The Human Body, That Marvel of Bad Design
by Rob Schultheis
Mar 10, 2011 | 1813 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Intelligent design,” my petrified Teutonic tailbone. Thanks to a recent series of medical catastrophes and crises I’ve gotten to know a whole lot more than I ever wanted to about the internal machinery and functions of my body, how it takes in food, water and air, generates energy and tosses out the leftovers, while an array of sense organs perpetually scope out the surrounding environment for potential hazards and possible female partners.

And I have to tell you, Rube Goldberg, Donald Duck and W. Heath Robinson, after an all-night session of consuming Cosmopolitans,

toad sweat, yohimbine and kif, could have come up with a better, more functional biological apparatus than the one we are stuck with.

If you don’t believe me, just open up any human anatomy book and take a gander at what’s inside you. It’s an appalling mess, with unnecessary accessories and WTF appendages jammed in helter-skelter like the accumulation of surreally nonsensical claptrap in the garages and basements of one of those weirdo hoarders on TV. I mean, do we really need an appendix, whose sole function seems to be to occasionally malfunction, usually when one is on a remote mountaintop or an isolated wilderness area far from the nearest road, doctor or hospital, produce debilitating pain and then explode like a lump of C4, destroying everything in the area and ending the owner’s life?

It’s kind of like buying an expensive high-tech car, and when the salesman lifts the hood there’s a little red metal cylinder sitting there off to one side, you ask the guy what it is, and he says, “Oh, that’s a Frigginkaboomadoodle; we’re putting it in all our new models.”

“What does it do?”

“Ninety-nine point nine per cent of the time, nothing. But once in awhile, no telling when, one of them starts shooting sparks, and it automatically disconnects the steering, turns the braking system off, and locks the gas pedal to the floor. The parking brake falls apart, the ignition key locks in the ‘on’ position, and the seat belt buckles jam. It usually happens when you’re driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel on Sunday evening after a peak ski weekend, or driving down the Devil’s Backbone or the Moqui Dugway.”

And the gall bladder. Don’t even talk to me about the gall bladder. I never even knew I had one till one night I woke up thinking that a rabid mud shark was gnawing away at my right side. The pain got worse and worse, and I tried everything I could think of to reduce it, and ended up in the guest bedroom downstairs, coiled up on the floor like a tumblebug, half on my head and half on my shoulder.

Every breath I took hurt so much that I made an involuntary sound, something between a groan and a gasp. Finally, after a night that seemed to drag on forever, I somehow managed to make it to the emergency room, where they hooked me up to an IV loaded with meperidine or morphine sulfate. A couple of hours later, when I felt normal enough to go home, I asked the ER doc exactly what the gall bladder did (he had already ascertained that I was having a severe gall bladder attack, possibly related to the hepatitis C that has been hassling me for years).

“Well, we’re not really sure, exactly. I mean, we could remove it surgically and it probably wouldn’t really impact your health. “

Oh, really? Well, bloody marvelous, as they like to say in Ye Olde England, in tones of heavy irony: Why is it there in the first place, then?

And then there’s the foot. Was Edsel Ford on duty, or some minimum wage temp from the Bocephus County labor pool, the night they decided to load the human foot with a delicate mosaic of frail bones and ultra-sensitive nerve-endings, along with toes as durable as snap beans and flimsy nails perfect for cracking, bending back or undergoing a host of other tortures?

Wouldn’t some kind of durable, calloused hoof have made more sense?

“Intelligent design,” phooey! After a lifetime of Iraqi sand flea fever, dengue, frostbite, two concussions, crushed toes, broken schnozzes, toothaches, eardrums ruptured by explosions, parrot plague, and now creeping incurable jaundice and something that looks like an SFX creepoid in my bladder, I want to go on record: You did a half-assed job, whoever or whatever you are, and if you ever decide to put out a new, improved line of Homo sapiens, could you run a few tests before you release them on the market,, and maybe throw in a satchel of spare parts?

Many thanks!
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