Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Michael and Me

“But really, I have no idea what I would do in that situation,” Michael told me.

I really felt that he was crazy by this point. What type of sane person would come up with this stuff? I told him, “What would you expect that you have to do in that situation? I mean, it shouldn’t be too confusing.”

This didn’t satisfy him, “Think about it, Alex. If a midget comes into Emerg and he needs an antibiotic dose, you can’t just give him the regular adult dose, even if he is, like, forty or something.”

“Well, I would expect that you’d just have to adjust the dose, milligram per kilogram style.”

He took a step back and threw his arms up, “Whoa, whoa. I mean, if they’re midgets, how do you know if we can just dose-adjust all willy-nilly? C’mon, Alex. Their organs are smaller than regular human organs, too.”

I chuckled, “Do you really think that will alter metabolism that badly? Are their organs not functioning on a regular-sized human level, if we change the dose to correct for the size difference?”

“Well, how can we be sure one way or the other? There haven’t been, like, studies done on this subject or anything.”

I was having fun with him by this point. I wanted to egg him on a little more, “That is true. Maybe you and I should start some research group concerning ourselves with dosage adjustments in midgets.” I paused, pretending to really be considering something important, “Say, how small do you have to be to be a midget anyway?”

He looked confused, “What do you mean?”

“Well, is there a certain point where we can say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are a midget? Is it a defined thing, or do people just objectively call people midgets while other people are just really short?”

“Umm...I would imagine a midget would be anyone shorter than, say...five-foot-five.”

I stopped for a moment to consider what he just imparted on me. I couldn’t believe that he actually thought that everyone shorter than five-foot-five was a midget. I then laughed big, “Are you joking? That would mean that almost everyone in our class is a midget! Not just the majority of our class, but the majority of people all around the world are currently midgets, and they don’t even know it.”

He started to say something then stopped himself. After considering what I said, he added, “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right...I don’t know then, when do you think someone’s a midget?”

“Oh, I couldn’t say either. However, I am sure it’s probably more around four-foot-...ten, or something.”

He laughed, “Oh yeah. I guess that would make more sense.”

Conversation stopped abruptly, and this wouldn’t do. If he was going to bring up some insane topic like dosage adjustments in midgets, I’d introduce something just as ludicrous. I mean, I couldn’t just let him go without poking a bit more fun at him. “Of course,” I said finally, “Even if they taught us about this stuff, you can’t believe everything our Profs tell us.”

He looked at me quizzically, “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, I can’t really blame them for teaching us about it, since it’s such a popular concept these days, but they keep telling us all the dangers involved in smoking cigarettes.”

Confusion graced his face once more. After pausing for a moment, he added, “But...They are bad for you.”

He walked into my trap. I was ready to lay it on thick now, “Well, like I said, that’s the popular thought on the subject. But have you seen those commercials from a little while back? I think they were called ‘Stupid-dot-C-A,’ or something.”

“Umm...No. No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah, they were all over TV about a year or two ago,” I paused to see if he remembered. It didn’t look like he did, so I continued, “They always had someone doing something really stupid, and then they gave some crazy statistic showing you that smoking was stupider. Like, one time there was this person standing out in a lightning storm with a golf club, then they told you how much more likely it was for you to die from smoking.”

“Okay...That sounds sort of familiar.”

“Well, there was this one with a guy sitting in the bathtub with a toaster. He said something about how dying to a toaster in the tub is something like one in thirty-six thousand.” I paused to make sure he was following me, and he was. “Then, the guy said something along the lines of, ‘But, if you’re a smoker, your chances of dying are one in two.’”

He stared at me some more, “...So?”

“So? I’ve always been told that my chances of dying are one in one! And, suddenly, fifty percent of smokers are immortal? That’s huge news!”

He laughed at me and added, “But people can’t be immortal.”

“But they can,” I responded. “I did some research on the subject, and the results are startling. I even sent in a journal article to NEJM about a year ago.”

His eyes widened, “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah,” I said. I was really having fun with him by this point. “They still haven’t got back to me yet, but they should probably be responding soon.”

He laughed again, “Yeah, I’m sure they’ll be responding to that. But, Alex, people can’t be immortal.”

“No, they can. Think about it: when you smoke, your cilia get paralyzed in your airways, right?”

He looked confused again, “Right.”

“Meaning you have to cough up your mucus, right?”

He nodded.

“Well, this means that, while our cilia are constantly moving, wasting our energy all the while, smokers are much more efficient in their mucus removal. They only have to expend energy when the mucus really builds up.”

A huge laugh from Michael followed, “But, Alex, everyone I knew who smoked when they were older died.”

He wasn’t going to stop me that easily, “Well, you just met the other fifty percent who die.”

He laughed again, “Okay there, Alex. But, I have to get going. I’ll catch you later.”

“For sure, see you around.”

He walked away. I couldn’t believe everything that was just said, and it sounded like he really believed that I thought people could be immortal. Crazy Michael; he comes up with such ridiculous things all the time. It makes me want to mess with him all the more. I just can’t get over how anyone could possibly think that I believe such ludicrous things.

* * *

Oh man, here comes Alex. I really think that boy’s completely out of his mind. Last time I talked to him, he told me all about how the world’s going to end in twenty-twelve because of the Mayan calendar, or something like that. It’s so ridiculous that someone can believe in something that insane. Oh well, if he’s that gullible, I might as well mess with him.

“Hey, Alex, could I ask you something?”

Alex looked up from his textbook, “Oh hey there, Michael, what’s up?”

I put a concerned look on my face, “Not too much, but I was just wondering what your take was on dosage adjustments in midgets.”


Dust said...

LOL, thats awesome!! And 100% believably too. XD

Well, thats what you get when you assume :P

Gustavo B. Rockwell said...

Well, you know what they say about making assumptions:

When you make an ASSUMPTION, you look like an ASS, and the UMP will SHUN you!

Shauna said...

lol, I see that you've been thinking about your smoking=50% chance of immortality thing some more! Nice with the cilia!

Also, did you get your stats from wiki?


Gustavo B. Rockwell said...


Wow...no, I actually just picked 4'10" arbitrarily. That's really funny.

Richard the Caffeinated said...

I think I know people like this...