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Author Archives: SoundOfLaughter
Location : Capitol Hill – An office in the Senate office building
The head of a senator pokes out from behind the door of his inner office.
“Doris, I am meeting with some constituents and I do not want to be disturbed for a bit.”
“Yes sir. They must be important constituents to blow off your committee meeting.”
“It’s an election year, all of my constituents are important.”
“Ooh. Are they lobbyists?”
“No, They’re hypochondriacs.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Both have irrational fears but the hypochondriacs don’t have any money to throw at their problems, only votes.”
“Ok, a half hour without being bothered, got it.”
Closing the door the Senator turned around to find his constituents arranged in front of him like a pair of his old socks bunched up around the ankles.
“So do I understand correctly people that later today I am to bring up your issue on the floor?”
“Yes sir, that is correct,”replied Abe.
“And what would that issue be,” asked the Senator.
“We sent you a power point presentation to bring you up to speed. Did you not get it?”
“Oh , I received it. I just haven’t had time to review it what with the debates and all. “
“But you’re not running,” stated Abe.
“No, but I have been taking notes so I could work the one liners into my weekly cocktail hour,” replied the Senator.
“Oh ok, Well I can summarize. Our issue is with the commercials being produced by Big Pharma theses days. As hypochondriacs it drives many of us to take on the symptoms of the medical issue the drugs are meant to address. “
“Now I remember. Can’t you just realize at the beginning of the commercial you haven’t been diagnosed with the particular medical problem?” asked the Senator.
“Would that we could sir. We’re hypochondriacs. Reason left our life stories some time ago. I would think you would be sympathetic to that.”
“Um, of course I’m sympathetic. I think?”
“With some of those commercials your lucky if you even realize the medical condition they are addressing.”
“Yes, I understand the problem but there are only ,what, ten of you here today?”
“Just a small sample of our group sir. Here is the petition I mentioned in the email. It has 20,000 signatures. All of whom are registered to vote.”
“Oh my, this is a problem. It must be addressed. I would like to lead off with the little blind kid with the white cane but I don’t want to appear I’m manipulating their emotions.
“Oh, he’s not blind. He’s a hypochondriac also.”
“Perfect it will humanize the issue without the exploit factor. Bring him up here.”
“Ok but he want’s to check his prostate first,” replied Doris.
Seeing the the boy kneel down and check his own ankles the Senator replied, “He seems confused.”
“He’s five years old,” replied his mother. “Would you like to show him where his prostate is?”
“No, thats quite alright.” This is a bigger problem than I thought.
In a dimly lit bar ensconced in the chill of a capitol hill winter afternoon, sit three men.
They are holding an impromptu meeting in light of some unexpected events. The three do not know each other but of each other. That’s the way this deal goes down.
That’s the way they like it. That’s the way it needs to be.
The first one to speak, with some reluctance, was the bearded one.
“If you recall, our most recent meeting discussed giving guidance, mentoring if you will, to a known public figure that may have desired to concoct a conspiracy involving a yet to be identified public figure.”
“I thought we knew who he was and what he wanted,” said the nondescript bartender.
“Shut your trap, you know he likes to dramatize for effect,” whispered Mr Panama.
“Well , we do know the man and certainly the world knows him, “ replied the bearded one.
“ To summarize, part of our council was to advise against direct involvement. Instead, we strongly suggested conspiracy by proxy, that he go through a third party to mechanize events.”
“Mechanize? Has he been watching too many mob movies?” uttered the unassuming bartender.
“Well, if he has do you really want to make him angry?” whispered Mr. Panama.
“Well,” continued the bearded one. “It seems said public figure has ignored our advice and taken direct action. We are here to discuss potential fallout and can we say plausible deniability.”
“Um, yes, we can, um, I can,” answered the nondescript bartender.
“That wasn’t a question you dolt,” interjected Mr. Panama.
“Of course. I knew that. Hey, can I have a better name,” asked the nondescript bartender.
“No, as a member of a conspiracy, nondescript is perfect. It is , well, nondescript,” replied Mr.Panama. “That does remind me of a similar issue. Mr Bearded One, For clarities sake can I suggest we give those involved more distinct monikers?”
“Monikers? Did you just get a thesaurus,” asked the bartender.
“Yea, I’m improving myself. You gotta problem?
“No, It’s just an observation.”
“Distinct Monikers,” echoed the Bearded one. “Yes, we can do that. Let’s call the person seeking advice “pompadour.” His recently identified subject of the conspiracy will be called “the judge.”
“Oh, the picture is becoming clearer now,” said the nondescript bartender.
“Good because I thought I was going to have to do a paint by numbers thing with you two,” mumbled the bearded one.”
“It’s all over the news. How could we not connect the dots,” stated Mr. Panama.
“Yes, which is precisely the problem,” replied the Bearded One. “We need to make sure
we are insulated.”
“Refresh my memory. How did he get a hold of us in the first place,” asked the Bartender.
“A sandwich delivery with shall we say a little fiber,” replied the Bearded One.
“Oh, the old note in the sandwich trick,” said the Bartender.
“Yes but delivered to one of our couriers who then delivered it to the Bearded One,” added Mr Panama.
“So we are untraceable?”
“We Should be,” said the Bearded One.
Just then the front door burst open and on its heals followed the last of the winter sun.
A silhouette appeared in the doorway in the shape of a man who could have been Elvis or some other guy with a pompadour.
“Oh no,” uttered Mr. Panama.
“How did you find us?” asked the barman.
“I just asked around for the best Margaritas on Capitol hill,” replied the new but confused arrival.”
“What’s with the miniature poodle on your head,” asked the barman.
“Oh, I let her do that as a puppy. Now it’s the only way she’ll go anywhere with me.
Welcome back folks. We have some new members to Hypochondriacs Anonymous.
I want to welcome Deloris and Timothy Bogenfelter. I’m sorry Timothy did you have something to say.”
“Im Sorry Abe, my son wanted to use the name John Doe. You know, because of the anonymous part.”
“Oh, he’s quite smart isn’t he.”
“Well, he has his moments.”
“Deloris, Aren’t you being a bit harsh to your blind son. What was it? Soap poisoning?”
“Well , he has the cane and he did knock over a few chairs on the way in.”
“Look again. He has his eyes closed.”
“Um, strange, I don’t understand.”
“He thinks he’s temporarily blind. I couldn’t turn off the TV in time before
the drug commercial got to the side effects.”
“I hear you, said Stuart.”
“Well, Timothy barely heard you,” added Deloris. “I had just made it to the TV when they were discussing hearing loss.”
“Sorry,” replied Stuart. “My wife has a good arm and regularly takes out the TV with a small planter.”
“That’ impressive,” added Abe.
“Yea, my wallets impressed,” replied Stuart.
“Deloris,“ said Abe. “We find that our success rate is directly tied to the attitude of the member and the goals they have. What is it that you hope to achieve here.?”
“Well, I’m not shooting for the roof. Getting Timothy to open his eyes would be a good start.”
“Thats very reasonable,” said Abe. “What about the long term? Can we go beyond the roof and shoot for the sky?”
“Well, I’ll tell you Abe, can I call you Abe?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t you?”
“Because Timothy thinks you made that name up.”
“Oh, I can assure you my name is Abe. Please continue.”
“Well, Abe I would like to get to the point where I don’t have to lock up my TV in the armoire.”
“Wow thats a pain.”
“Yes, my back would agree.”
“Abe, In the shoot for the stars category, I would like to do something about these commercials? Aren’t they regulated.”
“Well, there is some scrutiny as in all commercials but they are so full of legalese that they seem to have covered themselves. Maybe when Timothy gets older his understanding of the legalese will help him with his issues.”
“You are joking aren’t you? You don’t understand it. I don’t understand it. Nobody understands it. Do you realize how much damage he could do by the time he even gets a clue? My back will give out long before that happens.”
“I see your point. Well, we have talked with the other chapters about trying to get before congress.”
“Yea, how is that going.”
“Building momentum is slow. We have not been able to get the local chairmen to turn their backs on the media. Just when things start to pick up they see a Cialis commercial and we don’t hear from them for quite a while.”
“Maybe the problem is your chairmen are males.”
“Good point. We’ll have to work on that.”
“That’s fair. Now, can we clear out some of these chairs? Timothy has to find the bathroom.”
“Ok people, lets get our weekly Hypochondriacs Anonymous meeting started.
We have a few business issues to get out of the way before we begin our session.
Remember, while there is a social aspect to the this group please exclude your feelings from your outside discussions. From what I hear quite a few of you got together with Howie Mamson for coffee last week and as a result this meeting is ten people short.
I believe all ten checked themselves in to City General with heart palpitations. The next time any of you see Howie, please remind him what the thought of caffeine does to him let alone drinking it.”
“Anyone have anything else to add? Yes, Stuart? Do you have something?”
“Yes, I do Abe. I just wanted to add that I had coffee with Howie and the group but I’m fine.”
“Very good Stuart, you’re making progress.”
Sam spoke up, “Not so fast. Abe, Stuart thought he lost his hearing that day so that was really the reason he wasn’t affected.”
“Thanks for ratting him, um, adding that information Sam.
So, he said he did not have a problem when if fact he had a problem which means he really has a problem and belongs here. Is that correct?”
“Um yea,” replied Sam. “It’s a good thing I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I’m going to need a drink.”
“Very well, lets move on to the next topic I want to discuss, commercials from Big-Pharma.”
“Oh, I can’t watch those anymore,” replied Sam.
“You know how hard it is to leave the house when you think you have bladder control issues, Crohn’s disease and ED?”
“Yes, Yes and no I have no clue, ” replied Abe. “That’s why we need to address the problem.”
“I don’t have a problem with the symptoms,” said Stuart. “It’s the side affects that are freaking me out. Oh sure the blindness is temporary but define temporary.”
“Which Is why I am going to recommend not watching any non recorded television,” replied Abe. Recording it will allow you to skip through the commercials. For those that are visually susceptible, I suggest they do not watch at all or have their significant other do the fast forwarding.”
“Abe. My wife is one of the ten in the hospital,” replied Sam.
“Oh well, I guess you’re going to have to quit watching all together or start net-flicking. “
“Folks; next weeks topic is “Avoidance may work but what about a solution.”
So have a good week and for gosh sakes people avoid any news about Zika.”
“You have reached Techno-psuedo-pharmica, my name is Derek. Can I help you”
“I sure hope so my son is a very suggestible hypochondriac”
“Hmm, well I am not sure we have a drug for that mam. Did you see a commercial that would suggest we do?”
“You can call me Deloris and I haven’t seen a commercial for that but you have one for every drug that you make and that is the problem.”
“I’m not following you Deloris.”
“Have you ever tried to explain to a five year old what a prostate is and that he can’t possibly have problems with his”.
“Uh, can’t say that I have.”
“Yea, well lucky you. Timmy, get over here and tell the nice man your problem.”
“I can’t mom, I’m checking my prostrate.”
“Timmy, the word is prostate. If you’re going to freak out at least be literate about it.”
“Derek, I’ll be a second.”
“Timmy, what are you doing? Oh for gosh sakes, your prostate is nowhere near your toes.”
“Derek, Here is Timmy. Timmy, tell him what you told me.”
“I have chronic prostrate problems.”
“Hi Timmy, do you know what chronic means?”
“Uh, its part of my prostrate?”
“Timmy, its prostate and you are much too young to have problems with it. Now go watch TV.”
“Timmy, give me the phone. Derek , TV is part of the problem. You’re not helping.”
“Sorry mam, Deloris, but you should regulate what he watches.”
“Easy for you to say, I have four other children Derek. You do the math.”
“I apologize Deloris.”
“Apology accepted Derek. But “Techno-Pharmacy-Whatsis” needs to get its act together by the time he hits puberty. Lord knows what will happen if he sees those ED commercials.”
“Yes Deloris, Have a nice day and thank you for calling Techno-psuedo-pharmica.”
St. Peter was back at his podium before the gates.
He was just beginning to get back in to the swing of things when the days first shuttle announced its arrival.
Peter felt something he had not experienced in quite a long time, sadness.
The shuttle arrived bourn on the strains of a soliloquy by Professor Snape and supported by the melody of David Bowies “Heroes” leading into the Eagles “Best of My Love.”
Peters view of the shuttle became cloudy and he wiped a tear from his cheek.
“Sometimes , this job is just too much and vacations are way too few.”