Before I begin, let me just say this: It was nice knowin’ y’all!
I have decided on my next ambitious project. It is based on the simple premise that what is advertised on television must be good for you.
Those of us in the United States are lucky enough to be in one of only two countries in the world where “direct to consumer” (DTC) advertising of prescription medications is legal. (The other being New Zealand.)
New Zealand legalized DTC advertising of prescription medications in 1981 and the United States followed suit in 1997. (Source: Wikipedia.)
The goal for my project is simple. To consume as many prescription drugs as I can for 30 days and document what happens. And let the chips fall where they may!
I have to be honest. When I see those commercials for prescription drugs on television, I’m very curious about the endless litany of “side effects” that get mentioned. I began to wonder: Can these be stacked up for even greater effect?
I decided to find out!
To keep things fair, this little experiment will be restricted to only those medications that are advertised on television. I imagine that will force me to make some hard choices from a selection of only a few thousand different drugs. (That’s just a guess.)
I’m especially looking forward to seeing what happens when the drugs are combined in new and interesting ways. The technical term for this is “interactions.” Aw, heck. Interactions? That doesn’t sound like anything too bad! Sign me up!
So look out Cialis and Ambien. You, too, Viagra and Lipitor! I’m coming for you. Watch your back, Zoloft. I’m gonna eat you up!
Our modern society in the United States is the most heavily medicated civilization of all time. American children are three times more likely to be put on psychotropic drugs than children in Europe. (Source: ScienceDaily.) And I’ve heard that medicated drivers are a “far worse” problem than drunk drivers. (Source: NaturalNews.com) It it high time for me to get with the program and find out about what I’ve been missing!
For the conditions of my experiment, I’ll consume three random prescription medications three times a day (with breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
For bonus excitement there will be a “Dead Pool” running on the side. Pick the day I die and win fun prizes!
This time of year always gets me thinking about volunteering. Yes, even I can do it. Of course, you might not be surprised if I put my own special spin on it.
Helping to feed the hungry? A worthy cause but way overdone. It’s passe.
Build someone a new home? Sorry. Once there are 42 different reality shows on TV pimping the idea I’ll pass.
I need something new and trendy. I’ll volunteer, but only for something cool. You know, like me.
Wait? What’s this???
Well played, universe. Well played! You have my attention.
So, yeah. Since I spend so much time bitching about being on the “wrong planet” and all, you might think that I’d jump at an opportunity like this.
You’d be right.
You also, wisely, might think I’m too old, too ugly and too fat to qualify for a trip like this. Again, you’d be right. Except I have an ace up my sleeve. Mwuhahah.
Seriously. I can logically prove why I’m the best life form for the job. And I can even save them some money in the process.
My logic goes like this: Anyone willing to sign up and say they will go with three other human beings obviously needs to be immediately disqualified. That’s a warning sign if ever there was one.
Therefore you need someone willing to make the trip alone. Therefore you need me.
I have no use for other humans so I’m perfect. That’s a 75% savings in life support and food! (Just in time for Black Friday, too.)
So here is my “open letter” to NASA:
Please accept this as my official application to be the chief (and only) astronaut in the Mars Interplanetary Expeditionary force.
Tom B. Taker
Yes, money is a factor on this mission. For example, due to the costs involved, there will be no return trip to Earth. It is simply too expensive. So I’ll do my part and take a one-way ticket!
That’s also a 75% savings in spacesuits. A NASA spacesuit costs approximately $12 million. That might sound high, but remember: It comes with two pairs of pants.
No return trip. That’s genius. No heat shields. No space shuttle tiles. No parachutes. Someone is really thinking outside of the box.
Due to the distance, recycling on Mars will be taken to a whole new extreme. That means, among other things, that someone is going to have to drink their own pee and eat their own poop. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone better suited for the job than me.
So long, Earthlings, and thanks for all the fish!
I’m off to work. Here’s a bonus points. Many thanks to YouTube for their help on this project. Without their invaluable assistance this post would be the written version of dog crap.
This first song is as close as I get to prayer. I think you’ll find the central theme fits me like a glove.
This next song is completely autobiographical.
I just had a great idea. I’ve always wanted to write a screenplay and I think I finally have a concept unique and interesting enough to justify a treatment!
This is pretty exciting for me. If you’re willing to read on a bit, perhaps you could be kind enough to let me know if I’m on the right track.
It’ll be a movie about dragons. You may not have heard about these mythical creatures yet, but I’ll bet you will soon. If my efforts are successful it won’t be long until “dragon” is a household word.
A dragon is generally reptilian or snake-like, winged, has the ability of flight, and can breath fire. Yeah, I predict these creatures will be fascinating to unsuspecting audiences.
Although dragons can be found in the mythology of Asian cultures, they were also present in Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, too. In fact, the English word “dragon” is derived from a Greek work that means “dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake.”
I haven’t fully worked out a plot yet, but I’m pretty sure it’ll work something like this. There will be a land where dragons are hated, feared and hunted. In that land we will find out hero, most likely a young person, a criminal, or some other form of outcast from mainstream society.
This hero will, at some point, by chance, encounter a dragon. The dragon might be freshly hatched from an egg, perhaps even bonding with our hero. Or the dragon might be older. For super special drama the dragon might even be the last of his kind. (But this admittedly might be taking things too far.)
During that initial encounter things will, at first, go mostly as expected. There will be dramatic explosions of fire, courage, daring, etc. Yada yada yada. One or both of our main characters might even be injured. But at some point something unusual will happen and the two will decide not to finish each other off. One or both of them may realize that the propaganda they’ve been fed about the other just might not be true.
That’s the end of Act I.
Act II primarily deals with boring shit where the two get to learn allegedly interesting and fascinating things about the other. I won’t bore you with these details. Suffice it to say they hang out a lot, go on some mildly interesting side adventures, and, through this process, grow to become lifelong friends. Blech.
Act III is where it all comes to a head. Just when the two heroes are so close that they are about to take things to a whole new level of physicality (if you know what I mean), something tragic will happen. Suddenly the two will have to drop all of their fun frolicking because they’ll be in a world of shit. Some big bad guy will be doing Something Bad. Perhaps it will be a hunt for the dragon that we all now love. Or perhaps someone will be trying to take over the human’s village, stab all the people with swords, etc. Whatever the mechanism, it will arouse the audience, inducing anger and a desire for resolution.
That’s when our outcasts, the two heroes, will ride/fly in like John Wayne and save the day.
Pretty good, eh? Think I can talk Hollywood into it? My vision, if successful, will be that someday we’ll get a movie like this ever other month or so. I think the possibilities are endless for minor variations on this same theme.
I know this idea is so damn unique it’s almost mindblowing that I was even able to come up with it. I admit right now I had to resort to LSD. That really fuels the creative process.
So, that’s it. That’s the idea. Now bring on the criticisms. Don’t worry, I can take it.
This weekend I stumbled across the meaning of life. It was quite by accident, I assure you.
My grandson (also known as The Unwanted Child) came to visit this weekend. The kid will be two years old in December.
I guess The Unwanted Child moniker deserves a bit of explanation. His parents are my son and my son’s ex-girlfriend. The story I was told was that both of them decided equally to forgo birth control. I’m still not exactly sure why. Their attitude seemed to be whatever will be will be.
So, long story short, nine months later my grandson pops out.
My son turned out to be a great dad. He doesn’t like younger life forms and couldn’t stand the responsibility of being a parent. So he split to shack up with a 17-year old girl who was pregnant and already had another child, too. See? That’s a textbook example of gerbil logic.
My son wouldn’t take visitation and showed absolutely no interest in the kid. He also paid no child support.
The young mother we unofficially adopted as our “daughter” and we assured her we wouldn’t take sides. We were only motivated by what was best for the little guy. With that understanding we grew a relationship with the mother and over time took on somewhat parental roles with her. In fact, we see her a lot more than my son.
At first the young mother was very flexible with our son, even though he was a cad. Finally fed up she offered him the opportunity to opt-out by signing away his parental rights to the child. For some strange reason, he refused.
Then she came to us for advice on going after child support. Not playing sides, we helped her out.
And now, here comes the twist. Oh how I loves me the twists.
Her next move was to decide that she was too young to be a mother. Apparently she wants to party more and stuff. So she offered my son full custody. Right on a silver platter, too. He refused. Then she pointed out that she’d pay child support. My son the gerbil then updated his position and said, “Child support, eh? Let me reconsider. Perhaps we can come to an accommodation after all.”
I think this switcheroo turned off the young mom. Suddenly she had second thoughts about offering my son the kid.
Thus was born Plan B. She dumped the child with her mother and split town.
And that’s the situation as it stands today.
I find it pretty sad. Neither of them have wanted to be responsible at any stage of this drama. My son has refused to be a father to the child and the mom has tried to give him away and failed. Neither parent wants him. That’s the background on why I call our grandson The Unwanted Child.
This weekend the other grandma was moving and asked us to watch the child. We said we would. He’s really a pretty good kid in spite of the hand he’s been dealt. We had a good time with him. We do things with him that no one else does like take him outside and stuff. The night before Halloween we took him for a walk around the neighborhood to look at pumpkins, decorations and even Halloween lights. (These are a lot like Christmas lights except every light bulb has painstakingly been removed and replaced with an orange bulb.) He loved it.
One thing I noticed about the child (to get this post back on point) is that he really poops. A lot. More importantly, though, he’s really a bundle of raw nerves. He seems very susceptible to pain. Any amount of pain or irritation (like taking back your own property from his grubby little fingers) will spawn a hysterical crying fit.
Look at him funny. Boom. He cries and screams.
Touch his toy. Boom. He cries and screams.
Tell him that the Texas Rangers have won a World Series game. He really cries and screams.
Dare to tell him the word “no.” Boom. He cries and screams.
And so on and so on. Rinse. Repeat.
That’s when it occurred to me. Life is about pain. When we are young our tolerance is extremely low. Extremely! As we get older, however, our tolerance increases.
For example, by the time you are my age (a grandpa) someone touching your toy doesn’t make you scream hysterically. It may still irritate, but you deal with it better. (Well, sometimes.)
So I have concluded that the meaning of life is dealing with pain. The older you get the more you can take. By the time you get to where I am in life, you can deal with an enormous amount of pain.
To extrapolate this even further I can safely conclude that the level of pain in my life will only increase with time. The day of death, I reason, must therefore be the day when the amount of pain finally exceeds our ability to deal with it, and thus it is game over.
I always wanted to know the meaning of life and now I do, thanks to one unwanted little lifeform. Somehow that seems fitting.