Okay, apparently I’m not much of a pathologist either, because I don’t get it.

Cidu Bill on Feb 16th 2017

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Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 44 responses so far

44 Responses to “Okay, apparently I’m not much of a pathologist either, because I don’t get it.”

  1. Jen Feb 16th 2017 at 09:43 am 1

    Best I can figure, it’s a variant “women can’t stand to be seen without makeup on” joke, with the implication being either that she’s putting lipstick on to make herself look, and therefore feel, better; or that she’s putting on makeup because she doesn’t want Arlo to see her without makeup.

  2. Cidu Bill Feb 16th 2017 at 10:10 am 2

    Does this simply mean “pathologist” doesn’t mean what Jimmy and Janis think it means?

  3. User McUser Feb 16th 2017 at 10:23 am 3

    Not having ever used any, is lipstick functionally anything like chap-stick? By that I mean perhaps her lips are just dry, which would be a symptom of her illness which a pathologist would know?

  4. James Feb 16th 2017 at 10:37 am 4

    She feels she is dying and a patholigist would know that.

  5. mitch4 Feb 16th 2017 at 10:48 am 5

    Yes, perhaps she means “diagnostician”?

  6. Judge Mental Feb 16th 2017 at 10:49 am 6

    A pathologist’s job is to make a diagnosis on the health of the patient. Arlo made a diagnosis (Janis is better now) that was not only very wrong, but based on a silly piece of a inapplicable data (Janis wanted her lipstick). I agree with Janis’ observation that it takes a really bad pathologist to make a diagnosis this poor.

  7. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 10:54 am 7

    “Yes, perhaps she means “diagnostician”?”

    A pathologist IS a diagnostician. A pathologist’s job is to find out why the patient died.

  8. TGD Feb 16th 2017 at 11:36 am 8

    She’s dying. She wants her corpse to look good.

  9. Cidu Bill Feb 16th 2017 at 11:45 am 9

    Even a diagnostician wouldn’t necessarily understand why she wants her lipstick, unless she’s actually suffering from lipstick withdrawal.

  10. B.A. Feb 16th 2017 at 11:46 am 10

    Janis is feverish and has no idea what she’s saying.

  11. Olivier Feb 16th 2017 at 11:49 am 11

    TGD : :) we go from beautician to mortician.

  12. Winter Wallaby Feb 16th 2017 at 12:31 pm 12

    “pathologist” seems OK to me.

    Is the objection that pathologists are restricted to studying cause of death? If so, that’s not the case, they do diagnose living patients: definition.

  13. ja Feb 16th 2017 at 12:51 pm 13

    >>Does this simply mean “pathologist” doesn’t mean what Jimmy and Janis think it means?
    >>A pathologist’s job is to find out why the patient died.

    Let us not confuse forensic pathology with clinical pathology. When I had a biopsy performed, the report was prepared and signed by a pathologist. I’m pretty sure I’m alive.

    I seem to recall that the colonel in the hospital in “Catch 22″ had a pathologist for his pathos (as well as a psychologist for his psyche, a dermatologist for his derma, an endocrinologist for his endocrines, etc.).

  14. J-L Feb 16th 2017 at 12:55 pm 14

    So that’s what a pathologist is!

    I always thought a pathologist was someone who helped lost people find their way out of a wilderness area, as in:

    Mark Trail: Expert Pathologist!

  15. Brian Feb 16th 2017 at 01:02 pm 15

    I think TGD at #7 has it - she thinks she is dying and wants to look good at the morgue - Arlo is a bad pathologist because she is implying she has already died and he has failed to even determine that fact.

  16. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 01:06 pm 16

    “>>Does this simply mean “pathologist” doesn’t mean what Jimmy and Janis think it means?
    >>A pathologist’s job is to find out why the patient died.”

    I’m quoted out-of-context here.

  17. Cidu Bill Feb 16th 2017 at 01:11 pm 17

    Okay, now we’re getting into confusing territory, because the quote was a combination of what I said and what James said.

    When there’s any possibility for error, please attribute quotes or use the @ to direct your response: it makes what you’re saying easier to comprehend.

  18. MikeK Feb 16th 2017 at 02:41 pm 18

    I’ve heard that medical staff in hospitals know when a patient is feeling better and on the road to recovery when they request makeup (women) or a shave (men - I think I got that right). So he interprets her request as indicating that she’s feeling better and her response is “Oh yeah? I still feel like I’m dyin’ here!

  19. Wendy Feb 16th 2017 at 03:23 pm 19

    @user - I can’t imagine why she’d want lipstick in bed. It doesn’t function like chapstick. Chapstick would make a lot of sense to me as a request for someone sick in bed. But I think I’d follow Arlo’s thought and think the only reason she’d want makeup of any kind is that she’s feeling better and plans to get out of bed.

  20. Mary Ellen Feb 16th 2017 at 04:08 pm 20

    Yeah, having just gotten over a cold/flu like Janis has, there’s no way on Earth I’d be wanting my lipstick while sick in bed. First off, who cares what they look like when they’re sick in bed? Second, the lipstick would get all over the pillows and blankets, and that would be gross. And third, I don;t want to contaminate a perfectly good lipstick with my flu germs! I’m actually inclined to file this comic under “vaguely sexist,” because it seems to be all “har har, ladies always worried about looking good, right??” Heck with that.

  21. Lost in A**2 Feb 16th 2017 at 04:57 pm 21

    If you can keep up, Mr. Johnson’s blog is useful. Recently, some participants were commenting on The Old Days, when hospitals had hair salons that were always closed because the stylists were visiting the rooms to ply their trade bedside.

  22. ja Feb 16th 2017 at 05:26 pm 22

    @CIDU Bill and @James Pollock

    My apologies to you both. My hurried response (#13) above, which quoted (without attribution) both of you was intended to be directed to you both. My suspicion, given CIDU Bill’s response #2 above (”Does this simply mean “pathologist” doesn’t mean what Jimmy and Janis think it means?) and Mr. Pollock’s much more explicit statement in #7 (”A pathologist IS a diagnostician. A pathologist’s job is to find out why the patient died”) was that both of you thought that “pathologist” equated to “forensic pathologist” (someone who determines the cause of death). If that is not the case, and I’ve misrepresented your comments, again you have my apologies.

    If we allow “pathologist” to be “clinical pathologist” (someone who is concerned with identifying the presence and progression of a disease), then the comic above works well enough for me that it isn’t a CIDU, but is labored enough that it isn’t particularly funny either.

  23. John Small Berries Feb 16th 2017 at 05:30 pm 23

    Judge Mental @6: “I agree with Janis’ observation that it takes a really bad pathologist to make a diagnosis this poor.”

    If TV hospital shows have taught me anything, it’s that pathologists are really bad at their jobs.

    For example, take that one episode of House where the patient comes in with some sort of mysterious ailment, House’s teams come up with a diagnosis, but the treatment makes the patient worse. They do two or three more diagnoses, all of which are wrong, and the patient’s health slides further and further down until the person’s in a coma and just a few minutes away from death. Suddenly, during a completely unrelated conversation with Wilson, House has a brilliant epiphany which leads him to the correct diagnosis just in the nick of time.

    Wait, did I say one episode? That was all of them.

    Also, TV has taught me that DNA tests come back in a matter of hours, forensic image technicians can magnify and enhance photographs to the point where subpixel features in the original can be printed with clear detail at 8×10 size, government and corporate IT departments only impose a 4- or 5-character password policy, and lifeguards can use defibrillators while kneeling in the puddle of water surrounding a drowning victim lying on the deck of their boat (which is to say, I know actual pathologists aren’t nearly as incompetent as House and his team demonstrated themselves to be on a weekly basis).

  24. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 05:39 pm 24

    “Mr. Pollock’s much more explicit statement in #7 (”A pathologist IS a diagnostician. A pathologist’s job is to find out why the patient died”) was that both of you thought that “pathologist” equated to “forensic pathologist” (someone who determines the cause of death).”

    As I said, out of context. My response isn’t a response to Bill’s, it’s a response to mitch4, specifically the actual words I quoted, suggesting that pathologists aren’t diagnosticians (even the ones who work after a diagnosis is not longer useful in treating the patient.)
    That the pathologists who trace the actual progression of a disease in living patients would be “diagnosticians” didn’t seem to need amplification, I’m pointing out that even the pathologists who work with dead patients are still diagnosing.

    All that said, I think that Janis (i.e., Mr. Johnson) is suggesting that she needs a forensic pathologist… she feels so ravaged by the cold she has that her condition is now “dead”.
    I had a bad case of common cold turned Martian Death Plague last summer. I can empathize.

  25. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 05:50 pm 25

    “If TV hospital shows have taught me anything, it’s that pathologists are really bad at their jobs.”

    That was just Dr. House. The guy was thoroughly addled with opioids. Change the channel, and watch “Quincy, M.E.” or “Rizzoli & Isles”. They feature AMAZINGLY detail-oriented doctors who are able to find the most information from a dead guy.

    Or, for a truly orthagonal approach to the job, try iZombie.

  26. Christine Feb 16th 2017 at 06:13 pm 26

    I’m assuming that Janis is feeling so awful that she needs something that makes her feel better, and the only think that she can think of is partial costuming. (Or maybe that she doesn’t feel like herself, and she wears makeup so often that she will feel more herself with it on?) I still don’t think it makes any sense, but Look Good, Feel Better is a thing, so not everything about feeling better when your sick makes any sense.

  27. Cidu Bill Feb 16th 2017 at 07:11 pm 27

    Nein, ja (sorry, I had to say that at least once), I did not confuse “pathologist” with “forensic pathologist.” My concern was that neither of them had any apparent relevance to Arlo understanding why Janis wanted her lipstick. At the risk of putting sexist words into Janis’s mouth, it seems to me she should have been saying “You’re an ok nurse, but you know nothing about women.”

    I imagine what Janis really means, her questionable choice of words notwithstanding, is just as Christine says: she thinks looking better will make her feel better.

  28. Bob in Nashville Feb 16th 2017 at 09:38 pm 28

    Some women tie feeling better to looking better.

  29. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 11:21 pm 29

    “Some women tie feeling better to looking better.”

    Some men do, too.
    It was James Dean who popularized “live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse”. And then there was Billy Chrystal’s “you look mahvelous” shtick.

  30. turquoisecow Feb 17th 2017 at 12:23 am 30

    My sister is a Speech Pathologist. When she first started studying it, one of my uncles was very confused, as he’d only heard the term “pathologist” in relation to forensics. “How can she study how dead people talk?” he wanted to know.

  31. John Small Berries Feb 17th 2017 at 12:47 am 31

    “Change the channel, and watch “Quincy, M.E.” or “Rizzoli & Isles”. They feature AMAZINGLY detail-oriented doctors who are able to find the most information from a dead guy.”

    Quincy? As the Arrogant Worms so musically informed us, all the real work was done by Sam, the guy from Quincy.

    I kid, I kid. Actually, my father got to hear Robert Ito speak about the show; Ito praised how closely the writers had worked with actual medical examiners and forensic scientists to make sure the science was as good as the constraints of episodic television would permit (though Quincy’s romantic involvement with an attractive murder suspect in one episode would probably have gotten him hauled before an ethics board… but, again, television).

  32. James Pollock Feb 17th 2017 at 03:00 am 32

    “Quincy? As the Arrogant Worms so musically informed us, all the real work was done by Sam, the guy from Quincy.”

    Did, or did not, Sam appear on Quincy, M.E.?

  33. John Small Berries Feb 17th 2017 at 03:58 pm 33

    Sure… but he did all the work, and his boss got all the credit.

  34. James Pollock Feb 17th 2017 at 04:39 pm 34

    “but he did all the work, and his boss got all the credit.”
    Yes, well, it’s television so you have to accept that there will be somethings that don’t really happen in the real world, because of dramatic license.

    What I said originally was “watch “Quincy, M.E.” or “Rizzoli & Isles”. They feature AMAZINGLY detail-oriented doctors who are able to find the most information from a dead guy.”
    I don’t remember specifying that the boss does all the work and has no help from anyone else (for either show, BTW)

  35. Cidu Bill Feb 17th 2017 at 04:43 pm 35

    In WW2, didn’t British POWs make a point of remaining sharp-looking for morale’s sake?

    (though for all I know that’s something we “know” from the movies)

  36. Christine Feb 17th 2017 at 10:47 pm 36

    Not sure about WWII, but I’ve heard “get dressed” as advice for job hunters. On the other hand, it’s not advice you hear very often for the moms* who are home with newborns, presumably because it can only do so much good, and isn’t worth it if it’s too much bother. So I’m not sure it’s a great idea for Janice.

    *Normally I try to use gender-neutral terms for parenting, but most countries have a portion of leave that’s mom-only, and it’s almost never more practical to have her take leave second.

  37. Kilby Feb 18th 2017 at 03:57 am 37

    This thread’s title got a lot funnier after this one appeared.

  38. Mark in Boston Feb 18th 2017 at 09:41 pm 38

    For British vs. American prisoners of war, read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, who was there.

  39. Meryl A Feb 22nd 2017 at 03:44 am 39

    I always joke when Robert does not feel well and comes to me for a diagnosis that I went to the medical school of ER (the drama one, not the comedy one which did not have a lot of info) and St Elsewhere. I have been called upon to decide if he has a concussion (several times), deal with a cut on his head with butterfly bandages and so on. He is a doctorphobic hypochondriac. (It’s a trade off for the work on the antique computer stuff.)

  40. Meryl A Feb 22nd 2017 at 03:46 am 40

    Hey - you forgot Jordan.

  41. James Pollock Feb 22nd 2017 at 12:31 pm 41

    “I went to the medical school of ER (the drama one, not the comedy one which did not have a lot of info) and St Elsewhere.”

    Those are top-tier TV medical schools. Much better than “Grey’s Anatomy” or “House, M.D.”

  42. larK Feb 22nd 2017 at 04:22 pm 42

    “Law and Order” (the original series) was quite a good law school. “The Good Wife” not so much…

  43. James Pollock Feb 22nd 2017 at 05:25 pm 43

    “Law and Order” (the original series) was quite a good law school.”

    If I had a dollar (inflation) for every time someone teaching in my law school said “it isn’t like Law & Order”, I wouldn’t have any student-loan debt.

  44. James Pollock Feb 22nd 2017 at 05:26 pm 44

    On the other hand, “Suits” gets the environment of a big law firm generally correct, but fairly continuously botches actual law.

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