The Truth about Internet Diagnoses

Warning: If you find yourself suffering from an unidentified ailment, do not under any circumstances type your symptoms into an online search engine.

Seriously. Don’t do it. I know it’s tempting to tap the collective expertise of the armchair medical community, but for your own peace of mind, stay strong.

The Internet has clearly viewed far too many episodes of “House,” and now suffers from rampant hypochondria. A Google search for cough instantly yields “coughing blood,” “bronchitis,” “whooping cough,” and “coughing up yellow mucus.” Meanwhile, Yahoo Answers helpfully points out that losing your voice could be attributed to a virulent strain of throat-gonorrhea. Suffering from mild discoloration under your tongue? Stage one of leprosy, according to Bing.

Regardless of what’s ailing you, I guarantee it won’t be improved by perusing a list of exotic diseases and worst-case scenarios. So…yeah. Eff you, Internet. For all I know I probably have the bubonic avian Ebola, but I won’t give you the satisfaction of adding paranoia to my list of symptoms. The final twelve minutes of my life will be spent happily oblivious to all of the potentially agonizing ways in which I could meet my demise.

Ignorance may not actually be bliss, but it sure beats panic.

The Truth about Nicknames

Unspoken rule: nicknames can only be assigned to you by friends and/or family members. You can’t arbitrarily claim a nickname. It doesn’t work that way.

Just because your initials are B.W. doesn’t mean you get to start calling yourself “B-Dub,” ass. Also, nicknames that begin with “The” are officially off limits. You can’t be The Maniac or The Bulldog unless you’re a professional wrestler.

I’m always suspicious of those “Everyone calls me [insert nickname here]” introductions. “My name is Bill but everyone calls me Big B.” Who the hell is everyone? Does your doctor call you Big B? The IRS? Do family members write your nickname on liability forms? In case of Emergency, contact Big B. Unlikely.

Also, if your nickname is in any way associated with Renaissance Faires or Dungeons and Dragons, we will have beef. People who refer to themselves as “Wanderer of Aragorn” or “Lady Esmerelda” should seriously reconsider the ways in which they spend their free time.

Let me make this as simple as possible: if you introduce yourself to me as anything other than the name that is inscribed on your birth certificate (or some abbreviated version thereof), I reserve the right to slap your mouth.

I’m sorry you don’t appreciate the name your parents chose. All you Ruperts and Wallaces and Mildreds have my sympathies. But that’s life. When you squeeze a watermelon-sized noise-machine out of your vagina and commit to 18 years of financial support, you are officially allowed to saddle your child with the most ridiculous name imaginable. It’s a parental privilege.

So suck it up, whiner. A name isn’t an outfit. You don’t get to choose.

The Truth about Insects

Insects are foul. I realize they’re a vital component of the ecosystem blah blah whatever, I want them dead. I don’t even care.

Fuck off, insect lovers. Whose side are you on? This is war, and there’s no middle ground. You’re either on Team Insect or Team Raid.

Insects cannot be reasoned with, they do not negotiate. If they were bigger than you, they would squish you with tissue paper at the first opportunity. They must be destroyed.

Now, some people can’t stomach the idea of killing billions of living creatures. I get that. I’d settle for banishing them en masse. Here’s how much I hate insects: I’d be willing to surrender an entire continent to them, Australian-convict style. I’d give them Europe.

Insects, France is yours. Enjoy. Send me a post card from the Louvre. I hope you choke on a baguette.


Tangent: Choices

You can’t choose your sexuality. How do I know? Because if sexuality were a choice, I would totally choose gay.

I’m convinced that my quality of life would dramatically improve if I could somehow revise my sexual orientation. For one thing, I’d immediately gain a whole new community of like-minded people with whom to socialize, and a brand new dating pool. Plus, I lift weights regularly and I’d like to be able to get away with wearing a muscle shirt.

I’m confident that I would make a terrific homosexual. The gays would accept me because I’m snarky and have a good sense of fashion, and because I have enjoyed more than one Broadway show. And yes, there would be prejudices to contend with, but the fact that I’d be getting laid constantly would make all of the social ostracizing worthwhile.

Apart from the addition of hot male-on-male action, my life wouldn’t change significantly if I were to wake up spontaneously gay. Here’s my current routine: get up, go to work, head home, sleep. I imagine that adding vigorous bouts of buttsex to that formula could only improve my predicament.

Oh, and the best part of being a gay male? No more women to contend with. That’s a huge plus. Heterosexuality has been a fun ride, but I’m pretty much over the whole “dating women” fiasco. I’d probably keep some fruitflies around for occasional laughs and socializing, but for the most part my gay world would be blissfully female-free. Sweet relief.

Yup, as far as I can tell, life as a gay man would be a major improvement on almost all fronts. If anyone has a strategy for sexual reorientation, let me know. In the meantime I’ll be staring at photos of Brad Pitt and praying for wood. So far, no luck…but here’s hoping.