Advice Five Cents/Professional Courtesy Day

        Today I’d like get some advice from you guys.  I know medicine, and you folks know writers, so I hope you might trade out some ideas professional courtesy.  As always, my advice on the Net is free (watch out- you get what you pay for) and reading my blog costs the same, so I hope this is helpful.

        Along the way, I’ve written up a few posts that might help moms with young boys, so this one is for the girls.  And it might help the Dads too.  I have a little girl.  She’s grown up now, but I still understand the depth of that bond, and the desire to be protective.

        Probably most of y’all have heard of the Gardasil vaccine.  For girls from 9 to 26, this is a vaccine one should look into.  Without going into all the technical details it protects against infection from the virus that is associated with the development of cervical cancer later in life.  (Google their website- it is very detailed.)

        Given this is essentially a sexually transmitted disease, I realize some folks have trouble talking to their children about it.  Here’s how I sold one teenaged patient of mine on the idea.

         “Hey kid, you oughta take this Gardasil shot routine.  It is one of the few things in life that can keep you from getting cancer.”  (I took an early practice test on the subject and missed a question ’cause it was one of the few times the word ALWAYS was associated with the correct answer.  I’m sure it is not 100% but the Board was trying to make a point.  This thing works.) 

        “How does it keep you from getting cancer, Dr. Bibey?”

        “Well, cancer of the cervix is a female cancer, and it can come from having sex with a guy who has a certain kind of virus.  The vaccine can stop the virus from getting ahold of you.”

        “Dr. Bibey!  I ain’t having sex.  I don’t need it.  Don’t ya trust me?”  She was embarrassed.

        “Oh sure, kid.  I trust you.  It’s the rest of the world I don’t trust.  Someday down the road if you’ve got a husband with a wandering eye who runs around, this shot could protect you from some of what he is doing.  I’d go beat him up, but by then I’ll be over in the nursing home and too old to do it.”

        She laughed.  “O.K. Dr. Bibey.  If you think I need it I’ll take it.”  I think the image of old Dr. B duking it out with some young buck was what won her over.  You can only protect your people with the skills you possess.  Truth is it would have to be some kinda weakling of a twenty-five year old boy for me to whup nowadays, and it wouldn’t help her anyway. 

        Her mom agreed to the series, and we started that day.

        So y’all talk to your Docs about Gardasil for your young ladies.  Tell ’em Dr. Bibey sent you.

        Oh, yeah, I said this was professional courtesy day.  If y’all know of weblogs of Southern writers or humorists you think I should read, I hope you will let me know.  I have no idea what I am doing in this writer business, and I need all the help I can get.    

        In bluegrass we only steal from the best.  Don’t worry- I ain’t gonna plagiarize; it goes against everything I believe in, but I am curious about how other folks write.  My specific genre is Modern Medical Grit Lit, but I’d like to hear about any Southern Lit blogs you enjoy.  (For that matter if they write like my Northern friends, that is good too.)  If by chance you know of any other physician bluegrass fiction writers, that would be extra good.  I have a special interest in that area. 

        My agent has managed to get a few articles placed for me, and I figure the leads might give me a few other places to look into publication.  The 15% take for my agent is a bit slim, and I need to keep growing to keep him in the fold.  He’s got a young’un in college, and he has no choice but to be somewhat business-like.  (I drive him crazy with my meandering ways.) 

        Come to think of it, I believe his young’un is a girl.  If she’s in college she’s less than twenty-six years old.  I believe I’ll call him and offer them a free Gardasil shot- professional courtesy you know.  Every little bit helps.

        See ya this weekend.

Dr. B 

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10 Comments on “Advice Five Cents/Professional Courtesy Day”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Dr. B, here is my friend’s weblog: She plays bluegrass and sings, and writes, and I hope you won’t hold it against her that she’s from New York (the state not the city). She’s definitely more serious in her blog than I am. In case you didn’t notice, I use wordpress for my non-serious stuff. It’s an exercise in writing, and Lord knows I need exercise of all types, brain AND body.

    As for the Gardisil, I have a teenage daughter and have been trying to talk her into this for a while. I think I will use your argument, although much like your patient, she declares that she’s not “doing it.” (She won’t talk to me about this stuff, which is really disappointing to me. I’ve been gearing myself up since her infancy for the day we could dish about being a woman.) As a person who had cervical cancer (supposedly DES related) I want for her to avoid it at all costs.

  2. John Holland Says:

    Doc, I like to read Billy Letts. She writes about quirky downhome characters. I don’t know if she has a website. And then there’s Natalie Goldberg, she writes about freeing the writer within, sorta like Dix Bruce, beginning bluegrass rhythm guitar type book. Goldbergs book is titled “Writing Down the Bones.

  3. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Pande,

    First of all, I am glad you are O.K. Have your daughter read this. You have a perspective on this issue I hope she will take seriously. Again, tell her old Docs don’t worry about what young ladies are doing now right now (your daughter has the right idea though) so much as who they might run into down the road. Even if a guy starts out loyal, sometimes they change. (Testosterone posioning is a powerful thing.)

    Thanks for the link. Will definitely check it out. I’m all about bluegrass music and unity- if we’d all been playing music maybe we could have avoided that awful Civil War thing.

    By the way, my boy went thru the Mark Twain rountine. When he was fifteen he thought I was dumb. When he was twenty-five he was shocked at what I had learned in a decade.

    Dr. B

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Thanks Mr. Holland. This is the kind of stuff I am looking for.

    Dr. B

  5. Ted Lehmann Says:

    While they’re not bloggers, I think Molly Ivins (sadly deceased) and Roy Blount are two of the funniest southern writers of recent years. And then there’s always Mark Twain. Unfortunately, the Civil War was such a scarring event that many great souther writers sank themselves in tragedy and booze (William Faulkner and William Styron). I think there’s lots of cutesy southern stuff, but finding real substance that isn’t just regional dialect humor is something else. Ivins was a wonderful political satirist. – Ted

  6. mrschili Says:

    Both of my babies will be between 9 and 26 after Beanie turns 9 in March, and I’m already looking into this as part of their vaccination routines. Anyone who thinks that talking about sex is going to encourage kids to have sex is, in my opinion, misguided. My young daughters know a lot about it already; I answer their questions honestly and completely and without any hint of embarrassment. They see us naked fairly regularly (we like team-showering, though I suspect it’ll get us in trouble with Child Services someday, we’re going to keep team-showering until the girls decide they don’t want to do that anymore).

    I embarrass Punkin’ Pie with my “sex talk,” but I will continue to take every opportunity I can to talk to her about this stuff. Knowledge is power, and she’s a BEAUTIFUL girl who boys are going to want to have sex with. The less mysterious it is, the less trouble she’s likely to find herself in (DAMN! I just ended TWO sentences in prepositions! Some English teacher *I* am!!)

  7. drtombibey Says:


    All them little chilis are lucky to have you.

    Somehow we hoped to teach ours God had all this stuff figured out and as humans we need to try to avoid wrecking what we have been given. (I love my wife’s saying: We try to live a life of grace and dignity.)

    Because unfortunately there are human beings who exploit (and I reckon there always will be) I think we need to protect our people in whatever ways we can, and that includes education and vaccines too.

    Dr. B

  8. drtombibey Says:


    I know of these but need to know more about them. Thanks for the tip.

    Man was the Civil War ever a huge scarring event. I think it was Shelby Foote who said “Never have any group of people fought so valiantly for such an unworthy cause.” (Slavery)

    In the end the Federal Goverment did end up a bit too powerful. States rights might have been worth at least some serious negotiation, but slavery? Oh my.

    Dr. B

  9. Billy Says:

    Roy Blount put out a great collection of Southern Humor with just about everyone who was anything in Southern humor history. Anyone who wants to be a potential writer in future editons of Southern Humor collections should have it in their private library.
    They also should resolve read a few pages every morning, right after a few pages from the King James from which all Southern cadance comes.

  10. drtombibey Says:


    His name has surfaced several times, and from folks who seem to know about grit lit and write well, too. Neuse River has a big gig coming up. After that I need to check him out. Thanks- this is all very helpful. My agent is a tough cat- I can’t wait to report all these responses to him.

    And I agree with you that King James fellow is an ace for sure. My wife reads him all the time, and serves as my personal Cliff Notes on the subject material. She has been through The Book (and with hard study and contemplation) three or four times, and even taught the class once.

    Dr. B

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