Diagnosis + 102 Days


Yes, cancer (a.k.a. Hodgkins, The Disease, It, The Beast from the East, Frank the Cancer Guy) is now suffering greatly at the hands of my treatment protocol. I am halfway through with chemo and will be having lots of fun tests next week, most of which begin with the phrase said by a friendly nurse in a starched smock, "Mr. Saltman, Drink this large container of white, viscous liquid and strip down to your skivvies." One good thing, I get another dose of Gallium. Look in the northern sky for glowing lights - this would be me.

While I am hardly one to find any good in cancer, there are few things that I have learned. First, I now have an array of good conversational weapons to disarm not only single opponents, but entire teams of opposing counsel and businesspersons. For example, good conversation stoppers include:

a) [said with a wide, beaming grin] "Boy, am I queasy or what?"

b) "I like that investment proposal, have I shown you my porto-cath?"

...and the crowd's favorite:

c) "Stool softener anyone?"

I won't bore you with the list of successful negotiations which I have conducted utilizing these and myriad other important tools gleaned from my experience with cancer. Let me just leave you with three words: "baldness theme park"

As some of you know, my belief in astrology and other alternative curative strategies has also increased during my treatment. This isn't to say that I have completely abandoned traditional medicine, but I have found that sticking crystals up my nose helps me focus those hidden primal energies, especially when I see the expression on the faces of the other drivers, and most of all when I use the large, purple crystal with the dangling glitter strings hanging off of it. Seeing the face of the guy in the Cadillac yesterday would help anyone's attitude.

But my main point is to promote my new horoscope column, which I am submitting to Major Publications around the country. This will be a horoscope for all people and will reflect their astrological needs. I am including this week's horoscope for all of you who feel the need for extra guidance.

(To be printed before every column):

The following horoscope is copyrighted and if you infringe on the copyright, terrible things will happen to you, additionally your children's hamsters will die immediately after you arrive home from the pet store, though that will probably happen anyway since hamsters don't live very long and pet store owners are known to sell primarily geriatric hamsters, keeping the young, fit hamsters as gifts for important visitors and their own spoiled kids.

Gemini: The word "swine" appears in conversations all week. Pay it no attention.

Virgo: That important event you have been striving for all these years finally happens. Pay it no attention and make that rash decision you've been trying to get out of your head all day. Additionally, you will feel nausea.

Sagittarius: What can I say? You've got it made. Everything will go right this week. If anything goes wrong, sue a Pisces, you'll probably win.

Pisces: You will be robbed and beaten at knifepoint. It doesn't get much worse than this, except that the attacker also brings up that nasty incident between you and your spouse. You feel guilty and swollen for the rest of the week. You may be sued by a Sagittarius

Cancer: A Virgo vomits uncontrollably all over your Chanel suit. Pay it no attention or get a Sagittarius lawyer.

Libra: As Pluto enters the fifth house, you enter the fourth house. Unfortunately, this is not your house. Continual forgetfulness and preoccupation are the mainstay of the week.

Capricorn: A co-worker starts to cause trouble. You tell them to calm down. They refuse and reach for their desk. You jump and beat them to the letter opener. The two of you grapple and fall the floor. A ref calls time-out and you win on points. Take that to the bank!

Aries: Your new logo and brand identifier for the stool softener product is a hit! But you are too embarrassed to tell anybody. You are inducted into the National Stool Softener Hall of Fame in a quiet ceremony with 3 attendees. You get a golden stool on which you sit and contemplate your identity.

Leo: Fabulous astrological activity indicates continued breathing activity on your part. Otherwise, not much happens, count your blessings.

Scorpio: Don't paint yourself into a corner with co-workers or loved ones and for God's sake, stay away from Virgo's.

Aquarius: A close friend or spouse claims to have lived in London. Pay it no attention.

Taurus: If you had listened when your parents were talking you wouldn't need advice from a horoscope. Straighten up your act, brush your teeth more often, excercise and for chrissake put down that twinkie!


"Thomas Hodgkins Died of Natural Causes"

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