Saturday, April 19, 2003

"Coming back to your angle on the engineering flaw during the construction of the penis - I guess the MAN UPSTAIRS was not a very good engineer eh? You may be right. Maybe that’s why his Son gave up his profession as a carpenter and became a healer and a teacher instead."

Woody Loh brings up an interesting question...."Did God mess up the human design? And if so, did he do it on purpose?"

That God....what a comedian!

I suppose you would have to approach this ponderance from several angles, taking into consideration evolution (Darwin's theory anyway...) and what our society has created along the way. Did God screw up or is the human being engaging the body in acts not meant for the design prototype?

When I was in high school, I had a biology teacher named Jim Lamb who was pretty heavily involved in research on the pineal gland and was dissecting some poor lizard, native to the New Mexican mountains and peering at it's innards through the use of an electron microscope at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Dr. Lamb was a small framed, hyper individual who was married to an Asian woman....not that being married to an Asian woman mattered but it certainly got my attention, having been raised in an "Asian" environment by parents who had lived in Asia a good part of their lives. I was interested in what Dr. Lamb had to say and made many visits to his office to pick his brain.

Dr. Lamb had a theory....that humans, in the far off future would be devoid of fingernails, body hair, an appendix and the sacrum. He said these "parts" were kick backs of evolution and that in today's modern world we didn't need them. Makes sense doesn't it? What I could never figure out was where Darwin left off and God picked up the ball. Or vice versa. You see, I was raised in a Southern Baptist environment where "Darwin" was a bad name. The "Big Bang" theory was not a viable option as far as the non-drinking, non-smoking, non-farting, non-cussing, non-dancing Baptists were concerned.

I was confused as a kid. What was right? Both the Adam & Eve theory and the Darwin theory sounded good to me, a case of early incongruity. But, as a kid I had other, more pressing matters that plagued me like hightops or lowtops? The six-million dollar man or The Incredible Hulk? So, my confusion became suppressed for the time being.

Pan a few years ahead....

After my short but "no big deal" stint as an astronaut (just kidding...that one was for Chris), I began working as a surgical a.k.a., "Operating Room Technician." Really, it was "No Big Deal" and it was fun, witnessing the human body all ripped open and glistening organs and tissues exposed for all to see. My favorite surgical services were general surgery and eye surgery, the latter due to the cleanliness of the field and the simplicity of setting up the instruments, which were all intricate and tiny.

My least favorite service was orthopedics. This was way too much like carpentry and I practically failed at shop class in high school. Screws, pins, reciprocating saws, chisels, drills and the like. It was brutal. But, being a well-rounded CST (Certified Surgical Technician) and having to carry an on-call beeper, I had little control over what came through the Emergency Room doors in the evening.

My favorite orthopedic surgeon was Dr. Ratchet (name changed to protect the guilty). He was a kind, soft spoken, elderly man who wore a large, wooden cross around his neck. Naturally, to me this symbol meant Dr. Ratchet was a man of God who did not drink, smoke, fart, cuss or dance. He had devoted his life to the honorable profession of medicine and had undergone the hippocratic oath.

Well, as fate may have it, one sunny afternoon I was beeped. A college football player had injured himself during a game and had blown out his knee in the worse way. I arrived at the hospital, set up my gown and gloves and went off to scrub as the circulating nurse was preparing the room. Dr. Ratchet sidled up next to me and peered over his half glasses at me....

"Sports Medicine," he said.

"Huh?" I replied.

"My specialty. I'm only slumming here, bidding time until I can open my practice." he commented.

"Ah...I see," was my intellectual reply before rinsing and backing into the surgical suite.

The patient prepped and draped, we moved up to the field and I handed Dr. Ratchet his scalpel blade. (This was well before the advent of fiberoptics) Up went the tourniquet cuff and the time was recorded, then Dr. Ratchet began to cut. We entered the knee and soon we were swimming in irrigation fluid, the glistening surface of bone gleaming in the overhead lights.

The surgery shifted from exploration to a complicated ACL repair (Anterior Cruciate Ligament to you laypeople). Sweat beaded on Dr. Ratchets forehead as he manipulated the knee to and fro, the alert circulating nurse prompting Dr. Ratchet from time to time to turn away from the sterile field so she could dab at his moist forehead before a bacteria laden drop of sweat was allowed to drip onto the sterile field.

The majority of the case complete and the repair being tested, Dr. Ratchet broke the silence in the surgical suite with:

"God sure fucked up when he made the knee!"

The anesthesiologist snickered....

The circulating nurse harumphed....

I was in shock. What blasphemy!

Mentally I cowered, waiting for the bolt of lightning to come out of the ceiling and ignite the anesthetic gases used to keep the patient under. But nothing happened that afternoon. We stitched the kid up, placed a bandage on his knee, wrapped the leg in ace bandage and placed his leg in an immobilizer. He was ushered out and I began breaking down my set-up when Dr. Ratchet came up and thanked me for my assistance.

"Yup," I managed....

...somehow feeling that my opinion of this "Man of the Cloth" had changed....along with my feelings about God. Now I had doubts. Perhaps God wasn't as "perfect" as the Baptist's had initially taught me....perhaps "Sports" weren't a part of the game plan.....perhaps Jim Lamb was right and we were just a kick back product of evolution.

Well, I'll probably never know the true score, but of late I've got more pressing concerns to deal with, such as....

Pissing a straight stream.



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