Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Laff of the Day #3

It was 4:35pm and my officemates were giggling about a question on a CDC survey.

"How many times per week do you check you feet for sores?" the Eternal Paid Volunteer Temp read from his screen. "A. daily, B. 3-5 times, C. 1-2 times, D. less than once a week, or E. no feet."

Giggle giggle giggle.

"No feet? Why would that be a choice?" said Cindy with an S.

"Maybe it's a survey for diabetes," I said.

"Ohhh. Maybe."

"My mom and I carried my grandfather's leg home from the hospital," said the Epidemiologist.


"He had diabetes and they amputated his leg below the knee," she explained. "In Taiwan we believe that the whole body must be present at the time of cremation. So we put it in a jar and took it home."

At that point it was open season for dumb questions from dumb Americans.

"Did you put it in the freezer?" I asked.

"Did you wrap it in something first?" Cindy with an S asked.

"What? Whaat?? Whaaaattt??" the Eternal Paid Volunteer Temp kept saying.

"Did your grandfather know you brought it home?" I asked.

"It was big. Not in the freezer. It still had some flesh on it. We had to use something to preserve it. In a jar. I don't know if he knew we had it. It was a year before he passed away. This was all in Taiwan."

"If it's a Taiwanese custom then the hospital is probably used to getting requests like that."

"Well if it's part of his body they can't refuse to let him have it, right?"

"I bet in the US they have all sorts of restrictions on that." (Turns out, not as many as you'd think.)

Super V wandered in to molest the espresso machine. "Hello, everyone. What's so funny?"

"The Epidemiologist says she and her mom put her grandfather's amputated leg in a jar and took it home from the hospital."

"Interesting. Did you put it in the freezer?" Super V asked.

In Thailand my Thai co-workers loved to crack one particular joke that was only funny if you had learned English with a Thai accent.

"You want some fruit?" Ahn the driver would ask me, holding out a large cluster of fresh long kong.

"Thank you," I'd say.

"Hahahaha! You want some fruit?" Ahn would say again, pointing to his foot. "You want eat my foot? You say you like eat foot! Hahaha!"

It took me a long time to get that one.

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