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Friday, May 11, 2018

3 O'Clock and All's Well

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, 3 a.m. phone call, hillary, obama, benghazi, trump, north korea, prisoners
Full credit to Mrs. Jarlsberg for pointing out the "3 a.m. connection."
Many years ago, Hillary Clinton's primary campaign for President scored big with a political ad about the dreaded "3 a.m. phone call." The spot suggested that during a crisis (and what else happens at 3 a.m.?), Americans could sleep better knowing that a President Hillary was answering the call. 

Why? Because she would able to handle any problem thanks to having years of experience and a vagina, unlike her challenger Barack Obama - who had no experience and only possibly had a vagina.

As it worked out, both got a chance to answer that late night crisis call. As Secretary of State, Hillary took (ever so briefly) the phone call about the attack on our embassy in Benghazi. But then she ignored it, just like she had ignored the hundreds of previous messages from the embassy begging for additional security.

Still, Hillary did slightly better than Obama - who not only didn't take the call but, to this day, hasn't accounted for his whereabouts at the time. Which is certainly no reason to suspect that he was engaged in a cocaine-fueled orgy with actor Kal Penn in the Lincoln bedroom, and we'd be the last ones to even suggest such a thing.

And then there's the much-reviled President Trump. 

Not only was he genuinely ready to deal with a crisis, at 3 a.m., he actually flew to Andrews Air Force Base to welcome home the three American prisoners released from North Korea.

The Left is still obsessed with slickness and style points (no matter how ineffectual), while a growing number of Americans are voicing their support of a President who keeps producing tangible and substantial accomplishments.

And yes, we will sleep better tonight because of that.

(Editorial note: A previous version of today's cartoon & commentary incorrectly stated that Trump flew to Alaska. That's what we get for trying to write while sober.)

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS MRI's?

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, MRI, seizures, sleep disorder

Owing to our great enthusiasm for trying new things which can't somehow be avoided, we experienced our first MRI brain scan yesterday and learned some very important things about our mental makeup. Like, how quickly we'd start spilling state secrets if tortured.

The MRI scan was looking for the cause of our previously documented nighttime tap-dancing and self-pugilism. The bad news is that the condition seems to be getting a bit worse. But the good news is that with all this practice, our nocturnal choreography is now fabulous!

We'll admit that we were slightly apprehensive about the procedure owing to it's extreme similarity to being buried alive. But our fears were quickly allayed by a friendly, soft-spoken technician wearing a hijab who assured us there would be no danger from the immense, whirling mega-magnet as long as we removed our hearing aids and...and...

Okay, we don't know what the other dangers were because our hearing aids were gone. The rest of the instructions were basically delivered in pantomime as we stretched out on the pallet which would soon slide us into the heart of the electromagnetic storm.

We were given headphones to allow us to listen to relaxing music during the procedure, and we'd actually burned our own CD of soothing favorites which didn't mention death much. After the headphones, a metal cage was locked over our upturned face and the technician slipped into the adjoining room to push the "Fire One" button.

While waiting in the tube (and only opening our eyes once, which was a mistake) we had a lot of quality time to think about a variety of things:

• Did someone leave an oxygen tank in the room which could be sucked explosively into the space currently occupied by my head?

• If there's a metal alien implant in my head, will it puree my brain once the MRI starts spinning it like a particle accelerator? (Go ahead and laugh about the alien implant thing, but I could tell you stories...)

• Is there an active shooter in the building?

• Is it actually possible to choke to death on your own post-nasal drip?

But these thoughts were quickly banished when the machine started whirling, beeping, banging, shaking, and occasionally emitting Klaxon signals of the kind usually only heard on a submarine attempting an emergency dive.

This cacophony went on for a LONG time, largely drowning out poor Enya as she tried to croon "Orinoco Flow" to a hyperventilating, increasingly panic-ridden deaf guy. In total, our stay in the MRI tube lasted about 40 minutes, which feels a lot longer when you're trying to convince yourself that you actually can breathe, no matter what your heart and lungs are telling you.

But eventually it was over and the friendly technician smiled and said...well...

We have no idea what she said, because our hearing aids were still in a locker in the next room. But she seemed happy enough, and pulled a contrast-injecting needle out of our arm before helping us sit up. She also gave us a small bottle of water which, oddly, seemed to be shaking quite a bit.

A couple of hours after returning home to our beloved wife, faithful dog, and cheap scotch, we got a phone call from the MRI facility giving us the good news that the procedure hadn't spotted any "gross abnormalities," which constitutes a clinically significant difference between our brain and Hillary Clinton's birthday suit.

The other good news is that these results make it far more likely that our wacky sleep condition (which our neurologist, with a twinkle in her eye, describes as "violent seizures") is probably just a weird reaction to an antidepressant we started about 6 months ago...and are now getting off of as quickly as possible.

So hopefully we'll soon be able to shelve our tap shoes and put this whole thing to bed. So to speak.

SPECIAL WTF BONUS!

This may not be our brightest idea, but if you want to see one of our more colorful nighttime episodes, here's your chance. If you click this link, you can download an MP4 file of some highly kinetic night time video we recently took (about 40 seconds long). TRIGGER WARNING: In complete seriousness, this footage is potentially upsetting even though we added The Who's "Cobwebs & Strange" as a soundtrack because we have a really strange sense of humor and it works beautifully. But really, think twice before clicking because it's not a joke or a put on and you can't unsee this.

If you take the plunge, note that the real-time speed of the footage has not been altered, there is no particular discomfort for your humble narrator while this nonsense is going on other than chagrin and annoyance (there's no pain, no loss of consciousness, and no after effects), and that the subject is wearing a CPAP mask and not just huffing paint fumes. As an additional bonus, you can enjoy a special surprise guest appearance by Penny, the official emotional support dog of Hope n' Change!

Please don't share the video with others or on any social media sites. Unless, of course, you happen to be friends with a top notch neurologist, or know a booking agent for America's Got Talent.

33 comments:

j said...

Praying for you, friend. Stay strong. and you know, my late wife had several MRIs and every time, her neck and back felt better for weeks afterward, as if it somehow realigned things or something. Wishing you all the best.

mamafrog said...

Damn Bubba, your feet got some kind of crazy rhythm going on, and that hand...that is the hand of...well, from that horror movie maybe. Get off those pills as quick as you can. I think this is one case where depression is better than the cure. Now it makes me wonder about some I took twenty years or so ago. I worked for Wally and had serious problems with depression at the time, among other things (who whoulda guessed), but I don't think there was anything that extreme going on. By the way, try not to have any more MRI's, I had to go through two of them about the same time as the depression and now I can't wear a watch anymore. I kill them, I also have strange effects on computerized machinery at times. Hey, does this count as exercise too? You were definitely getting a work out there.

Section147 said...

Personally, I’m waiting for the highly kinetic night time video you recently took of Ms. Busty. We know you have it, you know you have it. Now quit screwing around and post the damn link already.

James Daily said...

Buried alive? Some of use would do a wake for you, well, at least until the left over scotch is gone. Yea, those MRI's are bad news. You are not done with them yet. You still have the nightmares coming. Today's column is a masterpiece of prose. On the hearing aids, I don't wear mine much as I had rather not know what the wife is lecturing me about. And I hope the crook has nightmares about her servicing our country.

James Daily said...

Watched the video. Wow. Apparently the cure for it is not to sleep. I have never seen anything like that except maybe someone that was possessed. If your head turns 360ยบ like Linda Blair's, we'll know.

Hyzenthlay said...

Dang! Dude! I had a brain scan about fifteen years ago that was about that primitive. I had another scan of something else -- my alien implant did a good number on my memory -- and they'd made improvements. Not only did they have headphones, but they'd realized that a fair amount of fresh air is actually important, and for anyone who is tempted to open their eyes, they had a nice, dark mask to place over said eyes. I'm not sure if they'd added a soothing scent or not. Again, I blame the alien implant thingy.

There are many wonderful things about living in Texas -- barbecuing the Holiday meal in your shorts, for example -- but sometimes they seem like they're not quite with the 21st century.

sergio said...

I've had multiple NMRs *changed to MRI) because the N stands for nuclear, more than a dozen since 2003 and I'm no more snafu than I was before. What started to chain was a grand mal seizure I had in my own bed, the causal tumor is dead and gone, not to return

Regnad Kcin said...

Love the lamestream's reaction to DJT's rescue of the US citizens. While the Pres. is doing his duty, these mouth-breathers are too involved in snorting Trojans and eating Tide pods.
After considerable research, I've deduced that glorious leader duhbama is a hermaphrodite cross-dresser. He should have been in that Batman movie instead of TL Jones.
My niece the doctor, while working at a hospital in southern Maine, supervised the installation and setup of their new MRI machine. It looked like something out of Jules Verne. It was in a spherical room that had a ($30K) surround system and light show that would make the Grateful Dead envious. All computer controlled and even had Pink Floyd on the play list. I volunteered to be the first test subject...
And, with fancy happy feet like those in the vid, I recommend that you get an audition on the "America's Got Talent" show. As a musical accompaniment you should have Flock of Seagulls blasting out "I Ran" at 120dbs. No more calls, we have a winner.......

Ray K said...

Like you, I have had an MRI done of my brain. Now, with a straight face, I can respond to those skeptics, "Well, yes, I have had my head examined."

Get better soon, Dude.

Ray

REM1875 said...

Had I but known my experience as a jack hammer operator would have qualified me to run a mri machine in a a/c cooled room....indoors no less ..... and get to torture complete strangers on top of that.....well life would have been much different .......

John Gault said...

I love your subtle, but BRILLIANT choice of phones for the cartoon. I noticed immediately, how you picked an ancient design for Hil-LIAR-y & a gaudy gold one for the Donald, but it took me a few minutes to realize that you used a modern, cheap plastic, half black, half white one for Odumbo. Awesome! The only drawback (see what I did there) was that the greeting took place at Andrews AFB, not Alaska. They refueled in Anchorage at 7PM and it took till 2 AM to fly to Maryland. It takes nothing away from the great idea and incredible execution, but facts matter.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@j- Based on last night's lack of sleep, I think it's safe to say that my MRI provided no obvious therapeutic value - but I'll be on the lookout for any previously unnoticed improvements in my overall disposition (grin).

@mamafrog- Yeah, the crazy legs are stupid and tiring, but what's creepy is when that hand looks at me with ill intent. In my experience, I'd still take this craziness over Depression, but fortunately that's not the choice I have to make. I've had excellent results from an old school antidepressant for years, and the new one added in was just for some fine tuning. And it worked, but not so well that I'm willing to perform "Lord of the Dance" all night, every night.

@Section147- A gentleman does not videotape a lady in the boudoir and post it to the Internet for free (other options may be on the table).

@James Daily- At my wake, we'd serve all the cheap leftovers from my liquor cabinet/office closet. Scotch, vodka, rum, hot pepper chocolate tequila, and more. Actually that sounds like enough fun that I'll try to attend too.

And I love your observation about the video "apparently the cure for it is not to sleep." I'll be sure the doctor adds that to my charts!

@Hyzenthlay- In fairness to the good folks who did my MRI, it wasn't primitive in the least - though you did get my subjective and semi-terrified perspective in today's piece. The machine was an "open" MRI (like a giant donut), but I'd overestimated the degree to which this would not make me claustrophobic. The headphones were a godsend, the people were all nice and professional, and the exam room and MRI machine were colorfully painted to make it look like you were underwater. Because nothing says "breathe easy" like being in the briny deep.

@sergio- Glad to hear that your tumor has been banished. There's no part of "let's drill into your head and see what we can find" that sounded good to me, so my MRI was actually terrific news. And I haven't experienced anything like a grand mal seizure - I'm more at the "show off" level.

@Regnad Kcin- Trump drives me nuts on a lot of levels, but he's getting a lot more done than previous presidents. So far, the trade off between efficacy and lack of gravitas is still working strongly in the favor of Americans.

Regarding the MRI stuff, I'm pretty sure that the place I went to was state of the art. That being said, no technology so powerful is something that a weenie like me could be entirely comfortable with.

@Ray K- Happily, I'll now be able to make wallet-sized pictures of my brain to show people when they suggest I should have my head examined!

@REM1875- Actually the machine was quieter than the ones I've heard in the past (like when standing in the room while my daughter had one). That really did have a BANG BANG BANG quality that this new machine didn't - though it still made plenty of interesting noises, each one of which I could imagine being linked to a flashing warning light.

@John Gault- Glad you caught the subtleties of the phone choices! And thank you for correcting me about my Alaska/Andrews snafu. I've since corrected the cartoon and commentary AND added a note about the prior error. Hey, I may not be perfect but at least I'm more honest than most "journalists."

Alan said...

I've had several MRI's but one is the most memorable. I had torn a muscle loose in my right arm at work and the surgeon the company sent me to ordered an MRI at another facility. I show up for my appointment and they put me on the slide in table and positioned my arm on a pillow with a weight on top of it. It was the most painful position my arm could possibly be in. The MRI technician asked if I was comfortable and I told her "No". She said to just hold tight and this would only take a little while. I was in that thing for 2 hours and when they pulled me out I expressed how glad I was that it was over. She told me she didn't get anything because I moved. The company nurse was not happy about this and she made me another appointment and told me not to move during this test. I go to that appointment and go through the same routine. Again I was told that the test failed because I moved. The company nurse was irate. She scheduled me for another appointment and gave me some horse tranquilizer pills and told me to take them an hour before my appointment. I did as told and was really messed up when I had the 3rd MRI. Got the same results though. They said I moved. I really dreaded facing the company nurse again over this but had to. She scheduled me for a forth MRI. That's when I found out there's such a thing as an open air MRI machine. The testing facility had one in a small mobile home like thing brought in and parked out back. It consisted of a table you lay on and a large round disk that lowers down to the table about 10 inches from your body. I fell asleep during that test and it was a success.

John the Econ said...

Damn that Trump, pulling those three woke Americans from their found paradise in wonderful communist North Korea. Now they have to fend for themselves in Trump's America. At least in North Korea, one's future is relatively certain.

As always, it was fun watching Democrat's either continue to struggle to continue their lives in denial or simply having their heads explode yesterday. No wonder the Democrats cling to Stormy Daniels as their savior.

Speaking of: Has CNN given Stormy's lawyer his own show on CNN? From what I hear (I rarely watch CNN anymore) he's now pretty much on 24/7.

Scan: So, are you going to post the results? We are all anxious to see what the brain of a comic genius looks like.

Considering what Progressives wish to define as "normal" these days, I'd almost wish my scan to come back with some kind of "gross abnormality". Quite frankly, I find it embarrassing to be considered "normal" anymore.

As for the video, it clearly looks like you are having a nightmare where you've lost an argument with Beany's friend Cecil. Did you at some point piss off Bob Clampett in your childhood?

Kudos for Penny for coming to save you.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Alan- I just broke into a cold sweat reading your account. I didn't realize I got off so lucky!

@John the Econ- Trump demonstrably keeps winning. And I still wish that Trump would end the Stormy Daniels drama by just saying "I banged her so hard that she barked like a trained seal and had 127 orgasms. After which she tried to pay ME."

And regarding Stormy's attorney, is there a lower life form on Earth than a porn star's lawyer?

Regarding my brain scan, I haven't looked at the CD with pictures yet. If anything seems photogenic enough (like hair and teeth from a symbiotic twin) I'll share.

And I don't think I could have shared the video without Penny in it. Her calm entrance is a nice counterpoint to what comes before, and my sitting forward to give her some sugar demonstrates that when an episode is over, it's just over with no lingering effects.

By the way, for those keeping score I did the song and dance routine at least 15 times last night by actual count. And those are only the ones that actually woke me. More coffee, anyone?

RDB said...

SJ - Epic! Hoping that all turns out well for you and that MRI doesn't alter your comic genius in any way. Have a great day sir.

Geoff King said...

Trump only got 3 prisoners released, whereas Obama got 4 out of Iran in 2016.
Of course, he paid Iran $400 million for those prisoners. Trump paid nothing.
Being a loose cannon, Trump is accomplishing far more than Obama was ever capable of. World leaders are starting to either love him or be scared to death of him.
Unlike Obama, Trump will have a legacy that doesn't unravel 1 year out of office. Also, if he receives a Nobel Peace Prize, it will be because he is deserving - not just because he is half orange.

Titan Mk6B said...

Your glowing eyes added a lot to the video.

I too had my "head examined" not too long ago. They were trying to figure out my memory problems. It seems that I was not remembering everything that happens as opposed to my wife who often remembers things that did not happen. We are quite a pair.

Not sure why but they had a mirror installed so that when you opened your eyes you were staring back at yourself.

H R Miller said...

I enjoyed your dancing almost as much as I enjoy your humor and cartoons. Almost ....

Whoopie said...

Perhaps your body is telling you to ditch that dang CPAP contraption, lay down on a flat bed and sleep on your side in a fetal position as nature intended. A dose of melatonin and a shot of booze for a nightcap wouldn't amiss either.

LouisianaRed said...

It sure beats the hokey pokey.

Chef Spenser said...

Gene Kelly you ain't

rickn8or said...


...owing to it's extreme similarity to being buried alive.

Oh, thank you so much; now I'm looking forward to my next MRI. Guess what thought is going to be running though my head NOW!

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Pheh! MRI machines are FASCINATING! But, too, being both an electrical engineer and a computer scientist does that to a body. I've had CAT scans back in the day when the contrast injection triggered the gag reflex. Not so fascinating, and indicative of recent improvements as they don't use iodine as much as they used to, or they figgered out how to get the "punies" out of it. Noggin, sinuses, lungs, knees so far. No stranger to the fascinating, if loud, beastie. As I age I expect to be be able to publish a photo-journal of all my innards.

Glad to hear that all your grey stuff is in the correct positions with no visitors lurking therein. Now all they have to do is get it all to function within design parameters, and you're all set!

Dave from WI. said...

I panicked big time the first time I was fed into an MRI machine that looked like something left over from Dachau. Dr. suggested that I take an “OPEN FIELD” MRI. Went fine. Big table that is open on all sides. You have to lie still but you can see most of the room. The magnetic thing comes down and settles about an inch from your face, but the texture of the surface is such that you have no depth perception so you don’t realize how close it is. I went through two of these with no discomfort or feeling of claustrophobia whatever. Ask your Dr. about it.

Colby Muenster said...

The "3 AM Phone Call" comparison is too funny, but dead correct, especially considering Benghazi on the "dead" part. 3 AM phone calls to O'Liar were probably forwarded to Susan Rice, and you can bet 3 AM calls to a president H. R. Clinton would have resulted in the caller committing "suicide" the next day by shooting themselves in the back of the head six times.

I don't watch NBC, CBS, CNN, PMSNBC, or any of the other former news shows, but I'm betting a total of 0.0057 seconds of airtime has been dedicated to the prisoner release.

"The" video... That can't be you, Stilton! That's some old bald guy.

Seriously, my sympathies for your condition! There is no way you are getting any rest like that. I hope your doctor gets you straightened out on the meds, and yes, the Dr. Strangelove hand is a bit scary. I noticed it's your left hand too!

I remember my last MRI. I was in there for, oh... three hours, then they finally pulled me out. I was thinking, "Finally!" Then they gave me a shot of some kind of dye, and rolled me right back in for another 3-4 hours! Bastards!

@Geoff King,
I thought Obammy gave Iran billions, not millions. Or maybe the big money was for more important things, like nukes to blow Israel up? Either way, Trump got almost the same thing by calling the guy Little Rocket Man.

John the Econ said...

The story CNN wanted to run, but it might dent their credibility:

CNN Report: Evil Trump Kidnaps Three People From North Korean Paradise

"CNN reporters had discovered that the three visitors had been in North Korea enjoying a vacation for many months before Trump unilaterally decided to have them forcibly flown back to America, even aggressively accosting them when they landed."

Shelly said...

I've only had one MRI and as those things go, I guess it wasn't that bad, although it did trigger an extreme case of claustrophobia in me. I was getting the MRI to confirm a rotator cuff tear as the X-ray did not show it. They shoved my upper body from just below the shoulders up into a narrow metal tube that I just barely fit in. The top of the contraption was just above my face. I would wager you couldn't fit a piece of paper between it and me. I was given headphones and if I kept my eyes closed, it was bearable and thankfully, it didn't last too long. They also gave me a panic button which somehow gave me comfort. I hope I never need another one, though.

I love how you gave your sweet doggy "sugar." That is truly a Texan thing!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@RDB- I don't think my sense of humor is in any particular danger (thank goodness!)


@Geoff King- I agree with everything you're saying. Obama's "accomplishments" were written on the wind. Trump's will have much more permanence.

@Titan Mc6B- I believe the mirror is so you can look into your own eyes, say "Bloody Mary" three times, then have a screaming witch leap through the mirror and kill you. Which I might honestly have gone for in this case (wry grin).

@H R Miller- I like to think that I bring a certain enthusiasm and unpredictability to both efforts.

@Whoopie- The CPAP is actually great (not even counting the fact that it makes me look like a fighter pilor); I no longer wake up feeling like I've gargled razor blades all night. I have heard good things about this "bed" device you mention, though. Maybe I should try one of those...

@LouisianaRed- And seriously, isn't that what it's all about?

@Chef Spenser- Yeah, but could Gene Kelly do it in his sleep?!

@rickn8or- It was when the technician started tossing dirt on my chest that I started to get worried.

@Emmentaler Limburger- No question, MRI machines are amazing and a huge improvement over "exploratory brain surgery" for taking a look around. I forget what kind of contrast the imaging center shoved into my veins, but I believe it was a type which was "less likely" to cause negative reactions.

And when it comes to my brain's design parameters, I don't think they're of the traditional specs.

@Dave from WI- Ooh, that "open field" MRI sounds much better! Well, except for wondering if the giant heavy thing is going to suddenly smash your head flat. As you can see, I'm not really "Mr. Glass Half Full."

@Colby Muenster- Oh sure, the infrared night vision makes me LOOK like an old bald guy. I frequently get the same optical illusion from cameras, mirrors, and shiny surfaces. The avatar picture I generally use, with flowing dark locks, is really me - but was taken in 2000. And I aged in dog years during the Obama administration.

@John the Econ- Such a story wouldn't surprise me.

@Shelly- I was really terrified of getting the old-style torpedo tube MRI like you're describing. I would have to be heavily anesthetized. The machine I had was larger and open at both ends. Not that the space behind my head did me any psychological good when I was in the tunnel.

And yes, it was grand to have Penny come to visit me at the end of my song-and-dance. It was reassuring to have contact with her, especially since she didn't growl and fluff her fur to indicate I was demon-possessed.

MAX Redline said...

You got off lucky. When I had a bunch of MRIs, they slid me into a tube for 40 minutes.Even with the ear protection, it was pretty loud. Fortunately, I'm not claustrophobic. They'd have to knock my wife out....

Gee M said...

@LouisianaRed
I used to be addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around!
@Stilton
Sorry your life has become a bit scifi;please lose the weird stuff like nocturnal self-pugiling and keep what makes for brilliant comedic commentary.

I recently had a visit to the ER...Doctor had an old grey tabby sniff me all over and charged me $300 for a cat scan...
Actually I had a few C scans and they were able to figger out why my entire left side was dragging...ooops, a stroke
Offered me a treatment where 3% died, 30% showed improvement, and everyone else diddn' do nuffin'
I asked if I could try twice, but nooo; now I'm almost normal 'cept for the limp and goofy arm...ain't science great?
Best pf luck wiff your old man's burden!

Igor said...

Gee M, I had a dog sniff me over a couple of times and they told me to wait for the Lab results...
*rimshot*

Stan da Man said...

As for MRIs, Imma just leave this here...

https://www.bmj.com/content/319/7225/1596