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Harvard Professors and Hospitals Do NOT Mix

When I was 15 years old, you could say I was kind of a nightmare. Not that I was a rude withdrawn teen, just the kind that would steal all your liquor and fill it with water/juice. My parents seriously had a dinner party where they poured everyone cocktails that ended up being “water and tonics” and “apple juice on the rocks.”

I liked to tinker with mind-altering substances okay?!

Soooo one fateful Friday, my friends and I came back to my house after school, and decided it was a good time to get fucked up. It was 4 in the afternoon after all. We took some shots, and then had the grand idea of smoking weed – but we didn’t have an apparatus or rolling papers.

Because we went to private school and were really smart, we problem solved this dire drawback, and realized we could make a pipe out of an apple. I know. Pretty genius. My friend Lila went to work on this task, but since we were already pretty wasted, she ended up slicing her finger.

My initial reaction was “she’s fine, let’s move on.” Partly because I didn’t want to get in trouble for my friend hurting herself at my house, and partly because we still had weed to smoke. My other friend Marla however did not agree. She was using paper towels to physically hold Lila’s finger on, and insisted we go to the hospital. I resisted. You see, I was raised by WASPs, so we didn’t do things like admit pain or decapitated limbs.

Marla was relentless and eventually I gave in. So us five drunken high school girls put on our winter coats, and started walking to Mass General Hospital. On our way, as Marla was still holding Lila’s finger on, we ran into my Dad on the street. I did my best not to slur my words.

Toni: Oh hi Dad. We are just going to the hospital because Lila cut her finger. Shouldn’t take too long. Umm… do you want to come?
My Dad: No I do not! I fell on the subway steps and hurt my hands! Look!!

My dad then showed us all the palms of his hands. They were a little pink, and still had gravel on them, but not bleeding. It’s not like… ohhh I don’t know… he had almost cut his finger off and needed to go to the hospital.

Toni: Okay. Well see you later.

My dad continued on his way, and we inebriated girls continued on ours. You see, my dad is a Harvard Professor who is AMAZING at all things intellectual, but just is not interested in most things human. Like dealing with hurt teenagers who need medical attention. Anything that takes him away from his cerebral pursuits is major anxiety for him. Plus, he had fallen and hurt his hands remember!! He had to recover from that.

We finally got to the hospital, and I was starting to panic a little. I really wanted Lila to be okay because I really didn’t want to get in trouble. I rushed over to the front desk to talk to the receptionist.

Toni: My friend needs help!
Receptionist: What seems to be the problem?
Toni: She’s almost cut her finger off…
Receptionist: Did she hurt her eye or her ear?
Toni: What? No…
Receptionist: Well, this is Mass EYE and EAR.
Toni: It’s not “Mass Eye, Ear and Finger?”
Receptionist: Afraid not. You’re going to have to go to Mass GENERAL, which is further down the road.

Eventually we got to the RIGHT hospital, and Lila was taken by the doctor to get checked out. As we are waiting for her to return, Lila’s parents showed up, as did my dad. We sat in silence. Lila’s parents were furious at me for feeding their daughter alcohol and allowing her to get hurt. I was freaking out wondering if my dad had found the apple, weed, and bloody knife we had left on the kitchen counter. And my dad was livid because now he was at the hospital out of his Catholic guilt, and wanted to be home working while not thinking about his sore hands.

In the end it turns out I was totally wrong, Marla was right, and Lila needed 20 stitches to keep her finger attached to her hand.

This is my Dad… and this pretty much sums up his essence.

PS yes he is in a bubble bath

dad in the bath

8 Responses to Harvard Professors and Hospitals Do NOT Mix

  1. Laszlo Nagy says:

    This frightening trip down memory lane makes me wonder what your daughter will be like in ten short years from now. I don’t know how people cut fingers off while smoking weed through apples. I didn’t understand it then. I don’t understand it now. But for sure, the friends stuck together as a deliberative body. But to think the tragedy would not have happened had one not thought to smoke marijuana through an apple.

  2. Olga Davidson says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Admit it. You just wrote this absurd story because you wanted to use that picture of your dad. We just saw the new Noah Baumbach movie where there was an apple bong reference he still does not know what it is. Actually, neither do I really since I don’t know how to make one. I think I will go look up how on YouTube.

  3. Greg Nagy says:

    Fairly accurate memories here. Though maybe not “Total Recall”! But I’m blanking out completely about the bubble bath. Total Amnesia. Must have been long about, because I look 100 years younger. Who shot the picture? Where did you get that “candid moment”? Love, Dad

  4. Robin Olson says:

    Best Picture Ever!

  5. Robin Olson says:

    This is the picture we’re going to use from now on when colleagues need a head shot to publicize a lecture by Greg!

  6. Dan Petegorsky says:

    You should’ve used an orange instead. Better flavor, less injury potential. And Greg could’ve used the juice to salve his wounds.

  7. Lily says:

    Smoking pot out of an apple sounds like a very healthy way to engage in the habit. Apple season is upon us!

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