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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Horrible Medical Advice of the Fortnight: Plastic Surgery You Really Want

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While we probably all agree that our feet are very useful parts of our body, I doubt many of us would go as far as Hazel from the comic Girls with Slingshots does in categorizing them (Oh and by the way, if you don’t read GWS, get on that):

Sure, my feet take me to the bar, but it's gonna take more than that to get me to classify them as a 'favorite'. (Image copyright Danielle Corsetto, Girls with Slingshots, 2008.)

I’d clearly be wrong if I said that nobody felt the same way–I know you foot fetishists are out there, and I’m totally okay with that. Whatever floats your boat. However, I think we can all agree that feet don’t often meet the “favorite” body part list for women or men.

Men, skip this bit:
Why is that? Well, for women, it’s pretty clear. We read fashion magazines, or at least see pictures from them, involving shoes. More specifically, shoe advertisements. And we often see those and think that the shoes we’re looking at are amazing and oh my god I need a pair–whether it’s some fancy-ass designer stiletto or a pair of Tevas. We think we have no expectations. We order the shoe, or we go to the store to look at the shoe or at other shoes, and that option is actually worse because then there are probably pictures of shoes everywhere and–and the thing is–there are foot models. Their feet are perfect. Their feet are a size 6 with no hair anywhere on them, no callouses, even skin tone, airbrushed so you can’t see the veins on them, and just another part of that whole thing where advertising is horrible for women’s self-esteem. When we put on the shoe, it doesn’t look the same. If we have bigger feet or smaller feet, the shoe doesn’t come in our size. Or the shoe doesn’t come in half-sizes and yeah okay we could get away with this size, but we’ll end up with mad blisters that will just mean our feet look crappier later on. If they do come in our size, the style of shoe just might not work with your foot size. My feet are a size 9, which is pretty normal, but I can’t wear pointy toes because an extra three inches extend off my foot and really guys, I don’t even like shoes all that much and that’s ridiculous.

The point here, of course, is that we all want feet that will reliably fit into normal-sized shoes and not look absurd in them.

Okay men, you can come back now:
Why don’t men love their feet? Okay, it’s possible that some of them do. The ones with size 14 feet. They probably like their feet quite a bit. However, most men have to deal with the false stereotype that foot size is somehow correlated with penis size. I have no idea why people started thinking that, but I think everyone in the world has heard the phrase: “You know what they say about a man with big feet.” I believe a creepy wink usually follows it. So if a man’s feet aren’t really big, then chances are, some judgmental bitch has turned him down for a 1-night stand because of it. Just as the dainty foot is a sign of femininity, the large manly foot is a sign of masculinity.

Okay I get it, Rachael, but what the fuck does this have to do with medical advice?

Keep your shirt on. Let me read. (Er…write.)

I did say something about plastic surgery up there, didn’t I? Well there, my friends, is the solution. With voluntary amputation available for any and all people under this new Socialized Healthcare thingy we’ve got starting up here, then everyone can have the feet they want. If you cut your feet off, then no one can judge you based on your feet.

You’ll have two options. You could either be in a wheelchair or get prosthetic feet. Before you ditch the wheelchair idea, keep in mind that people in wheelchairs with missing limbs are often assumed to be badass.

But, prosthetics! Luke’s prosthetic arm in Star Wars looked pretty damn realistic, didn’t it? And that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Imagine what we could do here, now, in this galaxy. I’m pretty sure we have some realistic-looking prosthetics (and if we don’t, then those people who make reborn dolls could make some good money there, so it can’t be too far in the future). You could have perfect feet. You could have those feet in whatever size you wanted. They’d fit into the shoes you like and not look ridiculous. You’d get all the chicks. Or all the dudes. Whichever is your thing.

And this is totally medically necessary. Your dislike for your feet is causing, as I said, self-esteem issues. And those self-esteem issues are expressing themselves as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. You may need medication for your depression or anxiety or schizophrenia. It’s a hassle to take a pill every day. It can be expensive if you don’t get generics. Hallucinations can be dangerous. Prosthetic feet are an investment, and a worthwhile one at that.

So go forth and find your nearest surgeon. Ask him if he’s got his bone-cutting saw because boy, do you have a job for him.

Dr. Boyfriend Says: Dammit Rachael don’t tell people to cut their feet off that is STUPID. No doctor would ever do that. And self-esteem issues do not cause schizophrenia. I told you to throw that psych textbook away.

Note: Apparently voluntary amputation isn’t going to be covered under socialized health care. To that I say: Well then, what the fuck is the point?


Everything I Need To Know

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I sure didn’t learn it in kindergarten. Or from Batman. Or Star Wars.

I’m sure you’re aware of this phenomenon. I first learned of it when I was young, probably in 3rd grade, and on vacation with my family. We went to a restaurant across the street from an old-fashioned toy store and it had a lot of pictures of dogs, along with one big poster claiming: “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Even at the delicate age of nine, I knew enough to look at that and say, Fucker, no you didn’t. I’d already learned more that I just knew would be important eventually. Like Kindergarten didn’t teach me how to add numbers–or at least, not a bunch of them, and not double digit ones. But when I go to the grocery store with $40 exactly, I need to know that.

What exactly do all these people think they learned in kindergarten?

  • Share Everything. Especially herpes. This is probably what gives rise to that whole thing where if someone from your workplace calls you in the middle of the night because there’s a problem and it wakes you up, you immediately call three other people to share your misery. The thing is, in Kindergarten, we don’t learn to share. We learn that if we don’t share, Teacher Lady will be upset and will be nicer to the other kids. We learn that sharing makes her like us and treat us better–unless, of course, her nephew’s in the class. While this does seem sort of accurate for later on in life when you’ve got a job and a boss, I bet the second you got into first grade, you wondered if your new Teacher Lady would let you get away with not sharing. What you really learned? Fear the man.
  • Don’t Hit People. Even in self-defense. It doesn’t matter how long Jimmy has been punching you. Teacher Lady will see if you throw one punch back, and then you’ll be In Trouble.
  • Take a Nap Every Afternoon. Go on, do it. You won’t get fired or anything.

As you can see, this list is clearly bullshit. I turned to other lists that reference pop culture, things that are for and about adults (well, to an extent) in hopes that they’d tell me what I really needed to know. Batman comes first because–well, he’s the Batman.

  • Never trust a man who smiles all the timeMan, fuckin’ happy people. They’re the worst.
  • There are two faces to every friend…and enemy. Yeah. Seriously, don’t trust anyone. They might be a psychotic murderer half the time.
  • Learn to trust. Wait. Didn’t you just tell me not to do that? Like…twice?

Clearly, even Batman is unreliable in terms of life lessons. Moving on, then–what can Star Wars teach us?

  • “Don’t tell me the odds!” Yeah, that’s right. Buy that lottery ticket every day. I mean, what are the odds that you don’t win? Wait, no–knowing that would clearly be a bad thing.
  • Don’t ever apologize to your boss. Wait, hold on. This is on the Star Wars list, but I think it belongs on the NCIS one.
  • Sand people always walk in single file to hide their numbers. I can’t even begin to tell you how useful this one’s been to me. Those sand people. Tricksy motherfuckers.

So the lessons we learned from kindergarten, Batman, and Star Wars aren’t the only things we need to know. What else is there?

Did any of these things teach you how to manage your finances? Balance your checkbook, file your taxes? Because in Real Life, those are things you need to know.

Did you learn how to take care of a baby squirrel that you find shivering on your porch one night as you get home from a party? No? Then what are you going to do when you find it?

Did they teach you how to type? Good luck getting a job without that one. In fact, did they teach you any marketable skills? Didn’t think so.

Did any of them teach you how to cook? You gonna sustain yourself on take-out, then? Oooh, your doctor’s gonna love you. I hope you at least learn to make enough meals to impress your date.

Wait. Shit. You guys know what I just realized?

Everything I need to know in life is written up somewhere on the internet.

What did I miss? And where did you learn everything?

There’s been a…misunderstanding.

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Presenting: Wesley Cripes

“Wesley.” It’s not really a common name, right? You don’t expect to hear it attached to more than one person or character in your lifetime. Okay, maybe some of you do, but I didn’t. Wesley Crusher fulfilled my Wesley quota without my ever having watched Star Trek (except for that one time in high school when we did in class, and it did not feature Wil Wheaton at all). So this is what happened when I heard of Wesley Snipes, and Mike told me that he “played the guy in Blade” (whose name, I later found out, is Blade).

I think it’s better this way, no?

Horrible Medical Advice of the Fortnight: Prescription Warnings

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Has anyone ever noticed a discrepancy between what the images next to the warnings on their pill bottles seem to imply and what the warning actually says?

Honestly, it’s not something I ever really paid attention to. Probably because I never really gave a shit about the warnings on my pill bottles. But yesterday, Mike brought them to my attention, and I must say: this shit is fucked. I’ve taken the liberty of copying the pictures into files here for your enjoyment.

What the bottle says: WARNING: Do Not Use If You Are Pregnant, Suspect That You Are Pregnant, Or While Breastfeeding. Check With Your Doctor Or Pharmacist.

What I’m getting from the picture: This is birth control.

I think this one may actually be the most dangerous.



What the bottle says: Do Not Take Other Medications Without Checking With Your Doctor Or Pharmacist.

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication may cause you to develop a square head. Also, stop plugging your phone into your neck.

Just a bit nerve-wracking.



What the bottle says:  May Cause Dizziness

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication may lead to the development of curly-fry eyebrows.

All my pills have this picture on them. I’m checking the mirror compulsively. It seems important to pull out any eyebrows that are sticking up oddly to prevent this side effect.


What the bottle says: May Cause Drowsiness. Alcohol May Intensify This Effect. Use Care when Operating A Car Or Dangerous Machinery.

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication will cause you to seduce someone over a glass of wine.

This is on two of my bottles. It seems like it would be in Mike’s best interests to buy me a bottle of wine, no?



What the bottle says: Take With Food

What I’m getting from the picture: …Actually I’m drawing a blank here. Let’s work on this together, kay?




Option 1: This medication will turn you into Bullet Bill.

You guys played Mario, right?


Option 2: This medication is actually a bullet vibrator.

I honestly haven’t tried to find out.


So when you’re taking your pills, make sure to look at the pictures. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.

But seriously. What do you guys think that last one is supposed to be a picture of?

I don’t need your permission, Wheat Thins.

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Okay, first things first. We’ve got to set this straight. I know you made a bigger cracker than your usual Wheat Thin. In fact, it’s even bigger than the “BIG!” one that you make. But that does not make it a flatbread. Okay. Now.

I bought you, Wheat Thins “Flatbreads,” because I realized that I’d purchased cheeses for various recipes that were unlikely to be used often enough to not get moldy and disgusting in our fridge. Crackers seemed to be a logical solution to this. Lunchtime and I don’t have any food? Cheese and crackers! Too close to dinner for a snack? Have a cracker with some cheese on it to hold you over! Seemed like a good idea.

You, however, have your own ideas.

You're gonna put some tomatoes and cheese on me. With a little bit of some sort of herb. Won't that be nice?

If you don't like that option, maybe you could try some...tomatoes and cheese? Instead? Are you into that? I'll even add some herbs in there.

You just seem totally not okay with the idea of my just putting some cheese on you! You’re offering me these hyper-specific serving suggestions. “Really, crackers?” I said to you, disappointed. “Have we come to a point where people don’t know what to do with you? Can’t make up their own damn minds?” I sighed and put you down, wondering where the hell I could get a tomato to put on my crackers, since clearly I don’t have a cho–

My OWN?!

Wait, so now you’re saying I do have a choice? I can put whatever I want on these crackers? AWESOME! Thanks, Wheat Thins!

But here’s the issue: This box of fucking crackers is giving me permission to put whatever I damn well please on them. I don’t need permission from a box of crackers, Wheat Thins. And if we start listening to boxes of crackers, where, as a society, will we be? I’d rather not listen to my box of crackers. This leaves me with very few alternatives:

  • Eat my crackers with no topping (unacceptable)
  • Don’t enjoy the crackers

Well, okay, really only one option since the first’s unacceptable. So, okay, Wheat Thins. You got me. I won’t enjoy these crackers. I will take them out of the box and cover them with blue cheese and the garlic scape pesto that I got at the farmer’s market and I will fucking hate every minute of it. Maybe I’ll try to fix that hatred by changing it up a little. Maybe I’ll use a little guacamole instead of the pesto, or substitute some sharp cheddar. Or both. And I’ll still hate it, because the whole time I’ll know that if I don’t, I’m doing exactly what the box is telling me to. Even if I switch it up to the super-sharp cheddar or get rid of one of the toppings entirely, I’m still stuck.

I have no  options. Wheat thins, you’ve forced me to hate you before I even open the box. I can barely even type your name. “What Things,” that’s what I’m getting. What things? Wheat thins.

I bet you’d have been delicious, too.


Horrible Medical Advice of the Week: Alcohol Kills Bacteria, Right?

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So this is pretty basic. I mean, I probably would have been able to figure this out myself even if Mike weren’t a doctor. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in hand sanitizer? That stuff that kills assloads of bacteria? Well, it’s pretty much rubbing alcohol made into gel or foam. And when you’re getting a shot or blood drawn and the nurse wants to make sure that no bacteria from your skin gets into your blood, well, they wipe your arm with an alcohol wipe thing. So: Bacteria + Alcohol = No Bacteria.

The most basic application of this, of course, would be using alcohol as a disinfectant. Neosporin? Fuck that shit. You got some gin? That’ll do nicely on any cuts or scrapes that you don’t want to get infected.

“But Rachael,” you’re saying, “what if I was dumb and didn’t pour gin on an open wound and now have an infected cut?” Well that was stupid, but don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. The first step is gonna be kind of gross because you’ll have to open up the infection, which you can do by stabbing yourself with a pin or perhaps using a razor blade if it’s bigger. What you do from here will depend on where the cut is. If it’s somewhere easily submersible, you’ll want to submerge it in a small glass of booze. Your other option, if it’s not easily submersible, is to get one of those little baby ear-douche things and squirt a bunch of booze into there, slowly, making sure that it has plenty of contact with the wound. For either of these applications, I recommend something stronger–get a bottle of Bacardi 151.

I'm sticking with "ear douche".

“But Rachael, I have a kidney infection! I can’t just cut into my kidneys myself!” Ugh. Fine. We can work with this. The important thing to know when you have an internal infection is that a hospital will probably give you IV antibiotics in order to get the bacteria-killing goodness straight into your bloodstream, because your blood goes everywhere. Except abscesses. Or sinuses. This probably won’t work if you have those. So anyway, have you ever heard of “Blood Alcohol Content”? You probably know, then, that alcohol also gets into your blood. Which means that if you drink alcohol, it’ll go wherever your blood goes, which is everywhere. (Except abscesses and sinuses.) So, logically speaking, if you have an infection that could be treated with IV antibiotics, all you have to do is get shithoused.

“But Rachael, my kidney infection developed because I got a UTI from drinking too much alcohol and didn’t get it treated fast enough so it spread. Will drinking more really help?” Do I look like a fucking doctor to you?


Dr. Boyfriend Says: Booze won’t help anything. None of what Rachael just said is true. Well, except for the hand sanitizer part. She’s right about that.