Read an Excerpt
Take Two Aspirin ... and Call Me in Hawaii
The World's Best Jokes on Doctors, Health, and Wellness
By David McLaughlan
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Hospitals are like miniature (and sometimes not-so-miniature) versions of our own lives. Birth and death are there and everything in between. Everyone in the hospital is there either to help or be helped, just as in the wider world, but (just as in the wider world) so much other stuff gets in the way, and the end result can be chaotic.
Here are some of the things that help make it all go terribly, funnily wrong and prove that the command to "love one another" is no easier to carry out in a hospital than it is in everyday life.
The nurse's curiosity got the better of her. She'd read the heavily bandaged patient's chart but couldn't imagine how he got those injuries—so she asked.
Even through his bandages she could tell he was embarrassed.
"Well, ma'am," he started, "I was on one of them roller coasters. And this one went hundreds of feet high. Each time we reached the highest point, just before we started going down again I saw a sign overhead. But I'm a little shortsighted, so next time I came by I stood up to read it. It smacked me on the head and over the side I went."
"Oh my goodness," gasped the nurse. "And did you get to read what the sign said before you fell?"
"Yes," he sighed. "It said, 'Remain seated at all times.'"
And No, He Doesn't Dissect Oranges
An elderly lady was sitting in the hospital waiting room. Getting a bit bored, she struck up a conversation with a vaguely medical-looking gentleman who just happened to be passing by.
After he assured her he knew nothing of her case she asked, "And what is it you do here?"
"Oh I don't work here, ma'am," he said. "I'm a naval surgeon."
"Oh my," she said, a little scornfully. "Haven't we gotten fancy these days with all our specializations? In my day a surgeon would operate on any part of you!"
Here's an Eye-dea
A surgeon worked in the country's foremost eye hospital, and he considered himself the best surgeon there. To improve his reputation even further, he came up with a radical procedure for restoring sight to the blind.
With his trial patient under anesthetic he basically stripped her eyes down into their component segments and rebuilt them so they worked. The procedure was a success, the patient was subjected to all kinds of tests, and he wrote the event up in a professional journal. Only then did he discover there was a problem.
The patient could see well enough to thread a needle, but she was completely unable to distinguish one letter from another. More tests were carried out. Her brain was examined. Eventually the surgeon put his pride aside and consulted with his peers. No one could find the answer.
Finally, a nurse suggested she might have the answer. The surgeon sneered at the very idea!
"How long has she been blind?" the nurse asked.
"All her life!" the surgeon barked. "That's what makes my success so amazing and this problem so frustrating!"
"So ...," the nurse tried hard to keep a straight face. "She never learned to read then."
Practice Makes Perfect
The cheery young nurse was doing early-morning rounds.
"Good morning, Mr. Hackensack," she said. "Your cough sounds much better this morning!"
"Yes," said Hackensack wearily. "That's because I've been practicing it all night!"
Be Patient with These Patient Records, Part 1
By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.
Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it had completely disappeared.
Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.
The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.
The patient will need disposition, and we will get a doctor to dispose of him.
He was not to lift or drive his car.
The patient has no temperature today.
The patient has a questionable cousin with colitis.
She was a restrained driver in the backseat.
The patient is confused, but the family states that she has been intermittently confused for some time and particularly about ... she has been intermittently, intermittently been increasingly confused over the last three months.
He has one brother and two half-female siblings.
Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a forty-pound weight gain in the past three days.
She is numb from her toes down.
Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
A technician was monitoring the telemetry suite of a hospital. One of the screens lit up, and he heard a patient say, "Can you send my nurse in, please? I'm having some pain here."
The tech checked the name of the occupant of that room and activated his microphone, "Can you tell me exactly where you're having that pain, Mr. Miller?"
"Uh, yeah." The voice came back. "In room 221. I'm in bed."
Can You Hear Me, Daddy?
It was "Take Your Child to Work Day," and the doctor had brought his six- year-old daughter to the hospital. He introduced her to everyone, gave her a tour of the building, and then showed her the corner office he worked out of.
He was sure she was impressed by how important her daddy was, and when she picked up his stethoscope he felt a surge of excitement. He had impressed her so much she undoubtedly wanted to be a doctor just like him.
The little girl put the stethoscope to her ears.
As tears of pride came to the doctor's eyes, his daughter lifted the end of the stethoscope to her mouth and said, "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order please?"
Even hospitals have to move with the times. These days people are more aware of healthy options. Maybe that's why the Mayo Clinic changed its name to the Balsamic Vinaigrette Clinic!
An Aid to Sleep
A man who had just undergone extensive surgery kept complaining about having a bump on his head and a terrible headache.
Because his surgery had been nowhere near his head the nurse was totally confused but did her best.
Later that day she passed the anesthesiologist who had been part of the man's operating team.
"It's the strangest thing." She told him all about the symptoms and asked if he thought it might be psychosomatic or some kind of post-surgery syndrome.
The anesthesiologist blushed.
"No. He really does have a bump on his head, and I'm not surprised he has a headache. You see, halfway through the operation we ran out of anesthetic...."
Be Patient with These Patient Records, Part 2
The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.
The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.
I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.
While in the emergency room, she was examined, X-rated, and sent home.
The skin was moist and dry.
Patient was alert and unresponsive.
When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
Coming from Detroit, this man has no children.
Only Caught in a High, Green Environment
A medical secretary was transcribing recorded notes from a doctor, but one particular bit was puzzling her, so she handed the headphones to her colleague and asked her to listen.
"Wow!" the colleague said, "I never heard of that disease before."
"Me neither," the secretary said. And she typed into the computer, "This man has Pholenfromatry."
Later on she got the chance to ask the doctor what that strange new disease was all about.
He didn't know what she was talking about, so she showed him the note on the computer.
"It's not a new disease," he told her. "It's a very old, very common problem. You see, this man has fallen ... from ... a ... tree."
At Least It Wasn't Crackers
Q. Why did the cookie go to the hospital?
A. It was feeling really crummy!
No, It's Not a Medical Term
Harry was in the hospital recovering after surgery when an attentive nurse asked him how he was feeling.
"Yeah ...," he said, a little hesitantly. "I'm okay I guess. I just didn't like what the doctor said during my operation."
"Oh?" said the nurse. "What did he say?"
"Well, he said a four letter word."
"Never!" The nurse was genuinely shocked. "What was it?"
Allergic to Brains
Part of the hospital's admissions policy meant that patients were asked about any allergies they had. The admissions staff would then write the allergy on a band along with the patient's name before fixing it around the patient's wrist.
It seemed to work well until an extremely irate gentleman marched up to the desk and demanded to know who had been labeling his mother "bananas" without a proper medical examination!
Hey, I Heard That!
Some people claim they can hear what's going on even when they're under anesthetic. Here are just a few of the things you wouldn't want to hear during your operation:
"Ladies and gentlemen, this will be a learning experience for all of us."
"Nurse, could you turn to the next page of the instruction manual, please?"
"Bad dog! Bring that back!"
"Nobody move! I lost a contact lens!"
"Nurse, could you hand me the, uh, thingy...."
"What do you mean he's not insured?"
"Could somebody stop that from beating? It's putting me off!"
A man received a bill for the cost of his operation. He wasn't happy about any of it, but he thought the anesthetist's fee was particularly exorbitant. So, he phoned him up.
"Is this a mistake?" he demanded.
"No, I don't think so," the anesthetist replied. "Why?"
"Because that's a whopping amount of money just for knocking someone out," the man retorted.
"Ah!" that anesthetist said. "You're right. There has been a mistake."
"There has?" said the delighted man.
"Yes," said the anesthetist. "You see, I knock people out for free. The 'whopping amount of money' is for making sure you wake back up again!"
If the Fonz Was a Doctor
Who is the coolest guy in the hospital?
The Ultra Sound Man.
And when he's not there?
The Hip Replacement Guy.
Paging Doctor Bubba
You know you're in a genuine redneck hospital when ...
you share a room with a sick cow.
you get a choice of walking frames—with or without a gun rack.
the anesthesiologist feeds you clear liquid from a mason jar.
the ambulance has NASCAR bumper stickers and beer can holders.
surgical equipment includes dynamite and duct tape.
they use Chevy hubcaps for bedpans.
the bill is made up for either dollars or chickens.
What Goes Around ...
The chief executive of an HMO died and was very relieved that he got into heaven. Of course, he had to check out after forty-eight hours.
Not the Sharpest Instrument
The surgeon asked his patient, "Have you ever undergone surgery here before?"
"Yes," said the patient.
"What for?" asked the surgeon.
"For eight hundred bucks," said the patient.
"But what was the problem?" the surgeon asked.
"I only had six hundred," the patient said.
"No, no," the frustrated surgeon said. "What was your complaint?"
"That your bills are too high!"
Designed by Committee
The hospital's board of directors wanted to add a new wing, but they weren't sure if it was a smart move, given the current financial climate. So they asked all the specialists who might benefit from the new wing what they thought.
The allergists voted to scratch it.
The dermatologists advised no rash moves.
The gastroenterologists had a bad feeling in their gut about it.
The proctologists said, "We are in arrears."
The neurologists thought the directors had a lot of nerve.
The obstetricians said the directors were laboring under a misconception.
The ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
The pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!"
The pediatricians said, "Grow up!"
The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness.
The surgeons washed their hands of the whole thing.
The radiologists could see right through it.
The internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow.
The plastic surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."
The podiatrists thought it was a step forward.
The urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.
The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.
And the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.CHAPTER 2
The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease
These days we will try any new, usually expensive, fad to cure symptoms that might better be addressed by a healthier lifestyle. But we don't want to hear that! We want our cures to be mysterious and wonderful—preferably involving as little effort as possible.
These wonderful bodies God gave us will usually work just fine, left to their own devices, but when things start to go wrong, that's when we reach out for the latest remedy.
The cures mankind has tried over the centuries would make your hair stand on end! Uh ... usually not the hair restorers, though!
A Dry Sense of Humor
A man went to his doctor and told him that he hadn't been feeling well lately. The doctor examined the man, left the room, and came back with three different bottles of pills.
"Take the green pill with a big glass of water when you wake up," he said. "Take the blue pill with a big glass of water after you eat lunch. Then just before going to bed take the red pill with another big glass of water."
Startled to be put on so much medicine the man said, "Oh, Doc! Now you got me worried! Exactly what is my problem?"
The doctor replied, "You're not drinking enough water."
If I Can't Cure You of That ...
Jim was feeling really awful, so he decided to visit the doctor. The doc prescribed some pills, and Jim took them faithfully. But he didn't feel any better, so he went back. The doc examined him again, gave him a shot, and told Jim he would be better by morning. But when the morning came Jim still felt awful.
The doc decided a patch might help. It didn't.
Frustrated and embarrassed the doc told Jim to go home, take a bath with his clothes on, and then go for a walk after dark.
"Doc!" Jim protested. "If I do that at this time of year I'll catch pneumonia!"
"Exactly," the doc shouted. "And I know how to cure pneumonia!"
Drowning, a Good Cure for Indigestion
A man went to see his doctor about some stomach problems he had. The doctor advised drinking warm, salty water at least an hour before breakfast.
The next week he came back to the doctor's office.
"Did you drink the warm, salty water an hour before breakfast?" the doctor asked.
"Gee, Doc," the man replied. "I really tried, but fifteen minutes of the stuff was the most I could manage!"
Maybe He Should've Said Please
A man parks in front of a pharmacist's store and runs in.
"Quick," he says. "I need something to cure a serious case of hiccups!"
The pharmacist leans over the counter and slaps him hard on the cheek.
"What ...," the man splutters. "What on earth ...?"
"Well," the pharmacist says, rather smugly, "you don't have the hiccups anymore, do you?"
"No, I don't," the man shouts. "But my wife, who's out in the car, still does!"
A Sure Cure for All Ills
"Take one of these blue pills," the doctor advised his patient. "I've started giving them to everyone for everything."
"What are they?" the patient asked.
"Well now, I'm not really sure," the doctor said.
"But you think they work?"
"Definitely!" the doctor said. "No one ever comes back for more!"
Medical researchers have discovered a new disease that has no symptoms. It is impossible to detect, and there is no known cure.
Fortunately no cases have been reported thus far.
A mother complained to her doctor about her daughter's strange eating habits. "She just lies in bed all day eating yeast and car wax. I'm worried about what's going to happen to her."
"Don't worry," said the doctor. "One of these days she'll rise and shine."
A Nice Looooooong Bath
Sam met Britney in town and noticed she was really suffering from a bad cold.
Excerpted from Take Two Aspirin ... and Call Me in Hawaii by David McLaughlan. Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.