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thursday, 3

thursday, 3

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I apologize in advance for harping on the same thing from week to week, but I can t help it. After skipping past the war coverage in The Commercial Appeal, after ripping the sports page out to find out if the Grizzlies have won the night before, after flipping the page that contains the latest installment of The Monkey King series (what is that all about?), I head straight for, you guessed it, my favorite newspaper columnist of all time, Dr. Gott. It is an obsession and again, I just can t help it. I want his job. While he sometimes writes about really boring things like heart rhythms and high blood pressure, he is never one to shy away from the stranger aspects of modern medicine and ailments. Just last week, he answered a writer who was wondering what he could do to take the offensive smell out of his flatulence. I think the good Doc told him to try Beano and to stay away from baked beans. A good and just answer. But in another column last week, he addressed a much more interesting issue: hernias derived from testicles not forming normally and strangulated bowel problems. MUCH better. Before birth, he wrote, a male s testicles form and develop in the abdominal cavity. At or near birth, the testicles descend through tunnels (one on each side) called the inguinal canals, into the scrotum. At the conclusion of this process, the inguinal canals normally close over. Sometimes, however, they don t, and babies are born with inguinal hernias, openings in the lower abdominal wall through which loops of intestine can protrude. Well, how nasty is that? I thought birth was supposed to be a beautiful thing, not some horrible nightmare of testicles descending through tunnels and loops of intestines protruding. And you women think you have it tough. The good Doc then goes on to say, By themselves, inguinal hernias are harmless. Excuse me? Someone s testicles didn t descent properly through the right tunnels and intestines are protruding and that is harmless? I think I would be something of a wreck about that. But not as much a wreck as if I had one of these peculiar hernias and had to do what the good Doc recommends: For those people who reject surgery, I instruct them on how to reduce their hernias by lying on their backs and gently manipulating the herniated tissue back through the defect. This is astounding. And outstanding. See why I want this guy s job? Telling people to manipulate their hernias because their testicles are messed up and they have strangled intestines that protrude from somewhere exactly where, he doesn t say and it s probably a good thing. Well, good Doc, I have a question for you myself, even though it s more psychological than medical. See, I lose my eyeglasses every night. When I wake up in the morning, I have to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for them, which is rather difficult since I can t see very far away without them. I have to crawl around on my hands and knees like a raccoon trying to spot something shiny in my attempt to find them. I usually find several empty cigarette packs that look like glasses from afar because of the reflective plastic on them. I move furniture. I check the refrigerator. The garbage can. Under the bed. Under the cat. Finally, after tearing the house apart, I usually find them right under my nose. Is there a name for this condition and how can it be cured? Until I hear from you, keep up the good work on testicles and scrotums. So there. And now I will stop all this nonsense and get around to the real point of all of this: what s going on around town this week. Tonight is opening night of this weekend s Ballet Memphis: Special Event at Central Station, a special performance at the South Main Arts District s Central Station, choreographed by associate artistic director Karl Condon. The Memphis Redbirds are up and at it, playing Albuquerque tonight at AutoZone Park (and Friday, and Saturday). And tonight s big, big bash is the Premier Player Awards, hosted by the local chapter NARAS. This year, the celebration honors one of the greatest recording labels of all time, Willie Mitchell s Hi Records. Tonight s show features, among others, the incomparable Hi recording star, Ann I Can t Stand the Rain Peebles. And it just doesn t get much better than this.

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