Tulane Chris Does Death: Part 2

My heaven post is going to be the first in a series called “Tulane Chris Does Death.” I’ve been thinking about death a lot recently. I flew at the beginning of November, and my left ear never popped back after the plane, and it annoyed me enough that I did something completely out of character: I went to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor. Either they find something wrong and I’m sick, or they don’t and I’ve wasted an afternoon. I especially hate going to a new doctor because I have to give a family medical history, and my genetic heritage is unenviable. I’m lucky I grew bones.

“Any illnesses in your immediate family?”

“High blood pressure, kidney stones, Alzheimer’s, costochondritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, migraine, manic depression, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, premature dementia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, blindness, psychosis, irritable bowel syndrome… a lot of female stuff I probably don’t have to worry about… that’s probably it. Jury’s still out on lupus. Oh, and my mother’s allergic to every single domestic animal except cows.” (Author’s note: Yes, really.) We can see color and our blood clots, but otherwise we’re rapidly turning into one of those European royal families that got so overbred they started producing kings called “the Mad,” “the Simple,” “the Unready” and “the Bewitched.” I lucked out by only getting ADHD and costochondritis, which is a painful but not dangerous inflammation of the chest cartilage, so if I were king all the histories would start “Christopher the Inattentive rubbed his chest and winced.”

Anyway, I didn’t go to the doctor because my chest hurt and I couldn’t pay attention. I’m used to that. I went because of my damn ear. Instead of completely ignoring the rest of my body like I wanted her to, she started looking in things and measuring things, and apparently I have something called “high blood pressure.” I blame American politics; our immigrant neighbors have heard me shout at the newspaper so much that they think every single politician’s name is pronounced “Oh-God-that-jackass,” and that the two major political parties are the Shitheads and the Shitforbrains. I’m supposed to take some expensive medicines called “exercise” and “not eating so much salt.”

Fuck that noise. I didn’t tell the doctor this, but I don’t want to live a terribly long time. Eddie Murphy keeps making movies, and I just am going to get Alzheimer’s. That is a fact. I carry that gene. Men in my family check out on their seventy-ninth birthdays. On November 25, 2063, I will start making even less sense than I do now, so if you want help with a crossword puzzle ask me before then. Now, I could stop eating salt and watching Murder, She Wrote for exercise and have my body live to be ninety-six, or I could keep pouring butterscotch into my bourbon and have my body and mind quit on the same day. The doctor thinks I should stop doing things I like so I can spend my last decade in a facility where occupational therapists named Tillie try to remind me how to do the Hokey Pokey. I think she should fix my ear. Her warnings have made me think about my eventual end, though, so check this space for the next episode of “Tulane Chris Does Death.”

P.S. Grammar check wants me to change “Fuck that noise” to either “Fuck that noises” or “Fuck those noise.”


Homemaker Man said...

"That was really funny," says homemaker man the Cholesterol poisoned.

austin said...

Austin The Disenchanted either has pneumonia, SARS, or a shitty reason to leave work.

So, did she fix your ear or not? I'm on the edge of my unappreciative seat, here!

Elizabeth said...

Ack, dementia runs in my family too...my mom is starting to show the early stages, and my grandma asked me "Did you see the two moons last night?" on the phone this morning. Goodie. I don't wanna spend my last 10 years in a shitty ass Home either, so my philosophy is eat McDonalds and whatever else I want until I start to gain weight, then eat candy and potato chips and binge drink until the weight comes back off. It's working out well.

(BTW did you know that STDs are a huge problem in assisted living facilities? Gross. As we were walking down the hall to leave the place we just moved my grandma into, we watched as she went into some lecherous old man's room across the hall. Way to pick a winner Granny.)

Anonymous said...

oh my word, i'm so glad somebody else in this world acknowledges the awfulness of costochondritis. everyone thinks i'm making up the name/actual condition! tulane chris, you officially have my approval.

KPB said...

This is hilarious.

Unknown said...

James the Certain to Die of Massive Heart Failure says "You can live to be 100 if you give up everything that makes you want to live to be 100."

Anonymous said...

"Fuck that noise" is my new favorite exclamation.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit i can't imagine ever writing the date as being 2063. What the hell.

Kallay said...

We have Alzheimer's in our family too, which I am convinced is just a heightened version of ADHD. Yes, sir. I'm totally going to be rolling along in my wheelchair with MS, arthritis, Alzheimer's and a bottle of gin. Cheers!

Stephanie said...

HILARIOUS. & insightful. This post was like a much longer and even funnier way of saying "Health nuts are going to feel really stupid one day, dying of nothing."

"Holy shit i can't imagine ever writing the date as being 2063. What the hell."

I seriously had to stare at this comment before I comprehended that if I/we (most of us around here) live to our 70's, 80's, or 90's, we WILL be writing some far-out date like 2063. WHAT THE HELL, INDEED. I don't wanna live to some weird ass sci-fi year. Pour me another martini!

Margo said...

I used to volunteer with the elderly, and this one old guy told me that if he ever felt like he was starting to lose it, he'd walk into Lake Michigan until his hat floats. He died a while back, but he was sharp as a tack until then. I only hope to be as lucky (and funny!) as he was.

maggie said...

fuck family genes. my parents have been sending me to therapy to figure out my major/manic depression, considering my relatively stable, untraumatic life…doesn't add up, right? my parents would look all shifty-eyed and mumble whenever i brought it up.
until FINALLY they thought to mention that depression runs in BOTH sides of my family and mommy and daddy are on a cocktail of SSRIs themselves, along with a(n) (un)healthy dose of alcohol to wash 'em down. apparently that also runs in my family…explains a lot! ever since i learned this, though, i've had less of a problem with my "condition"—it's not my fault! yay!

also, this post took a seriously surreal turn as soon as i read the year 2063…why do i feel like im watching the scifi network?

i completely agree, though. if living "healthy" and treating my body "well" means i have to give up booze, sex, and all the fun stuff, maybe i don't wanna live like a healthy, well-adjusted human being! those people let their fear of death suck the enjoyment outta life.

Rayanne Graff said...

Ooh, I have high blood pressure too! 140/111. I had to give up salt - deeply painful, as what is beer without salt and vinegar crisps?

I said this to my GP, who said, "Do you want to eat crisps, or do you want to not have a stroke?"

I actually had to think about it for a good few minutes.

The Kuh said...

Greatness, Chris, from Jess the Chubby Scatterbrain.

And because of 2b1b, "Fuck that noise", "Welp!", "Blokay", and "What the fuckity fuck" have become regular parts of my vernacular. It's made me a better woman.

MadVet said...

"I'm lucky I grew bones" - awesome.

Every time I go to a new GP they insist on running a full blood screen in the hope they will find something horrible. So far I've won every time. Take that! I'm a vet and half the time I can't run bloods on SICK animals b/c owners can't afford it - wish I had govt subsidised unlimited lab resources I could just squander on healthy young people who just want a vaccination!

Christine said...

Dear Chris,
If, perchance, you do manage to make it past 79, maybe I can help you out. You see, I have an in at a lovely little nursing home on the seacoast of NH, thanks to two summers of fun-filled volunteerism (aka pureeing sandwiches and other such harrowing tasks). Perhaps I can interest you in joining the spritely bunch in the Lilac Ward? Every now and then its residents cry mutiny and attempt to stage revolts by wheeling and shuffling themselves towards the main doors at record speeds. I think you'll fit right in haha.


Christine, Destined for Dementia

Anonymous said...

Hilarious post. Fuck those noise will be my new favorite grammatically correct saying.

Anonymous said...


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