03 February 2012

don't mind me

February 3, 2012

A new month. A new round of chemo. How am I holding up so far? you ask. Quite well actually, and thanks for asking. Although, to be honest . . . I haven’t started this month’s chemo. Theoretically it was to begin on Tuesday given the original treatment schedule which is apparently flexible. I find this disconcerting, I’m not going to lie. Maybe radiation spoiled me. You came, they saw, it conquered. Each day as scheduled, as near to the same time of day as possible.

It seems to me that timing should be an integral factor in this process. Though how can you call one instance a process? After all, I’ve only had one round of chemo and the next round is pending. Pending what? A good question, gold sticker-stars all around. Red tape snipping. Pending where? All of you, get up here, head of the class for everyone. The ol’ Circumlocution Office, is where.

[Chapter 10 of Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit concerning The Circumlocution Office is comfortably in my top five favorite pieces of satire in all of English literature. If you are bored and want to be more bored, read Little Dorrit—it’s a dandy. If you are bored and want to be amused, read Chapter 10.]

After several phone calls, transfers, voicemails, retransfers, and personal offences taken without offence intended, one of my sources tells me I am likely to have my chemo pills by tomorrow. If, that is, of course, a certain fax, officially authorized by an official authorizer in the Medical Authority Office , passes muster in the Muster Passing Department--an office very high up, you may count on it, its walls arrayed with Crosses and Shields of Blue and teeming with dour personages—and if a facsimile of the original fax of the original reaches the outmoded, rattling fax machine in the Outmoded Equipage Department in a timely manner (by 4:52 PM) then the process proceeds to the Procedures Department-- an entirely unrelated department having to do with the process of processing intra-office affairs and nothing whatsoever to do with process of proceeding with the personal case of the personally offended chap holding on line 37 in the Crossed-Wires, Untouched Bases, and Dropped Balls Department--from there, if all is still going well, that is, in the hands of a zitty intern, the now wrinkled facsimile will need to be transported to the All Systems Go Department located in the basement adjacent to the All Systems’ Goo Department which of course is where a gelatinous Jabba gorges on misplaced miscellany, deferred documents, and ill-fated, zitty interns who need to get their eyes checked.

Will I get my pills tomorrow? It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever to give a straightforward answer, Mr Barnacle said, 'Possibly.’” (LD, CD, 80)

I’ll be waiting.

In my office.

In the Tumor Incubation Department. [take the tour]

Don’t mind me.


  1. good stuff....here's hoping(from the experiencing this awful awfulness vicariously dept.) that you get your pills in a timely manner

  2. Thanks, Larry. Since posting this, I have received a firmer confirmation that the pills will be here tomorrow.

  3. I enjoy your point of Dickens and reading his book versus a specific chapter. I felt that way when I read Tales of Two Cities for English class in sixth grade and, for some (known) reason(s), I have since read it again.
    Also, much muffled laughter occurred while taking the tour, mostly to all due to your description of your pills.

  4. Sorry they're giving you the runaround, man. The whole time I was reading that, I just kept thinking "Fax? They really still have to use a fax?" Feel like it's likely your pills will arrive via horse and buggy. -Arna

  5. Horse and buggy--ha! yes. Fax machines, while archaic, are still useful in some (rare) cases. In this case, I think signatures were involved. Even so, it was mostly the Shields and Crosses of Blue holding up the line.

  6. "Misplaced Miscellany" should be the name of a band.