Category Archives: Medical Advice

No Ifs, Ands or Butts 2

Cordially Invited asks:peeping_tom

Dear Dr Cragglehold,
What are ifs & ands?
I’ve received an invitation that says “no ifs, ands, or butts.”
What am I supposed to wear?
Cordially invited.

Dear Cordialia,

I know what you’re trying to do here; by intentionally misspelling the word ‘but’ as ‘butt’ you’re baiting me into writing about your backside.  I’ll avoid speculating as to whether your motivation is simply an interest in harmless amusement or a hurtful attempt to portray me as a witless ass and simply state that, although I would quite enjoy describing the subtle curves and bounce of your caboose, such wordplay would be better served through a more poetic medium than this prose affords.

Let’s cut to the heart of the issue, shall we?

What the host of the event in question meant to say with their dimwitted old chestnut was that no excuses for your absence at their event will be tolerated, regardless of how valid said excuse may be.  Even if your leg was mauled to a pulp by a timber wolf and your blood is pulsing from your thigh in crimson jets but there’s no time to apply a tourniquet before the party you are expected to attend.  In fact, if you’ve just started to peak on a quadruple dose of some hallucinogenic like DMT and no one can convince you to stop stripping away your clothes and masturbating for strangers with a celery stalk sticking out of your butt you are still anxiously awaited at the soiree.  

If your car broke down and the only ride you can get is with the Eastern European gentleman that watches you change through his binoculars from the oak tree outside your bedroom window on the condition that he gets to rub your thigh on the ride there but you can’t tell anyone this time, you must still arrive on schedule.

So to answer your question, Cordiallia, you should wear nothing.  If the host complains – as they likely will – explain to them that if they have a problem with what you’re not wearing they can shut right up and suck your exposed butt.

Your Social Consultant,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.



Lodged in Traffic asks:paint drinky

Dear Dr. Cragglehold,
If an ambulance was on its way somewhere to respond to an emergency and it ran a guy over, do you think it would stop to help, or hit and run?
Lodged in Traffic

Dear Lodge,

The miracle of Science is that we don’t need to merely speculate.  We can find out for sure with a carefully executed Scientific Experiment!

My experiment began with a nine-one-one call.  I calmly informed the operator I had consumed a quart of ‘Smokey Lime’ coloured acrylic paint on a dare and I was worried I’d get it on my expensive shirt if I tried to vomit it up.  It was doubtful that such a scenario would be considered life-threatening; a variable I hoped would soften the resolve of the ambulance driver.  When the operator requested that I remain on the line I made retching noises and slammed the handset of the rotary phone on the receiver a number of times before hanging up.

Himself responding to the ruckus I was making, Peabody then entered the room to see if I was alright.  Assuring him that I was I invited him for a friendly stroll.

Partway to the hospital we happened upon the display window of a clothing store, at which point I paused and consulted my watch.  The ambulance was running behind.

Curious about my behaviour, Esquire Peabody asked why we had stopped.  In response I produced my clear plastic clipboard and informed him that I had been hoping to perform an experiment on our outing.  At that moment the siren of an ambulance plied our ears from the end of the street – it was swerving around rush-hour traffic and careening toward the University at highway speeds!

Looking from the ambulance to myself and finally to the clothing store, Peabody surmised the nature of my experiment and darted into the store.  Just as the ambulance was blasting by he tossed a mannequin in a two-piece negligee through the plate-glass window and right under the front tire of the speeding vehicle.

Broken glass and plastic body-parts were thrown willy-nilly about the street and sidewalk.  The mannequin was pulverized – quite graphically – and the ambulance driver slammed on the brakes, screeching to a halt.

For a moment nothing happened – the ambulance sat motionless, its ear-splitting siren echoing forcefully from the surrounding buildings.  I could see the driver and the passenger arguing heatedly in the cabin.  Finally, the vehicle backed up a bit, stopped, pulled forward, backed up some more, and the siren was turned off and on a few times in indecision.  One of the two paramedics yelled in a frustrated, although operatic voice, and they opened the doors.

The driver, who appeared to be the more authoritarian of the two, lifted a lace-draped thigh from the ground and showed it to his colleague with a chuckle.  Realizing it was a fake leg, the pair appeared relieved.

Satisfied with the success of my experiment I began to write the results on my clear plastic clipboard.  Hardly had I finished the first word, however, when an unmarked van came squealing from a nearby alley and plowed directly into the paramedics, sandwiching them between its hood and the back doors of the ambulance!

Exasperated, I ran to help, but I was stopped by Peabody as he stepped from the van.

“What have you done, man!?” I exclaimed.
“I’m helping with the experiment, Doctor,” he responded uncertainly.  “Aren’t we trying to figure out if Paramedics can use their healing magic on each other?”
“No, no, no…”  I said, shaking my head, which was on my palm.  “We’re trying to find out if an ambulance would stop if it hit someone.”
“Oh,” he said.  Then, after some thought: “We’d better get out of here.”

From the rooftop of an old chapel a block away Peabody and I observed two further ambulances: one responding to the catastrophe on the street, and one to my initial phony phone call.

As both were accompanied by police cruisers I found myself appreciating the bit of wise foresight that had me make the call from Dr. Buchanan’s phone.

So, in answer to your question, an ambulance would certainly stop and help anyone it ran over on the way to an emergency.  Although we may infer from the conflicted nature of our unfortunate subjects that the International Paramedics League needs to more clearly outline its policy for such a contingency.

Also, I have learned to fully brief Esquire Peabody on future experiments, although I must admit that the data his ‘mistake’ seems to have produced is unquestioningly valuable.

Green paint doesn’t taste like limes at all,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.

The Calorie Counter

Not Quite Primed asks:calorie calculator

Dear Dr Cragglehold,

How much to paint my bathroom?

Not Quite Primed

Dear Notquite,

How much what?  How much paint?  A bathroom’s worth, I suppose.  How much time?  Probably all day – I’m not a very good painter.  How much effort?  Well, the ol’ college try ought to be enough.  How much energy?  Umm…

To determine the amount of energy required to paint your bathroom I decided to use the most accurate possible method: the Calorie Counter.  Esquire Peabody would be given energy in the form of food and would be asked to paint your bathroom.  The amount of food ingested would be entered into the Calorie Counter (mounted to my clear plastic clipboard) and converted to units of energy – or ‘calories’ – at the outset of the experiment.

The first problem I encountered was how to ‘zero’ the energy levels in Peabody’s body so I could be sure he was at no point drawing on energy reserves he’d previously stored as sugars or fats.  As the only reliable way to zero his energy was to eliminate the sugar and fat stored in his body Peabody was required to fast for thirteen days.  During this period of fasting I encouraged his body to eliminate fat by employing him to construct a Koi pond in my bedroom.  In addition to having helped hurry the preparation for our experiment, I continue to find the pond quite soothing.

Peabody passed out from exhaustion a number of times during the last few days of his fast.  When he could no longer be revived by a sharp stick to the ribs I injected him with exactly one-hundred calories of glucose and satisfied myself that I had his energy levels under total control.  I realize that the true human energy ‘zero’ is the point of death, but as such a state is still so difficult to reverse I hope you will be satisfied with defining ‘zero’ as the point that consciousness is lost due to starvation.

The following excerpts from my clear plastic clipboard represent my experiment carried out in stages.  To begin each stage Peabody was given nourishment and directed through the task of painting your bathroom until he lost consciousness.  To revive him – as chewing food takes energy and would throw off the results – I had a plug installed in Peabody’s belly.  With the plug extracted I was able to insert food items directly into his stomach, adding a great deal of accuracy to my readings.

1: Injection of glucose – 100 calories

-Subject regains consciousness, is encouraged not to speak as it may sully results.
-Subject rises to feet, appears shaky and weak.  Attempts to beg for food but is discouraged with laboratory taser.
-Instructed to paint your bathroom, subject uses social media to find out where you live.  Loses consciousness twice during search, but is roused with taser without much difficulty.
-Subject loses consciousness upon attempting to stand.  Taser technique unsuccessful.

2: Insertion of baby food, Apples with Ham, 4oz. – 70 calories

-Subject regains consciousness but is disoriented.  Physically aimed in direction of your house and ordered to ‘march’.
-Subject ‘stumbly’.  Makes it five kilometres before taser rousing technique fails.

3: Insertion of commercially prepared cheesecake, 1 slice – 257 calories

-Upon waking subject is pleased with the flavour of his burps.  Attempts to vomit into his mouth but is discouraged with taser.
-Subject walks the remaining eight kilometres to your house with little difficulty – emotional state suspected to be a fluctuating variable due to cheesecake eructation.
-Subject finds no one home and door locked, passes out after kicking in front door, unable to revive.

4: Insertion of ground veal, raw, 4oz. – 163 calories

-Subject given can of paint and brush, reminded of his task.  Memory seems unreliable.
-Paint application proceeding fairly well, all things considered.  Subject nearly finished one coat before fainting and spilling most of the can on fuzzy toilet seat.

5: Insertion of one packet powdered bearnaise sauce – 91 calories

-Subject unable to stand.
-Finishes painting bathroom by flinging paint from brush.  Loses considerable volume of paint to mirror, countertop, floor, and several towels, but nonetheless is successful.
-Subject loses consciousness again – unable to resuscitate after plenty of food and repeated taserings.
-Police arrive in response to silent alarm (in a record-breaking four hours) and insist on calling an ambulance.
-Police lose consciousness after repeated taserings, Peabody is dragged to safety.

So in response to your question, Notquite, it takes 681 calories to paint your bathroom.  It may have taken considerably less if a) you didn’t live so far away, and/or b) you weren’t so paranoid you have to lock your door.

Your Calorie Cruncher,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.

Population Control

Hard House asks:

Dr what’s with the male youth of today and wearing “skinny jeans”. They took the saying “getting into her pants” the wrong way, this must be fix.

Hard House.

Dear Hard House,

While I certainly can sympathize with your disparaging critique of current male fashion, I must point out that the youth of today may not necessarily be to blame.  You see, the current young generation has had their testosterone obliterated by seemingly innocuous food additives, their minds enslaved and stunted by constant digital media bombardment, and their sense of fashion dictated to them by fashionistas residing in the pockets of the International Paramedics League.

The reason “skinny jeans” are in season, simply put, is population control.  You see, as humans we have removed ourselves from the process of ‘natural’ selection by means of health care, weapons, and information technology.  The weakest of us are no longer weeded out by predators, competition, or disease.  Therefore we have developed a commonly understood – but seldom acknowledged – process of ‘artificial’ selection.

Actually, the “skinny jeans” system is considered quite humane next to the flammable hair products of days gone by.  Skinny jeans inhibit the scrotum’s natural tendency to regulate the temperature of the testicles thereby rendering the wearer sterile, thus eliminating him from the ‘jean’ pool while allowing him to live out his life and chase his dream of becoming a whiny indie-rocker.

So next time you see some skinny douche-bag walking around in his skinny jeans, Hard House, just smile to yourself and remember: this must already be fix.

Your personal illuminati,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.

The Male Nipple

Concerned Non-Lactating XX asks:

Dear Dr. Cragglehold,
Why do men have nipples?

Dear XX,

Have you never tried to draw a giant face on your torso with permanent marker?  Not only is a cartoon face difficult to render while looking upon it upside-down and at an oblique angle; the challenge is greater still because such an activity is infrequently performed while sober.  Without our nipples and belly-button as guides it would be nearly impossible to draw such a thing!

Because it doesn’t have the capacity to excrete nutrients the male nipple has often been considered a useless, albeit harmless appendage, like tonsils or the appendix.  However, this is a very utilitarian point of view.  Judgement as to whether or not the male nipple deserves to exist should not be based solely upon its incapacity to wean an infant.

No; the male nipple exists to remind us – through its eminent piercings and its suggestive femininity – of the aesthetic beauty and sublime symmetries that permeate our existence daily.  Whether it is being admired through a fishnet shirt at a gay pride parade or flattened against the window of an old-folks home, the male nipple stands as one of the most compelling symbols of the pointless decadence of human life.

If the nipple had a serviceable purpose its symbolic meaning, and therefore its significance, would be eclipsed.  Would you want to live in such a world, XX?  Would you?

Reminding you of the importance of art in this workaday world,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.


Sam asks:

Dear Dr. Cragglehold,

Would rolling around in nuclear/toxic waste really imbue the roller with a randomly generated super power?

Dear Sam,

Yes, but not necessarily at random.  It is a bit of a gamble, however, as ninety-eight percent of our sample did not survive the necessary dose.

Of the two percent that did most had acquired the often dreamed about power of “Invisibility, Flying, and Walking Through Walls,” although in each case the effect was temporary, ending when a “brilliant white light” seemed to demand that they move toward it or return to their former incarnation.

In Peabody’s case the light pursued him for several kilometres.  Interestingly, Peabody was able to lose it for a time by slipping into a brothel.  He reported being somewhat disappointed by the nature of the power, however, as it became impossible to interact physically with situations he encountered within the whore-house.  He summed up his experience with the phrase: “It’s not for everyone.”

When his powers had expired we discovered an added effect: the sludge had caused his DNA to mutate slightly!  A second penis began to grow above the first one.  Alarmed, I offered to remove it for Peabody but he cradled and protected it as if it were a native part of his body, exclaiming: “Now this is a freaking super-power!”

So you see, Sam, the comic books have not been lying to you.  Further, the low survival rate of our experiment illustrates the answer to a question you failed to ask: “If toxic waste imbues the roller with super-powers why doesn’t everybody give themselves super-powers?”

The answer to that question is: “Because there is only a two percent survival rate.”

With flagrant disregard for human life,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.

Why Do Zombies Eat Us?

Robyn asks:

Dear Dr. Cragglehold,

Why do we eat?  And why do zombies eat us?

Dear Robyn,

Human beings eat for one of two reasons: to gain the power of that which they consume, or because they are depressed.  Cannibalism is discouraged for both of these reasons.  You see, it is pointless to eat another human being to gain his/her power, because as a human one already possesses such power.  Similarly, as most human beings are already cynical, jaded, and depressed cannibalizing one another can only lead to a deepening of existing depression.  Hence, zombies.

Zombies are incredibly difficult to find.  They are so elusive, in fact, that to perform this experiment I had to create my own.  As medical science is as yet too primitive to create a zombifying virus I was compelled to utilize a lesser science: namely psychology.

Having coerced a young man with extra-credit, Peabody and I locked him in a room.  In the room was an ample supply of water, a toilet with no sharp edges, and a refrigerator filled with what – we convinced him – were various cured cuts of human flesh.  As the University rejected my request for a human cadaver this meat actually had come from a pig.  I followed this concession with a terse letter to the Dean accusing the University of standing in the way of thorough and accurate science.

We left the young man locked in this room for three weeks and further subjected him to Eminem albums on repeat to ensure the psychological breakdown of his mental faculties was complete.  At the end of this period of time Peabody was sent in with him wearing one of those puffy suits they use to train attack dogs.

Our young man attacked Peabody with ruthless abandon, and in fact had retained enough intelligence to target Peabody’s soft-spots, namely his throat.  Having incapacitated my partner the young man raced out onto the University quad wild-eyed and screaming incoherently.  I watched with great amusement and pride as he passionately ransacked the campus as efficiently as if he had been an entire hoard of zombies.

Eventually he was captured in a net by campus security and loaded into a police van.  At this point I noted on my clear plastic clipboard that confiscating the young man’s identification at the outset of the experiment had been a sensible move.

So to answer your second question, Robyn, zombies eat us because it is quite entertaining to watch.

Looking forward to the zombie holocaust,
Dr. Cragglehold, Ph.D.