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Brain Tumor

Today’s the day I buy a brain tumor. I’ve lived in want of one for ten years, ever since I kept a large one in a bag in my car when I was in college. I realized it cost too much, abandoned it, and never wanted to replace it. I thought the tumor was a headache. Even though they’re much smaller now, I don’t think they have changed their spots. Sooner or later, I know the one I buy today will buzz or beep or sing “Turn around, bright eyes!” at me at some inopportunity; eventually, it will encourage me to idly vocalize about my minute movements through the HyVee; by and by, it will be my companion when I’m driving 75 miles per hour down the highway. Yet, I have little choice. We’re moving soon. We need to be contactable while we’re apartment-hunting next week. And a special waiver of fee for tumor activation ends today. Now, I too will have a tumor like you, world. I hope you’re happy.



I’m not happy at all. I valiantly resisted tumor acquisition myself until almost a year ago, after giving in to 1 1/2 years of well-nigh weekly browbeating from B. They are a cancer upon the human race.

All the cool kids have them.

I wonder how long it will be before it becomes cool NOT to have a tumor. Sort of like The Sneetches

we basically don’t have one, but we are painfully uncool.

that is, we have a pay-as-you-go one that we carry only when we leave the confines of our town…this privilege costs a mere $100/year for 100 mins or so. (we figured out we can receive an unlimited number of text messages for free, so the one sans tumor can send texts to other via Internet at no charge. which is nice.)

We talked about PAYGO, but the President told us in 2004 that it doesn’t mean what we used to think it means, and ever since we’ve never trusted it.

I use pay go. When I want to talk to B, I just call her and hang up. She has a generous contract plan, so she calls back and burns up her ample monthly minutes. Since I got my phone to placate her, she’s almost the only one I talk to on it. My phone use is basically free.

In fact, we’ll prolly not have a real phone when we move, which is why we’re going full bore contract.

I think that we now have more Cingular Roll-Over minutes than there are minutes in a month. And all calls between S and myself are free, and most of my pals on on the Cingular family tree, so those suckers keep piling up. Pretty soon I’m going to come up with a nefarious purpose for those minutes, and then watch out world.

Maybe, I’ll use them to start cold calling people and inviting them to buy my pacifist apparel. I’ll run a telemarketing operation from my car!


Yeah, lots of people I know simply forego the landline altogether. I’ve read that some NYC contractors don’t even bother putting phone jacks in new apartment buildings, but I have my doubts about the veracity of that.


This new merchandising blitz of yours…what can I say…it amuses me tremendously. Never have I been so surprised and unsurprised at the same time.

JH gets it exactly right.

I always hated pay phones because before I could use one, I was compelled to wipe grease off the receiver. Muy gross.

be honest, isn’t your revulsion because you have always been elitist and never a real populist?

Oh sure. The mass of men are fine in the abstract, but put their ear grease on a phone, and they just become repulsive. Put another way, the populace would be great if it didn’t leave anything behind when it went away.

Of course, if that happened, you and JH and Mary would be without a job.

My job involves cleaning up after the future elite of Britain, Europe, and the US. I tell you, they’re every bit as filthy as the Sunday morning crowd at the Dixie cafe in Searcy. I’ve no doubt they would also leave behind ear grease if they ever stooped to do anything so low as use a payphone. Which they wouldn’t.

Ha! I was actually talking about your future job, when you’re entrancing the masses with tales of Sumerian gustatory habits and legends of political graft among the Assyrians. Because it’s a happening field! :)

The masses…yeah. There are four students here in this field. Two graduates and two undergrads. Career choices of our alumni in recent years: Business consultant, Potter, and Dissipated Wastrel. As for me, if I pass my exams in a few weeks (not a given here, as passing means making at least the UK equivalent of a B on all of a series of very tough exams graded by unsentimental brits of the Simon Cowell school of evaluation), I’m going to a do a 1 year masters in linguistics at Cambridge. Finally, a field in which I have a fighting chance of getting paid.

I had to look up gustatory in the OED. Now that should make you feel like an elitist.

No more than your ready OED access makes you the same—brit. :)

see the real problem is what it does to the sixth and seventh chakra

along with brain tumors, headaches, insomnia, and mnemonic problems, even maybe amnesia… you could suffer:

Extreme confusion, Fixations, Inability to focus, Intelligence deficiencies, Living in a fantasy world, Paranoia,Poor visual memory, Psychotic behavior, Schizophrenia, Severe retardation, Excessive gullibility, Memory disorders, Multiple personalities, Nightmares, Split personality

thankfully, these other people class the tumor fear, and presumbaly the list of problems cited above, with a whole host of myths… and their image is even more convincing. (or at least it’s not free-styled… though i wonder if the tech that took the image will soon be suing…)

already pulling out the chakras? i can’t imagine how insane you’ll be by august 1…

Ah! Had I but known, I would have hung on to my brain tumor contract for another month so as to attempt to fob it off on you, instead of having to pay the cancellation fee.

Conversation between me and Cingular before I left:

Me: So, I’m moving to a place where you don’t offer coverage and I have a year and a half left of my contract. What can you do for me?

Cingular: Uh, do for you?

Me: Yeah, like, since you’re not going to be able to fulfill your half of the contract (unless I want to drive half an hour in order to use my cell phone).

Cingular: Well, we’re building new cell phone towers all the time!

Me: Any plans to cover Meeteetse, WY anytime soon?

Cingular: Where?

Me: Never mind. . . take your filthy lucre, you imbecile.

Okay, I didn’t actually say that last part. But I was tempted.

As are we all tempted to exclaim… As are we all.

you mean they didn’t say… did you say the tsee-tsee fly and laugh in a dr. evil sort of way? i would’ve said that, at least. which is why i wouldn’t be able to keep such a job should i land one.