Thursday, August 4, 2011


"There's no easy way to say this – you're a gerbil."

I liked a blunt doctor, he got to the point and didn't pussyfoot around with the tidbits of minutiae related to what was ailing me. He was a good man - the kind of guy who would sleep with your wife and call you half way through to cancel on golf, the kind of man who would take your dog for a walk without telling you; he was the kind of man you'd want to hear news like this from.

"What are my options?" I asked. I wanted Dr. Brimmel to know that I was fully 100% on board with my treatment. I wasn't going to sit on this and wait for sunshine to come out of my ass. Like that time I got diabetes and simply stopped putting cheese on my donuts in the morning.

"Well, you have several options." The doctor looked down at his tote board. "Wait, did I say several?"

"Yes, doctor."

"I meant more like one." The doctor lifted his eyebrow.

Then I lifted mine.

Then he lifted his again.

"OK, what is it? I want to be a part of my healing." I was actually getting excited about it. I was looking for something to do this weekend and this whole don't be a gerbil thing could be just what I was looking for.

"Well, for starters, you'll have to stop smoking." He lifted his eyebrow again.

"But…wait – I just. What are the cons of being a gerbil?" I wasn't going to stop smoking.

"Well, you'll have to eat grains and leaves."


"And you'll have to have sex with other gerbils."

I thought about telling him I already had, but then thought better of it. "K."

"And you won't be able to drive a car."

"But I drove here."

"Yes, but you didn't turn into a gerbil until you entered the office."

That made sense to me. I decided not to ask him about the specifics. "What are the pros?"

"You'll be able to cut down on your smoking as you will not be able to smoke a whole cigarette due to your reduced size. Also, you lost a lot of weight. I mean like 215 pounds. Let me think…oh, you don't have to work."

I thought this through. "But who will take care of me?"

"Well, you aren't married. Do you have family?"

I thought long and hard on this one. I couldn't remember if I had family or if I just didn't talk to them anymore. "I'm not sure."

"That's another con – you have 84% less brain function."

"That's gonna hurt."

"Indeed. I'm surprised you're able to talk right now."

"So, as far as gerbils go, I'm pretty remarkable."

"Quite so. Have you ever considered a career in the circus?"

"Never, tell me more."

The doctor examined some X Rays that had small labels like "Gerbilization of the forearm" or "Gerbilization of the head".

"Well, a circus is a group of people and animals that do things to entertain people."

"Tell me more."

"They have popcorn."

"Where do I sign up?"

"Not so fast. You need to get a pet license. Also, you need to see a vet now, because I know nothing about gerbils. Then, after those tasks are performed, you can apply for the circus."

"Do I need a resume?"

"Of course you do."

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