At a recent convention one of our "DC" columnists was a little upset because he was in an elevator and the doctor he was speaking with didn't recognize him. With that, I assured him that I believed that at least 90 percent of the profession doesn't bother to read anything but material on how to make more money. Of the ten percent remaining, five percent don't read what I personally write. Of the five percent who do, only half agree with what I might say. This is just my personal guess but with statistics like that you can't get too egotistical.
But it's the five percent that I estimate read my editorials that I love to play with. Some of my most ardent readers hate the paper I write on. With some kind of philosophical masochistic delight they writhe in agony as I plod through their emotional temples with my words.
After speaking of temples I conjured up this fantasy of an imaginary visit to BJ's Florida home/museum. Some people are so unsure of themselves that they find refuge in creating false gods on this earth. Such is the case with that master chiropractic entrepreneur B.J. Palmer. Some of my readers think I pick on B.J., and that I don't show him enough respect, especially since I seem unworthy to even fluff his floppy tie or read from his "scriptures" in public.
Well now, I don't want anyone to think that I don't believe that B.J. wasn't a very smart individual and that he wasn't important to the growth of chiropractic -- he was. Thanks a lot B.J. But that's all you'll get from me.
B.J.'s "disciples," however, insist upon going a step, actually many steps, further. They revel in the fantasy of his words and in a mystical magic of the things he touched.
Because of this the super straight chiropractic theologians have made a shrine out of a little home he owned in Florida. While I've never been there I can imagine what it might be like.
Guide: You are now entering through the doorway that B.J. Palmer used to walk through to enter the house.
Visiting Chiropractor: Oh mommy, mommy (he calls his wife "mommy") I'm going to explode with excitement! In fact, I'm beginning to tingle all over.
Mrs. Visiting Chiropractor: I know dearie, I'm beginning to feel a flutter in my cervicals.
G: Now everyone calm down. If some of you can't control yourselves you won't be allowed to see anymore. Okay, everyone come over here so your cervicals can be read with a neurocalometer. We want only subluxation-free people in here.
VC: Oh mommy, mommy. I'm going to faint.
G: Who said that?
RHT: That dingbat over there. I say get rid of him so I can emotionally clear the subluxations of my mind.
G: Now after everyone has had their NCM check we'll go into the living room. Here is one of B.J.'s favorite chairs and this is the lamp he would touch as he turned it on.
VC: Could, could I touch it?
G: No. Now here is a mirror he looked in.
VC: Can I ...
G: No. Now we're going down a hall B.J. used to walk down and into the kitchen where food was served that he would eat. Is everybody here? One seems to be missing.
RHT: In the brain department.
RHT: I said it looks like rain.
G: Wait a minute, there is one missing. It's that chiropractor who was coming apart earlier. There he is, looking in the B.J. mirror while sitting in the B.J. chair while turning the B.J. lamp off and on. I'm afraid we'll have to put him in the B.J. detox recovery room. This happens all the time. Is there anyone else who can't go on?
RHT: Yeah me. I'm beginning to feel nauseous.
G: I know how it is. The experience of being in the B.J. temple can be a bit overwhelming.
RHT: It sure can. I've seldom seen anything so maudlin and stupid in my life.
RHT: We're almost in the 21st century. Men have walked on the moon and we still have people worshiping the shoes, ties, and pants some dead chiropractor wore. It's way past the time that we should let the old fellow go peacefully into the great reward with a "Thank you" card and move on to more eclectic approaches to natural health care.
Another Visiting Chiropractor: Ohh, blessed memory of B.J. cleanse the evil spewed from the mouth of this sinner. Let him see the light ...
RHT: That's not a bad idea. I think I'll get out of here and into the clear Florida sun.
Everybody: Get out! Infidel! May innate beat upon body. May that great adjusting table in the sky break upon your loins. May a neurocalometer always give you false readings. May your numbers decrease into the quagmire of hospital protocol. May ...
Well, you get the idea -- no one was happy with me. But what's new? Anyway, I've done my job for this issue. I've made some of my readers happy with agreement and others happy with their anger at what I wrote.
The most important thing is that we learn from the past and then learn to let it go and that whatever we believe, we think our own thoughts. Not those of someone like me -- or B.J.
Just in case however, I guess it won't hurt if I put aside some of my old clothes and toothbrushes. Never can tell.