Hot Tub Surgery Funeral


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Bizarro is brought to you today by My New Part-Time Job.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I can’t stand the idea of working for a company and having to go to meetings. Most people find a way to get through it, some probably actually enjoy it, but we artistic types live primarily inside our own heads so it is difficult for us to pay attention to people talking for long periods of time. No amount of note-taking would work for me. I’d forever be wondering what was said and then I’d get fired. A hot tub would help, though.


One reason I’ve been doing a lot of health insurance and medical cost cartoons lately is that I’ve not had medical insurance for well over a decade and my shoulder is blown out. For those you of without a medical degree, “blown out” is a technical term for when something inside your shoulder always hurts when you move your arm a certain way, and it lasts for years. I’ve done some research and am pretty sure it’s my rotator cuff. Whatever it is, it hurts like hell if I try to move my right arm above my shoulder, or reach for something in the wrong way. Surgery (in the U.S.) would be tens of thousands of dollars and I’d not be able to use my right arm for weeks while it heals. I make my living with my right arm, so it’s doubly problematic. I’m guessing I’ll just be the guy with a sore arm for the rest of my life.


BIZARRCHIVES: Here’s a fun little ditty from 1997 about a guy who didn’t need health insurance, either.



44 thoughts on “Hot Tub Surgery Funeral

  1. Hi Hope you dont mind some shoulder advice . I had a really painful shoulder for a while and I found out that Prolo therapy worked very well 2 shots and I was better . It took a couple of months but just as good as it was …Prolo therapy is a shot of lidocaine and glucose and not steroids ..It helps strengthen the area and not just reduce the inflammation …It actually causes a bit more inflammation to help support the healing process along with the glucose that feeds the tendons and ligaments …I read your comics and appreciate them , so I thought I would pass on my experience … google it …usually about $ 200 a shot . I live in Ny but I am sure you can find someone near you .

      • I have had occasional problems for thirty years with my right shoulder; for a time I couldn’t reach backwards and lift (as in picking up something from the back seat of the car). My arm is much better now. Years ago I wore a copper bracelet for awhile, and some people who saw me said that this had given them some relief. About ten years ago I took a supplement with HA — hyaluronic acid, and felt that it gave noticeable help. I have avoided surgical solutions. I’ve also been careful about not straining it. I don’t have any chronic pain now, though occasionally there are minor flareups.

        Also, the spiritual psychic dimension should be considered. I hope this is not too..uh..’bizarre’ for you? LOL I was told that I had gotten my arm chopped off in battle in a past life, and was still carrying guilt and blame about it. I also feel that excessive responsibility puts a burden on the shoulders, as in “weight of the world on my shoulders” etc. You mentioned that you make your living with that arm, so that psychological factor should be considered. Maybe watch some Eckhart Tolle videos, or do some reflection on yourself, ask for a dream vision before sleep, etc. Check yourself from time to time as to how much muscular tension you are holding in your shoulders and arms. Try to allow your arms and shoulders to be pulled towards the ground, stop holding them up from time to time. Each of us is a completely unique being, and thus we all have completely unique factors in our complex psyches which only we can unravel. Any books by Kim Michaels could also be helpful, if they speak to you.

        Best of luck and thanks for all the laughs!

  2. I am repeatedly shocked when I read of decent American citizens who do not have access to the sort of health care available in Canada. I have had rotator cuff surgery and two knee replacements that probably cost me under $100 for prescriptions and supplies. Everyone deserves such care.

      • I just remembered that I injured my shoulder a few years ago and thought it was another torn rotator cuff. Physiotherapy didn’t help, but an athletic therapist told me it was like a cup being slightly out of a saucer’s indentation. He repaired it in very little time. Your faithful readers reminded me of this with their many comments.

        I think you should cross the border, take up citizenship and get all the repairs you might need! Also, we have a store here in Alberta with 1800’types of beer.

  3. so the office of the Prime Minister is in some trouble here in Canada for blowing $67K on “lunches”.

    I posted this cartoon on twitter with the comment “Meanwhile, over at the PMO…”

    Canadian will get it.

  4. I have chronic problems with my right rotator cuff and no insurance, either. There are exercises that can help. I did actual physical therapy on it the first time I had a problem with it, back when I did have insurance, and successfully avoided needing surgery.

    Recently, I’ve taken to rubbing eucalyptus oil into the joint, and that seems to help a lot, too.

  5. Sorry to hear about your shoulder problem Dan! But this is one of the reasons I would not think about moving to the U.S. – where I live I just go to the doc, he sends me to the specialist who calls a surgeon in and schedules a date for the surgery. I take a single room because my extra insurance covers that but heck, that’s just luxury – everyone else here would get the same operation.

    What I don’t understand, really, is why there’s such a negative sentiment in the States against having the state, through taxes, arrange this for us all. Oh well, I pay more than 50% of my income to the state (we have Tax Liberation Day somewhere in June, that’s when you start working for yourself and not for the state ) but I wonder how much you would have to pay to get the same kind of almost 100% insurance.

    Worst is that the adversaries in the U.S. call it Socialism – if not outright Communism – but over here it’s defended by the full political spectrum.

    You know where I live

    • People are loathe to pay more taxes in the U.S., which is true just about anywhere, I suppose. Plus, there is a general feeling that any time the government takes over, things become less efficient and more bureaucratic. Also, people with a good income tend to think that under tax-based government programs, they are paying for lazy people, which many Americans erroneously believe is the only reason a person would be poor. It’s a tough sell in the U.S.

  6. Regarding your shoulder, it could be a muscle trigger point, easily helped by massage by someone who does trigger point therapy. Try that or take a look at Davies’ “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.”

  7. Hello. I love Bizarro, I’ve been following since the 1980s. As a surgeon, I would love to have the original art for today’s piece for my office — maybe not for the waiting room, but it’s really great so I’d find somewhere to display it or give it to a colleague as a gift. Do I understand correctly that original art is no longer available since you work on a computer?

  8. Don’t give up on your shoulder. You may have frozen shoulder which will eventually get better, but it may take six months to two years. And there’s nothing the medical profession can do about it anyway. I know, but I have had it in both my shoulders.

    • I’ve had it for over two years now. It started with a motorcycle accident I had in October of 2011. Seems to be getting worse rather than better, I’m afraid.

  9. You just know the blond is playing “footsie” with the guy who makes the most, in the office (loafers/jaguar tie).

    There’s always drama in the hot tub.

    Whitlock is genius.

  10. Try getting a massage to help your shoulder. My husband had a similar problem, and “Fingers” Fae worked on him twice and helped him out big time. Cheaper than a doctor.

  11. Ow. With less than three good shoulders between us, having had PT years ago instead of the surgery a knife-loving ortho doc wanted to do, there may be alternate options for you. The PT was not a 100% fix but pitching for the Dodgers was never going to happen anyway.

    Also, having driven myself to the brink of insanity in the previous month by surfing the web comparing a set of symptoms (different problem from above) to what it MIGHT be, it’s obvious that amateurs will always gravitate to the worst possible scenario. The internet is great and awful.

    I heard something in the news about everyone being able to get health insurance or else they get penalized after this month. Might be something to look in to.

    • Yes, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get health insurance. I’m not happy about feeding the greedy coffers of what is essentially a legalized extortion racket. :^{

      • Yeah, well. Medicare for all might ‘ ve worked better, but twasn’t in the political cards. I hope you get some relief from the discomfort.

    • Thanks. There are certain poses in yoga that I simply cannot do because of the pain, so I work around them and do alternatives. I’ve been working with my yoga instructor about it but there’s not much we can do without surgery, I’m afraid.

  12. Either I am having a serious deja-vu, or you have already had this exact joke before. I know because I liked it so much (about three or four years ago) that I had it as my computer’s wallpaper for a while.

  13. Get your shoulder fixed. Your cartoons may be funnier if you draw them with your left hand and the other side of your brain…

  14. Dan,

    Stretch your arm out straight- let it go limp-relax, (and I’ll come and visit youse and yank on your wrist. Perhaps your joint is dislocated?) Regarding your ‘tomb of terror: I hesitate to send this to my ladyfriend. (There are serious limits to her sense of humor-Haw!)

    Actually- she just got back from Brazil, and she tells me that she brung me back a present!?! Woooo-I asked if I could guess what it is?


    Ya got me a shrunken head- I have always wanted one of them!

    She hung up. (Like I said before).

    But if anybody wants bizarre(o)- I know where to find it.

    Fond regards.


    PS. Your cheque is in the mail. (No-really! It’s just that I am so far behind schedule.)

    • Definitely not dislocated, but thanks of the long-distance diagnosis. :^}

      I’ve dated humorless women before––you might want to consider moving on. Life is too short not to laugh at everything.

  15. Dan, get onto the California Health Exchange now, get insured, then get that shoulder taken care of. As is, it isn’t going to get any better. (This message is selfish of me, because I don’t want to have to go without Bizarro.)

    • Is that the best kind of health insurance I can get for cheap? I know I’m legally required to get it now but I hate to give money to that loathsome industry so I’m looking for a good, inexpensive version that I can trust. You recommend them?

  16. Pingback: The Democrats visit the Hot Tub Time Machine « Sun Country's Weblog

  17. I had rotator cuff surgery last year(also right arm). Before the operation, I did the while PT thing to no avail. The deal is, if you’ve torn the muscles, ain’t nothing gonna fix it but surgery. Ignoring it will only result in further loss of function; it’s not going to just go away.

    If/when you have the surgery, DO THE POST OP PT otherwise you just tossed a bunch of time and money down the sewer. It was no fun when I had the operation or did the PT but I’m all better now and glad I had it fixed.

    I really wish we’d have opted to expand Medicare to everyone instead of these exchanges; I’d gladly pay taxes for universal health care.

    Best of luck.

  18. Your rotator cuff won’t heal as long as you’re drawing with your right hand, because it’s aggravated by repetitive strain. Playing drums (with cymbals mounted high) has taken a toll on my right shoulder. What I’ve done is build up the muscles around the rotator cuff to take some pressure off. That and keeping my arm low while sleeping. No more putting it under pillow while lying on my side.

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