Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Three or Four Stupid Things

Since starting this blog, I've yet to come across any real trouble posting on a daily basis. While there are parts of every day where I worry whether I'll be able to come up with anything for my evening writing session, I inadvertently end up thinking about all kinds of stupid things.

Here are three stupid things I thought about today:

1) The commercial for that's been airing on basic cable channels.
Every so often when watching television, there's a commercial for that has a bunch of random people stating the various injuries and ailments that they've looked up on the website. At one point near the end of the commercial, a teenage boy rapidly lists off a bunch of medical issues (mostly related to his feet, if I remember correctly) and then exclaims "I visited WebMD so much I got carpal tunnel syndrome!" I was struck by the image of some frantic hypochondriac endlessly attempting to validate their anxiety, literally logging on to WebMD with such frequency that they inadvertently cause a serious real health problem (carpal tunnel is good, but what about irreversible eye damage or a broken coccyx from sitting too far on the edge of their seat and causing the whole thing to topple). I went to the website this afternoon and typed "hypochondriac" into the search box, but only one article was returned on the subject. I was hoping for a page that lists the symptoms of hypochondria, so that hypochondriacs could nervously review them and then be thrown into an all-new state of panic when they realized they suffered from yet another malady! In any case, I'm not sure about a medical website whose proponents gleefully exclaim that using the site brought them medical harm. "Carpal tunnel syndrome" is a lot to type in the search box when your wrist feels like it's chewing itself off of your arm.

2) The breath of football players.
Tonight's NFC Championship game between the Giants and the Packers found the players duking it out in subzero temperatures. When the cameras zoomed in on the line of scrimmage, the empty air between the two teams was riddled with fierce blasts of hot football breath, making the players appear even more primal and animalized than they usually do. It was like watching musk oxen prepare to butt heads or angry bulls readying themselves to gore the crap out of a moronic matador. Or maybe it was more akin to each football player's head being a piping-hot piston, churning rapidly within the team engine, revving up for some demolition derby carnage. Or maybe I'm just mildly retarded.

3) The teen pregnancy paradox.
I was talking to my dad over lunch today about the bad decisions some people have made in their lives. One of the worst decisions a person can make is to get pregnant (or do the baby-making act in such an unprotected manner so as to make pregnancy possible) as a teenager (this even goes for some in their early 20s). When you have children too young, you become locked inside a quality-of-life-ruining paradox. Because you now have a dependent human being to care for, it is important that you secure a decent job and a respectable place to live so as to give the child the sort of resources and environment they need in order to thrive. However, the very fact that the child is so utterly dependent actually prevents the mother from acquiring the ideal life-position to adequately address that dependency. The act of caring for the kid makes acquiring the resources to care for the kid extremely difficult. When you're young, this utterly screws up your life, because you never really get a chance to start out, and by the time your kids are old enough to look out for themselves, the better part of your life as passed you by, and your kids are probably all frigged up anyway. Sadly, this vicious cycle often extends beyond a single individual's lifetime and into multiple generations, endlessly propagating until someone gets lucky or everyone gets dead.

Ok, I lied. There's one more stupid thing I thought about, and it also has to do with WebMD. I came across a list of the "12 Most Embarrassing Body Problems." They were:

1. Foot odor
2. Bad breath
3. Excessive sweating
4. Bikini-line razor burn
5. Spider veins
6. Bumps on the butt/backs of the arms
7. Toenail fungus
8. Dingy teeth
9. Stretch marks
10. Excessive facial hair on women
11. Having a shiny face (???)
12. Hand warts

These just don't seem like they should qualify as the most embarrassing body problems one could potentially experience. Here are 12 things off the top of my head that I'd argue are even more embarrassing:

1. Loud, random, uncontrollable flatulence
2. The above flatulence, coupled with the fact that you shit yourself every time it happens.
3. Genital warts that are visibly outlined against your clothing.
4. Possessing an eyeball that actually behaves like those googly-eyes you use in art projects.
5. Getting a violently bloody nose every time you sneeze.
6. Severe chapped lips in which the skin sloughs off in one giant piece that resembles those wax lips candies.
7. Excessive sweating that stains your clothing green and/or a burnt orange hue.
8. Acne that extends down the insides of your forearms.
9. Rough, dry skin on your elbows that makes other people bleed if they accidentally brush up against it.
10. Premature ejaculation incited by the mere chaffing of your pants.
11. Severe balding that exposes the bone.
12. Having a penis and/or vagina where one's nose should be.

Whoop! There it is!

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