Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Ultimate Non-Sequitur

So my sister who calls me all the time for medical advice (usually when I'm trying to cook, eat or clean up after dinner) called me for medical advice the other day. This time the topic was a ganglion cyst on her wrist that was becoming increasingly annoying. I gave her my standard spiel on ganglion cysts (reviewed the treatment options) and my standard spiel for her (go consult with a doctor in her own zip code.)

After the advice portion of the call was completed, she segued briefly into family stuff. Apparently, upon complaining to her father* "I have a ganglion cyst" his response was:
Is that good or bad for the Jews?

For what it's worth, the man just turned 80, has all his marbles and even knows what to do with them. He's sharper than many a tack, and yet somehow manages to pull this kind of stuff out of thin air from time to time.

I mean seriously; W.T.F?

*NB: she likes to point out that he's my father too, but when he comes out with stuff like this, I allow myself to wonder.

By the way, her answer was:
For me, it's bad; for all the other Jews, not so much.


At Mon Oct 13, 09:37:00 PM, Blogger Rach said...

Can your sister shoot spiderman type webs from her ganglion cyst? Maybe then it would be bad for the Jews, and everyone else...


At Mon Oct 13, 09:40:00 PM, Blogger dr_dredd said...

Maybe he figured that this was the only way to get her to stop complaining to him. :-)

At Mon Oct 13, 09:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Mon Oct 13, 10:27:00 PM, Blogger *~Dani~* said...

Loved your sister's answer!

At Tue Oct 14, 01:47:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

My take on it was that he was telling her there are more important things to worry about in the world -- but what do I know; I'm not Jewish.

FWIW, my mother used to get ganglion cysts, and her old-time family doctor would "remove" them by slamming a thick medical book down on her hand.

I hope there are more humane techniques these days, or that the cysts aren't hereditary.

At Tue Oct 14, 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Doc said...

I don't think it was non sequitur. It sounds to me like a pat answer for not having an opinion on something.

My Irish grandmother has a few of those, including "right! With ever-sharp" and "must've been the Brownies."

Ganglion cysts used to also be called "Bible cysts" for the book slamming technique that Marcia mentioned.

At Tue Oct 14, 06:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called humor. The old man has it.

At Wed Oct 15, 12:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should call him and ask why he responded that way, so as not to leave your readers in terminal suspense.

At Wed Oct 15, 05:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi -- Sister here. (1) Dr. D is great about the advice; my eternal apologies for calling at/around dinnertime; that just seems to be the only time I'm near a phone & not consumed w/ work or childcare; please let me know a better time window & I'll try to stick with it. (2) Ganglion cyst unchanged; I have an appt. w/ an orthopedist next week (first available). (3) I don't think it was an anti-complaining response; my dad & I talk ALL the time; it was part of a wide-ranging conversation, not an "organ recital" on my part by any means. (4) There's never been a micromillisecond of a doubt that our dad has an extremely well-developed sense of humor; as you all know, Dr. D has definitely inherited that trait! (5) Also don't think it was a philosophical "there are worse things to worry about" response -- this is a man who enjoys zero'ing in on tiny things to get righteously indignant about (e.g., grammar errors in newspapers). All of these interpretations do make sense as an initial way to rationalize a truly WTF non-sequiter, but I think Dr. D & I will agree that knowing him, they probably don't apply to our dad -- which is what makes the non-sequiter-ness of the response so hysterical. And it has legs: ever since this conversation two days ago, whenever I hear ANYTHING (a weather report, news that my neighbor's dog has fleas, an announcement of a Halloween party at my daughter's school), I think to myself, "Is that good or bad for the Jews?" (6) I like the idea of asking him why he responded that way (b/c who knows how funnily he'll respond to THAT?) Better yet, Dr. D., why don't you call Dad & invite him to respond here? Love, Sis.

At Wed Oct 15, 07:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dino Sis,

You need to start a blog, so we can get the whole story on these matters. The dino only gives us snippets, then leaves us wondering.


At Wed Oct 15, 07:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad here:

You're right. It was a complete non-sequitur. What I should have said was, "Is that good or bad for the bicyclists?"

At Wed Oct 15, 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Felix Kasza said...

Dear Dino-Dad:

A kudos to you for your use of that old punch line -- apparently, today's youth has forgotten all about it.

(For the non-Dino-Dads: The line I heard goes "But tell me, is this good for the Jews?", and in the joke, it was spoken by a victim of anti-semitism in response to something completely unrelated to pogroms. The joke is, of course, that the protagonist saw _everything_ through the lens of how it would affect his people.)


At Thu Oct 16, 07:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sis here again: (1) I actually knew about the history of the "is it good for the Jews?" line (pogroms, etc.) but this was this first time in 48 years I heard it from Dino-Dad's mouth. (2) Sorry, I don't have a blog; don't want one (so who's the dinosaur?) and even if I had one, it would just be my version of the truth, just as this blog is Dr. D's version of the truth. Although two viewpoints would provide a slightly bigger picture, I'm not sure there's ever any way to get the "whole" story. We all see the world / relationships / mistimed phone calls / putative non-sequiters through our own filters.

But I do love reading my sibling's blog and all the entertaining comments! Love, Sis

At Sun Oct 19, 04:53:00 AM, Blogger LicensedToILL said...

I think your Dad needs a blog.
A blog where he definitively determines what is good or bad for the Jews.

Cuz if its bad for the Jews then it's bad for all of us, right?
Anyway, what your Dad said is no different than a Christian asking "What would Jesus do?" or "WWJD?" as my most psychotic nursing instructor wore in 24k gold around her neck. Was she trying to tell us something or was she reminding herself? cuz she SUCKED in the humanity department.

Like my Jewish Grandma says, "It's all urine, Pee-Pee."

(I tried to post earlier to no success, if this shows up twice: a thousand my bad's)

Dino: does your dad know about the language on this blog? I bet he would be shocked. But speaking as a Jew, foul language is somehow good for us. I don't know why. But bad words are fun-nee!

At Sun Oct 19, 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dino: does your dad know about the language on this blog? I bet he would be shocked. But speaking as a Jew, foul language is somehow good for us. I don't know why. But bad words are fun-nee!"

But Yiddish is even funnier!

At Sun Oct 19, 12:55:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

Does your dad know about the language on this blog?

Where do you think I learned it?

At Sun Oct 19, 02:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your father is a very funny man. I'm going to send this story to my father who will have a good laugh.

At Tue Oct 21, 11:02:00 AM, Blogger LicensedToILL said...

Yiddish is the funniest fucking language of all time. (allow me to drop the first bomb, sorry Pop)



"Tuchus Schtupped"

My grandma said that. Jeesus.

At Wed Oct 22, 05:10:00 AM, Blogger Dragonfly said...

Love your sisters response.
My family always tries to get medical advice out of me. "I'm not a doctor (yet) and I'm not your doctor".


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