The Common Good
May-June 1997

I Just Love These New Chips. Oops . . .

by Ed Spivey Jr. | May-June 1997

This issue of Sojourners is sponsored by the good folks at Procter & Gamble, makers of a respected line of consumer products, including their popular fat substitute, Olestra...

This issue of Sojourners is sponsored by the good folks at Procter & Gamble, makers of a respected line of consumer products, including their popular fat substitute, Olestra, which may cause severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and other as-yet unspecified leakages. Company representatives insist, however, that Olestra can be an effective part of a balanced diet, if used in combination with another fine P&G product, adult diapers. Satisfied customers have been quick to endorse the idea:

SATISFIED CUSTOMER NO. 1: Yep. I ate those Olestra chips while I was watching the Super Bowl. And I never had to get up once. It was great.

SATISFIED CUSTOMER NO. 2: Me, too.

Because of the reported side effects, officials at the Food and Drug Administration planned to withhold approval of the controversial food additive. But at the last minute new scientific evidence was provided by an Asian businessman, who was apparently quite persuasive. It’s just another American consumerism success story. (Possible title: "Well, I’m back. By the way, you’re running out of toilet paper.")

Is this a great country, or what?

No thanks, Dr. Kevorkian. I feel fine...

Physician-assisted suicide is a serious issue that should be considered with the utmost sensitivity.

But not on this page. No, our job is to take nothing seriously, particularly a subject as easy to goof on as Dr. Jack "I’m Sorry, But Your Time Is Up" Kevorkian.

DR. KEVORKIAN (visiting a randomly chosen patient in the hospital): How are you feeling today, young man?

PATIENT: Fine, Doc. I just sprained my ankle playing Frisbee with the dog.

DR. KEVORKIAN: I understand. You’re in a lot of pain, aren’t you?

PATIENT: Not anymore. I was at first, when I tripped on Rusty. He’s my dog. But I’m feeling a lot better now.

DR. KEVORKIAN: There, there. It’s not easy...being all alone with your pain, is it?

PATIENT: Actually, I’m not alone. My folks are here, but they were eating some chips and had to go to the bathroom real quick. But they’ll be right back.

DR. KEVORKIAN: Then we’ll have to work quickly, won’t we?

PATIENT: Excuse me?

DR. KEVORKIAN: You’re making the right decision, young man. Oh, there are those who would disagree, who wouldn’t understand the suffering you’ve endured, the endless pain that has turned your life into a private hell. But I understand.

PATIENT: Uh...doc. You’re freakin’ me out a little....

DR. KEVORKIAN: I know about pain. I’ve felt pain myself, in medical school, where no one would listen to me, except for my little dead friends in the dissecting tray. They didn’t seem to mind when I cut and prodded them. They understood me. Even when the other students laughed and teased....

PATIENT: Doctor....

DR. KEVORKIAN: I can still hear their taunting....

PATIENT: Uh...sorry to interrupt, Dr. Fruitcake, but...

DR. KEVORKIAN: It’s Kevorkian! Anyway, you just need to sign this form and your nightmare will be over. You’ll finally be at peace.

PATIENT: Hey, what are you doing now?

DR. KEVORKIAN: I’m phoning the media, of course. The public has a right to know. To understand.

PARENTS (entering the room): Why are you...oops! (Parents rush back out.)

DR. KEVORKIAN (speaking into the phone): No, that’s not right. It’s K-E-V-O-R. You always leave out the R! You just don’t understand....

Study Question

How come you never hear about dentist-assisted suicide? Discuss.

King of the Wild Frontier

It was a good retreat, a time when editor-in-chief Jim Wallis shared his vision, his dreams, and the lyrics from the theme song of the "Davy Crockett" television show.

We get out of the city about twice a year to relax and plan future issues. After the intensity of the day, we unwind in the evenings by playing humiliating games to prove how little we studied in high school ("Trivial Pursuit"), or how poorly we can draw ("Pictionary"), or how badly we stutter when we’re pretending not to have a good hand (poker). This last retreat somebody brought "Songburst," a game where you sing until you get tired of people laughing at you. Then you sit down.

When TV’s Davy Crockett came up as a clue, Jim Wallis—preacher, best-selling author, internationally known speaker—leapt to his feet and shouted: "I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life!"

And then he sang the entire song. Twice.

It was very embarrassing.

Calvin? Calvin Klein?

I’m a deeply troubled man, afraid to leave my house lest the unthinkable occur:

EMERGENCY ROOM NURSE: "Who’s this guy?"

DOCTOR: "Just came in. Fell off his bike. Unconscious, but otherwise doesn’t look too bad. Let’s see, contusions, minor lacerations, and...what’s this....HA! HA! HA! Hey, look everybody...pink undies!"

They say that children’s tie-dyed shirts eventually fade and lose their ability to bleed onto other clothes in the wash. They were wrong.

So now I’ve got two choices:

  • buy new underwear, or
  • wear a medical alert bracelet that states "In case of emergency, DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSON TO THE HOSPITAL until you first go to a clothing store and dress him in something simple yet stylish. And white."

A Note of Thanks...

Sojourners would like to give special recognition to the government of China for its recent donation. Our ministry will greatly benefit from this generous gift, as soon as the editors get back from Disney World and tell us how much is left.

NEXT ISSUE: "The Government of China: A Great Bunch of Guys."

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

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