Sunday, August 14, 2016

A galling story on useless body parts (from '12/for Earl)

Just got word from my Nadine's buddy Greg that one of our favorite bartenders underwent emergency gall bladder removal surgery God speed, Earl. The world needs great bartenders. Not to mention great people and you're definitely one of them. 

I’ve known people who’ve returned from vacation without golf clubs, sweaters and sunglasses.

Joe’s the first one who’s ever come back without his gallbladder.

He’s maybe my favorite of the bar’s eight Regular Joes who are all conveniently named Joe.

He’s 72, looks 58 and acts 23. He’s just a lot of fun.

He was returning from Hilton Head when he started feeling severe abdomen pains around Bridgeport, W. Va. He told a friend he needed to be dropped off at the nearest hospital right away.

Happily, the two were in a car, not an airplane, or this story would have a more gruesome ending.

The ER doctors determined the trouble was his gallbladder. It had to come out.

So a lot of us learned a lot about the gallbladder about which we’d previously been ignorant.

For instance, we all have ‘em but don’t really need ‘em.

Most of us confused the gallbladder, which we never think about, with the urinary bladder, which we think about every four beers.

The gallbladder stores bile from the liver until it is needed in the digestive system to break down fatty foods and cholesterol. That sounds more useful than it is.

Turns out the gallbladder is like the fourth “wax” option at the automatic car wash. You feel better about having it, but you don’t really need it and no one will notice whether it’s there or not.

The human body is chock full of useless organs. 

These include commonly understood body parts like tonsils, adenoids, wisdom teeth, and the all-too-often cranky appendix.

It’s a lot of excess weight.

Joe, in fact, said he lost 15 pounds after they removed his gallbladder. I don’t know whether that means these popsicle-sized organs are incredibly dense or the weight loss was a coincidental side affect of the tricky treatment.

He started to tell me, but I was already getting bored and ready to move on to other topics.

See, one of my useless organs is the part of my brain that allows others to concentrate when someone’s talking about their health.

I make an effort to appear concerned and then once it registers I’m ready to change topics to the things that matter more to me, like the baseball playoffs and if Joe’d gotten laid in Hilton Head.

I envision a day when Americans are so obese that we opt for elective surgery to remove unnecessary body parts as handy weight loss methods.

I’ll bet right now if you removed all the body parts I don’t need or things I don’t use I could drop 40 pounds pronto. Excess weight’s not really an issue for me, but I believe in being prepared in case someone notices I’m still using profile pictures from my svelte 1997 days.

I’d start by having my left thumb severed. It doesn’t do squat. Neither does yours, I’ll bet.

Pay attention next time you type something. Or just glance at the shiny worn parts on your space bar. There’s none on the left side. We type with eight fingers and one thumb. The left thumb just sort of dangles there.

When it comes to typing, the left thumb doesn’t lift a finger.

Same goes for hitchhiking. Even southpaws rely on their right thumbs to bum rides.

Many people could lose about two quick pounds of ugly by having their ears removed. It’s amazing how many people have ears but fail to listen.

I’ve heard it said we only use 10 percent of our brains. I’ll bet 98 percent of men are perfectly content with that equation as long as another comparatively inconsequential recreational organ a little further south keeps giving it all its got. 

It might be beneficial if people who contend they are “right-brained” or “left-brained” had the half they deny needing simply removed so all the cerebral energy could be concentrated in the remaining area. It’d be like adding horsepower to a sports car by stripping away the frilly extras.

The world is full of mean and heartless people. I wish we could, purely for the sake of experiment, physically remove their hearts just to see what happens to people without heart.

We might learn something, or at the very least drastically reduce the jerk population.

Of course, the most obvious weight loss could come from our meatiest region. That means anyone could lose about 20 quick pounds if they’ve ever admitted to having ever done a job half-assed.

Coming from me, I know, it’s a suggestion that takes a lot of gall, more than my friend Joe could ever dream of mustering.

Especially now.

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