The Answer Man

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Q: What is the best way to survive the hospital experience?

A: Try to keep your sense of humor.

No one likes going to the hospital, in spite of the fact that sole purpose of the professionals there is to send you home in better health than when you arrived.

It's the carte blanche surrender of your body that is most disconcerting. You begin to feel like one of those whales that has washed ashore and is helpless until people gather around it and start doing things to keep it afloat.

Keeping afloat at the hospital means being attached to kaleidoscopic tubes, being monitored by weird looking machines, various punctures, and people wanting your blood every five minutes. Hospital people have little concern about old holes. They like to make new ones; and sometimes in places you would have never thought about.

You may feel like you can do it yourself, but sometimes a team of turn-over people will come in to turn you over. In the process the vacancy of material at the back end of the hospital gown will find you mooning any innocent passers by.

The hospital gown, they say, is to give hospital people full access to your body. This makes sense. What is annoying, however, it that in bed the hospital gown will always creep up to about navel high, leaving you feeling very naked, vulnerable, and not one iota sexy.

The best medicine for all this to try laughing it off.

It's hard to even chuckle, however, if you become in need of a catheter. If you can't get the job done yourself you're flat going to get a catheter. It's a little embarrassing to have it done by a trainee, but probably better than one of those roughnecks that has done it a thousand times.

The people at the hospital mean well, but try to get out of there as fast as you can.

Q: How can an athlete capitalize after retirement?

A: Be a big winner while active, but do it in a nasty way.

Bobby Knight has won three College National Basketball Championships. He is also one of the most profane men ever in sports; and holds that title by himself when teaching at college level.

Knight was recently seen in a TV advertisement showing a college coach how to throw a chair across a basketball court. When Knight actually did that in a game it was the final straw that forced the University of Indiana to fire him. Years of tirades and embarrassment for the school had proceeded that. Now Knight is capitalizing on his nasty image.

John McEnroe was a star tennis player. Thinking the world was against him, McEnroe had all the stoicism of a hand grenade. Called the "Attila the Hun" of tennis, McEnroe would explode in purple language barrages against officials who dared to make a call not in his favor.

Now McEnroe exploits his bad guy image in TV commercials promoting himself as macho tough.

Former basketball player, Charles Barkley, is now an almost lovable clown in TV. He has a golf swing that highly resembles the air going out of a balloon. But when Charles was an active player his TV interviews has more bleeps in it than a microwave oven. Dennis Rodman was even worse in interviews with his remarks pure obscenity. Rodman, however, has never arrived at lovable status. He's just an expert on North Korea.

Perhaps the loudest mouth ever in sports was Mohammed Ali. He had a voice that would awaken a banshee. A lot of it was in humor; but his strong humiliation of worthy fighters was not so funny. He also liked to stand over some of the bums he fought and pound his chest. He managed to avoid the draft twice.

Now Ali is a worldwide icon receiving a respect given to war heroes. Maybe it had something to do with being a truly great fighter.

Some of the nasty guys today have learned how to capitalize on their bad reputations and collect big $bucks. It won't work unless you have been highly successful in the sport you represent. Nasty losers couldn't buy a ticket for a Grey Hound Bus.

Remember the old adage "It matters not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game." How archaic can anything get in today's society?

The Answer Man will appear on occasion in the Daily Dunklin Democrat, and will provide answers to various and sundry questions about local people, etc. Readers are invited to submit their queries to The Answer Man by e-mailing them to

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: