Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

What’s Ailing Me

We all have many sphincters: sphincters of the body, and sphincters of the soul. This is a story about one particular sphincter.

We all know what you’re doing. Stop it.

The scene must be set and background information relayed: there’s no synonym for “sphincter.” Even if you cheat and google it, the next-best word is “annular muscle” and that just won’t do.


You know what the best way to say “sphincter” is? Like, out loud?

In a doctor’s office?

No. You gotta make real good eye contact and then it’s pronounced “shfinkter.” It’s all about that “shf” combination, and wetness.


Oh, yeah. It’s a naturally slobbery phoneme.

Still a bit loopy from the knock-out juice, kid?

I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery.


Although, to be fair, there’s no level of sobriety high enough for me to safely operate heavy machinery. Just because you’re not shitfaced, doesn’t mean you can drive the bulldozer.

True. You were telling people about your morning.

It is a bit fuzzy. I remember an outpatient center. I read a magazine. Then, I got sleepy and a doctor stuck a big, black piece of equipment down my throat.

Was it Dr. Huxtable?

Thank you, folks!

We will be here all week.

Thank you again!

Are we doing bits?

Why are you here?

Nice timing, jackass.

Do you even work here anymore?


Speaking of sphincters, there is one in all of us called the lower esophageal sphincter that is the last Level Boss for food before it hits the stomach. It is also the first thing that vomit coats on the way out your mouth and onto the cop that night the cops kicked the shit out of you.

The lower esophageal sphincter is disgusting.

And mine works poorly, to boot. The first bite of every meal kerplunks onto the bottom of my esophagus and stays there, at which point the only options are to walk around the house contorting my torso while making animal sounds that are, quite frankly, not conducive to others’ enjoyment of their food; or, after the belly-dancing doesn’t work, horking the whole slimy bolus back up. This makes first dates awkward and short.

I am disgusting.

But lucky: it’s genetic (I learned how to stomp around angrily while trying to swallow a corned beef sandwich from my father) so I know exactly what it is–just minor and common constriction of the fascia–and it can be fixed, which some lovely people in scrubs and colorful sneakers did this morning.

(The most authoritative person in the world isn’t a general or a Pope or a president: it’s a woman in her mid-40’s wearing scrubs and colorful sneakers with a stethoscope around her neck. They take no shit, unless the doctor has ordered a stool sample. Then, they take your shit.)

So: all fine on the southern front and back to Dead-related japery soon. Two small notes:

  1. Everything hurts a lot more than it should and I have a huge scar and when I was coming to, I saw Phil crouched in the corner like an animal eating what looked to be a fresh human liver. Should I worry?
  2. Nothing hurts at all, in reality. Which is kind of amazing: they were rooting around in there, but I feel good. Still, though: you should get a bottle of vicodin afterwards. It was surgery; they put me out; I want an afternoon of itching. That’s fair, right? No one’s saying that when you go to the dentist, you should expect a shot of morphine, but when you have to put on the stupid gown and get an IV and then they stick this giant thing that looks like a sexually perverted eel down your gullet? You should get some Bobby pills out of that.


  1. Hope they fixed yer gizzard. Glad you’re ok.

  2. Complain of discomfort and achiness. If woman doctor is a gentile, find a nice older Jewish guy wise in the ways of short term pain management. Been there. Be well.

  3. Glad to hear everything went well.

    Absolutely loved this bit:

    “(They take no shit, unless the doctor has ordered a stool sample. Then, they take your shit.)”

  4. Bestes!

  5. Praise be to Allah!…erm…no wait a minute.

    Glad you’re good man.

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