YOUR SKIN performs several vital functions. For example, it keeps people from seeing the inside of your body, which is repulsive. And it prevents your organs from falling out onto the ground, where careless pedestrians might step on them.
Skin also acts as your body’s cooling system. Whenever you exercise or get on an elevator, sweat oozes out of millions of tiny skin holes so it can evaporate and cool the area. Unfortunately, most of these holes are located in your armpits, which is one of those cases where Mother Nature screwed up. I mean, you hardly ever hear people complaining about having hot armpits.
Your MUSCLES are what enable you to perform all of your basic movements, such as bowling, sniping, pandering and nagging. Basically, there are two kinds of muscle tissue: the kind that people in fitness ads have, which look like sleek and powerful pythons – and the kind you have, which look more like deceased baby rabbits.
Your SKELETAL SYSTEM has guess-how-many bones? Would you say 50? 150? 250? 300? If you guessed 50, you’re wrong. I would say it’s around 250, but it’s not all that important.
The only important part of your skeleton is your knees – which are God’s way of saying he doesn’t want us to do anything really strenuous. When we do, our knees punish us by becoming injured, as you know if you’ve ever watched sport on television.
Your DIGESTIVE SYSTEM is where food goes on a long, dark, scary ride, being attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last minute whether it will be turned into a useful body-part or ejected by Mister Sphincter.
You must be careful about what you eat, unless you want your body making heart-valves out of things like onion-dip.
Your NERVOUS SYSTEM is your body’s messenger, always letting your brain know what’s going on elsewhere in your body. “Your nose itches!” it tells your brain. Or, “Your foot is falling asleep!” Or, “You’re hungry!”
All day long, your brain hears messages like these, thousands of them, hour after hour, until finally it deliberately rests your hand on a red-hot stove just for the pleasure of hearing your nervous-system scream in pain.
Your RESPITORY SYSTEM takes in oxygen and gives off carbon monoxide by a process called ‘photosynthesis’. This takes place in your lungs, yam-shaped organs containing millions of tiny little air-sacs, called ‘Bernice’. In a normal person, these sacs are healthy and pink, whereas in an unhealthy person they have the wretched, soot-stained, anguished look of people fleeing some disaster.
The CIRCULATORY SYSTEM is, of course, your heart – a fist-sized muscle in your chest with a thick layer of greasy fat clinging to it consisting of every Moro Bar you ever ate. Your heart’s job is to pump your blood, which is teeming with millions of organisms, some of them with tentacles so they can teem more efficiently.
The red cells in your blood are your body’s room-service, carrying tiny particles of food to the other organs, which gobble them up without so much as a thank-you.
The white cells are your body’s detectives. Most of the time they lounge around telling jokes, but they swing into action the instant your body is invaded by enemy organisms – like bacteria, viruses, rotifers, conifers, parameciums and the plague. Your white cells pursue the invader on a wild and often hilarious chase through your various organs, eventually catching and deporting it.
ADAPTED FROM ‘STAY FIT & HEALTHY UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD’ © DAVE BARRY. PUBLISHED BY RODAK PRESS.