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Joined: Jun 2001
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Carpal Tunnel
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I liked your Grandpa, sweetie. He told my how much he enjoyed your visit. Here are some of the posts I received over the years.

Dear Consuelo: I have lost interest in the Olympics. Which was just intended as a source of ludicrous visual image.
But your mentioning a drugstore reminded me of an ancient joke you may not have heard.
A somewhat timid young man at a summer resort walked into a drugstore run by two middle-aged sisters. When he saw no male pharmacist he started to leave, but one of the sisters, having observed this behaviour before, intercepted him and asked if she might help him. So finally he blurted:"What can you give me for a persistent erection?" Without any pause, she replied: "Would you accept a half interest in the store?" Bill

A young guy gets talked into trying Viagara, only to discover that it worked too well on minimal stimulation, which worried him because he had a date to go dancing. So he taped his penis very securely to his thigh. The first dance had hardly started when the hostess had to dial 911 for an ambulance because there was a man on a the floor with his leg up in the air, unable to get it down. And the ribaldry that has offended some of the ladies on the board is very much like your old greek's. I love all you girls. But at long distance. Bill


My first Christmas letter five years ago:

Dear Consuelo: I have several grandchildren who seem to have forgotten the many hours I spent with them when they were small. At least I have pleasant memories, while theirs have been displaced by adolescent turmoil. But I have a new great grandson now six weeks old up in Toronto, and his mother has a website for him and almost every week posts new pictures. So I don't feel bad about not being equal to travel. I do get e-mail from a few old friends, but it is surprising how many who used to be gadget lovers never got into use of computers. My deafness tends to isolate me here, so the computer is extra important to me. I got a small desk lamp from my brother-in-law in Portage that has solved a problem for me. My macular degeneration has gotten worse, so that just reading glasses no longer suffice. Holding a twoxfour hand lens is tiring and not very satisfactory. I have an 8" circular fluorescent with a 5 inch magnifying glass in center, with a springloaded joint arm supporting it. It was much too bright. I could wear dark plastic insert behind my glasses, but it reduced sharpness of image a bit. But the new small desk lamp gives just the right amount of light, so I use only the magnifying part of fluorescent lamp, with better image. I have been going through a stack of magazines that accumulated while I was having problem with hand held lens. I have found a few words worth posting, such as "maraging steel" and am hunting for more. I had hoped that other board members would try the same tactic. Last Christmas I put on twenty pounds from too much sweets. I must not let that happen again. So all in all I have had some good things that outweigh the disappointments.
I hope you have been even more fortunate. I was reminded of you when one of my presents was choclate "Truffles". I don't know where they were dug up. Love, Bill

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_250
Dear consuelo: The above URL is to Straight Dope. In the Archives the date is 7Sep2001
In medical school I was taught that the candiru was a crustacean, not a fish. The article cited makes it plain that it IS a fish. We were told that problem arose from urinating immersed in water. This account states victim genitals were out of water, and fish leaped out of water and into urethra. Nightmare material for sure.
This message is not intended as a Christmas present!Bill

Reminds me of encounter with a native of Port Deposit, MD, long ago. The artist who had bought a local farm thought natives were overcharging him, and was being insulting to them. With several beers to lubircate the native's tongue, I asked him if the artist were not inviting the natives to cheat him out of a bundle. "Aw, naw. We just takes 'em by the littles."

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Hi Consuelo! Merry Christmas.

Here's a Doc Bill morality post he sent me out of the blue.
It worked. To this day I, whenever gompelled to go a mile, I go two.
________________________________________________________

EXTRA MILE

From the Sermon on the Mount: "Whosoever shall gompel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."

One Saturday morning when I was MOD (medical officer of the day) a black woman came in, saying she had been obliged to stop by roadside not far from the hospital to go into woods to urinate. As she was doing so, someone shot at her with a shotgun.

She was a political campaign worker, and I had to consider the possibility that it was a ploy to get newpaper publicity. Her legs looked as though she herself had repeatedly made superficial stab wounds with a pointed object, but there were no holes in her panty hose.

But something made me go the extra mile. I ordered an X-ray. It showed one single, solitary BB shotgun pellet over her tibia. The 'stab marks' resulted from the fact that the man who shot her had been far enough away that thespeed of the pellets had diminished enough so that her panty hose checking and bouncing off the pellets, except in the one place where rigidity of tibia underneath the nylon mesh had made one pellet penetrate the skin. So I had the evidence necessary to justify calling ther police to come and investigate.
________________________________________________________________

Wait! Let me add a Christmas Story as told by Doctor Bill.
______________________________________________________________

Dear Milo: This didn't happen in school, but the kid's aunt
was a schoolteacher, classmate of my mother in teachers' college.

At Christmas the kid's mother decided as a bit of
holiday observance to paint all the woodwork with the
then new fast drying paints in bright green after everybody
else had gone to bed.

But she forgot that granny who was visiting had to
void in the middle of the night.
The next morning at breakfast granny complained about toilet seat having been sticky.

Her nine year old grandson ran out of the room, came back
with a big red ribbon, and with a big grin,said:
'Bend over Granny, and let me tie a ribbon on your wreath!'
_____________________________________________________________

Last edited by themilum; 12/25/06 01:26 PM.
#164506 12/25/06 05:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
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Carpal Tunnel
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Here's a couple of Bill's stories:

1. (01/16/04):
Dear Jim: that bit about pills being rolled, reminds me of Pharmacology in med school. We had an oldtimer who made us make U.S.P. items such as codliver oil, and pills of Aloes.
We ground up the aloes leaves, put small gobs in one palm,
and with other palm rolled it into a pill. From the pills
little ends of fiber stuck out all over. The prof liked also to give "practical exams". He was concerned that some
of the guys were not learning the tests for detecting the few medications for which we had means of testing.
On the first practical exam, there were some pills, which
looked as though they might have been aloes pills made by
the class ahead of us. I did all the tests, and reported them each negative. The wise guys tasted them, but could not
say they tasted like pills of aloes. Only a couple of us country boy knew what they were. Rabbit turds. Were the wise guys upset when we told them. After the papers had been passed in. Bill

2. (09/17/05):
Dear Jim: somebody mentioned pigs. Reminded me of a
house vistit my father made to a pig farmer way back
before WWII. When the got to the farm, there was nobody
in the house, so he walked out to the 'back forty'.
He met the farmer's son, who may have just quarreled
with his father, because he said his father was in the
hog corral. 'You can tell Paw, he's got his hat on!'


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#164507 12/25/06 08:12 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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Gretel, thank you for reaching out to us. I've been heavy of heart for the past days because I could not reach your aunt for more information, and an answering machine is a very impersonal place to leave a message of sympathy.

If I had to describe your Grandfather, I'd say he was playfully mischievous, imaginatively clever and tremendously humorous. The man was sharp. He'd tell accounts of his youth as if it had happened just yesterday.

I regret that I do not have many stories to pass on. In my technological ignorance, I was alarmed when that person (who had since been banned) threatened the Board and I thought that it was possible for a stranger to get into our personal messages, so I got into the habit of regularly erasing my personal messages until somebody told me it was not necessary.

I do remember Bill telling me that he sent his stories to your Mom in the Maritimes. He told me that he didn't know if she really enjoyed them ("The memories of an old man," he said) but that he enjoyed sending them to her. I told him that if she was anything like me, I was sure she loved reading his stories.

#164508 12/25/06 11:44 PM
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jmh Offline
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I too have deleted most of my old messages but, be sure, they were filled with Bill's homilies and outrageous humour all jumbled up together. Sometimes there was real wisdom in his words. I regarded his short missives as my own ďletter from AmericaĒ. If Iím honest, I probably assumed he sounded a little like Alistair Cook who did the BBC radio programme for years, itís funny that I have no idea what Bill sounded like.

I don't think I ever thought of him as a curmudgeon, although I was aware of the ripples that appeared on the board from time to time as he got into battle mode. We never had a cross word, he was always utterly charming and a tad flirtatious with me. Perhaps he was ever thus with the ladies?

Reading his news made me feel very tearful Ė itís funny how many times over the years weíve communicated the ability of people we have never met to touch us. I knew that Billís faculties were failing and that communication had become difficult. As has been said before, there was a wonderful intellect and real human being trapped in a rather dark world.

Life has intervened for me and I haven't been around much but Iíve always had a sense of, for me, a kindly person in the background. Here's one of the messages that Bill sent me back in 2003 when I think that there had been a thread about the number of posts that he had made. He manages to be both self-deprecating and encouraging at the same time.

I never managed to match his energy and couldnít make the commitment to the board that he did. I admired the way that, at times when life was a bit tough, he was able to set aside a little pride and let others in on that. Itís sad that the pacemaker has left the race.

---------------------
Dear jmh: I am so glad to see you posting again, and read your kind words. The number of my posts is a bit of an embarrassment, which I can justify only by its being my only form of recreation, because of my poor vision and deafness.
I hope you will be able to give us the benefit and pleasure of your participation more often. Love, Bill
---------------------

#164509 12/26/06 12:13 AM
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Carpal Tunnel
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...I never thought of him as a curmudgeon at all, just a man of immense knowledge, experience, wisdom, and diplomatic ability whom I might someday aspire to be like if only I had more brains, exposure, and longevity. But did you know about his career as a miscreant?


Dear Dan, Did you ever have a Yard cop take away your bursar's card. I did.

I lived in Leverett House. C entry, top floor. Firedoor which had to stay open gave three ways of exit, so during water fights we had a lookout who told us which entry way cops were coming up, so we could always leave by a different one. Until cops got wise and intimidated the lookout. So just as I was about to dump a wastebasket full of water on a prof in tux, I got grabbed, and my card taken.

So I got a summons to Dean Murdoch's office. He put on a real show. After making me wait half an hour, he said he didn't want to make his secretary have to listen to what he had to say to me, I had to follow him, tramp, tramp, tramp up to his top-floor study.

Just as he got to the top, he said over his shoulder:"Are you scared?" I was no fool, I promptly quavered "Yes, sir."

He sat down at his desk, leaned back, and put his feet up on the desk. "Personally, I think these water fights are great fun. (Feet down off the deck, very serious expression.) But officially, I cannot take that view. Here's your bursar's card back, but don't get caught again." That was the end of my criminal career.


And quite in keeping with his boathouse escapades (presented above), I should say...

#164510 12/26/06 12:31 AM
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Like you, Jo, I never thought of Bill as a curmudgeon and I doubt that anyone here could give a single example of his curmudgeoness. Bill, although notoriously ribald at times, was kind and thoughtful to a fault.

In the post below I think that Bill was responding to my mock chiding, with me playfully accusing him of thinking too much of himself.
____________________________________________________________________

BILL LOVES BILL


Dear Milo:

I have always been well above the middle of
the pack, but never close to the top. I always had a few
good friends, and never any real enemies. Girls were always
quite successful at concealing any desire for me to court
them.

My father was a school doctor, and gave kids shots.
They took their resentment out on me. I got enough practice
fighting that I could get in enough licks so that the few
kids who could lick me chose easier victims. I had to work
nights and go to school days when I ws in in college.
I never went to a college game. I always had to be studying.
But I remember so many of my boyhood chums who were not so lucky as I
was.

I take a quiet pride in having overcome some
nasty bits of adversity. For instance, in my senior year,
I had advanced to the graveyard shift at a high priced
mental hospital switchboard. But then, three months before
graduation, the woman in charge of the business office,
told me, with great big tears in her eyes, that the guy
who had had the first shift was her godson. And, as he was
delicate, and a candidate for honors, I was going to
have to work his shift, plus my own, for three months with
no extra pay.

I had no alternative. I didn't make honors.

Incidentally, the other guy was the youngest brother
of Earle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason.

So I'm a self-made man.
A horrible example of poor workmanship.

Bill

________________________________________________________

Afterwards Bill must have had a change of heart about poor workmanship as he responded to something that I posted by posting...
_______________________________________

BILL LOVES BILL

I love me. I am the best.The merry hell with all the rest.
__________________________________________________________

Last edited by themilum; 12/26/06 03:15 AM.
#164511 12/26/06 09:47 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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I had a very special relationship with Dr. Bill. Lots of PM good-times and tear-jerkers. And this news leaves me heartbroken. I really loved that guy.

--David

#164512 12/26/06 09:56 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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Here's the last note I received from Bill, which I post through a tear:

Dear David: this place is the best deal available
to me. My wife made a very bad investment that
wiped out all my savings, leaving me with only
Civil Service annuity, small because I retired
after ohly 20 years because of macular degeneration.
I am very much isolated by my poor vision (can't
watch TV, can't read 9except what I am typing now)\
and can't carry on conversation except with the few
people willing to put up with my rrequent requests
for repeat. I have a cheapo Radio Shack hearing aid
which helps a lot with one person in a small room,
but in large room, like a lobby, picks up background
noise that drowns out voice of person close to me.
I'd hate it if I had any other room-mate. Tom Kelly
is an ex-Marine (Vietnam) and Hollywood stunt man.
Came from Vermont. Self enducated, but he has taught
me a lot. I need nim badly, to tell me of anouncements
I cannoty hear and cannot read. I really worried that
I may lose him before long. He has Ca of rectum with
metastases no longer controlled by radium implants.
He is refusing colostomy just because he remembers
an anut who had trouble with hers a long time ago.
I'm sure management is now far better than what waws
available to her. Most of the other residents here
are very bitter about their situation, and there is
not a single other resident I'm willingly accept as
room-mate. Thanks for remembering me, Love, Bill

#164513 12/26/06 10:38 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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I'm afraid I don't have much of a positive nature to post, and I long ago deleted all the "good stuff" from our running feud (he never really forgave me for that "nasty" link, probably because I denied any intent).

Here's the last email I have from him, from July of 2005:
Horace, Ode 2.14
Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume, labuntur anni, nec pietas moram rugis et instanti
senectae adferet indomitaeque morti,, Alas, Postumus, Postumus, ...


Which was not to be translate:'Hey, you f****sses!'


[****edited by me]

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