Category Archives: Medical

Sorry I’m Not Dead Yet

I would like to apologize on behalf of men everywhere for not dying sooner. You see, according to USA Today, men are at fault again for having the temerity to live longer than they should.

Let me explain. Yesterday I saw the headline in USA Today: WOMEN LAG IN LIFE-SPAN GAINS. The article went on to point out that over the twenty years from 1989 to 2009 men’s life expectancy increased by 4.6 years on average, while women’s went up only by 2.7 years. Open and shut case, surely – yet again our male-dominated society discriminates against women by depriving them of extra life.

Well, not really. You see, even after this increase in male life expectancy, men were reported in this same article to die on average at 76.2 years, versus 81.3 for women. In other words, men die on average FIVE YEARS earlier than women. Back in 1989 it was SEVEN YEARS.

The USA Today article went on to point out the areas where women were at a disadvantage to men, and where presumably we needed to make more investments to “redress the balance”. Women, for instance “aren’t as encouraged by their doctors to get medication to ward off heart disease”. So the conclusion of this article could be summed up as follows:

Men now die on average five years earlier than women rather than seven years earlier, so we need to work harder on women’s health so that men can die seven years earlier again.

I despair of our society if this is the standard of journalism today. My only question is whether this ridiculous article is the result of an inbuilt liberal bias that anything that appears to benefit men more than women must inherently be unfair, and must therefore be criticized, or whether journalists are so poorly educated and incapable of simple critical reasoning and questioning that they don’t know how to draw pertinent conclusions from basic data.

If the situation were reversed you can bet the headline would have been something like “POOR PROGRESS IN WOMEN’S HEALTH”, with the article lambasting the health industry for not making more progress to equalize life expectancy between the sexes. If you’re male these days you really are damned either way.

Still, had the (unsurprisingly female) writer of this pathetic piece wanted to dig a little deeper, beyond the knee-jerk “unfair to women” thesis, she might have asked some more interesting questions:

Why do men die so much earlier than women? Are men destined to die earlier, or have we just become accustomed to this norm, so that we no longer question it? Is the difference connected to the difference in typical lifestyle? Did fifty years of hard manual labor, or serving in military combat, or the high stress of management, underlie men’s earlier demise?

You might hypothesize that there had to be a reason that men died so much earlier, and that it could very well be related to what they did. Men used to do most of the hard manual work. They fought and died in wars. They dealt with most of the heart attack inducing work stress. They wore themselves out and died sooner. But times are changing – for a start there is much less manual work, and women make up a far greater proportion of the workforce. As women do more of what men used to do you might expect that they would start to have a similar life expectancy. Of course these women are not the majority, so the seven year life expectancy gap hasn’t been erased overnight.

Another pertinent point is that you can only measure life expectancy after people die. So people who died in 2009 were (on average) born in the 1930s. They grew up in the war years, and worked during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. During this period the shifts in employment patterns above hadn’t really taken hold. We still built cars by hand, and fat businessmen smoked in the workplace. If there really is an influence of work on death you won’t see the real impact on the relative life expectancies until the generation of men and women who worked during these more enlightened times start to die off in numbers.

So had USA Today wanted to peel even the first layer of this data and ask some questions they might have titled their article “CHANGING WORK NARROWS GENDER LIFE GAP”.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for that article. I don’t blame USA Today – their audience has the attention span of a mayfly, has been brought up on a diet of simplicity and pre-digested facts, and doesn’t want to be bothered with inconvenient uncertainty. Much better to serve them a simple fact-conclusion combination with no side of debate. It’s just worrying that this is the level of thinking which is drip-fed to a population which we then expect to go out and vote, based on painting-by-numbers conclusions, hand-fed to them by a liberal press.

In the meantime I intend to go out and have a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. I might die sooner, but that will be good for the statistics. USA Today will, I am sure, applaud my selfless efforts on behalf of women everywhere.

Copyright © 2012 Edward Bison

Now Bend Over…


Mrs Bison will I’m sure be disappointed with my last post. Not because she won’t agree with it, but because she much prefers stories which contain hilarious references to bizarre sexual acts and bodily functions to those which she describes as “rants” about political subjects. Politics bores her, but she does love a good fart story. I have tried to point out that I can only write about funny stuff at the rate at which it actually happens to me, whereas stupid shit is around me every day, and sometimes it’s just important to write something, so you don’t completely lose the faculty.

Nevertheless, Mrs Bison was delighted when I got a prostate exam this week.

It was only a routine check-up, of the type that physicians insist on giving you periodically in order that they will agree to occasionally phone through an Ambien prescription for jetlag on international trips. I’m not sure what value there is in these check-ups. They measure height and weight, but since my doctor is short man with an impressively porky appearance (greatly increased, by the way, since my last check-up) it does beg the question what difference knowing this would make. Sure, I’m still waiting for the blood test results, the main purpose of which seems to be to find a way to get 75% of the adult population on statins, but since I don’t believe in statins there’s probably not much riding on that test either. The bar for a medical check-up seems pretty low – a pulse, blood pressure somewhat below “imminent death” levels, and no hernia (“cough please – and again”) – seems to be all that’s required. Oh, and the aforementioned prostate exam.

I won’t go into the details. If you’re a man over 40 you probably know very well what’s involved, and if you’re a man under 40 I don’t want to spoil the surprise. If you’re a woman you don’t know the experience, but frankly I’d just have to put up with you telling me how much worse pelvic exams are, and I can do without that. It’s not that I’m in any way demeaning the unpleasantness of that whole procedure but here for me is the salient difference: a woman’s vagina was expressly designed for someone to shove their fingers in. You can get a baby’s head out, for God’s sake. And that’s not a trick anyone’s arsehole is designed to pull off, much as it might seem like it after a grand slam skillet breakfast, coffee and a full stack of pancakes.

No, fingers in a vagina is “as nature intended”. Fingers up your arse is “whoa, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”. Somehow I’d got it into my mind, based on previous experiences, that this was a quick “up we go, poke it a bit, out again and hand you the tissues” event. Maybe I just told myself that, as a way to deal with the trauma. Suffice it to say that this time the doctor was inclined to spend a bit more time in there. At one point I wondered if he was looking for his car keys. He wasn’t so much examining the prostate as kneading it like a stress ball. Maybe it kept slipping out of his hand or something, because I certainly got my money’s worth out of that part of the examination.

Then, even after the fingers come out, the process isn’t over. Now you have to stand with your pants around your ankles and wipe your arse with a fistfull of Kleenex, to get all the jelly out. My God he used a lot of jelly. And you always wonder just how bad the carnage is going to be. After all, he’s up past the sphincter, where all manner of brown things might be dwelling. You have to hope you emptied the bomb bay earlier because the last thing you want to see is him pulling his hand out, covered in last night’s chicken biryani. It must happen, right? Some poor bastard turns forty, doesn’t know what’s coming, gets bent over and next thing you know it’s like a Brazilian Scat party in the doctor’s office. I’m just saying…

When I got home Mrs Bison, always the sensitive one, wanted to know if I “felt anything” when he was poking around. You know – it’s supposed to be the male G spot, right. I once saw a nature program, on the BBC I think, where semen was harvested from an unconscious gorilla using a vibrator up it’s arse. Of course I had never heard of prostate exams back then and my only thought was how small the gorilla’s weenie was, and how pissed he must be, to be this great big jungle king with a tiny, tiny penis, and meanwhile the tapir’s running around, just an ugly hairy pig thing, but with a huge pink dick that could reach the floor and beyond. And you know Mrs Gorilla’s like “why don’t you try eating some of those nut things he eats because it seems to be working for him”.

Anyway, I’m pleased (no, delighted) to say that no movement occurred. No George Kostanza moment for me. In fact I’m pretty sure that whole prostate G spot thing is all a load of bollocks. I don’t care if you’d been up there for thirty minutes working that think like a speedball, you still wouldn’t have been harvesting anything from me, I assure you. Last exam I had, a few years back, was a female nurse, and she didn’t get a rise out of me either. There’s a really attractive female physician at the practice and I guess she’d be the “acid test” but I’m fairly certain I’d require a reach-around even then.

No, the best part about the whole medical was being able to eat again after the twelve hour fasting period for the blood test. It was a blessed relief, especially as I had a whole bowl of tapir nuts waiting for me when I got home…

Copyright © 2012 Edward Bison

Thin The Herd

Today I’m suffering from Rhinovirus Homilis, better known as the Man Cold. Of course it didn’t hit me during the week, so as not to interrupt work, but instead chose to fuck up my weekend. Yesterday I felt like shit, and was therefore looking forward to the cold progressing so that I would feel better today. Instead I now feel like double shit, lightly toasted with a side-serving of shit. Shit cubed, in fact. Yesterday I bought a mountain of cold remedies, not because I had a cold, but because the money in last year’s health savings account is about to expire and I thought I may as well spend it on something. I don’t know why I bothered – cold remedies don’t do shit.

So I’ll spend the rest of my day drinking tea and filling tissues with unhealthy looking phlegm, until I eventually give up on stupid cold remedies and mix some honey, scotch and lemon for a proper treatment.

In the meantime, since thoughts of illness and impending early death were on my mind, I was reflecting on the mess we’ve got ourselves in with old people. Let me put in simply: the fuckers are everywhere. They make up names for themselves, like “seniors” in an attempt to connote wisdom, societal status and rank, but we know them better as those fuckwits who buy a new Buick every three years, put white tires, a vinyl roof and a luggage rack on it and drive it up the pavement or over a bus queue.

To be fair, old people come in different categories. Mrs Bison has a relative of 102 who still lives at home and tends his own garden, whereas a significant portion of those twenty years his junior are sitting in a giant diaper being fed soup, if they aren’t already pushing up the daisies. One centenarian in the same town apparently developed a penchant for internet porn, which is as far as I’m concerned a reason to congratulate him (although not to shake his hand); at least it gave him a reason to get up every day.

There are, however, legions of old people sitting around just waiting to die. A lot of them are warehoused in old people’s homes, at considerable expense to them, their relatives or the government (i.e. the taxpayer, you and me). The problem is that people don’t die of anything anymore. Back in the good old days a harsh winter would take care of the weak and feeble. Heart attacks, cancer and all the other old favorites would similarly thin the herd. But with all the medical advances of recent years it seems that the expectation in the medical community (indeed, their whole mission) is to postpone death indefinitely.

The problem is that while you can postpone death, you can’t postpone aging, so that the animated carcasses you get left with don’t necessarily have any quality of life. Of course the medical profession links arms on this point with religious groups who seem to have some major hangups about letting people die. This seems somewhat odd when you consider that the afterlife is supposed to be such a fabulous “meeting God, no more pain, eternal joy” affair. If Great Grandpa is kept alive by machines, is fed through a tube and shits in a bag, what’s the big deal about letting him go on?

Leaving aside the personal morality, what about a bit of simple common sense? In 2004 old farts represented 36 million, or 12% of the US population; by 2050 they will number nearly 90 million, more than 20% of the population. Not all of them will be taking Viagra and going on cruises; a significant portion will require full-time care and constant, increasingly expensive medical intervention. At the same time we’re being told that the healthcare system here is broken. At some point we need to grow a spine and confront the fact that a massive portion of our limited healthcare dollars are directed to the pointless extension of low-quality life. Not only is it spend with a very low return in terms of quality of life improvement per dollar, but everyone completely avoids talking about what a waste it is, while younger people die for want of quality care.

The danger here is that the AARP is already a powerful lobbying group in the US (meaning that by giving money to politicians they effectively buy policy). Why do you think that blind half-wits who don’t realize the war is over can drive their giant Cadillacs through a school playground? The AARP effectively blocks any attempt to force old people to be checked for driving competence. Imagine that their ranks are doubled: now we have a society which will spend its entire working life generating money to pay for Mum and Dad’s residential care, or their own. The US economy will implode and no-one will be able to buy anything except incontinence pads, tartan rugs and small, annoying dogs. We’ll all be working directly or indirectly for the healthcare industry.

At some point we need to accept that people should die. When I was a kid we learned that there were about 4 billion people on this planet; we’re now over 6 billion, actually closer to 7 billion, and expected to pass 9 billion by 2050. If you serioulsy believe that we can, and should, extend every life indefinitely, where the fuck are you going to put everyone? There won’t be enough space to park all their fucking Buicks!

I vote for letting people push the button and end their lives when they’re ready. And if you no longer know what’s going on around you, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s time to go, so at that point someone else can choose. Hell, I can barely put up with this fucking cold, endless nose-blowing and feeling like crap for two days; if I have to sit in my own piss and breathe through a tube while I’m doing it you can sign me up.

Copyright © 2009 Edward Bison

Señor Floppy

Bad news for all you Hispanic men today – according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine you’re two and a half times more likely to have difficulty getting it up than other men. That means one in eight of you have boner issues, compared with about one in twenty of the rest of us. And that’s just for men in the 20-50 age range – once you include the old guys you have a 40% probability of limp dick syndrome.

Now I can’t help thinking that it’s a little ironic that there should be such a massively disproportionate incidence of “downward facing dong” in the Hispanic community, given the reputation among Hispanic men for machismo. I guess all that Latin lover, open shirt, medallion-wearing, slicked back hair, tight leather pants stuff is just bollocks; the willy just can’t cash the check that the image is writing. Maybe this is why the Latin lover thing is so prevalent: as Shrek would put it, “Do you think he’s compensating for something?” It’s the same syndrome that results in it always being little fuckers who start fights in pubs, as they try to prove that they’re every bit as tough as everyone else. Meanwhile we know they’re just pissed off because they can’t reach the condom machine in the pub toilet.

Us pasty white blokes don’t waste time waxing our chests, whitening our smiles and gelling our hair. We don’t do the Samba or any of that crap. We don’t have to because we know our equipment works. Sure, Juan will gaze into your eyes as his open-necked shirt exposes his tanned chest, but can he get an erection? Apparently the answer, at least 12.5% of the time, is “no”. Just as you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gun fight, there’s no point showing up at the ballgame with a floppy bat.

What’s interesting is that there is no apparent reason for the observation in the study. The data was corrected for medical issues like diabetes, so the obvious question is “Why do Hispanic men have such difficulty getting it up compared to the rest of us?” We’re biologically the same, so what’s the key distinction that would explain the difference in hard-on activity?

Well, at the risk of being politically incorrect, has anyone considered the women? I mean, it’s well known that for all the mixed race relationships that exist, the statistical majority of relationships are within ethnic groups; most Hispanic men are dating or married to Hispanic women (or other Hispanic men, but let’s not go there) just as most white and black people tend to marry within the same ethnic group. It may be as much a matter of who you happen to be surrounded by as anything else, but it’s a fact nonetheless. Is it possible that there’s nothing different about Hispanic men, but that it might be harder to get wood with Hispanic women? The hypothesis fits the data.

Now, far be it from me to suggest that Hispanic women are unattractive. I happened to meet a woman in Mexico who could probably have given an erection to a dead man, never mind anyone else. But we’re talking about averages here – could it be that a higher incidence of hairy top lip, overgrown thatch or wide arse than exists in the general population is responsible for the “downturn” among Hispanic males? Well, I’m no medical man so it’s not for me to say, but somehow I don’t imagine that this will be the subject of the follow-up research paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

It turns out that you can research pretty much anything you want, but there are some questions which cannot be asked, just in case the answer isn’t what people want to hear. In the meantime, while us lucky guys fully expect to wake from slumber with the “wife’s best friend” at attention, spare a thought for Southern California, which must be the flaccid penis capital of the United States. Keep taking the little blue pills, guys.

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

Just Lie Back And Relax

Today was one of the two scariest days of the year… It was time to go to the dentist…

But don’t dismay if you’re shit scared about going to the dentist too, I recommend you take along a copy of Mr Bison’s Journal. Read it in the waiting room or whack your dentist around the head with it if he causes you any pain.

Buy it today. It will be less painful than having a filling.


It’s An Emergency

I just have to ask – is it just Americans who are complete pussies, or has the same thing happened to the British since I left? I remember when a visit to the Emergency Room meant that you had an arm hanging off, or an axe sticking out of your head. Or possibly that you’d inserted something inappropriate in your rectum and got it stuck. It was a place you only went if you really had to, and as if to encourage you in that way of thinking hospitals arranged for giant queues which you could only bypass if you were at the point of exsanguination or cardiac arrest. Nowadays people seem to trot down to the Emergency Room for what appear to me to be trivial reasons. For instance, every year that vomiting bug seems to go around – you know, the one where you puke and shit yourself empty for about 24 hours. It’s been a couple of years since Bison Daughter brought that little treat home to us but whenever it goes around you hear people talking about how they had to take their kid to the Emergency Room to get an IV.

I don’t want to sound too much like an old git but “back in my youth” my parents would no sooner have taken me to the ER if I puked for a bit than tried to teach me to fly. Puking is just something kids do (especially if, like me, they drink stream water) and I don’t recall anyone I went to school with needing to get intravenous fluids for a case of the squits.

Mrs Bison recently had a cold, a fact that she shared with another mother at the school last week. This woman had had the same cold but had gone to the Emergency Room the previous evening. For what? If someone showed up at the ER with cold symptoms I’d be inclined to send them for a psych evaluation. What goes through your mind when you’re sitting there thinking “my nose is a bit blocked up” while someone gets rushed by you on a gurney with six gunshot wounds and a bag of plasma in one arm. Or are the ERs so full of people with the shits and the flu that there’s no room for the seriously ill?

I’m aware that there’s a male bias against going to the doctor – we’d all rather risk death than show up in the waiting room with unworthy symptoms. I think it goes back to the pussy thing – you don’t want to be sitting there looking a bit shivery while the bloke next to you has an eye missing and the one over the other side of the room has his bloody stump of an arm in a sling. You feel like the doctor is judging your maleness by your ability to withstand suffering before coming in. When he says “Now what seems to be the problem Mr Smith” he’s really asking “Now Mr Smith, do you have a valid reason for being here or are you just a pansy weasel homo?” If you’re not careful you’ll respond to the subliminal question without realizing it – “I’m not a homo, Doctor, I really do have a very sore throat.”

It’s not just blokes though. Mrs Bison insisted that I get this hideous looking mole checked out because it might be cancer. I was more inclined to wait and see if it grew to the size of, say, a beer bottle top, and then worry about it. I knew if I showed up I’d feel like a pussy and they’d cut it off no matter how safe it looked, just to avoid any liability. So I ended up with a hole in me for no good reason. However, if I suggest that she go to the quack then suddenly it’ll wait for a day, or seven. Which means that she wouldn’t be seen dead in the ER for anything short of, well, death.

So if you’re one of those ER frequent fliers then maybe it’s time to take a couple of aspirin and stay in bed for a day or two before calling out the Medevac helicopter to deal with your rampant piles. Either that or stop shoving inappropriate things up your anus…

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

Young At Heart

Do you have

  • Fluffy hair spontaneously emerging from ears and nose.
  • Testicles descending in their sack to a point just above my knees.

Then you also need a funny book to read on the toilet. Look no further Mr Bison’s Journal is here. also perfect for reading on business trips and in the D’s office waiting for a prostate exam.

Zip on over to Amazon and pick up your copy today

Feeling OK?

There is apparently much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the world of AIDS research on the news that not only do the hugely expensive vaccines in development not reduce the risk of getting AIDS, they actually increase it, maybe by a factor of two. One US funded study was abandoned after it was realized that the vaccine did no good and was probably harmful. The study was being done on homosexual volunteers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Australia; I have to assume that the only way you can tell the success of the vaccine is by testing these people over a period of time to see how many of them become HIV positive. This begs an interesting question: assuming these volunteers knew about AIDS and the risk of unprotected anal sex with strangers (which would have to be the case under any definition of “informed consent”), and given that they clearly decided to assume the risk anyway, why the fuck is the US spending more than $250 million a year trying to figure out how to save their lives? There are many innocent victims of this disease but promiscuous homosexuals fucking each other in the arse even after all the publicity around the risk do not count among them. Neither do needle-sharing drug abusers, although at least in their case they have the excuse that they’re too fucked up on smack to care.

This raises a bigger issue, and one which you will never hear anyone discuss: who should be saved?

The population of the world is growing exponentially. The 6 billion people infesting the globe today will be 10 billion by the year 2150, and the population growth will not be even. The huge population increase in India and China is well documented, but it is Africa which is projected to see the biggest percentage increase. The population of Africa will swell from some 13% of the total today to around one quarter of the whole world’s population over this period. What the fuck is it going to cost to keep all these people alive? Clearly the twats in charge in Africa today can’t fucking well do it.

It’s tempting to approach the issue of healthcare as though everyone can be saved and should be saved, but think about this rationally. When you save someone’s life you don’t make them immortal – you just postpone their death. If you find a cure for cancer they’ll end up dying of something else eventually. This is why the “settlements” imposed on the cigarette companies to compensate the States for the health costs of treating smokers were such bullshit. Statistics show that providing healthcare to smokers costs less than to non-smokers over their lifetimes – in terms of simple cost, cigarettes saved the States billions.

So what happens if we are successful in finding a cure for cancer? And AIDS? What if we can delay the aging process (which seems to be the goal of half the world’s healthcare research), reduce heart disease or treat obesity? Where are all these people going to live? Sooner or later we’re all going to die wallowing in our own filth, unless a friendly epidemic thins the herd a bit. And what do you get if you knock off all the causes of “premature” death? You get billions of fucking old people, that’s what, and how many greeters can WalMart employ in the year 2150?

Of course anyone who suggests that we should take our finite healthcare spending and prioritize it in providing the maximum quality (not quantity) of life will be shouted down. Anyone who implies that maybe death is nature’s way of keeping the population young and that we should be more concerned about the staggering population growth in Africa than the tiny decline caused by AIDS, is not going to get invited to any UN conferences.

In the end you can’t save everyone. The latest cutting-edge medical procedures are so hideously complex and expensive that healthcare insurance has become unaffordable for millions. Many of them then die from eminently treatable conditions. How stupid is that? We’re working harder so that less people can be protected, not more. The whole pharmaceutical industry is working feverishly to produce a drug that will treat obesity, a condition of choice among lazy overeaters, while millions die untreated from malaria. And the AIDS industry grinds on, consuming ever more dollars that could be used to save and improve lives in well known and simple ways in developing countries, simply because it’s politically impossible to say no to it. Perhaps instead of giving them experimental vaccines someone should just have handed the volunteers a small card, reading “Don’t fuck strangers in the arse or you might die”. That would have got my vote.

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison