Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Failure of the Day: 220

It should come as no surprise that the best part of the bajillion cable channels streaming digitally into our apartment is the astonishing level of specialization that the sheer number of channels entails. And as the poster girl for the varieties of pathology, it should be even less of a surprise that my favorite channel is 220: The Discovery Health Network.

Over the months, I have watched shows called Face-Eating Tumor and 160 Pound Tumor and I Am My Own Twin and the refusing-to-be-outdone 200 Pound Tumor. I flirted with the notion of being slightly ashamed at how much I enjoyed these shows but fell back on my trusty ole, my all purpose rationalization: I am not a tourist in these people’s pain. I am not a freak gawker; oh, no. These are my people—I am we and you are me and we are all together. When you have five incurable diseases, you watch who you are calling a freak, sister.

That’s a lie of course, and fairly heinous one—I walk easily through the world, unstared at save my hair these days. I pass. I have the great luxury of being largely anonymous in my infirmities. I am the boy/ who can enjoy/ invisibility. 160 pound tumor lady? Not so much. But in my own pathetic defense, I am most at ease in the presence of the super-ill. I am Tom Cruise in a Keanu Reeves movie: I look so frickin’ good in comparison! Who’s the healthiest person in the room? ME!

Plus the shows really are completely fascinating. I mean, c’mon…a woman who has TWO sets of DNA and who gave birth to children who do not match their mother’s DNA but are a genetic combination of their father and their mother’s brother? Who could resist that? No one! It’s irresistible!

Maybe there’ll be a show about me someday called The Girl With Everything Wrong With Her and the little circle of exploitation will be complete.


  • At June 23, 2005 3:37 PM, Blogger Squish the Klown said…

    Two sets of DNA...father and brother and what was the rest of that country song?

    616...holy, if you are still counting, there is no hope for me. Viva la Winston!


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