I was just reading an article by the eminent scientist Stephen Jay Gould called “The Median Isn’t the Message”. It’s about statistics. First Gould quotes Benjamin Disraeli to the effect that there are “three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before — lies, damn lies and statistics.” But then Gould tries to make the case that if you have been diagnosed with a serious illness, statistics are indeed your friends.
Maybe. Gould had been diagnosed with a rare cancer and told that he had eight months to live. But he hung on for 20 years, and eventually it was another cancer that got him. Unfortunately, that’s not the norm.
I don’t have a Nobel Prize in Mathematics sitting on my mantelpiece and I never studied Statistics, so I have to admit I didn’t understand a thing Gould was trying to say in the article, except for this, tucked in at the end:
“The swords of battle are numerous, and none more effective than humor”.
I couldn’t agree more. So I am going to share with you some of my homemade, true-to-life Prostate Cancer jokes. Warning: If you cannot tolerate a little black humor, you should leave now.
I said to dear husband the other day: “I’m sick of hearing those TV commercials where they talk about enlarged prostates all day. You know the ones where they say: “Do you have a ‘going’ problem or a ‘growing’ problem?” Why doesn’t prostate cancer get equal time? There’s such a thing called the “Fairness Doctrine.”
DH doesn’t watch much TV, so I explained: “In these ads when they talk about a “going problem” they mean having to pee a lot. And a “growing problem” means an enlarged prostate (BPH). So I posed this question to him: “If BPH is a “growing problem”, then what would you call PC — a ‘growing crazy problem’?” DH thought for a moment and then replied:
“Going, growing, gone”.
Wicked, isn’t he? Also:
Last Sunday I announced to DH that we were going to the food market because I “wanted to introduce him to the salmon section”. (In order that he be able to distinguish the farmed from the wild.) I had been at the fish counter so many times I was afraid I might be arrested for loitering, but we went anyway.
In the end we purchased some pink salmon, light tuna and herring in mustard sauce. Then I suggested to DH that while we were at it, we might as well go upstairs and explore the Health Food section. He agreed, so we did.
Well, when we got up there, I was like a kid in a candy store, squealing: “Oh look, DH. Krill! Flaxseed! Lycomato! Green Tea Extract! Milk Thistle! I walked over to the other side of the room and pulled something off a shelf. Then I screached: “Ted, come over here, quick. I found some SUPER-COQ! (Pronounced like the rooster.)
Well, everybody in the store turned around. Then DH calmly announced in a loud voice:
“Supercock? Coming. That’s just what I need”.
Have a good evening.