Article Date: 7/1/2010

A "Pullet Surprise" Award
lessons learned

A "Pullet Surprise" Award

A crotchety, old author writes a humorous book on pet peeves

JACK RUNNINGER, O.D.

Did you hear about the rooster who startled the hen? It won him a "Pullet Surprise" Award.

While it may not win a "Pullitzer Prize," I have co-authored a book, Fixing Stupid: Two Curmudgeons' Pet Peeves. Since it's about the things that irk cantankerous old men, it could prove a helpful resource in learning what not to do with senior patients (which would also make it a textbook, and thus tax deductible?).

A portion of the Editor's Note that describes the book follows:

What it's about

…This book is a discussion by two curmudgeons of their resultant pet peeves.

The second part was written by Humorist Jack Runninger, who has received many state and national awards for his newspaper and magazine humor columns. His approach is on seeking the humor and satire in the crazy and aggravating things that people do.

No respect

Here's an excerpt that illustrates one of the pet peeves that irk me and other old folks:

What really gripes me is being called "Nita" instead of "Mrs. Read," an 80-year-old friend told me. "It's like they think older folks should be treated as if they are in their second childhood.

"I once caught a receptionist of mine addressing an elderly patient who had just come to the window, ‘Hi, Rose. Have a seat. Dr. London will see you in a few minutes," wrote Oscar London in his book, "Kill As Few Patients As Possible."

Outraged, the patient said, "How dare you call me Rose! Tell Oscar that Mrs. Schwartz decided to find another doctor."

Two cantankerous old men have their say in the book Fixing Stupid.

Can't hear, not stupid

Another chapter deals with caring for older patients who don't hear as well as they used to:

As I get older, my sense of hearing just isn't what it used to be. Thus, I often find myself not comprehending what's being discussed, because I don't hear all of the conversation. It irks me when other folks interpret this miscomprehension as being due to senility rather than hearing loss.

Medical Economics once told of the elderly woman who was undergoing a physical exam. "Big breaths," said the physician as he placed his stethoscope on her chest.

"Yes," she sighed. "But you should have seen them 40 years ago!"

"Another problem is the difficulty of keeping up with hearing aids since they are so small and easily misplaced. And expensive! George Home once told me of an elderly gentleman undergoing an ear exam.

"Why do you have a suppository in your ear?" asked the physician.

"Thank God," replied the gentleman. "Now I know where I lost my hearing aid!"

If you want it

And now for an admittedly crass sales pitch: If you decide you can't live without this wisdom and humor, you can send your mailing address and a check for $12.95 to Jack Runninger, 2663 No. Broad Ext., Rome, Ga. 30161. If you'll allow me to autograph it so I can feel like a big shot, I won't add any mailing costs. OM


JACK RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@COMCAST.NET.

Optometric Management, Issue: July 2010