Saturday, October 1, 2016

Don't go breakin' my heart

I'm watching the US elections from up here in Canada and man oh man, I must say it's quite entertaining! (Notice how I went from dog shit to the elections.)

Editor's note: The following views are meant in jest and used for entertainment purposes only. They are not the actual views of the writer,, or any other sane human being

I swear it's almost like watching some sort of demented reality show. I'm waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out on election day and point to the cameras screaming that we've all been punk'd and then introduce the real candidates: Joe Biden and someone whose last name is Bush. (There seems to be a good dozen of them, I think, so pick one.)

It's like choosing between the liar and the sociopath. And you know what's interesting about what I just said? The labels are interchangeable. They apply to both candidates.

George Carlin, the comedian for all you young folks, had it right. “In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem.”

Trump scares me. He's full of little asides, conspiracies and catch-phrases, but I've yet to hear about a coherent policy that lasted longer then 5 minutes before he changed his mind. I honestly think he wants to get elected so he can re-brand the White House to be Trump Mansion and Casino and offer free cases of wine to visiting heads of state.

Hilary scares me. Every time I watch her, I feel like she's petting me on the head and there-thereing me. "Awwww, don't be scared of the taxes and the big, bad, email scandal. It's all ok. I'll take care of it. You just keep your head down and pretend to be happy."

Ultimately, when I'm voting in an election -- a Canadian election, thank goodness -- the question I ask myself is: Who do I want sitting at the table across from other leaders during a G20 summit? It's 'easy' to govern at home. You can say whatever shit you want and people will agree or disagree with you but otherwise go abouts their business.

But you can't do that around foreign leaders. You can't tell off a country. You cannot tell a leader to go fuck themselves. Well, I mean, you can, and if they're hot and all, maybe you join them in some kinky "international trade".

If you tell off the wrong guy, suddenly all the electronics being shipped into the country triple in price or suddenly oil seems to stop being shipped over, or someone decides to 'oops' a missile launch that slams into the U.S. I mean if it lands in West Virginia, who cares, but beyond that...

Speaking of Russians... (watch the segue here) ... I was visiting a cardiologist's clinic the other day and damn if I wasn't accosted by three large Russian technicians. Now in some circles that might be exciting, but I'm more of a square kinda guy.

I had to get an ultrasound of my heart, followed by a heart stress test, followed by them attaching a monitor to measure my heart rate for 48 hours. (If you want to know why I needed this done, have your people contact my people.)

The ultrasound was annoying as the Russian lady jammed the ultrasound device against my chest in order to get a clear picture (or 5) of my heart. She spent a good 20 minutes really leaning into it while I winced in pain. She continuously asked me to take slow, small breaths. Apparently she didn't hear my blood curdling screams. (I'm a hypnotist, not a masochist.) I'm waiting for the bruises to form.

At the end, I smiled and asked her if she could indeed confirm I had a heart. There was a small pause and she said "Yes, ok, please get dressed now." Ouch. Joke-fail. Russian judge gives me a 3.6 out of 10 on technical merit and a 4 on artistic impression.

The stress test was slightly more entertaining. I had to 'walk' in a treadmill with various electrodes attached to me measuring my heart rate. The treadmill would speed up incrementally every 3 minutes until my heart rate reached a certain limit at which point it would stop.

So after being wired up, the technician started the machine and told me the exercise was meant to get me tired quickly. I could walk -- not run -- and I could stop it at any time if I got too tired.

I asked how long people normally last and she said 6 to 8 minutes. Instantly, being the manly man that I am, I proclaimed I'll be on there for a good 10 minutes and he might as well go get a coffee while I break some records. The pace of the machine was brisk, but nothing I couldn't handle.

After 3 minutes, the machine kicked it up a notch. I started to lightly jog and I was admonished sharply by the technician. Jogging bad! But the machine was going so fast, walking was very difficult. I looked like some sort of drunken speed walker. My heart rate was picking up. Must. Get. To. 10. Minutes.

At the 6-minute mark, the speed went up again. No human can walk this fast. I tried as I desperately held onto the rail while my legs were flinging out behind me. The technician smiled. I smiled. I looked over at the clock. Seven minutes! Must. Hang. On.

At 7 minutes, 32 seconds, I reached the heart rate I needed to be at. I looked over at the monitor and the graphs were all lover the place. Rather than this lovely rhythm one normally sees, they looked more like some sort of earth quake monitor. I wasn't sure if I reached 150 beats per minute, or 4.7 on the Richter Scale. Regardless, the treadmill instantly slowed and I almost flung myself forward off the treadmill.

He brought up a 'comments' section on the monitor and noted that my heart had been at sinus rhythm (apparently at the beginning, because no way it was that at the end), and that I was suffering from 'shortness of breath'.

Well no shit! You just had me doing a spasmic version of the chicken dance for 7 minutes, so yeah, I'm going to have a bit of a breathing problem after that. Luckily, that rarely happens to me in real life, so let's not worry about it too much, alright?

And now? Now I'm wearing a heart monitor until tomorrow morning to see that my heart is normal. The technician, as she attached the electrodes to me, told me that I should "lead my normal life for the next 48 hours" as the machine records my heart rate.

So I went home and masturbated furiously. I'm waiting to get the report back: "We have some concerns. The entire measurement period you had an elevated heart rate followed by this sudden spike and then a drop in rate for about 20 minutes. Then it would start all over again....this happened 10 times."

Damn right! I'm a manly man.