Saturday, December 29, 2012

Old Liver Syne

Should old liver cells be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old liver cells be forgot,
and old liver syne ?
For auld liver syne, my dear,
for auld liver syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld liver syne.

Wishing You a Happy, Healthy and Humorous New Year


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cirrhotic Carols

Image courtesy of CD In Natale / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is so political incorrect to poke fun of Christmas, a holiday so near and dear to me that I think I can be politically incorrect. Besides, now that I have shown that I am completely irreverent to hepatitis C, why not take on Christmas?
I love Christmas carols, so here is my line-up of liver-friendly carols to soothe the liver:
  • Cirrhosis is Coming to Town
  • Duct the Bile
  • Hark the Hepatic Angels Sing
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing the Hepatologist
  • Jingle Galls
  • Jaundice the Snowman
  • Let It Flow
  • Liver Bells
  • Oh Little Town of Hepatocyte
  • Rockin' Around Hepatitis C
  • Silent Organ
  • We Wish You a Merry Liver
  • Yellow Christmas
And with that, I wish you all a truly merry, merry, whatever seasonal holiday you choose or choose not to celebrate.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Humor to Get the Bile Flowing

I did not write the following joke, and although it has nothing to do with the liver, it is funny and perfect for this time of year.

 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A group of chess enthusiasts (one or more of whom may have hepatitis C) have  checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager (who is a Baby Boomer so he needs to get a hepatitis C test) came out of the office and asked them to disperse. But why? they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer. 



Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Secret to Healthy Living with Hepatitis C

I am surrounded by people who have hepatitis C. Many of them live with relentless pain, fatigue, and other discomforts. I seem to be doing better than most of the hepatitis C-positive people I meet, and I always wondered why. Then I discovered research that may shed light on a possible reason—cussing. Yes, unleashing those 4-letter words may have health benefits.

A study published in August 2009 NeuroReport found that swearing increases pain tolerance. I am a champion curser. I know that this is not acceptable in polite circles, but when it comes to pain, I swear like a sailor. Now that I know that expletives may help me, I am not going to delete them.

It is curious that someone decided to study this. I can only imagine what the study design looked like. Picture being a subject in this study, and being told that you would be randomly assigned to one of 2 groups. Everyone would get his or her fingers hammered. The test group could say the “f-word.” The control group would have to say, “Ouch.” I’d be kicked out of the control group…
 "Old Hammer" image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A New Catch Word


Do you remember that 1970’s sitcom, Good Times? (Stop here if you are too young to be a Baby Boomer – you will be completely lost by this post.) The most memorable character was JJ, played by Jimmie Walker. JJ was famous for his expression, “Dyno-MITE.”

I think it is time to resurrect that term, to raise awareness about the liver. Anybody for “Hepato-CYTE”?
Catchy, isn’t it? Try it out at your next party.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday


Look at the Black Friday deal I got—a shiny new liver! It was worth getting up at 4 AM. I got the last one. Apparently, everyone needed shiny new livers to replace the ones that they destroyed the day before.
I can’t wait to see what deals show up on Cyber Monday. Perhaps I will find a good deal on a pancreas. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Hepatitis Comics’ Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a time to remember those things for which I am grateful. This week, the Hepatitis Comics honors this holiday with an obscure appreciation list.
  • I am thankful that hepatitis C prefers the liver, an organ that regenerates, rather than the heart, which doesn’t manufacture new cells. If it attacked the heart, I would have cardioitis C and that would mean the Hepatitis Comics would be the Cardioitis Comics, which has a ring to it, but is harder to say.
  • I am thankful that I can poke fun of my liver, hepatitis, and Thanksgiving, because if I had to be serious and respectful of those things, I would certainly die a long, pitiful death.
  • I am thankful that after 3 years of bile humor, no one has written to me and told me that I am not funny, which admittedly, sometimes I am not. Writing this blog has been therapeutic, even if not always funny.
  • I am thankful for the two or three of you out there who read this blog, or at least, I think read this blog. If you don’t read it, don’t tell me. I need to hold on to my delusions.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Six-Word Memoir


My favorite page in the AARP magazine (yes, sadly, I do read it), is titled, Six-Word Memoirs. It is a delightful column edited by Larry Smith. The concept is based on an event in which Ernest Hemingway was asked to tell a story in only six words. He wrote, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
So, I thought I'd have a go at it:
  • Hepatitis C stole my favorite liver
Does "C' count as a word?
Try your hand at it - it's fun. Send your memoirs and I'll publish them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vampires with Hepatitis C

Halloween has come and gone and with it, all the spooky vampire costumes. Speaking of vampires, did you know that those who engage in vampire play are at risk of spreading blood-borne diseases? This includes hepatitis C, HIV, and hepatitis B. Sex with blood adds a completely new dimension of risk. B & D, S & M, and sex with chain saws are risky behaviors if one of the players has a blood-borne virus or bacteria. So, if you are thinking of introducing activities in your sex play that involve blood, go to a joke shop and buy fake blood—it is much safer. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spooky


I did a bit of Halloween research, trying to see if the liver had a role in this spooky holiday, and found out about hepatoscopy, or the dark art of liver divination. The Babylonians practiced hepatoscopy, usually using a sheep’s liver to discover the will of the gods. Supposedly, the priest could read signs provided by the liver.
I guess hepatoscopy is still practiced today—it is called the liver biopsy. The pathologist looks at the liver and says, “If he doesn’t stop drinking soon, he’ll die.”
Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Myth of Prometheus


One of the astonishing facts about the liver is that the early Greeks knew about this organ’s amazing power to regenerate. We know the Greeks knew because of the myth of Prometheus, which was handed down for thousands of years. Prometheus stole fire from the gods, so Zeus punished Prometheus by tying him up and every day an eagle would peck out his liver. At night, his liver would mend, so the eagle could gnaw at it again the next day. Although this exaggerates the capability of the liver, it illustrates that the Greeks recognized the awesome ability of the liver to recover.
What I want to know is this:
  1. What sort of demented torture is this, and doesn’t that suggest that Zeus was really messed up to think this up? Wouldn't water boarding be sufficient?
  2. How did Zeus know that the eagle would eat the liver? 
  3. Why did the eagle eat just the liver? While he was at it, why not peck at the heart and kidneys? That was one smart eagle if he knew he’d have a continuous source of meat if he just practiced a little self-control.
  4. How could the eagle fly away after eating all that liver? The liver weighs 3 lbs, which would have made take-off a bit heavy for the eagle. 
Inquiring minds want to know…

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Blog Day

I started this blog in 2009. Three years of trying to find amusing things to say about the liver or having hepatitis C. Yup, either I am completely nuts, or I have hepatitic encephalopathy. I will say that liver comedy is not really catching on. Jerry Seinfeld is not knocking at my door.
After this many years, finding material is tough. I probably have a better chance of being a transplant recipient than with coming up with something hilarious to say about having hep C. I can just see my stand-up comedy routine:
Q: “What did the comedian say to his friend after finding out he had hepatitis C?”
A: “No joke?”
Yup, the material is drying up in Hepville. I may be forced to make gall bladder jokes, except they all seem so bile. The pancreas is soooo much funnier. I mean really, an organ that has the Islets of Langerhans is ripe for comedy.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Merriam Webster Goes Viral


Merriam Webster added new words to its 2012 dictionary, such as earworm (“a song or melody that keeps repeating in one's mind”), sexting (“the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone”), and f-bomb (“a lighthearted and printable euphemism”).
After viewing the list, I looked up one of the most common maladies that those with hepatitis C complain of—brain fog. Although not official, it was listed on Merriam Webster’s slang submission webpage, sandwiched between brain fart and brain freeze.
  • brain fog (noun) : the state of having fog in your brain that prevents clarity of thought or expression; pertaining to neurological and/or cognitive processes..” submitted by DeLinda Fink, North Carolina 1/31/200
Let's ask Merriam Webster’s to add brain fog to their 2013 dictionary, that is if I remember...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Games Medical Students Play


In previous posts, I showed you what hepatologists play and last week I showed you what is happening in the liver transplant surgeons’ break room. Not to be outdone, the medical students play Pictionary. It helps with all that anatomy they have to learn. Anyone want to take a guess at this picture?
Anyone want to take a guess at this picture?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

More Liver Games


Last week I revealed the games that hepatologists play. This week I will tell you what liver transplant surgeons play—Liver Pursuit. Did you ever stop to think how Trivial Pursuit lends itself so perfectly to a liver theme? The science category and those liver-shaped wedges are so hepatic.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Games Hepatologists Play


Some people think that the medical system is just one big game. However, having worked in healthcare, I can tell you all about games hepatologists play:


Can you Scrabble players spot the cheater? Scrabble cheaters never prosper…

Saturday, September 8, 2012

50 Shades of Jaundice


This year, my book Free from Hepatitis C was released. It has been doing well, but I think it would have done better if it had a catchier title. Here are some I wish I had thought of:
  • 50 Shades of Jaundice
  • The Joy of Sex before a Liver Transplant
  • When You Are Expecting a Liver
  • The Great Gall Bladder
  • Moby Bile
  • Brave New Liver
  • The Gall of the Wild
  • The Adventures of Hepatic Finn
  • For Whom the Gall Tolls


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy Liver Day


For a few years, I have been hoping that Liver Day would catch on. Labor Day sounds so arduous, hardly a day of rest and relaxation. Perhaps Liver Day doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but imagine a day set aside to honor the liver. We can all wear yellow, which is very happy, sunny color. We can still spend the day with family members – it gives a completely new meaning to the concept of regeneration—instead of our liver regenerating (which it does on its own), we can spend time with the older and younger generations. We can serve hamburgers shaped like livers (sorry, but if liver and onions are served it will cause more regurgitation than regeneration). No alcohol of course. Perhaps lemonade or ginger ale since they are yellow. Any other ideas?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Old Man Liver


Last week I completely discredited myself with a tasteless rendition of Porky and Bile, so since I seem to be on a roll, I thought I’d take one of my favorite show tunes, and completely destroy it and any shred of credibility I have with the the hepatitis C community.
Old Man Liver (apologies to Oscar Hammerstein)
Old man liver,
That old man liver,
He must know something,
But don't say nothing,
He just keeps growing
He keeps on growing again.

He makes that bile,
He makes those hormones,
And when he’s tired
and soon forgotten,
That old man liver,
He just  keeps growing again.

Big old liver keeps fighting that booze.
He stores, he sweats, he strains,
Body all aching, and racked with pain.
Make that bile
Tote that hep C
Don’t get drunk
or you land in hospice

Old man liver,
That old man liver,
He must know something,
But don't say nothing,
He just keeps growing
He keeps on growing again.

I am just glad that Paul Robeson can’t read this from the grave…

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Porky and Bile


Apologies to George Gershwin, but it is hot here and I just never know what will appear in the Hepatitis Comics.This is sung to the tune of Summertime from Porgy and Bess:
Summertime,
And the liver is easy,
ALT is jumpin’
And bilirubin is high…
Your doctor’s rich
And your nurse is good lookin’
So hush little tummy,
Don’t you cry.

Do you think this will win a Tony?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Liver Olympics


With the recent London Olympics and World Hepatitis Day, it is time for the 2012 International O’liveric games. Instead of Olympic rings, the logo is five interlocking livers. Here are the events:
  • Darts: Limited to patients on hepatitis C treatment, participants compete to see who is the fasted self-injector in the world.
  • Liver throwing – Competition to see who can throw a post-transplanted cirrhotic liver the farthest.
  • Marathon: Another event for patients on hepatitis C treatment, participants compete to see who is on treatment the longest. 
  • 100 centimeter race – This race is so short, even a person with liver failure can enter.
  • Synchronized Sleeping – Anyone want to join my team?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Even the Rocks…


I wonder if I am a bit obsessed with the liver. Just this week, I saw a rock that looked like a liver. Perhaps I do have rocks in my head. I guess that beats gallstones.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

World Hepatitis Day


Today is World Hepatitis Day and to honor the occasion, I am not going to make anything up. I want to pass along information about the World Hepatitis Alliance’s campaign to set a Guinness World Record today. For more information, visit World Hepatitis Day.


This placard was created by Daryl Luster. Look for it all over the world...

Don’t worry, next week I will be back to my demented, biley self.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lame Shows


There just isn’t enough programming on TV about the liver. Oprah has her own network, OWN. There is the Lifetime channel. It is time for the Liver channel. Here is the fall line-up:
Hepardy
Wheel of Misfortune
Liver and Order
Gall
America’s Got Bile
Hepatologist Who
Desperate Liverwives
Two and a Half Livers
America’s Top Liver
The West Lobe
The Liver Diaries
Buffy the Hepatitis-Slayer
I Love Liver
Little Liver on the Prairie
Xena: Liver Princess

And for late night viewers:
Liverman
Saturday Night Liver

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Liver Coloring Books


Last week I horrified readers with my disclosure that I read books about the liver to my grandchildren. Lest you think I am completely off my rocker, let me assure you that I do normal things with my grand-kids. For instance, this week we are coloring in one of my favorite coloring books. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pat the Liver


Last week I showed a photo of my liverature (books about the liver), and this week, I feature one of my favorite liver books (other than Free from Hepatitis C, which I wrote). The book is Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Liver Disorders, published by Genentech. It is an incredibly well written and illustrated board book. Although it is not intended for children, the board book format conjures up pictures in my mind of reading this book to my grandchildren.
So, in true irreverent completely satirical fashion, I offer you Pat the Liver, with apologies to Dorothy Kunhardt, author of Pat the Bunny:
Judy can pat the liver
Now you pat the liver
Judy’s gall bladder can play peek-a-boo with her liver
Now you play peek-a-boo with your liver
Paul can smell his bile
Now you smell your bile

and so on…

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hepatitis C Liverature



Is liver-related literature known as liverature?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hepatitis C Toys

Hepatitis C is not funny, but the best remedy for seriousness is playfulness. Here are a couple of orphaned hepatitis C viruses looking for a new home. Don't invite them in - they are worse than rabbits when it comes to multiplying. And they are harder than cockroaches to get rid of...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ten Things to Say if Caught Sleeping at Work


Hepatitis C treatment makes people very tired. Here are ten things to say if caught sleeping at work during treatment (I do not take credit for this – it was found on the Internet and I do not know the author):

10) They told me at the doctor’s office this might happen. 

 9) This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time-management course you sent me to.

 8) Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time.

 7) I wasn't sleeping, I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm.

 6) I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance.

 5) I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminating toward people who practice Yoga?"

 4) Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.

 3) The coffee machine is broken.

 2) Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot.

 1) ... and in Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Ten Commandments of Liver Disease


I heard a radio program about the Ten Commandments and decided to suggest some for liver disease:
  1. Thou shall put no other priorities before me (translation: no alcohol)
  2. Thou shall not idolize any other thing (translation: no alcohol)
  3. Thou shall not get drunk and take thy name in vain (translation: no alcohol)
  4. Remember thy liver and keep it holy (translation: no alcohol)
  5. Honor thy liver (translation: no alcohol)
  6. Thou shall not kill the liver (translation: no alcohol)
  7. Though shall not cheat on me (translation: do not have an affair with alcohol)
  8. Thou shall not steal any alcohol (no translation needed – you will hurt your liver AND go to jail )
  9. Though shall not bear false witness against thy liver (translation: no alcohol)
  10. Thou shall not covet another man’s bottle (nor should you buy your own bottle)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Little Egyptian Mythology


In Egyptian mythology, Imsety was one of the four sons of Horus (a major deity in Egyptian mythology). Imsety’s job was to protect the liver of the dead, which if you ask me, is somewhat too late. Imsety was protected by Isis. In the Book of the Dead, Isis is regarded as the giver of life and food to the dead. I don’t really know why the dead need to fed, but that is for someone else’s blog. Perhaps in Egyptian times everyone might have lived longer if the gods had protected them BEFORE they died, but that is just my personal opinion.

By the way, Horus’s other sons protected organs of the dead. Hapi protected the lungs, Duamutef protected the stomach, and Qebehsenuef protected the large intestines. It does not look like anyone was protecting the heart, the brain or the kidneys, which also may be why so many Egyptians died young.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Medical Signs


A little medical humor for a change…
  • Sign over a Hepatologist’s Office: “Livers Only”
  • At a Gynecologist's Office: "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."
  • In a Podiatrist's office: "Time wounds all heels."
  • On a Maternity Room door: "Push. Push. Push."
  • At an Optometrist's Office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."
  • At a Proctologist's door: "To expedite your visit, please back in."
  • In a Veterinarian's waiting room: "Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"
  • In the front yard of a Funeral Home: "Drive carefully. We'll wait."




Saturday, May 19, 2012

An Opinion Piece




The following is my opinion and although it is about humor, it is not funny.

A petition is circulating asking NBC and CBS to stop allowing the use of material that jokes about hepatitis C. The petition is moving, reasonable, and timely. I was going to sign it, in solidarity to those many people I care about who have died, or will die from this disease. I decided not to for the following reasons:

  1. Although distasteful and insensitive, bad publicity is better than no publicity. Millions of people have hepatitis C and do not know it. Although a proper awareness campaign is needed, a few tasteless jokes might do more good than harm.
  2. I believe that when we can laugh at our pain, healing begins. The problem here is that the writers for CBS and NBC are doing the laughing, but it is a start. Besides, I love a good hep C joke.
  3. I am not a fan of censorship. I don’t want to sign a petition that tells people what they can and cannot say. Please don’t send a petition around asking me to stop my silly blog. We have off buttons so we can control what comes into our lives.
If you want to view or sign the petition, visit this link.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Making Lemonade Out of Lactulose

I wish I could write a funny song about having hepatitis C, but alas, I am no song-writer. However, singer, song-writer Brother Dan Palmer, a man on the liver transplant list, has injected his own brand of humor into a lousy situation. Dealing with hepatic encephalopathy, Brother Dan shows that this serious liver-related dementia doesn't need to be taken completely serious.

So pour yourself a shot of lactulose, sit back and listen to Brother Dan's music: Lactulose is My Friend While you are at it, listen to Dan's other songs. Thank you Brother Dan for allowing me to share this. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Language of the Liver


The word liver traces its origins to a number of languages, including Old English and German. It may mean to “fatten up.” This seems particularly apt, given the rise of fatty liver disease in the United States.
The liver produces bile, which is necessary for the digestion of fats. Bile passes through a duct system that rivals the Alaskan pipeline. Most of the bile pours into the small intestine, where it breaks down fat. Some bile is stored in the gall bladder.
The immune system depends on the liver. Drugs and alcohol are metabolized by the liver. The liver is an important player in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
To “fatten up” just doesn’t do the liver justice. It seems to do a little of EVERYTHING

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Winner of the April Fool’s Day Contest is…


On April Fool’s Day, I posted the following challenge:
I’ll provide the opening line(s); you provide the joke. Use either of the following, or a variation on the theme:
  • A liver walks into a bar…
  • Two livers are sitting at a bar…

Here are the results: 
First Place
A liver walks into a bar, sits at a kidney table and orders a fuzzy naval drink; looks in the corner and see a heart and brain playing tic tac toe; says "I'm otta here, I don't have the stomach for this." - Gary P.

Second Place
Two livers are sitting in the bar, the one says, "I'll have a shot of Chivas!" the other liver, a little hard of hearing says, "I know right?! I'm shot to chivas too!" - Marnie S.  

Honorable Mentions
Two livers are sitting at a bar. One liver takes a long hard look at the other liver. “What's wrong? Why are you staring at me?” The other liver says. The staring liver replies, “Gee, you must come here often....you're as yellow as your beer.” - Jennifer R.

Two livers sitting in a bar, sez one to the other, "OMG, look those two worn out pathetic livers sitting there suckin’ down their booze"..."You idiot" sez the other, "That's a mirror, that's us!" - Michael J.

Two livers walk into a bar. One orders a soft drink, the other straight ethanol. The teetotaler say, “Hey, you know we’re not supposed to have alcohol.” The other liver says, It’s OK, I have cancer and my doctor ordered percutaneous ethanol injections. I figure it’ll help if I drink some too.” - Anonymous


Two livers sit in a bar, one liver is crying.-Why are you crying ?- Because the doctor told me I am sick and I must take one pill take one of these pills everyday. If not I die.- OK, you are sick, but the good news is there is a treatment to fight the disease- Sure, but the bad news is that the doctor prescripted me ten pills only. with no renewal. - Ozias M.

Thank you brave contestants!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Liver Fluke


When I get bored, I search the Internet to see if anyone has posted anything funny about the liver. After all, bile ducts and hepatitic enzymes are lightening rods for comedians. While surfing about, I found an interesting article about liver fluke. Yes, liver fluke.
Yes, I know what a fluke is (a parasitic flatworms), but I just couldn’t help thinking about other liver flukes. Imagine a surgeon doing a liver transplant, and opening up someone’s chest cavity and not finding a liver. Would that be a fluke?

Liver Fluke Article

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Taxing the Liver


U.S. income taxes are due soon. (Did I hear a groan? Another liver making extra bile?) It isn’t all bad—plenty of comedians have made a living off income tax jokes, an income they have to pay taxes on. Here are a few jokes to help take the sting out of tax day:
“The Internal Revenue Code is about 10 times the size of the Bible—and unlike the Bible, contains no good news.” – Don Rickles
“It's tax time. I know this because I'm staring at documents that make no sense to me, no matter how many beers I drink.” – Dave Barry
“It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.” – Dave Barry
“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.” – Will Rogers
Hope the ordeal doesn't tax you liver...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hepatitis C Poetry


April is poetry month. To observe this celebration, this week’s Hepatitis Comics will be hepataining rather than humorous. Here is a link to a poem by Michele Leavitt, a poet who has hepatitis C. The poem is titled, Viral Sestina. A sestina is a 39-line poem consisting of six stanzas of six lines each. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas. Notice the clever last stanza, which is actually the 7th.
Viral Sestina by Michele Leavitt published in Mezzo Cammin, Volume 6, Issue 2

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool’s Day Contest


Today is April Fool’s Day – the holiday that humor bloggers wait all year for. It is the day when pranksters make up things and try to lure an unsuspecting audience into believing something that isn’t true. I am not going to even attempt this because I am positive that Hepatitis Comics readers are too savvy for a common prank, besides, you can’t be unsuspecting if I have already told you what I would have done if you weren’t suspecting it.
So this April, I am opening up the blog to readers to come up with some liver-related jokes. The jokes don’t have to be very funny, but if you have one that makes me laugh out loud, I’ll send you a copy of my book, Free from Hepatitis C (no joke). I will accept entries from anywhere in the world.
I’ll provide the opening line(s); you provide the joke. Use either of the following, or a variation on the theme:
A liver walks into a bar…
Two livers are sitting at a bar…
The deadline is April 25th. I’ll post the entries on April 28th.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Going Viral

This morning I was musing over videos that go viral (an interesting choice of words). Obviously, I don’t want hepatitis C to go viral as it already has. Hep C replicates a trillion times a day in one liver—wouldn’t it be great if we could raise awareness at the same rate?
With this in mind, how about representing the liver as a cartoon character? I’ve got the perfect name—Liverace. I can just see it now, sort of a SpongeBob SquarePants figure, wearing a sequined tux with tails, sitting in front of his piano and signature candelabra. Liverace would play the Hepatitis Blues or Brahm's Bile Concerto for Piano and have a fabulous wardrobe. 
To see a link of one of Liberace’s Vegas shows, click here. (Note: there is potentially offensive material in this clip.) 
Perhaps this is a bit schmaltzy, but who says hepatitis C has to be dull?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Another Liver-Eating Legend


Probably the most famous liver-eater was Liver-Eating Johnson. His real name was Johnston, but I guess once you start eating livers, people don’t care about the correct spelling of your name. Anyway, there are various accounts about Johnson, and the line between truth and fable are blurry.
The version I’ll tell is that he was married to a pregnant Native American Indian woman who was murdered by Crows (people, not the birds). He went on a revenge spree, killing Crows and eating the liver of everyone he killed. He may have gotten the idea from the Crows as they used to eat the raw livers from their game, believing it gave them the vitality of the animal that they ate.
This is not where the expression “eating crow” came from. (My apologies for the politically incorrect, barely amusing pun.)
P.S. The movie, Jeremiah Johnson was based on Liver-Eating Johnson. It stars Robert Redford. I don’t remember any liver-eating, but I saw the movie in the 1970’s – long before I even realized I had a liver.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Liver-Eating Legend


I am still on this movie kick.The 1976 motion picture The Message, chronicles the story of Islamic prophet, Mohammad. In accordance with Islamic law, Mohammad is never depicted on screen. The English version of the film stars Anthony Quinn as Mohammad’s uncle and foster brother, Hamza. Irene Pappas plays Hind, the wife of Mohammad’s enemy. During the Battle of Uhud, Hind eats or tastes Hamza’s liver. Not very lady-like. Hope she used a fork.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

More Cinematic References to the Liver


Still on an Oscar kick,  I did more liver searching in the Internet Movie Database (imdb). There are 5 titles listed for cod-liver oil, along with mentions of chopped-liver, calf-liver, liver pâté, liver soup and goose liver.
The term liver-transplant shows up 13 times, most famously in Seven Pounds starring Will Smith. Liver-failure, liver donor, cirrhosis of the liver, liver abscess, liver-disease and liver cancer. For what it’s worth, I stopped watching House because I am disgusted with how he treats hepatitis C.
Also mentioned in imdb: liver-spot and liver-eating-mutant (an episode of The X-Files). The liver is sooooo cinematic. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cinematic References to the Liver


In honor of the Oscars, I performed an Internet Movie Database search for cinematic references to the liver. The most famous comes from Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins plays a psychopathic serial killer, Hannibal Lector who said that he ate a victim’s liver served with “some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Here is imdb’s list of movies/shows with liver in the title:
·          The Liver Eaters aka Spider Baby (US 1968)
·          The Fast Liver aka Gokudo (Japan, 1968)
·          The Liver Birds (UK 1969; TV)
·          Bad Liver & a Broken Heart (US 1996; short)
·          I'd Rather Have Cod Liver Oil aka Dann schon lieber Lebertran (UK 1931; short)
·          Fried Liver aka Tezhvzhik (Soviet Union1962; short)
·          The Cannibal's Liver (UK 2007; short)
·          Brown's German Liver Cure (UK 1911; short)
·          Liver and Bunions aka Cured in the Excitement (US 1927; short)
·          I Am Joe's Liver (US 1984; short)
·          Liver-Colored Dew (US 2005; short)
·          Liver It Up (US 2011; short)
·          The Chopped Liver Brothers (US 1977 TV)
·          The Lightning Liver Cure (US 1920)
·          The Lobster and the Liver: The Unique World of Jim Woodring (Canada 2010; documentary)
Finally, a five-minute short video called, Liver (US 2005). The synopsis is, “Guy is looking for work, in a small town. The job he finds isn't what he expected.” It is listed as a comedy. Has anyone seen it?
I can see it now—the annual Liver Film Festival. Move over Cannes, it is time to share the spotlight. Obviously it should be hosted in Liverpool.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Insults to the Liver


On a recent Daily Show, Jon Stewart quipped that the approval rating of Congress is slightly below hepatitis C - what an insult to hepatitis C!
And while we are on the subject, can you imagine getting a phone call from an opinion pollster asking what your opinion, “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate hepatitis C?” Compared to what? Hep A? Gonorrhea? A sharp stick in the eye? Being trapped in an elevator with an opinion pollster?