Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Animal, Mineral or Vegetable

I had my bone mineral density tested today. You know, calcium loss and osteoporosis and broken hips and so on. Well, I say I had it done, but actually I was standing next to a van and the next thing I know I woke up with a gash in my scalp and a missing kidney, strapped to a metal x-shaped table with a tube up my urethra. It was all very confusing. The doctor kept fingering his nipples and giggling. I don't want to talk about it.

The test gives a T-score, which is a comparison to the normal bone density for a healthy in-the-prime adult, rated on a bell curve at a mean of zero (50th percentile), with the standard deviations of -1 to 1 representing 64% of the population. A positive score means denser, a negative means less dense. Denser is better. There's also a Z-score, comparing individuals to their specific age and gender. My T-score was 1.54, and my Z-score was 1.65 -- the opposite of osteopenia. Phenomenal, of course. Unheard of. It is a unique score, never before encountered. The only reason it was measurable at all is that the device was experimental, meant to test elephants or aliens from heavy-gravity planets. I wasn't really listening. I had a tube up my urethra, and there was this constant screaming. It might have been me.

But all that is behind me now. Now I am heavy with pity for you, with your hollow birdlike bones, so frail, so brittle. Such is the burden I must bear. I am sufficient to the task however, what with my powerful godlike bones. Specifically my heelbones, or bone, left heelbone, but it is all of a piece.

What shall my new superhero identity be? Capitaine Hardbone! And my secret identity shall be that of ... Manley Thrust, mild-mannered horticulturist whose salubrious animal-product-free diet consisting largely of radioactive carrots and broccoli -- both very rich sources of bioavailable calcium and other essential minerals, such as magnesium -- has somehow mysteriously converted him into that famous heroic figure endowed with powers heretofore never encountered on this or any other planet!

The fact that I am in this regard only in the top 10% of the population is neither here nor there. It is the totality of my excellence that transforms me, in a dramatic and highly cinematographic transmogrification, into the Hero of The Age Fifty! The Man of Calcium! The Chalk-Colored Knight! Your friendly neighborhood Bonerman! These tabloids just won't stop coming up with droll sobriquets. Anything to sell papers. I don't mind. It is my burden. It is my destiny.

Sometimes I look back now, from the lofty pinnacle of my selfless nobility, and shake my head sadly at the melancholy memory of LowCholesterol Man. A felt celery suit, for crying out loud. What was I thinking? Now I just go naked. So villains will see my bones, and quake in terror at the fearsome sight! And they shall never uncover my secret. Only you shall know. That the mighty Capitaine Hardbone was once a limp stalk of pallid green vegetable matter. Shhhhh.



bob k. mando said...

Capitaine Hardbone! And my secret identity shall be that of ... Manley Thrust


otoh, losing a kidney is no laughing matter. best wishes, hope you have a good recovery.

REALLY hope you don't contract MRSA while in the hospital.

Jack H said...

What need has Capitaine Hardbone of supernumerary kidneys? He laughs, laughs unto derision such calcium-deficient weakness! And no mere MRSA shall render him impotent! For it is only the mineral-leaching treachery of molecularly distilled water that is his one vulnerability! And no one shall ever discover this secret!

bob k. mando said...

ah, wait.

you posted yesterday AND today.

did you even get your bone density checked? or is that the one kernel of truth in this?

*sends a batch of azeotropically distilled water to California*

Jack H said...

I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

Joe Rose said...

Captain H.
You do tickle my funnybone. Which is calcium deficient I suspect, but your next post on the Nobel Prize has really exceeded the limits of my ability to just chuckle quietly. I found myself bouncing up and down and choking. Please don't try to outdo these tomes. It could be too much for this old man.

bob k. mando said...

Just what do you think you're doing, Jack?

Jack, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question.