Tag Archives: New Jersey

Dr. Edwards, Paging Dr. Edwards!

Trust me. I'm a Doctor... sort of.

After careful consideration and deep soul searching, I have decided to quit my job and become a doctor.  No, I didn’t say go to medical school, don’t be silly.  I’m much too old for that.  I’ve just decided to become a doctor, as in start telling people I’m a doctor and begin practicing medicine.  I’m ready for the challenge the practice of medicine provides and, of course, the heavy burden of this serious responsibility.

I am not rushing headlong into my new profession.  My decision was the result of personal observations of medical doctors both concerning my occasional ailments, as well as those around me.  I have concluded, through such careful observation, that 99% of the time, the scientific diagnosis procedure involves the doctor asking a few simple questions and then pulling a Magic 8 Ball from his pocket and giving it a good shake.  This was underscored to me when my wife, after seeing three different doctors for a severe acid reflux problem, spending thousands of dollars and undergoing an unpleasant procedure where the last one, a specialist, stuck a stick with a camera on it down into her stomach for a good looksee, finally went to see a naturopath.  The naturopath took all of five nanoseconds to correctly diagnosis her as being lactose intolerant and charged her a buck ninety-five.  Now, before you think I’m unfairly judging my new colleagues and their medical protocols, I am not.  It is very difficult to meet and diagnosis the requisite 2,000 patients per hour to sustain a vacation home in Rancho Mirage and three weeks a year in Cancun.  The results I plan to get using my iPhone and a little game changer I like to call the “College of WebMD” will surely be more accurate.  I’m confident that I’ll be in the top 75% of my profession within the first week.

Because I don’t want to actually set up my own private practice (too much cumbersome paperwork), I plan to apply to a few group practices.  I figure I’ll start with family medicine.  Yes, this will take a resume, but understand that everyone in medicine including the office managers are all so overwhelmed that the odds of anyone actually checking the accuracy of my resume is less than one percent.  Given that, I’ve decided, what the heck, why not jazz it up?  So I’ve noted an undergraduate degree in Biology from M.I.T. (at least I hope they offer a Biology degree), and my medical degree from Harvard (yeah, go big or go home).  And I’m not completely sure what the difference is between a residency and a fellowship, but I think I have the order right, so I completed my residency at the Cleveland Clinic (which I am particularly proud of), and a fellowship at the Vanderbilt Medical Center.  See, in the unlikely event that someone questions me about my resume, I’ll slip in a comment about Vanderbilt, and the next thing you know we’ll be talking about Nashville and country music and about how Garth Brooks was discovered at the Bluebird Café.  Nyuck, Nyuck.  I know that many of you are wondering why I don’t play it safe and put down, for example, the Jamaican College of Medicine, where, if it even exists, record keeping might be a little loose.  Yeah, I thought of that, but if you’re going to be a fake doctor, at least take pride in your fake credentials.

Don’t worry, I have no plans to operate right away.  And I also have no plans on turning my back on keeping up with my profession by ignoring the primary source of medical advancements – the pharmaceutical representative.  I recognize that these clean cut and well-dress young people with their degrees in English Literature and two weeks of training in Hoboken, New Jersey, are the backbone of the medical profession.  I’ll be all ears when they call to tell me how to treat my patients.  After all, they always have clinical studies to support their advice.  Both the health of my patients and the health of Big Pharma are safe with me.  And if you happen to show up at my clinic, please keep your yap shut.  You have nothing to worry about, because, only as a backup precaution mind you, I’ll always keep a Magic 8 Ball in my pocket.

Don’t You Believe in Time Travel?

Welcome to Your Time Machine

If you don’t believe in time travel, and surprisingly, many people don’t, then you haven’t flown commercially in the last thirty years.  The next time you’re standing at the ticket counter schlepping around for your picture ID and trying to convince the agent that your check-in luggage doesn’t contain a tomahawk missile, look carefully.  That dinosaur of a computer the ticket agent is hammering away at is actually one of Steve Jobs’ original Apple computers, complete with attractive off-gray plastic shell and cathode ray tube.  The agent isn’t typing those bazillion key strokes to find your reservation, she’s killing time waiting for the tube to warm up.   The airlines rely on this cutting edge 1980’s technology in order to achieve the near impossible.  That is, of course, to ensure that thousands of times per day without fail at least fifty percent of all flights are massively overbooked.   No easy task.

Few other industries that rely on a reservation system would dare try to provide this consistent level of service.  Imagine if you will the restaurant industry employing this strategy.  Say you go to Rigatonie’s Italian for a nice spaghetti dinner and are waiting for your table, then the manager steps up to the little hostess podium.  “Attention everyone!” he announces.  “Unfortunately, Rigatonie’s has overbooked its tables this evening.  We are asking for volunteers willing to reschedule their dinners to another sitting.  We have one scheduled five hours from now at 1:00 a.m.  Volunteers will receive one complementary non-seafood appetizer.  We cannot begin seating until we have sufficient volunteers.  Thank you.”  Who else gets away with this?  Nonetheless, God bless ‘em, the airlines manage to achieve their quota, day after day.

The journey back in time continues after boarding.  Fun fact: Thanks to exceptional cooperation between Boeing and Airbus, the same factory in Hoboken, New Jersey, continues to manufacture the same tried and true seatbelts originally designed for the 1957 Chevy Bel Air.  Extra Fun Fact:  Boeing even installed these loyal safeguards of the sky in every Space Shuttle.  Both Boeing and Airbus like to brag that every time a passenger lifts up on one of the seatbelt clips, a union worker in Hoboken earns his wings.

Time to use the onboard lavatory?  The journey continues.  It’s a flying toilet museum.  I am, of course, referring to the peaceful comfort of being able to place a paper seat protector down on the toilet and turn “into position” without the fear of hearing an auto-flush engage and seeing your paper shield flash from sight.  Note to helpful engineers:  Some technology has reached its zenith.  Disengage from pioneering further “advancements.”

Nothing takes us back in time so much, however, as the state-of-the-art scratchy “plug-in sound” quality.  You see, the real joy of having the airline industry lie to us about the danger of low frequency radio waves during flight is that we are able to transport ourselves to a pre-World War II entertainment experience.  It’s Jack Benny on the talkie all over again.

Here’s the nut.  The next time you hear someone mention time travel, don’t mock them and call them a science fiction dweeb.  Time travel is alive and well.  And, unfortunately, if the airlines get their way, we’ll be enjoying this portal to the past for decades to come.  So too our children, and yes, even our children’s children.