product line.”

“That’s not bad but who would they race against? The computer ? That’s only a two sausage race.”

“Hmm, how about make it one of those online things. The player could choose which sausage they want to be. You know, the sausage they most identify with.”

“I’m not sure about the sausage empathy bit but a social app where you play against others on the internet is not a bad idea. There may be a problem though.”

“What’s that? ”

“Major League Baseball?”

“The app is not going to broadcast the accounts of a game with-out their advised written consent.”

“No but the Milwaukee Brewers have a sausage race during the seventh inning stretch. MLB may lay claim to the sausage race.”

“Hmm, could we sponsor that? It would be a great tie in with the app.”

“It’s already sponsored by one of your competitors.”

“Hmm, They have baseball in Japan don’t they?”

“Um, yes. Why?”

“I bet they don’t have a sausage race sponsored by one of our competitors?”

“Thats a safe bet. Sausages don’t do well in japan.”

“It would be a great way for us to roll out my new product idea.”

“Oh, and what would that be?”

“Suishigages”

“You might be better off with the vegetarian idea.”

“Soysages?”

“Surprisingly enough, that is taken.”

“Suishigages it is and I have another idea for a sausage based trivia app.”

“We need to get you a non sausage-based hobby.”

Authors Note: As far as I know “Suishigages” and “Soysages” are not the property of MLB.

*A shout out to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The movie will be celebrating its 30th birthday next year but the actual 30th anniversary of his day off happened June 5th of this year. That was determined by the people at Baseball Prospectus by using the players names and numbers and process of elimination.

The Orchestrated Effort (Brewing The Perfect Conspiracy cont..)

At a nondescript bar two blocks from capitol hill, the nondescript bartender stood behind the bar pondering the world and everything.

He was beside himself, not literally of course, he hadn’t done that since the mid seventies.

He had just served a beer to a man with the same funky ring as the companion whose table he joined.

The second key concept of a good conspiracy is the “orchestrated effort”. It is the concept that manages the whole conspiracy. Without an orchestrated effort there would be just be a bunch of people meandering aimlessly and not having much of an impact on anything.

Kind of like the Chicago Cubs. It’s ok I can say that, I’m a lifelong Cubs fan.

You may ask yourself, if the organizations are not known to each other than how can the effort be orchestrated?

This is where the ringmaster comes into play. The ringmaster is the one person who has set the whole thing in motion and knows all of the players. He or she is the one person that sets up the meetings between the parties involved and the only person that knows the conspiracy statement or the ultimate goal of the conspiracy.

Through the use of the ringmaster the hidden agenda remains hidden from the rest of the participants. The ringmaster allows the participants plausible deniability. Since they have no idea of the ultimate goal they can’t really spill the beans if called before Congress,the Senate or the NBI*.

The ringmaster is the caterer of the  whole party. He provides fuel to the conspiracy right down to and including the cellulose condiments.

* The National Banking Institute or the National Baking Institute. I’m not sure there is much of a difference.

Next: “Fostering Paranoia

Brewing The Perfect Conspiracy Theory

Two blocks from capital hill at the end of an unassuming street sat a neighborhood bar. In a sparsely lit corner of the bar a small table is occupied by a rather nondescript gentleman. A narrow shaft of light cuts across his chin, arcs across the table and exposes a weathered hand that has raised quite a few toasts over the years. A sparkle of light flashes from his ring finger as he raises a cold glass of freshly poured ale.

Behind the bar a young man is prepping garnishes for the happy hour rush. A twinkle in the corner of the bar catches his eye. He remembers the ring the man wore and figured that as the source of the flash. Nothing about the man was remarkable but the ring and its strange carousel symbol was interesting enough to lodge in his memory.

The man had mentioned that he was meeting up with someone and they should be here shortly. The young man wondered if his confidant would also be wearing a strange ring.

That would be cool, he thought. Maybe some kind of conspiracy is afoot

Continue reading Brewing The Perfect Conspiracy Theory

Finding Eternal Calm in a Chaotic World (Dante-ism)

Meditation.
-the action or practice of meditating: a life of meditation.
• a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject: his later letters are intense meditations on man’s exploitation of his fellows.
ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French, from Latin meditatio(n-), from meditari (see meditate) .

We can practice meditation at any time and in many forms in our lives. Some of us practice it without realizing it.

I myself have been a longtime practitioner of something I like to call Dante-ism. It is an exercise in relaxation. The goal is to imagine a new level of hell for someone and through that visualization melt away the feelings of stress that you are currently experiencing. Dante probably imagined quite a few more levels than nine. I am sure he had to cut it short due to deadlines. I myself have blown way past double digit figures.

I find Dante-ism particularly effective while driving. Case in point. I find myself at a four-way stop sign waiting for a couple to exit the crosswalk when another car jumps their turn. I calmly let the tension go as I design a new level of hell for the driver; a time slightly less than eternity spent waiting for pedestrians at a crosswalk while an infinite stream of cars jump the gun. Not quite satisfied, an additional inspiration adds the coup de gras. The car stereo of the perpetrator will now be playing that one Rick Astley song (“ never gonna give you up …”*) in a loop. There are two dangers for you the designer when crafting these scenarios. The first is that you may visualize the imagery for too long forcing the drivers behind you to taylor a level of hell specifically for you. The second danger is that you run the risk of being stuck with that blasted song in your head the rest of the day.

I find Dante-ism to be especially calming in cases where a narrow escape from death has just occurred and the culprit is the carelessness of others. This experience is more common for those who commute to work but may also occur for those who actively participate in life as the role of an innocent pedestrian. The cases in this category that I am familiar with are usually attributed to someone not paying attention. The pedestrian scenario can provide more of a challenge when crafting a new level of hell if the perpetrator is sans automobile. In this case there is no vehicle with with which to imprison the guilty for all eternity and more imagination is required to craft the ultimate floor in your ever increasing high rise of hell.**

One may find that writers block is getting in the way crafting a sufficiently annoying level of hell. In such cases the afore mentioned cross walk scenario works well in a pinch. The idea of the guilty forever unable to cross an intersection can be quite calming. Throw in the video for that Rick Astley song in a loop on his smart phone and you have the ingredients for nirvana. Limit this scenario to cases where you have tried mightily but can not quite come up with an adequate scenario to achieve that state of calm that may be desperately required. Instead, use the opportunity to challenge your imagination. Bystanders can often be incorporated into the scene to help trap the perpetrator in time.

Creating the added annoyance factor is where ones imagination can be really be stretched. While I find it hard to fathom that someone would not find Rick Astley annoying, and neigh I say enjoyable, improbable events do occur in life and there is plenty of irritating songs out there to choose from. It is not important as to whether the perpetrator will find it maddening, it’s all about you . Remember meditation is a means to achieve personal growth and is meant to be a rewarding experience.

*I can’t bring myself to continue.
**Good band name by the way. I am thinking something in the Death Metal genre