Jim Bishop | Columnist puts out his own disabled list

I’ll admit to an apprehension of medical personnel. I know I shouldn’t. They are truly remarkable couriers of caring who possess extraordinary skills to help people in their hour of need.
Nevertheless, my trepidation accelerates just by sitting in the waiting room, looking around at other people there. Wondering what their problems are only heightens my own anxiety as to what ailment the doctor will uncover.

After waiting much longer than I should, I finally made an appointment with our family physician for a complete physical exam. Because of the major time lapse, I was asked to update my medical history form.

What a revelation. I went down a three-page checklist, noting which maladies I’d ever had, ranging from colds and headaches to multi-syllabic afflictions I couldn’t even pronounce.

However, a number of infirmities that I’ve experienced – and I suspect others may have too – didn’t appear on this lengthy list.

To wit:

-Checkout crazies: a sudden but recurring urge to strangle the person at the super market express lane who is writing a check for more than 20 items items right under the sign that plainly reads, “Twenty items or less” and “No checks this aisle.'”

-Cerebral conundrum: a short circuit in my neural pathways that allows me to sing all the words from a 1960’s TV jingle for “Mr. Clean” as I drive home from work while simultaneously forgetting to stop for a gallon of milk.

-Committee constipation: a state of inner turmoil when it’s time to start a meeting and half the members haven’t yet arrived.

-Conversational cramps: an irresistible urge to pun-ctuate all my discourse with onerous one-liners.

-Domino’s dyspepsia: regretting having eaten that leftover pepperoni pizza before going to bed.

-(Fantasy) Island illusion: a fifties guy marooned in the 21st century (see also “nostalgia neurosis”).

-Fiduciary flatulence: a large hole blown in my wallet every month by yet another unexpected attack of asset indigestion.

-Friday night fever: staying home and cleaning out the parakeet cage instead of “doing the mall.”

-Grammy gout: a bitter taste in my mouth upon seeing Whitney Houston receiving yet another music award for her insufferable rip-off rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

-Journalism jaundice: dreading to discuss politics or social issues with relatives who revere the talk show hosts on Fox cable networks.

-Mercedes Bends: illusions of driving an expensive sports coupe convertible down Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to the Mexican border.

-Nostalgia neurosis: someone mentions “The Turtles” and I immediately think of the mid-1960s rock group and not the “Mutant Ninja” species.

-Numb thumb torpor: a callous formed from continually punching the remote control from Channel 2 to 73 and finding nothing on, repeating the cycle.

-Pinball palpitations: hypertensive condition caused by winning several free games at the video arcade.

-Turf tendonitis: resulting aching sensations when I forget my age and try to mow our entire lawn without a rest.

-TV tremors: an itchy twitch triggered by overexposure to rap music, VH-1 stand-up comedians and worthless merchandise hawked on the home shopping networks.

-Visual vertigo: a natural fear of full-length mirrors.

If any of these debilitating disorders ever makes it into the American Medical Association’s Encyclopedia of Medicine, the listing will probably conclude with the statement, “No known cure.”


– Column by Jim Bishop

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