It Ain’t All Bad

I waited nervously for the doctor to give me the verdict. Your health is no laughing matter, unless it has to do with your funny bone I guess. And after what I had to endure for the test itself, I figured my dues were paid in full on this one. Then the Doctor said it – and I turned white as a polar bear in a blizzard. “The results are negative!”

OH NO! I started planning my funeral right there in the exam room – let’s see – I’d like a mahogany coffin with brass trim…


...it’s going to take an Ovaltine Decoder Ring to understand that joke.

“How long do I have?” I asked him. “How long for what…” he responded. “…to pay your bill?” Then he explained that negative is good – positive would be bad.

What is that – Doctor Code? And if so, I’m just a lowly desk jockey. Is he supposed to expose it to the likes of me? But as it turns out, everybody knows that. I guess I don’t watch enough Real TV.

I told my son the results of my tests were negative. “That’s bad”, he said. “Why is it bad, son? Do you want me to die? You know I don’t have anything worth inheriting!” “No, dad, bad means good.” Oh really? What are you? A doctor? My son, the doctor!

So negative means good and positive means bad – and bad means good. I’m reminded of a joke we used to tell. It starts like this:

Two fellers were talking about their weekend. “I went skydiving this weekend”, says the first feller.
The other feller replies, “Oh, that’s good.”
“Well, it ain’t all good”, answers the first feller. “My parachute didn’t open.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“Well, it ain’t all bad; I looked down and saw a big ole’ haystack.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“Well, it ain’t all good; there was a pitchfork in the haystack.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“Well, it ain’t all bad, I missed the pitchfork.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“Well, it ain’t all good, I missed the haystack…”

And the joke goes on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. (I think that’s Latin for “egad, does this joke ever get funny?”)

With my new knowledge of the English language (or lack thereof) I’ve decided it’s going to take an Ovaltine Decoder Ring to understand that joke. And it takes several box tops to get one, so I’ve got the kids and grandkids drinking chocolate milk with double straws.

I showed this story to my wife and she said, “Oh, that’s bad!” Bad means good, right? Boy, I hope that ring gets here quick!

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