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June 10, 2024

Seven things I've done once that I don't plan to ever do again


1. Ride in a helicopter (sometime in the early 1990s from an anesthesia meeting hotel to Houston International Airport)

2. Ride on a motorcycle as a passenger (behind a med school classmate on the San Diego Freeway [north] from West Los Angeles to the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Hospital during a psychiatry rotation in 1973. I never opened my eyes once while we were on the freeway. I found a car ride home.)

3. Reintubate a patient in the prone [face down] position midway through a spinal fusion (once I ignored the fact that I was on my back under the drapes on the OR floor, it was pretty much the same process as doing it the routine way — except that instead of lifting the laryngoscope handle, I had to pull down — hard! — on it.)

4. Write a play (the one I completed was accepted for performance but then the theater company went kaput)

5. Write a novel (a medical thriller whose premise remains valid today. Once in a while I think about serializing it in bookofjoe but the thought quickly passes.)

6. Climb to an altitude of nearly 18,000 feet (above, a photo of the Thorong La Pass in the Nepalese Himalayas [not my very own, but the same route I took]. I was in very good shape at the time, with 5K times under 20 minutes back home in LA. I noticed no alterations in my vision, but I was breathing very rapidly and heavily and moving my feet ever so slowly forward, taking about one step every 5-10 seconds.)

7. Eat Vietnamese beef jerky that was actually hairy, with brown strands about a quarter-inch long covering it (in Cincinnati). Once you closed your eyes and concentrated on chewing, it wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Still...)

I'm interested in your contributions to this category, which I'll call "one and done."

June 10, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


Eat dog.

Eat uni (sea urchin).


Posted by: antares | Jun 14, 2024 6:50:23 PM

what is it with driving 135 in Florida?

i did that too.

(might not be on the list of seven . . . )

Posted by: JohnM | Jun 14, 2024 1:50:29 PM

1. Watch the 1985 Soviet-Belorussian anti-war film "Come and See"
2. Climb up Stone Mountain at one a.m. by myself (I think/hope Stone Mountain Park doesn't let you do that anymore)
3. Ride in a little Cessna with someone who thinks it would be funny to do several whip stalls (Tamra jogged my memory with this one)
4.Try to do anything somewhat physically challenging that I've never done before with people watching
5. Try to play golf (see #4)
6. Laugh softly but audibly for any innocent reason whatsoever while sitting in an audience made up mostly of people who are parents/relatives of the singers at the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions
7. Try to "pet" an octopus

Posted by: Flautist | Jun 14, 2024 12:56:46 AM

Scatter ashes of a loved one downwind
Eat sea urchin, frogs legs or alligator
Skinny dip in a rock quarry with friends
Go along on a flight lesson with a friend practicing stalls in a Cessna prop plane.
Float in the Dead Sea with fresh scratches on my legs

Posted by: tamra | Jun 13, 2024 10:13:56 PM

Wow, this one got people going.
I don't know why "drink tequila with Canadians" sounds so funny, but it does.

I have eaten and enjoyed both haggis and menudo, and would again.

I have driven at least 135 mph, in Florida, on a flat, empty, very isolated road in broad daylight.
I wasn't even young, but decided it was stupid when I saw the phone poles
passing by like blip-blip-blip-blip-blip-blip-blip.

Posted by: Luke | Jun 11, 2024 5:09:17 PM

Eat sea cucumber sushi. Horrible taste and texture.
Run from the police. Long story short. On my motorcycle. Got away. I was paranoid I would get caught and left my bike in a friends garage for a month.

Posted by: Mike | Jun 11, 2024 9:23:13 AM

1. Watch “The Exorcist”
2. Drink tequila with Canadians
3. Go sledding in Mürren above the Lauterbrunnen valley while drunk with Canadians
4. Go to sleep because I’m sure Australia just cannot lose that match against England
5. Make pumpkin pie from scratch

Posted by: CB | Jun 10, 2024 11:45:43 PM

never again:
1. get married
2. ride as passenger on a motorcycle
3. eat haggis
4. eat menudo
5. work full time (currently re-thinking my current consulting gig for 20 hrs/wk)
6. loan friends money

Posted by: Penny Tanz | Jun 10, 2024 9:50:37 PM

Drive 135 mph on a public highway. I was young, stupid and in Florida at 2am.

Posted by: Markh | Jun 10, 2024 6:28:14 PM

Wow, 18k feet! I did 13k at Arapahoe Basin when I was super fit at 25. I got altitude sickness, but the first thing I did when I got there was grab a beer, smoke a joint and hop in the hot tub. I barely made it up the 2 flights of stairs to go to bed. I was fine after that night.

Posted by: Gregory Perkins | Jun 10, 2024 5:47:11 PM

I was married 6 times

Posted by: HL | Jun 10, 2024 2:17:51 PM

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