Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Filterless


Well crap. As if this week couldn't be more, um, interesting (and by interesting I mean fucked up and interesting), now I have to break up with cute Dr. Jason.

Oh, my friends of the internets, it seems I have lost my filter. You know that thing that goes between my squirrel-powered-with-Mountain Dew-and-crack brain and my mouth? It's missing. I have been a raging, not so adorable, filterless knucklehead. A verbal bull in a china shop. My loose cannon has gone off. My mouse has ROARED.

And I blame Fox News. What? Yes. Well, that and my birthday.

See, the trouble started on Saturday when we took Sophia to have her face looked at. It's a pretty face, to be sure, but she appeared to have developed cat's whiskers. Now Halloween is coming up and it's a cute look and all, but since she's decided that she wants to be a colonial peasant zombie princess or something for Halloween, whiskers are a bit over the top.

Thank goodness for Nate, the King of Poison Ivy. He took one look at her face and made the diagnosis for us so we dragged Sophia to the family practice on Saturday for a walk-in appointment to confirm Nate's diagnosis.

Because MathMan can't stand the embarrassment of watching me hump cute Dr. Jason's leg on a Saturday morning (he knew I was getting ready for it when he saw me shaving my legs in the shower, but the ankle bracelet I put on right before we left the house was the dead giveaway), he volunteered to take Sophia back to see the Good Doctor who just happened to be on call.

That meant Nate and I were left to our own devices in the Dreaded Waiting Room. I slumped down in my chair next to Nate. Foiled again. Damn that MathMan and his puritanical notions!

Nate and I sat alone in the cavernous, darkened waiting room. A receptionist with a quick smile, and nervous eyes, sat behind the glass and glanced at us occasionally. Thinking about it now, she must have been able to see into the next few minutes and didn't like what she saw.

From two televisions bolted to the wall, grown ups screamed at each other on Fox News.

I tried to distract myself with my book. Nate talked to me. We fidgeted and squirmed with our backs to the television, but we couldn't tune out the inane harping and hating coming from the Boob Tube.

I stood and sauntered casually over to the receptionist and smiled at her through the glass. "Any chance you can turn that down or off or change the channel?"

She simply smiled and shook her head. "Nope. The doctors won't let us."

I blinked at her. Once, twice, three times. My smile started to fade. "You're kidding, right?"

She shook her head again and pushed back a little from her desk to give herself some space from the Crazy Lady. The racket from the yahoos on the telly increased. "Seriously? You can't turn it down? You can't turn it off? It's just me and my son. It's deafening, not to mention annoying for a Saturday morning. I'd hate to have to listen to that crap if I were sick!"

The smile froze on her face. My filter - that thing between the brain and the mouth - disintegrated. I demanded to know to whom I should issue a complaint. This was nonsense. It was clear that the television was not there to educate the patients about their health. Obviously, it was not there to entertain us.

To be perfectly honest with you, of course it was particularly irritating to have to sit and listen to the howling and shrieking from Fox, but any news channel is a turn off in that setting. We are bombarded with news enough, thank you very much. How about some music? Discovery Health? I wouldn't even mind Lifetime, HGTV or The NASA Channel. Staring at the stars while some scientist drones on would be more relaxing, at least.. Jon and Kate and the Screaming Children wouldn't be as bad as having to listen to faux intelligentsia trying to shout each other down. I'd be cool with silence punctuated by the raspy breaths and coughs that are part and parcel to a visit to the doctor's office.

The point is (don't you love when I sledgehammer you with that?) is that the television in that waiting room, tuned to that channel full time and providing no lee-way to adjust it in any way is something I find quite insidious. And you know what - it has no place in a doctors' office. It's nothing more than a political statement.

And to that I say - bullshit. I come for your medical opinion, not your political one. Turn the damn news/opinion channel off or I'll find another doctor to whom to give my money.

It breaks my heart to say it, but I don't care how cute you are. I don't want to stare up at the ceiling while you make me feel oh so good and have my fantasies interrupted with newflashes that we are politically incompatible.

See - it's like I turned forty-four years old and decided that I no longer care what anyone thinks. I've been working so hard for so long to hold it in - you're laughing at me, aren't you? - you're thinking 'lord, woman, that's what you call holding it in?' but it's true. I haven't told someone off but good since the day I called MathMan's grandmother "old woman" right before I unleashed a stream of obscenities and bottled up anger at her. That was what? 1993? I guess I was due.

MathMan suggests I blame PMS. More like DNA, but oh well. As soon as I've written this post, I'll go in and have my filter re-installed. Or not.

38 comments:

  1. I agree completely with you. Inane rules like that make me insane!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i've been spending quite a lot of time in the past 8 to 12 months at doctor's offices and ERs and fox is ALWAYS on.

    it drives me crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let it loose, get in their face, carry on, growl spit and give 'em the eye ... It's all a cosmic giggle anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am SO with you on this one. I always demand that they change the channel from Faux News if I'm someplace public. I just say "Please - I know obscenity when I see it."

    The auto shop guys change it as soon as they see me at their doorstep.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I turn off televisions and radios in all public spaces that I possibly can. And once Sparky made a restaurant turn off some annoying Christian rock because she said it offended us. BTW, my filter got broken for good after my heart attack. I figure that if I can survive that then everybody damn well needs to hear what I have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seriously, you reach a point in your life where you realize it's all too short and it just doesn't fucking matter anyway. You can pussy-foot around and keep your mouth shut and folks will hate you anyway because you can't hide that shit 100% and besides, they'll know you're hiding something and won't like you for THAT reason or you can speak your mind and say your peace and people will still hate you but at least it'll be for who you REALLY are and you won't be repressing shit.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why, no, I don't have any recent personal experience with this. Why do you ask?

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why would you want to reinstall your filter - I can't wait to lose mine... besides you're right on this one. How can we ever unify and get something accomplished if we are continually propagated to stay divided???

    ReplyDelete
  9. I lost my filter the moment I started talking. It's better to be like us than to be like people who dont know how to speak up for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, it's important that you hear about 50 more tons of bullshit about Acorn in order for you to recover. I would have just gotten up and turned it off. And unplugged it. If someone gave me flack, I would look pained and aplogetic and just say, "My ceisures. You understand."

    Try it sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Darn tootin'! So what did the good Doctor say when you told him? You did tell him, right?

    ReplyDelete
  12. 44? If you think your lack of filter is bad now, wait till you're my age! ;-)

    Good for you! Tell it like it is!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hee hee...I did that same freak out in a Green Mill Pizza in Eau Claire, WI that was playing NANCY - F'ing GRACE during dinner on a Friday Night.

    hee hee.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Filters are only good at keeping out unwanted, nasty stuff; stuff like Fox News in a public (or private) setting. She (and the docs office) weren't using a filter, so there was no reason you should have used one.

    I wish I had been there to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oooo.....I am sooo with you. I am fortunate in that most of the time Andy Griffith is playing at my dr.'s office and at Max's, they play Disney videos.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "colonial peasant zombie princess "
    I SOOOO want this costume (but maybe a prince?)
    "don't you love when I sledgehammer you with that?"
    yes i do because (as I just posted I aint the brightest in the bunch and most times need a sledge hammer)
    "I'll go in and have my filter re-installed. Or not"
    PLEASE DON'T reinstall the filter.
    we all love you and the clan the way you are.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You might just be a customer for one of these. Don't leave home without it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was under the impression that you liked listening to yelling people, especially uninformed morons yelling at uninformed morons on the other side of the square TV-glass.

    Perhaps, I was wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ok, if this were a Hollywood film it would have gone like this....

    Listen up receptionist girl, I'm asking you one last time, to change the channel or turn it off.....

    whips out a pistol from her purse....spins it on her finger, points the gun towards the TV, and says....

    Or I'll just fix it myself.

    What's it gonna be?


    Kind of a Thelma & Louise approach to the matter. Even if it was just a realistic looking water pistol!

    You were just stating the obvious.
    They were broadcasting crap.... you rejected the crap.

    Besides, Doctor's pledge to first do no harm, right?

    Case closed.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey; kinda like having a root canal and being forced to listen to Hannity! Sheesh!!!

    I'm beginning to think that the M.D.s don't want health reform, so they like the Rep view.

    If the Dems didn't want it, the medical industry would side with them!

    And I'm with Steve.

    Don't re-install your filter! We love you as you are. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know a lot of docs who do want health care reform....of course, they're all Dems. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would write a letter to the doctor and complain. Cute or not if he likes Fox News, he would get none of my money.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Since when did you have a filter? Certainly not when you lived in Chicago.

    44...menopause?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my word! Mary!!! You totally busted me. You're right. I was pretty much without a filter there. But really, honest and true, I've been soooooooo good in the workplace since about 2001. Other places, fair to middlin', but still me.

    Looks like the consensus is that I should just be me. Phew! That's so much easier than holding it in all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think I was born missing a filter...no, that's not right, I had too small a micron[water is giving me fits here so word comes to mind] in my filter so everything plugged up...I get it about finally blowing :)

    it's terrible to be stuck in a room with this blathering on loudly in the background... everyone that inflicts this kind of punishment, imho, should be fined and then shut up in a very small cubicle with tv loudly blaring '19 kids and counting' or whatever that very strange family comedy is called on tlc [weird they call it that, 'learning' ,isn't it?] on camera. then it should be on fox news, over and over and over, so all the rest of the idiots who run their idiot boxes all day long and inflict this kind of pain on other humans just being patient, waiting, will know better and figure out a way to turn it off... 'can't turn it off' my @#$%^!

    ah, I'm in a bad mood about water and your post gave me something to yell about...take that, cute doctors with your tvs blaring, of the world.

    peace, dear...it only goes down hill from here.
    xoxoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh my God, you have GOT to be kidding me! She REALLY wouldn't turn it off?!?!

    I'll tell you one thing, I don't think I'd trust that doctor--especially if he likes Fox News. Yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  27. oh darling, I have a gift for you waiting on my blog~~~~~

    ReplyDelete
  28. Of all the voices in that room, yours was not the one that needed a filter!!!!
    Fox "news" has no place in a Dr's waiting room. Didn't he pledge "first do no harm"???

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think that disease 'puritanical' is curable....I've got just the thing for it. Can't fix the channel sickness, though....not from here....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my goodness, that is one of my pet peeves too. I really do not like television, especially Fox.

    I've been known to turn it down, turn the channel or turn it off myself without asking. It has to be plugged in so unplugging it is best. They should have health magazines for kids and adults to read out in their reception room, not the boob tube blaring.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Right with you about the TV station. Not so much with you on the whole doctor-leg-humping thing, which is why I had to break down my comment, instead of endorsing the whole thing.

    The one woman doctor I have ever seen - when I took Miriam in to the ER one late Friday night - probably would have been far more comfortable with Lisa than with me, if you know what I'm saying. . .

    ReplyDelete
  32. THIS is precisely why I love the Pandora app on my cell phone. I carry ear buds everywhere, too.

    Here in NC, it's a pretty even mix of Faux and CNN. They BOTH make me crazy. [I'm just not a fan of bobble-headed news people overall. I HATE talking heads, no matter WHICH side of the fence they're sitting on.]

    I like to imagine piping my music through the tv set and subjecting the doctor/nurse/insurance specialist to Flogging Molly or Cycle Sluts From Hell. *THAT* makes me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Most people keep the television on constantly as some kind of white noise distraction, and for people like you and me who don't, we're not conditioned to see it as some needed comfort. I think television is frequently obnoxious in the best of times.

    No need to repair the filter, dear.

    ReplyDelete
  34. FIlter schmilter. I do take the liberty to just go up to those darn things and turn them off myself, or down, at least. I wonder if she could have muted it, even if for medical reasons. "This bullshit is giving me a headache."

    Incidentally, I was about to stage a bus walk-out, which no one else would have gone along with, I suppose. University shuttle bus drivers should not be able to blare Rush Limbaugh's hate speech out very loudly on a bus paid for by tax dollars. My ride ended and I just fumed about it.

    It makes me wish I had carried around a portable projector so that I could project "Sicko" or other socialist propaganda on the the bus walls in times like those.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Good for you. I went into the magazine/sundry store at the train station a few weeks back and was horrified to see that they had installed tvs carrying FOX and it was loud. I asked the woman at the counter why they had it and were they insane (yeah my filter is gone). She looked surprised. So I told her I would never shop there again and left. Like I couldn't find another place selling magazines in Penn Station. Complain loudly and often. It works.

    ReplyDelete
  36. FOX News is enough to *make* me sick. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete

And then you say....

(Comments submitted four or more days after a post is published won't appear immediately. They go into comment moderation to cut down on spam.)