Placebo

By W. R. Jones

    I finished this painting and proceeded to the bathroom for a shower.  I had two choices for towels, an old ratty rag or a brand new fluffy bundle soft as a baby’s bottom.  Being lord of the manner, I assumed my rightly choice of the new towel.

    God damn it.  What do they make these things of?  Is this some type of recycled asbestos?  I’m not trying to slam on the brakes here, I want to get dry.  While feeling very soft, the towel had the absorbancy of aluminum foil.  I was sliding the water back and forth across my body in the hopes it would eventually evaporate.

    My question is do the leaders of the companies that produce this junk EVER try them?

    Here is another winner.  Those cleaning product bottles with the squeeze spray tops.  I have never found one that works.  I squeeze and nothing happens.  Turn the top a little and still nothing.  Rotate it 180, squeeze again and the lever clicks into the locked down position.  I push it forward with my thump, reseat the cap and try again.  Nothing.   GODDAM piece of Japanese junk!  I swap spray caps with the fabric softener (my wife will never know).  Still doesn’t work.  Then I swap with the 409 bottle – nothing.  I give up and remove the top to pour the liquid out the top.  By this time I’m thankful that liquid still flows out of an inverted hole.  Out of the millions of spray bottle tops made, what percentage are ever tested on the assembly line?  Did a single one of them ever work?

   These are placebo lids; not meant to function but to give you a false sense of  satisfaction of work in progress.

    My doctor knows about placebos – here is a recent conversation seceretly recorded in his office:

Dr:   Nurse, who is my next patient.

Nurse:  Mr. Jones

Dr:  Oh no!  Tell him I’m in the hospital on an emergency call.

Nurse:  He saw your car out front.

Dr:  Tell him my mother just died in a flaming car wreck.  I’m at the funeral, the limo picked me up.

Nurse:  You used that story on his last visit.

Dr:  Do you think I could go with maybe a dead aunt?

Nurse:  Dr.,  relax.  You don’t want to lose a patient like Mr. Jones.  Keep in mind he has single handedly put your three children through university, paid for your new Lexus, and paid for your last 3 family vacations.  He is what billing refers to as hypchrondriac gold, hell, maybe even platinum.

Dr:  Ok, good point.  Put some of those Good ‘N Plenty pieces in a prescription bottle for me.  I wonder what kind of cancer he has this week.

    See – the doctor thinks I’m a fool.  He gives me placebos on every visit.  I think he is a fool.  He doesn’t know how well that sugar coated licorice works.  It has cured me of various cancers, TB, gout, immaculate clap, neuritis, neralgia, MS, ALS, headache, tummy ache, runny nose, and any desire to work.  I can feel it kicking in as we speak.  And best of all, my candy is paid for by Medicare.

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34 Responses to Placebo

  1. lbtowers says:

    For a pistol waving guy, and for a sappy flower painting, this is really beautiful Bill. There. Stop telling me I never compliment you.

  2. 100swallows says:

    Nice painting, Bill–I agree with Towers. And the story was your usual funny.

  3. bonnieluria says:

    Does the Good and Plenty cure your split personality too?
    How can someone who paints such tender, lovely still life depictions, be so insanely out in the zone of no return!!

    That doesn’t mean you’re at all minimizing the tirade about spray bottles.

    Seriously good painting, Bill.

  4. Hypochondriac Gold would be a good name for a rock band. (I started to say that Cure for Immaculate Clap would be a good one, but that’s just gross.)

    It’s a lovely painting, BTW. Good thing those candies don’t totally make your desire to work disappear.

    New towels can be useless as you’ve described, especially if they are not all cotton. I think fabric softener or those dryer sheets might also add to the problem. Get some cheapies at Walmart (all cotton), wash them in hot water a few times (detergent only, no fabric softener). Dry without the anti-static dryer sheets. Those should do the trick of actually drying off after a shower.

    Here’s another tidbit of advice: DO NOT let your wife know you’re helping with the laundry and DO NOT add any other clothes to the load if you’re in a helpful mood. You’ll probably set stains. Leave stain treatment to your wife.

  5. wrjones says:

    I never said that, I said you always complicate me.

    Thanks Swallows.

    Bonnie – Do you think it is split? I’ve been feeling so together. At least until I have to spray something!&%# I think the licorice binds the fragments so to speak. That “zone of no return” thing is frightning me. Will I be able to come back for a visit?

    Diana – not to worry about me helping my wife do anything. If the towels don’t work I’m going to streak through the neighbor’s briar patch and wind dry.

  6. lori says:

    Fabric softener is evil. It can give you a rash that even good and plenty pieces won’t cure.

    I like the painting too its lovely and soft, just like towels are supposed to be.

    I was trying to think of a rock band name instead of immaculate clap, I came up with immaculate applause but that just sounds stupid.

    I guess spray bottles have to be tested in the store, just like the model airplane paints.

  7. Nava says:

    There’s cure for a runny nose???

    C’mon, stop whining and take time to smell the roses you’ve painted so gloriously here. Although I suspect that – given your tendency to turmoil – smelling the roses might end up with you inhaling a bee. I believe Good ‘N Plenty will take care of this, too.

    Be well!

  8. Nava says:

    And, and about them towels: these are truly remarkable. They’ll leave you high and dry like the desert, and will do it softly. We’re already addicted to them.

  9. wrjones says:

    Lori – for God’s sake, do you sniff airplane glue in the store too? I thought I was the only one who did that. I sometimes use the purse of the woman next to me to try the paints on. That explains this broken jaw. Through my crumbling teeth I told her if she had just waited until I finishe the piece she might have liked it.

    Nava – stop whining? What will I say? I’ll be mute. These roses don’t have much fragrance. It has been bred out in the interest of blossom volume. I understand there is movement afoot to bring back fragrant roses.

  10. I get such a chuckle reading this blog…and the painting has a softness I love!!

  11. You and my husband should get together and storm the bath towel manufacturers’ castle. EVERY SINGLE time I buy new towels he bitches and moans about them… Mind you, when HE buys them, they are perfect.
    Admittedly, when we first get towels they are OFTEN non absorbent….. but after we wash them and chase around the dog in the yard with them they are great!! ( :) )

  12. BTW That flower painting is VERY nice….
    I thought you only painted flowers to be in Lisa’s class with all the pretty ladies who paint flowers.

  13. wrjones says:

    Theresa – Keep dropping by, Debbie Downer (Lisa) will wipe that smile off your face so you can get some serious work done.

    Marian – Why don’t I send you my towels. You can wipe your dog down and send them back. I’m only painting flowers to get next to all those beauty flower painters. Those guys painting bullets tend to spit tobacco which I step in. Of course, like they taught you in English, there is always an exception like that tobacco spitting flower painter, Susan.

  14. Yes! Crummy towels, “wrinkle-free” bedding that comes out of the dryer WRINKLED! !!Spray” cleaning products!?…god, don’t let my blood pressure sky rocket!!!!!! I’m not laughing!!!!!!!!!! We ALL share your pain and anger!!!!!. Speaking of pain, Good and Plenty works pretty well, huh?

  15. Carol King says:

    Lovely painting. Crappy doctor. I get better stuff than Good and Plenty. You need to work harder to convince him you need the real stuff. Something just to take the edge off.

  16. Bill – great painting and wonderful post. I seem to be squeeze trigger challenged myself and was comforted to know that someone besides me just takes the top off and pour it in the general direction of the dirt.

  17. wrjones says:

    Ya David, I forgot about those perma semi wrinkled fabrics. Good N Plenty works wonders for both mood and pain. Not directly of course, you have to swap it to some kid for vicodin.

    Well, Carol, can’t we just share yours? I’ll give you my private number. We don’t want to discuss this in public.

    Thanks Cara. Here is my professional family consuling suggestion – throw the spray bottle upside you husband’s head for buying such a piece of junk to begin with.

  18. I found your blog after you visited mine. (Thank you for your lovely comment.) Love the humor, work, and all entries I’m read so far. I will be a regular reader. Connie

  19. wrjones says:

    Connie – love your sunglasses. Come back any time; bring cookies. By the way, you are officially in our group of bad spellers/writers with your qualifying “I’m read so far”. Congratulations and welcome to the club.

  20. Lisa B. says:

    White roses are one of my favorites, and this is beautiful! I think the Good n’ Plenty are working… the white ones are for painting, and the pink ones are for writing.

  21. Thanks for welcoming me into the group of bad spellers and writers. Man, am I honored! My motto is Bad Spellers of the World, Untie. My God, you are funny. And what did you mean by my sunglasses?
    Connie

  22. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Lisa – and a hearty congratulations for no spelling errors (at least none that I can detect). Glad to have you stop by.

    Connie – your avatar has sunglasses, or else someone has been beating on you, or you could just have very ugly eyes.

    Not just you, Connie, but in general you people can’t comment for shit. Let me ghost write the type of comment I’m looking for –

    Dearest Bill,
    Just arrived home again here to our Beverly Hills estate after our wonderful trip to Vatican City. In our audience with the Pope, he mentioned how he would like to replace that graffiti on the Sistine ceiling with one of your paintings. So, we were wondering if you could find it in your heart to sell us (at a very good price, of course) any works the Pope does not select for his own enjoyment.

    Much love,
    Mr. and Mrs. Bigbucks.

  23. Just noticed the avatar. I have no idea where that came from. Actually, I am a fetching wench, and you can see a sort of pic of me on my website. Connie

  24. wrjones says:

    Connie – from what I could see of the side of your lovely head, you are a nearly world famous beauty. However, I still can’t vouch for those eyes. Are you protecting a mullet wearing, ornately tattoed, wife beater (you know, someone I could admire)?

  25. Susan says:

    I don’t have time to read all your comments so I don’t know if anyone enlightened you on this – but when you buy new towels you have to wash them first and then they get absorbent. There’s some kind of something on them when they’re first made – you know, towel preservative. . .that needs to be washed off to “activate” them.

  26. Please, I live in the South and mullets are a national treasure! We southern flowers love us an attractively styled mullet, and we were heartbroken (as in achey breaky heartbroken) when Billy Ray traded his in for a more sophisticated (?) do.

    Hope I misspelled enough words to stay in the club.

    Connie

  27. wrjones says:

    Susan – thanks for the timely info. Maybe you could have told me BEFORE the shower.

    See you for the wine and pizza.

    Damn Connie, now I feel like sharing a bottle of Southern Comfort with you. Don’t worry. I’m not trash, I have a double wide.

  28. Lori says:

    “Lori – for God’s sake, do you sniff airplane glue in the store too?”

    Nah, our town is so perverted they don’t sell it any more. They only have snap together models.

    To make up for it I eat lots of dark chocolate, works better than good and plenty even.

  29. wrjones says:

    Lori, can you come over Friday night? Uh, bring some of that chocolate and we can have a healing party.

  30. lori says:

    Bill, send me a plane ticket and I’ll be right over. I believe you are in earthquake land and I am in the hurricane locale.

  31. wrjones says:

    Lori – I’m a bit short at the moment, temporary you understand. Do you think you could hitchhike? Do NOT let your rides know you are carrying chocolate, who knows what they might do.

  32. Lori says:

    Bill, do you know what the temperature is out here? 95 degrees! Do you know what that does to chocolate?! We would have chocolate soup.

    My rides would KNOW! They would smell it.

    You will just have to make one of those deals with the airlines, I see on TV all the time where old Captain Kirk will dicker for you. Maybe he will take a painting in trade?

  33. wrjones says:

    You are right, Lori. I’ve seen those ads. I’m being a namby pamby. I want this woman flown to me, first class, and I’m willing to go as high as $27. Better take the chocolate as carry on.

    Chocolate soup is ok but don’t put any carrots in it. I hate cooked carrots.

  34. Lori says:

    Eww no cooked carrots, I hate them too. Only way they are any good is in carrot cake. It is slightly tempting to see what would happen with chocolate and carrots mixed together as chocolate does improve almost anything, but I would hate to risk the chocolate.

    Cherries dipped in melted chocolate sounds good though.

    First class does sound lovely, I’ll bring as much chocolate as I can cram into the carry on.

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