We’re Only Immortal for a Limited Time

Greg Behrens

I’m not the type for living in the past. I’ve done a lot of stupid shit, but I have few regrets. There’s very little in adult life that makes me long for the horrific days spent drifting through public school hallways dodging bullies, faking stomach aches to avoid unstudied-for math tests or those very same bullies, and just the general awkwardness of youth that bullies pick on so mercilessly. Did I mention there were bullies? There is one situation that arises every so often, however, that will always find me pining for the days of youthful indestructibility, and that is when I stupidly injure myself.

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Now you might think that a comedian shouldn’t be finding themselves in precarious situations all that often (and you’d be correct), but I’m more than just a comedian; I’m also a clumsy six-foot-six idiot who always forgets how old he actually is and likes to drink. That combination can up the Hazardous Ranking of nearly any situation. Case in point, this past week I broke my foot playing a scrimmage game of wiffleball. It takes a pretty incredible talent for hurting oneself to break a bone playing a children’s version of an already low-intensity sport, designed with an emphasis on safety, but that’s just the kind of guy I am.

The rest of what makes me the kind of guy I am is stubbornness, and with it a general distrust for the medical profession. I did not seek out medical attention immediately because as a family rule, you must first attempt to “walk off” any injury. According to my dad, concussions, broken bones, and even STDs all have to potential to just “go away” when faced with the awesome healing powers of a leisurely stroll. When that fails, I implement my second line of defense, which is an attempt to “drink off” said injury. While beer and whiskey do have many calming and healing powers, oftentimes they offer merely a temporary illusion of improvement and do so at the risk of further injuring that which you are trying to heal. That or just creating brand new injuries and illnesses resulting from your alcohol induced stupor, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

So anyway, eight days later I went to see the doctor that my wife works for and is covered by my health insurance, and boom, sure enough: broken foot. It is now in a cast and about eight days away from being fully healed. I know, I know, why didn’t I just go in the first place? It’d be healed already, and I’d be back out doing the next stupid thing that will cause the next injury I will be neglectful to take care of and will completely regret 10 years from now when I’m riddled with arthritis and wondering what I could’ve done to prevent it. It’s not just because I’m a complete dumb shit; that’s just a contributing factor. Mostly, like I said, it’s just because of a general distrust I have for the medical profession.

I don’t care for doctors, never have, and I like dentists even less. I could tell you the exact time I went to the dentist last, because the appointment card is still on my parents’ refrigerator. April 25, 1994. I can still gnaw my way through a steak, so fuck it, and whiskey is far better for tooth pain than it is for a broken foot, let me tell you. I’ll get some George Washingtons in a few more years and I won’t have to worry about it anymore. My problem is this: when a doctor becomes a doctor or a dentist becomes a dentist, they get a license. That document is called, a license to PRACTICE medicine, so essentially they are just trying shit out on you like a lab rat in a cheese maze. They don’t know. I could just do that at home. But now that I think about it, I broke my foot practicing wiffleball, and medicine seems much more complicated than that.

I guess, ultimately, my well being is better left in the hands of pseudo-professionals with slightly better educated guesses than mine. Like doctors. (But never dentists, fuck those guys.) I’m not gonna let bother me, though, I don’t forsee needing their help anytime in the near future. I get my cast off in a few days, and I’m excited because me and a bunch of my buddies are gonna go check out this new skatepark in town. I haven’t been on a board in a few years, but we’re gonna pre-game with a few drinks before we go so I won’t be so down on myself that I’m not as good as I used to be. Should be a lot of fun.

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