Elbow Room

I’ve been spending most of my time in Pie Shop lately, not out on the range, due to a curious wankiness in my right elbow. Nurse Crotchett took a look at it and sent me off to physical therapy, which has meant driving into the village in real SoFLA traffic.  It’s definitely “the season” now, and I would be happier driving the E-Z Cart and picking up golf balls all day long.

Still, I’m of an age where I need to take care of these aches and pains, especially if I am to make it another 30 years to The Singularity and then live forever. I’ve already ordered Ray Kurzweil’s new book on the topic for the Pie Shop bookshelves, and a number of us frequently like to discuss the ongoing ramifications of immortality, at least when we are not examining each other for rampant immorality, which we also enjoy discussing.

I’m surprised by how many people say they would not want to live forever, but Crotchett and I agree that we both have a lot to do and see, and 20 years may not be enough, even if we are wicked buff and trim, which we are not.

When my yoga guy, smoking outside the screen door while sipping a large cup of coffee, hears us take this tack, he yells in, “That’s your ego speaking! There is nothing more. This is it. Be here now.”  We ignore him, so he takes another drag on his cigarette and walks over to the side of the building to supervise the Morning Guy’s weekly ritual of detailing his BMW R 75/5s motorcycle.

In the greater scheme of things, I understand that my sore elbow is a mere bagatelle, a glimpse into sports medicine that I’ve found to be interesting, but nothing that I want to pursue through additional injuries, neither chronic not episodic. I do like the attention that I get during physical therapy, and I hope, in my own Pollyanna fashion, that this will ultimately improve my swing. I just have to convince my mind and body to accept new instructions about alignment and rotation. Yes, I am upbeat on this topic.

I am perpetually fascinated by the possibilities presented by the human body, both in space and on earth. Some days, I just can’t wait to see what will happen next. For example, doctors have now performed the first successful full-face transplant. I thought that had been done long ago, but then I realized I was thinking of the John Travolta movie Face/Off.

I probably would not be going down this road at all, except for the fact that your second-cousin Darnell borrowed my car the other day to go over to the Pancho Villas gated community, and was too lazy to change the radio station. Consequently, he ended up listening to a lengthy discussion on bio-ethics, which left him feeling a little bit dazed and confused.

For most of us in the Pie Shop, though, the real face-transplant question was “Who would you like to look like, and why?” For me, the answer is easy: Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago. Or maybe Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.

For Darnell, though, the idea of his body perhaps sloughing off a new face was too much too consider, and even Crotchett seemed to think that the ethics of wearing someone else’s face bears additional discussion. She’s in the right Pie Shop then.

I’d love to hear what you think about this. If money were no object, would you go for a new face? How about a new heart? New elbow? Let me know.