Things I Learn from My Patients

This one is dedicated to my baby sister, who is currently attending med school in sweet home Chicago. From the Student Doctor Network Forums, Things I Learn From My Patients.
– Latex paint, despite being thick and creamy, does not coat your stomach and provide the same relief as pepto bismol.
– Don’t road surf on the top of a moving stickshift car driven by your younger sibling with a learner’s permit.
– Never, ever leave flashlights, shampoo bottles, beer bottles or any long, circular object on the floor because someday you will fall on it and it will somehow, work its way up your rectum.
– To complement the above, “if you come in with a salsa jar in your rectum, don’t give the staff a fruit cake as a thank you present.”
We have a good friend out in Nara who’s an OB/GYN. She always has interesting stories about women who come in with something or another stuck in one of their southernmost orifices. My favorite (albeit sad) story was the one about the woman who’s husband who wanted to play seduction master with a potato and then accused her of being “frigid” when he couldn’t get it out!

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

Oxymoron: Escalade Hybrid
I used to see how much work went into hybrid power systems every day – the R&D department used to be located right next to my office, until it got too big a couple years ago and moved into its own facility. And American car makers are just starting to see the light? Timbuk 3 this is not.
GM – Late to the party and wearing floppy clown shoes.

Morning Sick

Oh, the horror.
This person deserves to be shat upon.
Maybe it’s time for the Buddha to get together for a jam session. How about a new song? I propose the title:
Somebody’s Going to Tentacle Rape Hell (Ain’t Karma a Bitch?)
(Band/domain name vigilance provided by Adam)

Japanese Whaling

Look, I understand both sides of the issue fairly well – on this issue there isn’t much middle ground to speak of – and I agree that Japan should at least abide by the treaties it has already signed.
HOWEVER, claiming that the Japanese are hunting whales to extinction is just as dishonest.
I’m just saying.

Cheap Cheap

One of the great joys while shopping in Thailand is the bargaining – there is a definite art to it. One must find the equilibrium between getting the best deal on an item and becoming frustrated and looking like an asshole.
In this context, an asshole is either a jerk using noobie bargaining tactics, or more commonly, someone who is expending copious amounts of time and effort for a negligible monetary return, i.e., battling it out with an old lady over a dollar difference on a twenty dollar purchase. Is a dollar difference worth sealing a deal but leaving one party with a sour taste in their mouth? Some people would answer with an unequivocal, “yes!” You are the people I do not want to go shopping with, because in the larger scope of things, that dollar means shit to you or me. Sure, it can buy you a whole meal or two there. I say, so fucking what. Who needs the meal more? Sure, sealing a sweet deal feels great – everybody likes to be a winner – but if you feel like an asshole for squeezing a street vendor for a few pennies, you most probably are.
The flip side of being an asshole is being a sucker. If you don’t bargain at all, you are a sucker, and you are seriously missing out on some fun. Looking back, I now recognize that I used to take bargaining too seriously until I learned to enjoy it. Thai people are for the most part really fucking laid back and cool. Deal with vendors who return your smile, and everything will work out fine – don’t forget a lot of vendors are assholes, too, and want nothing but (A) your money and (B) for you to get your unintelligible ass out of their sight, ASAP.
Like I said – it’s all about finding that equilibrium.
This is not a sophisticated game like buying high-quality knockoffs in Korea; no layer cakes here. This is a simple exercise in basic bargaining:
“How much for this?”
“Can you give me a good price?”
“How about ____?”
” No? What if I buy two/a dozen/____?”
“Is that the best you can do?”
“C’mon, meet me halfway!”
“Thank you!”
And that is the template for a basic bargaining approach. You will learn many others in your travels, grasshopper. But you will always return to the basics.