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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. This kid is born to a wealthy father and mother. They push him his whole life to achieve, they grease the wheels to get him into the best schools, the best social groups, the best medical schools. He leaves everybody he knows in America behind to study medicine at the School of Medical Sciences in Manchester, sacrificing every personal relationship he’s made along the way.

Years later, he comes back to America, a doctor’s toolkit clutched in his hands, to finally enter the workforce. He reaches, hands trembling with the false confidence of the young professional, into his bag to pull out a jar. That’s where I come in, buddy! He carefully plucks me out of his jar and I suck a big ol’ heaping mess of blood out of some schmuck!

That’s right! He spent his whole life sucking at the teat of his parents’ finances and working his keister off just to pass his entire success off to me, a leech! What a fool! What a sucker!

The guy hasn’t even considered just being born a leech instead of a person? He entrusts all his financial security in me because some other doctor told him that I’d balance out his patient’s humors? The poor guy doesn’t even realize I don’t even know what a humor IS!

He spends all his money on a fancy apartment in the big city and food to eat. Meanwhile, I live rent-free in his toolbag, and eat for free! Just because Galen of Pergamon discovered veins and arteries are filled with blood and then made some stuff up? Being a leech is the best possible career on this earth, my man! You know who discovered that arteries are filled with blood? Me, on my own! I could have told you that!

Honestly, between you and me? I think ol’ Galen of Pergamon must’ve been on the payroll of a big, fat leech. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me, personally. Think about it. Running around, dissecting macaques all the time, telling people they’re too excitable because they have too much blood? That’s what I would do, if I had legs and arms and vocal chords. It’s a joke! It’s right there in the name! Four humors? Man, this is easily a five or six humor scam, judging by how much I’m laughing about it.

John Barnes

John Barnes has a B.S. in geography and recently severely burnt his thumb playing with fireworks in a storm drain in Northern Virginia.

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