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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   tumor analysis
Tuesday, August 19 2003
While I lay sleeping, Gretchen returned last night from Silver Spring. She brought many gifts, including a new little disco ball, a red rubber devil ducky, some more balls and sticks for our coffeetable magnetic erector set, a basket of peaches, and a large amount of ingera, the rubbery Ethiopian flat bread. (Ethiopian food is one of the reasons Gretchen likes to return to the Washington area every now and then.)

Over the past few days, a huge growth had materialized in Eleanor's left armpit. By this morning it was two inches long and nearly an inch wide. When she was standing, it drooped more than an inch below her chest. I felt it a few times and it seemed like there was some sort of mass in there; its texture suggested a herniated muscle, though I've never heard of a muscle herniating out through the gaps in a ribcage. Furthermore, Eleanor didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable. While Gretchen and I were fretting about the possibility of huge parasitic insect larvæ or massively malignant tumors, Eleanor continued doing all the adorable rubbery puppy things she always does, glancing over at us repeatedly and revealing the crescent whites of her eyes as she kept checking in on the state of our approval.
We took her to the vet in Hurley, and he stuck the growth with a syringe to ascertain its composition. It turned out that the lump was entirely filled with blood plasma, probably the result of some recent trauma. Judging from the frequency with which she slams her thick skull against things and the many small cuts and punctures all over her body, Eleanor tends to be somewhat accident prone. Evidently she'd been running around, probably in the woods, and a stick had jabbed her in the armpit, but fallen short of establishing a sucking wound.
That was a big relief, even if the information did cost us about $60 to obtain. Actually, before we'd gone to the vet I'd been thinking that if only I'd had a syringe I could perform my own tumor analysis for free. Well, maybe not. I couldn't even bring myself to look as the good doctor jabbed his needle into that mysterious new bud.

This evening Gretchen and I had dinner at the Hurley Mountain Inn. As usual for a Tuesday evening there, we sat with Toni and (briefly) his friend Eli the Indexer.
For some reason tonight the Hurley Mountain Inn was unusually rich in single ladies dressed to get laid. This one came in and ended up talking to a guy who looked like the top hat & money bags guy from the board game known as Monopoly. Then in came a young woman with a shaved head. She was wearing a very small denim miniskirt which she kept having to forcefully push down onto her hips. I immediately assumed she was a lesbian, but then I noticed a large scar going up the back of her head and decided that she was probably recovering from recent brain surgery. That made more sense - how often do you see lesbians dressed in tiny miniskirts sitting all by themselves at a sports bar that refuses to play WNBA games? Then again, how often do you see recovering brain surgery patients out trying to get laid? I suppose it depends on the nature and success of the surgery. A little slip of the scapple, and the poor woman is transformed into a raving nymphomaniac! Wow, this line of inquiry has the makings of a Bud Lite commercial. (I was going to say Coors Lite, since Bud Lite commercials tend to be strangely sex-agnostic, but the notion of a woman with a brain surgery scar frequenting bars with a newfound nymphomaniacal desperation is way too weird to be part of any Coors advertising campaign.) [REDACTED]

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