That Funny Cancer Book, part two
Current mood: argumentative
give you all the funnies, from one liners to long stories, in Robert
Schimmel's "Cancer on $5 a Day* (*chemo not included)", I'd have to sit
here and type out the book. So I picked out a few, the
stereotypically 'blue' Schimmel punchlines. His work has usually
been genuine grown-up humor, not just potty-mouth poop jokes, and the
book keeps to that.
is on the mind of the oncologists, too, because one day Nadine [an
extremely attractive nurse] comes into my hospital room and hands me a
booklet called Sex During Chemotherapy.
"I thought you might want to look at this," she says.
"Thanks," I say and read the title. "Does everyone get this or just me?"
"Everyone. But we figured you'd appreciate it the most."
"Yeah. Does this come with an instructional DVD?"
"That's actually not a bad idea," I say. "I'll be the instructor."
Nadine laughs again, a little too much in my opinion, then points to the pamphlet. "Let me know if you pick up any tips."
"I'm only gonna read the good parts. Hey, some of these pages are stuck together. Those must be the good parts."
She's gone, but I hear her laughing down the hall.
Aggressive is not a word I want to hear in the same sentence as cancer. Aggressive is a good word for a woman. As in, I've always wanted to be stuck in an elevator with a beautiful, aggressive woman with a huge rack and no gag reflex.
…That just makes it more of a challenge.
Something tells me that Bill and people like him are the ones who need to laugh the most. I want to try. I want to connect to him. I want to make him smile.
Because when you're laughing, you forget everything else, if just for that five seconds.
Gonna start by warming him up.
"Cancer," I say. "Talk about a shit sandwich, huh?"
Bill turns to me , his face locked in an iron frown. "The nurse is right. You should find another seat."
"This is fine." I wriggle in my chair, trying to find a comfortable position. "So are you going to any support group meetings?"
He grimaces, maybe from the needle that's been plunged into his arm, or maybe from me. "I don't believe in that. It's a waste of time."
"This must be your first treatment, right?"
"Talk to me after you've had about three treatments and tell me how great the support group meetings are then. They're bullshit."
My mind clamps on to last night's meeting. Pictures of faces flickering by. I remember something. A woman. My instinct goes there, and I say, "I went last night because I wanted to be prepared for what I would face here."
Bill rolls his eyes.
"There was a woman there last night. Kinda ugly. She
was crying hysterically and she said, 'I'm gonna have one of my breasts
removed and I'm afraid my husband isn't going to find me sexy anymore.' I'm looking at her and I'm thinking, 'Lady, you wouldn't be sexy of you had three tits.'
Bill's bottom lip quivers, then his mouth cracks open and – he can't help himself – he starts to laugh. The laugh builds up to a roaring, out-of-control cackle. Bill's laughing so hard that the cute blonde nurse rushes over to see if he's all right.
"Bill? You okay?" He's doubled over. He waves her away. Then grinning widely, she says to me, "I've never ever seen him smile. What did you say to him?"
"I told him about us," I say.
She swats me lightly on the shoulder, then bends over and kisses me on top of my head.
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