I already feel guilty for subjecting you to this photo.I don't trust chiropractors. There's something inherently wrong with paying another human being money so they can lay on top of your body and force it to emit noises which sound like a hydraulic press smashing apart a bag of pretzels. The human body simply wasn't built to rotate every joint at 300-degree angles, and if you don't believe me, take a look at professional football highlights where some guy jumps up to catch a pass and a 400-pound helmetted gorilla named "Dwayne" slams into him from another zip code at 80 miles an hour. The human body is essentially nothing but a big doughy wad of bones and gooey stuff which is all pretty disgusting no matter how you look at it, so the concept of paying a complete stranger cold hard cash to twist your appendages in foreign directions seems confusing to me.
Unfortunately, my wife Megan has been cursed with nonstop headaches for the past 15 years of her life. Her brain pounds and throbs inside her head every waking hour of every waking day, and we have yet to discover a cure for it. We've gone to countless doctors, physical therapists, and physicians, yet none of them have been able to either diagnose or cure the problem. Like most people who have run out of legitimate, logical solutions, we turned to the absolute last possible option: a chiropractor.
Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C., operates an office called the "Family Wellness Center" next to an abandoned driver's license bureau in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Although his business card claims he specializes "acupuncture," "applied kinesiology," and "allergies," these are apparently all code words for the highly medical service of "charging you $70 to push on your neck for eight seconds." Don't even ask me why he offers "allergies" on his business card; I would think most people have enough allergies, and really wouldn't search out a person to provide them with even more. We later asked him about his allergy service and he replied by scrawling down the names of two $40 homeopathic drugs which sounded like war-torn provinces in Russia.
Todd's office seemed like a cross between a large storage closet and a garage sale after it had been ransacked by retired chicken rendering plant employees. Festive magazine such as "Fitness & Jogging" and "Wacky Alternative Science Monthly Weekly Annual " adorned the tables, promoting the hottest exercise trends from May of 1997. Official-looking certificates had been stapled to the walls in random locations, just high enough to prevent reading the eight-point font revealing Todd S. Jones majored in advanced woodworking at Junction City Technical College and Slurpee Machine Repair School. As the assistant attached some sort of electrode to my wife's leg and commented, "we need to use this device to take SOME READINGS," I glanced up at their shelf and spotted this gem of medical awesomeness:
Yes, that is correct: GUILT & GRIEF spray, produced by famed homeopathic chemical company "Micro West Douglas." They had this bottle on a tiny wooden shelf next to some containers reading "FIRE", "METAL," "RAIN," and various other element-related things which are undoubtedly there to help people who don't have enough fire and metal and rain in their lives. Once we were escorted from the examination / filing cabinet room and into the doctor's office / paper towel storage room, I asked Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. about the enigmatic bottle of GUILT & GRIEF spray. Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. seemed legitimately surprised and shocked that somebody actually noticed and inquired about his prized possession.
"Most people don't see it," he explained. "I'm glad you asked about it!" Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. began to ramble on and on about the GUILT & GRIEF spray, yet he somehow completely avoided speaking about it in a way that would actually explain something. The good doctor initially began talking about the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11, and how after that event, a lot of people felt somewhat bad. You know, like guilt and grief.
I wonder if the FDA uses this."People kept asking, 'why me? How come all those people died on 9/11 but I didn't?' A lot of them wondered why they survived," he explained. I suppose this is a difficult question to answer because the obvious response of "you live in Missouri, which is 1200 miles away from New York" is obviously too complicated to grasp. Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. proceeded to detail the many ways people can feel both guilt and grief, as if he were explaining such a foreign concept to a couple robots created to assemble refrigerators on a factory line. He continued to explain the notions of guilt and grief while simultaneously avoiding ever mentioning the spray. After a rambling, five-minute speech which talked about everything yet nothing, he agreed to let me borrow the bottle of GUILT & GRIEF spray. I briefly considered asking why Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. was allowing a complete stranger to walk from his office with a precious $13.00 bottle of GUILT & GRIEF spray, but I realized asking such a question risked the chance of him actually responding to me, so I sucked it up and left without inquiring any further.
The directions on the GUILT & GRIEF bottle's side read as follows:
DIRECTIONS: For self-healing conditions, take 2 pump sprays 3 times daily. Hold under tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. More frequent dosages may be used according to symptomatic needs.
I imagine they threw in that last line to deal with all the folks experiencing extreme guilt and grief, the people who discover a mere six pumps of anti-guilt spray a day simply does not chase away the blues. You know, for the really hardcore guilty people, like Hitler or that woman who put a severed finger in her Wendy's chili. I find it somewhat amusing that the directions include "hold under tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing," as if that action has some direct effect on the successful dissemination of guilt. "Well gee doc, I used that GUILT & GRIEF spray you sold me for $13, but I still can't stop feeling bad for all those children I murdered in a drunk driving accident last week!" The doctor would then place a supportive hand on his patient's shoulder. "The problem here isn't the GUILT & GRIEF spray, my friend," he'd reply in a calm and comforting tone. "The problem is that you're using the GUILT & GRIEF spray incorrectly. You're just not keeping it under your tongue long enough! How do you expect to stop feeling guilty if you don't let the spray work?" Here in Griefland, it's all about the tongue.
Oh gosh, I have all those symptoms!A warning below the directions offers more helpful advice for maximizing the benefits of the GUILT & GRIEF spray:
WARNING: If symptoms persist or worsen seek a physicians advice. If pregnant or nursing take only on advice of physician. Keep out of reach of children. Use only if tamper resistant seal is in tact."
This brings up a number of important concerns (besides the obvious question of when the word "intact" suddenly became two separate words):
1) What would any self-respecting physician actually say to somebody who came into their office complaining about side-effects of consuming GUILT & GRIEF spray? I'm no doctor, but I specifically remember something in the Hippocratic oath which strongly encourages doctors to refrain from laughing at their patients and suggesting they are too stupid to live without active outside assistance. If I was a physician and a patient approached me complaining about their GUILT & GRIEF spray side-effects, I'd offer to sell them a bottle of ANTI-GUILT & GRIEF SIDE EFFECTS spray for $13.
2) What physician would encourage the use of such a product? I've always been under the assumption medical science is based on, well, medical science. I have not, to this date, read any scientific articles extolling the effect of "aurum metallicum" on the emotion of guilt. I did a Google search on this cryptic substance and came up with the following valuable information courtesy of "Real Magick," a leader in the industry of medical science and its relation to witches. Researcher Anja Heij has this to say about aurum metallicum:
Aurum-personalities can develop complaints because of: (self) criticism, grief, loss of a love-relationship, death of loved ones, bankruptcy, loss of money, loss of dignity, offence, heavy emotions like anger, irritability and disappointment. They can become very obstinate when they are under pressure. You won't be surprised that Aurums feel better during daytime: the sunshine makes their darkness a little bit lighter. Also classical or religious music help (often these people are religious), as well as being outdoors. At night they feel worse. Well-known Aurum-complaints are depression, heart-problems, terrible pains in bones and joints, severe headaches. But also other complaints are possible.
So let me get this straight; the treatment of guilt and grief requires ingesting a solution based in even more guilt and grief? That's like treating a burn victim by lighting their bed on fire. My inability to grasp the fundamental healing properties of aurum metallicum probably explains why I am not an accomplished medical expert like Anja Heij, or even an accomplished magical medical witch like Anja Heij. Or Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C.
3) Who on Earth would tamper with a bottle of GUILT & GRIEF? Are there a group of criminals who, out of every law they could possibly break, choose to illegally tamper with bottles of guilt spray? Why would anybody do such a thing? Is manufacturer "Microwest Douglas" afraid of their product spontaneously losing its ability to cure guilt and grief effectively? Were the chief scientists of the company sitting in their cushy Wyoming offices one day when suddenly they were inundated with a flood of phone calls from panicked customers complaining that, despite use of their spray six times a day, they still experienced overwhelming guilt and grief from not dying in the 9/11 terrorist attacks? Did they discover some evil criminal broke into their GUILT & GRIEF supply and, after opening the tamper-resistent seal, diluted the solution with a chemical nullifying its amazing guilt-destroying effects?
Instead of cruelly mocking the GUILT & GRIEF spray, which potentially possessed the power to whisk away decades of a Catholic upbringing, I decided to try it out and provide a review for you, the citizens of the Internet, because the Internet is all about sharing information and ideas and naked women sitting in top of people repeatedly.
TEST SUBJECT #1: Human beings
Can cats even feel guilt?I decided to officially test the GUILT & GRIEF on myself since my wife was pregnant and I was too ashamed to call a physician and ask if I could spray this crap down her throat. Unofficially, of course, I had already used the spray on her. On the way out of the office, I took the liberty of repeatedly dousing Megan in the face with the bottle. "You are free of guilt, my dear!" I shouted while pumping out blasts into her eyes. "I absolve you of all your sins!" To the best of my knowledge, neither her nor our unborn daughter immediately died as a direct result of this, so perhaps Microwest Douglas could use this as a selling point. "THIS WILL PROBABLY NOT KILL PREGNANT WIVES OR BABIES!" they could plaster all over their ads for GUILT & GRIEF spray. "AND EVEN IF IT DOES, HELL, AT LEAST YOU WON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT."
To make sure I had an ample amount of guilt and / or grief to cure, I went downstairs and took a big bite out of my birthday cake my wife told me not to eat, as it was cooling and would be for dessert later that night. Having ruined a creation she spent hours on, the guilt instantly appeared and began making me feel lousy. I crammed the bottle in my mouth and let out a couple short bursts beneath my tongue, for maximum efficiency in regards to removing my grief. The GUILT & GRIEF spray, which tasted like rainwater after it had been distilled through a Mexican man's armpit, did not have any immediate effect. Two hours later I was feeling absolutely no different than before. My wife went downstairs and noticed how messed up her cake looked, and began yelling at me. I explained it was all for science, but she seemed unfazed. "How dare you yell at me! This is all for a very important article I am writing!" I contended. "You should feel ashamed of yourself, yelling at me! In fact, you should feel guilty! Here, have some GUILT & GRIEF spray. Let's see if it works." She refused.
GUILT & GRIEF STATUS: Unchanged.
TEST SUBJECT #2: Cats
Our youngest cat, "Kit," has been gaining a lot of weight recently. We feed him less and less, and command him to work out more frequently, yet he continues to balloon outward. I imagine he feels absolutely lousy about his eating habits, frustrated he cannot please us by ceasing to resemble a grey ocean buoy. I uncapped the bottle and emitted a quick spritz in his face. This caused him to produce a sound along the lines of "MIP!" and bolt in the opposite direction as fast as his tiny paws could swing. Apparently, judging by my incredible powers of animal telepathy, Kit was so extremely guilty about being a tremendous lardass that the spray repelled him, fueling his body with the infinite power of guilt and grief, forcing him to sprint away and weep in shame.
GUILT & GRIEF STATUS: Increased.
TEST SUBJECT #3: Dogs
Our male Golden Retriever, Speedy, often has "accidents" in the house. When the good Lord created this dog, he simply installed a direct tube running from his mouth to his ass, with no meddlesome stomach or complex organs in between. This is why, seconds after feeding him, dog stew starts appearing below the place he's sitting. Speedy had yet another "accident" the morning of the GUILT & GRIEF spray tests, demonstrating his shame by lowering his haunches to the floor and creeping away from me with a terribly ashamed look on his face. After cheering him up with a lengthy pep talk, I sprayed a quick mist of GUILT & GRIEF into his mouth. He shook his head to the side, squinted his eyes, and walked away in a completely random direction, where he decided to lay down and, much later, cough up a thin yellow fluid. Of course the yellow fluid thing is probably unrelated to the spray; Speedy can't sleep an hour without producing dog lemonade by the bucketful.
GUILT & GRIEF STATUS: Unchanged, possibly covered in a thin mustard-like fluid.
Surprisingly enough, the GUILT & GRIEF spray from Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C.'s office seems to be a complete bust. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I was in some way connected with the terrorism during 9/11, but as a generic white male living in the suburbs of Missouri, the spray offered absolutely nothing to me. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that when Micro West Douglas decided to produce such a quality homeopathic treatment, they had nothing but unmatched quality as their goal. I'm sure they tracked down and recruited the guiltiest monkeys in the jungle for their animal research, and hooked them up to the absolute most high tech grief-detecting supercomputers. However, here in the Kyanka household, we received absolutely no benefits from repeated uses of the spray. At least Todd S. Jones, D.C., P.C. didn't charge me for it, he simply lent the bottle to me. Crap, I forgot to return it to him. This is going to take at least six sprays before I can rest easy tonight.
We're spelunking through the movie catacombs this week. Join us, won't you?
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.