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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

About The Human Body

I am a curious sort of fellow - and by that I mean that I possess a curiosity about the mysteries of life. I am especially curious about aspects of what PBS calls "The Human Experience".

For example, here are some things I would like to know about the HUMAN BODY:

1.) What is a ganglion?

Is it a big African cat who's packing a gat, yo? Or is it a bundle of nerves? And what does that mean? "A bundle of nerves". Many times throughout the week I am observed to be "a bundle of nerves". Am I a ganglion in these moments?

2.) Is it dangerous to eat poo?

Not that I want to. But sometimes I wonder. Same goes for urine. It must be some kind of sick childhood obsessive-compulsive thing. Along the lines of "Would I die if I jumped from a four story building? What about five stories? Ten stories?" When I was little I used to do this kind of wondering frequently. I remember asking my dad "Can you die from eating toothpaste?" Dad's sensible reply still serves me well as a universal answer to many questions: "I suppose you could die if you ate too much of it."

3.) If I am thirsty, will swallowing my own spit help to slake my thirst?

I have a feeling that thirst-slaking requires liquids from outside the system. I mean, if swallowing your spit really did have an effect on thirst-slaking needs, then you wouldn't have to drink water at all would you? But then you lose water through sweating and urination and all, don't you? So maybe I should revise the question to: "If you didn't sweat or urinate or excrete any other fluids, could you get all the water you needed just from swallowing your own spit"? Very happy with that question.

4.) Is it possible for an old person with osteoporosis to break a hip while having sex?

There is a gag built around this possibility that has appeared in several comedy bits, including a "Kids In The Hall" sketch. Just wondering if art is imitating reality here.

5.) Is it possible to puke your guts out?

The lowly sea cucumber can do it. Can we? And I don't mean everything - heart, liver, lungs, intestines - but is it possible to get just part of the stomach up, maybe with a little duodenum attached?

6.) Speaking of the duodenum - is it possible to have an itchy duodenum?

Or what about a ticklish duodenum? Are most of our "touch" sensations received solely through the skin? If some surgeon - or medieval torturer - were to tickle our spleen would we laugh? And if not, why not? Are some internal organs more ticklish than others?

7.) Is it as easy to sell new-born babies on the Black Market as movies and urban legend make it out to be?

I don't have any new-born babies at the moment, but I intend to have some in the coming years. I will not sell mine. But if the television and The General Public Dread are to be believed, you can turn one of these little offsprings into cash very easily. I guess the babies are taken away to foreign countries and trained to be freedom fighters, or sometimes gigantic corporations send them to underground facilities where they are trained to become Blackwater Security guards, or sometimes they are taught to make shirts. I guess that's really a commerce question and not a question about the human body. I'll rephrase that: "How much is a new-born baby worth?" That has a more "medical" ring to it.

8.) If I get sick, and cannot afford a doctor, who is the next person in the chain of command?

Here in the USA, many people, so I am told, cannot afford to visit a doctor when they begin to vomit up blood. I myself am employed and as a reward for doing work for my Employer I am given certain "benefits". One of the benefits I receive for doing work for this Employer is that when I begin to vomit up blood, I am allowed to go see a doctor. Not for free, of course. I have to present a co-payment of $10. I can easily afford the $10 (because I am employed, you see!) and don't begrudge having to pay it. It's really more a symbolic gesture than an actual payment for services - as if to declare to the doctor and the world: "Nothing in life is free. You and I both know it. Here's $10. Have a martini on me." If I work hard and do what I am told - at least try to keep my own wild animal spirit in the stall for most of the day - then it's possible I will continue to receive these benefits. But if I should lose these benefits, what then? Whom do I see? I am going to draw up a list now, so that if emergency strikes I won't make a rash, panicked decision. If I start to vomit up blood and I cannot afford a doctor, I will then seek help from (in order of importance):

1.) reference librarian
2.) manager of my local pet store
3.) 411 information operator
4.) liquor store owner
5.) Chinese food delivery man

9.) What is "double-jointed"?

Do "double-jointed" people have twice the number of joints as normal people? And since a joint is just a location where two bones meet, does that mean that they have more bones than we do? If so, why aren't they taller than us? Or do they make up for the larger number of bones by having bones of lesser length, thus allowing them to blend in better? Are double-jointed people a different species? Should they be put on special preserves so as to keep pure their traditional ways of life? Is sex better with a double-jointed person? Is it wrong to have sex with a double-jointed person? If I have sex with a double-jointed person will the baby come out deformed? Is it true that double-jointed people have to have sex through a hole in a sheet? Am I prejudiced for sometimes thinking that double-jointed people are emotionally and mentally inferior to us? Is there a genetic basis for their apparent skill at sports?

10.) Can I make myself die just by willing it?

When I was a strange little freak-child - long before I grew into a tall and wise freak-man - I used to sometimes try to make myself die. I'd be lying in bed, thinking about God and vampires, and I might, on a lark, try to - through force of will, through wishing it intensely - die. My efforts met with minimal success. It wasn't through any self-loathing or childhood depression that I tried to die. It was a striving for supernatural power, identical with my childhood efforts to fly (I was sure I could if I willed it hard enough) or to run blindingly fast like "The Flash" or The Beano's "Billy Whiz" (I was sure I could if I willed my legs to move fast enough). Now, having attained wisdom, I know I can't fly, or run as fast as The Flash. Few people can. But I do still wonder, can I make myself die by willing it? People may say that I am trying to play God, that I hunger to manipulate life and death with a mere thought, but verily I say unto them: I am what I am and that's all I am.

If you are doctor, reference librarian or liquor store owner, I look forward to your replies to these many questions abouts the Mysterie Of The Human Botty.


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Outstanding article: should be published in a book, magazine, or other publication.

- By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 09, 08:44:00 PM GMT+1  

Thank you!

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Tue Oct 09, 10:52:00 PM GMT+1  

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