I Mind Mind Games

I have a new job. For health insurance purposes, I have to conduct this on-line “health and wellness” screening.

Invariably, I have difficulties negotiating these damn things, compounded by the limiting choices available to respond to questions. I fight it the whole way, growing more and more irritated. No, I do not know of any genetic mutations on my father’s side. Yes, I use clean needles when injecting sun screen into my eyeballs. I don’t know if I smoke after sex – I never look.

munch.jpgAnyway, I score low in “overall health and lifestyle.” There’s actually a question about what I plan to do about it. NOT among the answers is, “I plan to stop taking these fucked-up tests.”

It slays me how these canned examinations make a very big deal about smoking one pipe or small cigar after a meal – (I can’t make mention of the fact that I smoke NOTHING AT ALL 5 months of the year), yet don’t seem to worry about people who slurp 48 ounces of sugar water daily, or — worse — “diet soda” with levels of chemicals that rival a toxic waste dump.

Or calculating the number of hours I spend (or, in my case, DON’T spend) “exercising” without considering the hours I might spend doing active, physical work like mowing my lawn and other strenuous landscaping every fucking weekend, or walk the flights of stairs in my building numerous times a day. The question is, Do you have a regular program of exercise? The answer is, No. Not No, but. Just plain fucking No.

The “mental health” part is even fucked-upper. They toss around terms like “happiness” and “stress” like they’re measurable in kilos or quarts, and “ability to cope” like it’s horsepower or newtons. They aren’t. This is the sort of make-pretend crap psychologists develop to fool the world into thinking they’re scientists, and craft a criminal living out of it. It’s nonsense. If I could respond to nonsense, I’d be President. Or Pope.

Who concocts these intrusive bullshit surveys? Orka Winfrey?

homer_the_scream.jpgHappy people score higher on tests like this. I’m not a happy people, especially when I’m taking tests. How the hell can anybody be happy when there’s a fucking war on, Americans are losing their houses and savings, and homeless people are getting bludgeoned to death on city streets? Mentally retarded people are happy. Senile people. Wealthy Republicans. I am neither of the first two (yet), and will never be the third.

We won’t even talk about “self esteem.” Or “closure.” Friends don’t let friends use expressions like this. Years ago, at a bar, I suggest to some simpering whiner that if she wants closure, she should “Closure Mouth” and get on with her so-called life. She punches me!

Feel better now? I ask.

“Yeah,” she says, after a pause. “Thanks!”

The ingrate. I should have invoiced her .

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5 Responses to I Mind Mind Games

  1. Ms Calabaza says:

    Dear Squathole,
    it would appear to me that you are a bit distressed. If you would like to discuss this, Press #1; for psychotropic drugs that will make you believe you are a wealthy Republican, Press #2; for a quick dx that insurance companies will pay try Bipolar with Oppositional-Defiant tendencies with a hint of Asperger’s Syndrome (this one always works AND they can’t fire you); if you want a little more attention, try PTSD ~ derived from your past job; If you want CLOSURE, press #5. HAVE A HAPPY DAY!

  2. Living Will says:

    Invoice her, hell. You should have punched her back. Why should SHE be the one who gets to feel better?

  3. Libby Rae Shoen, Ph.D. says:

    Count your blessings that your responses will most likely not be reviewed by a professional counselor, but merely crunched by a computer program. As a psychologist myself, I detect every sign of a clinical depressive in your reactions, a candidate for immediate therapy. The irrational rage against authority, your projection of inner turmoil to outside sources (war, economic distress), retreat behind a facade of intellectual outrage, etc., all add up to a troubled individual.

    I will send contact information to your email address. Please accept this as nothing more than concerned encouragement to seek help.

  4. MadamI says:

    I’m not concerned, nothing that a little carrot juice, a shot of tequila and a bit of sun baking won’t cure!! Rest … it’s good for the heart! OH yeah and don’t forget to fire up that cheroot!

  5. Squathole says:

    Libby Rae: Save your email. We know each other rather well. Typically, your shrewd powers of observation, professionally honed, are too dull to figure it out. It’ll come to you when I start ranting about your particular specialties: feminism and eating disorders.

    Got it now, Doc?

    Of course you “detect every sign” in my reactions. Stereotyping and shallow reasoning is the stock in trade of your “profession.” You can’t fathom the possibility that some people genuinely object to the illogical and demeaning treatment on which these sessions are premised: to you, ideologically committed to your false science, this is an “intellectual facade.” When the Inquisition told atheists the same thing, at least they were direct, forthcoming, and honest.

    Glad you found me here, Libby Rae. I thoroughly having a real live respondent to flay rather than doing it in the abstract, and you’re always kind enough to roll over and produce some additional skin. Please come again.

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