Do I even want to know?

Cidu Bill on Aug 9th 2016


Adding an Arlo tag just in case…

Filed in Arlo Page, Bill Bickel, New Yorker, comics, humor | 34 responses so far

34 Responses to “Do I even want to know?”

  1. Mona Aug 9th 2016 at 05:19 pm 1

    Hubby has a hickey on his neck from extra-curricular activities. He is trying to tell his wife it is a mark caused by cupping, which is a form of medicine/therapy from ancient China.
    Most recently it’s effects have been seen on Olympic athletes:

  2. Arthur Aug 9th 2016 at 05:23 pm 2

    Cupping is one of *those* oriental medical procedures. It’s in
    the news recently because Michael Phelps uses it.

    The man has a hickey. Since his wife obviously didn’t give it to
    him, he’s trying to pass it off as cupping (which would leave a
    much bigger mark).

  3. Arthur Aug 9th 2016 at 05:23 pm 3

    This time Mona’s the faster typist.

  4. Irene Aug 9th 2016 at 05:28 pm 4

    With all the attention on ‘cupping’ of athletes, I have to ask… Am I the only one who thinks of Supernatural when seeing those marks?

  5. James Pollock Aug 9th 2016 at 05:38 pm 5

    That’s what a bad case of Zika virus looks like…

  6. Mona Aug 9th 2016 at 05:39 pm 6

    Irene, when I hear “Supernatural” I think of the 1999 album by Carlos Santana. I didn’t think that was what you were referring to, so I Googled it and discovered there is a TV show called Supernatural that I had never heard of before. (I’ve said it before: “Why, yes, I do live under a rock, why do you ask?”)

    And Bill, “do I even want to know” regarding “cupping”, reminds me that CIDU introduced me to “two girls one cup” a while back.

  7. James Pollock Aug 9th 2016 at 06:21 pm 7

    Supernatural has been around for ten or eleven seasons, and has rather a strong cult following. That said, it’s on the CW, so the actual number of weekly viewers is… rather subdued, relative to the shows offered on the “big 4″ commercial TV networks.

  8. Chakolate Aug 9th 2016 at 06:28 pm 8

    My first thought when I read it was the epidose of *Friends* where Chandler goes to Joey’s tailor. “And then… there was definite cupping!”

  9. Mark in Boston Aug 9th 2016 at 09:32 pm 9

    Given the location, he could have claimed he was a violinist.

    I had a roommate who practiced 8 hours a day, and the thing on his neck was immense.

    He is now a principal in one of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras.

  10. James Pollock Aug 10th 2016 at 12:06 am 10

    Presumably, a person you know well enough to share a bed with knows whether or not you are a violinist who practices 8 hours a day.

  11. Meryl A Aug 10th 2016 at 01:11 am 11

    It was a relatively common procedure in the 18th century. Washington was cupped during his final illness - he was also bled. (Back then they thought we had 4 humors - blood, urine, phlegm, and black bile and when one was ill it was because they were out of balance so they had to be balanced.)

  12. DemetriosX Aug 10th 2016 at 06:13 am 12

    I’m surprised at how timely this is. Presumably the New Yorker has pretty long lead times. I guess that means that cupping has been floating around the circles of the sort of people who fall into the target audience. It just happens to be better known right now because of Michael Phelps.

    Also is it really being passed off as ancient Chinese these days? Odd, considering that none of the Chinese athletes seem to have those enormous artificial hickeys. As Meryl notes @11, the procedure was common into the late 18th/early 19th century. It goes all the way back to the Middle Ages and maybe even a bit earlier. I’d never thought it was associated with Eastern “medicine”.

  13. Carl Aug 10th 2016 at 06:26 am 13

    The four humors are blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.

    Black bile doesn’t even exist, but it took literally centuries for medicine to notice.

  14. Christine Aug 10th 2016 at 08:23 am 14

    DemetriosX - I hadn’t know that it had any kind of Chinese background, but a Chinese friend on facebook made a comment about how the West has now discovered cupping, so it’s about to be everywhere. As a recent history thing, I’d only heard about it more from an Indian cultural background.

  15. Irene Aug 10th 2016 at 10:10 am 15

    I’ve never even watched Supernatural on the CW- we don’t have cable/dish/other variation. The entire series is on Netflix. One episode, the monster-hunting tension takes place at a popular weight loss spa, where the Winchester brothers notice everyone with these weird round bruises attributed to cupping. The marks are really from the gorgeous spa owner, who is actually a Peruvian Fat Sucker. She and her American husband opened the spa so she could eat, provide a service to the fat Americans, and live under the radar. Of course, when they brought her brother from Peru, that ruined everything.

    I could be best friends with a monster like that !

  16. Grawlix Aug 10th 2016 at 10:53 am 16

    I hadn’t even noticed the hickey until I started reading the responses. Even then the joke fell flat.

  17. Keera Aug 10th 2016 at 10:55 am 17

    Cupping is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). My acupuncturist did it on me and all I can remember is, “Oh, interesting.” I think it was sort of a massage. Wasn’t directly unpleasant, but that describes most of TCM, in my opinion. :-)

  18. BillClay Aug 10th 2016 at 04:06 pm 18

    @James Pollock - I’d say sharing a bed isn’t really the point where you’d think someone knows you well enough to know if you practice 8 hours a day, but sharing a bed and reading certainly would lead to that presumption.

  19. Brent Aug 10th 2016 at 04:58 pm 19

    Ancient Eygpt was doing it thousands of years before China. It even got to Europe via Greece before it’s recorded in China. What China has is a version of it that’s still around. It’s the sort of thing that’s going to be discovered again and again (it wouldn’t surprise me if Sumer was doing it a thousand years before Egypt)… after all, cupping really is just making big hickeys.

  20. Jubal Aug 10th 2016 at 05:06 pm 20

    I first encountered cupping when the Van Helsing-esque scientist is having it done in Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Killers (aka Dance of the Vampires, aka Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck)

  21. Mark in Boston Aug 10th 2016 at 09:49 pm 21

    Black bile was also known by its Greek name: Melancholia. Too much led to not what we today call “melancholy” but what we today call “schizophrenia.”

    I’m glad the song is named “Melancholy Baby” and not “Schizophrenic Baby”.

  22. guero Aug 10th 2016 at 10:52 pm 22

    DemetriosX @12 - The New Yorker website has a daily cartoon that is usually very current, sometimes referring to events from the previous day. I think they have a guest cartoonist do the daily cartoon for a few weeks at a time (or the whole month.)

  23. Cidu Bill Aug 11th 2016 at 12:09 am 23

    Not only “share a bed with,” James (#10), but have been doing so for long enough that you’re both wearing pajamas and reading books.

  24. Brian Aug 15th 2016 at 01:43 pm 24

    “I’ve never even watched Supernatural on the CW- we don’t have cable/dish/other variation.”

    The CW is a broadcast network, a merger between the former WB and UPN networks. It’s available over the air in most major cities.

  25. Cidu Bill Aug 15th 2016 at 03:58 pm 25

    Brian, does “over the air” even exist anymore?

  26. James Pollock Aug 15th 2016 at 06:10 pm 26

    “Brian, does “over the air” even exist anymore?”

    Not only does it exist, but it has FAR more channels available than it did in my youth.

    When I was a young lad, oh, these many moons ago, I lived in the suburbs of Portland. We had 5 stations… an ABC affiliate, an NBC affiliate, a CBS affiliate, a PBS affiliate, and an independent station that aired children’s programming (at least, what passed for children’s programming in the 70’s before and after school.

    Today, each of those broadcast stations has AT LEAST two subchannels, some offer three, and the PBS station has five. Two new broadcast stations were created over the years, and each of those has at least two subchannels, and there are several low-power stations that operate in the area (there are at least two that offer primarily religious programming, and at least one that offers programming in Spanish, so I’m not familiar with the exact details of their offerings.)

    I have about three times the number of choices I had for programming as when I was young. I haven’t had cable for close to 15 years. I find plenty enough to watch… there ARE a couple of cable shows I ask various friends to save on their DVRs for me, and I used to watch some shows over the Internet… The Daily Show was available for free, for example, if I couldn’t find anything else I wanted to watch.

    I would imagine in a larger city, there might be as many broadcast channels as there used to be channels on the cable systems of the early 80’s.

  27. Mona Aug 15th 2016 at 08:43 pm 27

    When we built our present home in 1990 we put up a TV antenna. We are at the bottom of two hills. The only station that came in well enough that we could watch it was FOX, and had a new show called “The Simpsons” on it. We had cable for some years, then finally got DISH TV.
    Ironically, DISH and FOX are currently having a disagreement about contracts and we cannot get FOX at this time. Not a problem, except that most of the Seahawks games are on FOX. We just learned that we can contact DISH and they will give us a free antenna so we can watch FOX. We’ll give that a try. Otherwise we will end up watching football on my phone, or, Heaven forbid, have to go to a local bar to watch games.

  28. James Pollock Aug 16th 2016 at 01:01 am 28

    I get the Fox affiliate over-the-air… but if they play a game on Monday night (ESPN) or on Thursday night in the second half of the season, I have to leave home to see the game.

  29. Kilby Aug 16th 2016 at 01:54 am 29

    @ Mona (27) - “at the bottom of two hills
    Back before German unification, the residents of Dresden were notorious for being poorly informed. The city is located in a low valley, and is about as far away as one can get from West Germany without crossing the Polish border. Both factors made it impossible to receive western TV and radio, so all they could get was filtered through the East German Party line.

  30. Kilby Aug 16th 2016 at 02:04 am 30

    P.S. The area was referred to as the “Tal der Ahnungslosen“, which means “valley of the clueless”.

  31. Mona Aug 16th 2016 at 02:18 am 31

    “Valley of the clueless”….I like that!

  32. Mark in Boston Aug 16th 2016 at 09:51 pm 32

    Over-the-air is great if you live in a city. Out in the country, farther than about 40 miles from a city, the people who used to get two or three channels on the VHF band now get nothing without putting up a tall antenna. Digital signals don’t go out that far.

  33. Mona Aug 16th 2016 at 10:47 pm 33

    If anyone is interested, I contacted DISH via online chat today. The lackey I chatted with said DISH will not send an “over-the-air-antenna at no cost” to customers in my area (even though DISH PROMISE promises they will, after I enter my zip code) because it will not work “because you are either too far from the broadcast tower to receive this channel, or because the signal is blocked by certain buildings or geographical features.” The only remedy he could offer me is free Sling TV for one month or when this issue is settled and we get FOX back (presumably whichever comes first). After a bit of grumbling on my part he did offer up (without my asking) the contact telephone number for “a higher department”. I thanked him and told him I understood he was only doing his job and they only allow him to do certain things.
    After I got off chat, I looked up Sling TV and I see that our receiver is not compatible with Sling. Maybe if I call the Higher Department I can wrangle a receiver upgrade out of the deal.
    Are you all now rolling on the floor laughing hysterically? I thought so!

    I don’t understand how we would be able to use Sling TV to watch the Seahawks live when we can’t get FOX on TV.

  34. Meryl A Aug 17th 2016 at 02:48 am 34

    A couple of years ago husband was so frustrated with the outages from our cable co (they like to reboot over night when we are watching (lowest viewership according to them) and it has been known to take a long time sometimes (16 hours once) as well as the shut downs when they are working that he decided to put up an antenna. We tried several that were suppose to work in the house - they did not . We found one to mount in the back yard. It is on a 6 ft pole (because we are both afraid of heights). We have the 2 free digital boxes that one could get with the coupons from the Fed when they mandated the change and set one up on our living room TV on the antenna.

    It was then that we found out about all the wonderful other channels which now exist. We have it set up so we can switch over to it on the TVs with cable if we need or want to. I now can again watch TV in the living room while putting up the Christmas tree (the main times we watch TV in the living room are same and taking down the tree).

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