My “Husband of the Year” Acceptance Speech

Here's my acceptance speech, given in July 2010 at the Ritz in Orlando, during the closing ceremony of the Husband of the Year competition. I slightly altered my speech and created this generic version. You have my permission to use it, in case you win a similar honor. 

Olympic statues
“Thank you, Mr. President, for that flattering introduction, and for those two jumbo shrimp you couldn’t eat. I apologize for my unwillingness to dip them in your used cocktail sauce.

“Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I stand here before you an erect man, tall and proud, yet humble and meek. My life doesn’t resemble your typical ‘rags to riches’ Hollywood saga; instead, it’s more like Bruce Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk, or Clark Kent changing into Superman, or Popeye becoming, uhm, that other person. Hmm? Does anyone know who the hell Popeye turns into after he eats the spinach? Is it the Flash or Iron Man character? Well, never mind.

"Scrubbing Your Colon" Wrap-up: My Organs Need Organic?

watermelon carvingWhen I’m not watching television or undergoing routine checkups, I deploy other strategies to stay healthy. I exercise just enough to keep physically fit. And like most husbands, I can’t generate strong enough emotions to produce any harmful levels of stress.  That leaves my dietary habits, which rank somewhere between a goat’s and a housefly’s according to criteria established by the American Dietetic Association.

Thankfully, God gifted me with a wife who eats healthy. And while I’d like to think that He also rewarded her by bestowing special talents upon me, I’m doubtful. I can imitate movie-quality helicopter noises and count really fast using only prime numbers, but those skills seem less than essential for living a fruitful life.

"Scrubbing Your Colon" Part Three: “That Thing Goes Where?”

Lots of medical specialists, scientists, researchers and over-hyped television personalities give out advice about staying healthy. Yet, only one authority is right. And she’s sitting right next to you on the living room couch.

The colonoscope Z1000 model
My wife and I were munching on breakfast cereal, sipping coffee and half-listening to a television news show in the background. She read the newspaper. And I was engrossed in the sports section and a riveting editorial that debated if curling players were real athletes. Then, in the background, I overheard the TV anchorwoman mention the words “medical tests” and some other gibberish about taking good care of yourself. I immediately recognized the dangers of this situation and started to slowly and inconspicuously reach for the remote control.  But I was too late. My wife quickly secured it, removed the batteries and locked her gaze on the television news story.

For the next 15 minutes, I floated in a minefield. We sat and listened to a television personality and an “expert” who discussed a bunch of medical exams that supposedly were “good” for us and might help detect diseases during their early stages of development. The TV duo initially discussed tests that involved highly advanced “minimally-invasive” technology. After about ten minutes, I made a smart-ass comment that went something like “I got your highly-advanced diagnostic probe right here,” which didn’t produce the desired response. With gazelle-like quickness, I morphed into my caring husband persona and stared at the screen with intense interest, nodding “yes” and mixing in a few “uh-huhs” to demonstrate my agreement with the advice spewing from the television set. I also noticed that the TV anchor seemed a little out of shape for TV, but then I remembered that this was a Saturday morning time slot.

Eventually, the TV interviewer and “expert” honed in on examinations that involved contraptions like sigmoidoscopes and colonoscopes. In my “expert” opinion, the lifesaving potential of these medical devices cannot overcome one major flaw – they’re used to examine disgusting destinations. And regardless of that fact, and this won’t surprise even one husband, wives enjoy discussing the details of these medical tests, as calmly and uninhibitedly as chats about the weather and the federal deficit.

“Did you have a sigmoidoscopy when you last visited your doctor,” she probed, while the television celebrities discussed this procedure in the background.

“I don’t remember.”

“Whatta ya mean, you don’t remember? How could you not remember having a scope inserted into your anus?” she pressed.

“I think about other stuff when I’m in the exam room.”

“Like what?” she pushed.

“Well, sometimes I imagine winning the World Series with a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth. Or I rescue a group of bank hostages by overpowering three thugs with only my brute strength and a sharpened pencil.”

“So you have no idea whether or not you were screened for colon cancer during your last checkup?” she needled.

“During my next visit to the clinic, I’ll ask my doctor. Maybe he wrote it down somewhere.  Or saved a sample.”

Next on the TV show, the host and “expert” talked about the very low-tech digital rectal exam and how it’s an excellent screening technique for prostate cancer. These television people were really starting to piss me off.  I decided to react quickly or this situation could spread like an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Relying upon my 37 years of experience working for hospitals (albeit, behind a desk writing memos and rearranging paperclips most of the day), I rapidly leveraged my status as a healthcare professional and quickly retaliated against the heresy being broadcast through the plasma screen.

“These people are frauds and charlatans! That’s not the best screening technique for identifying a healthy prostate. Researchers have invented a new device called an ‘otoscope’ that can safely evaluate a prostate without any penetrating or invasive maneuvers,” I explained with conviction and authority. My wife seemed impressed and that bought me some time as the TV discussion switched to cholesterol and hypertension screening.

By the way, otoscopes are real and my doctor has never detected one problem inside my prostate using this versatile medical device.  You’d recognize an otoscope if you saw one – it’s that little handheld device with the built-in flashlight that family doctors use to look into their patients’ ears. Since my doctor is cheap, he also utilizes his otoscope to examine all my other body parts.

(next post: Scrubbing Colon Wrap-up and Organs Hooked on Organics)

"Scrubbing Your Colon" Part Two: Squasheth the Twins

Since my early skin cancer diagnosis, I’ve become very cautious, about everything. Not too long ago I asked my family physician to conduct an examination of my “private parts.” My doctor was somewhat disturbed by my request because it occurred when I bumped into him at the post office. Later on I called his receptionist to schedule the actual exam.

The technical, medical term for my privates is “testicles.” As a rule, though, I only use the word “testicles” when referring to other guys' private parts. Most men share this common nuance, due in large part to our insecurities and fragile psyches.