CHARLEYWORLD: Annual State of the Body Address

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BY CHARLES MEMMINGER – President Obama’s “State of the Union” address and Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s “State of the State” address reminded me that it was time to make my “State of the Body” address, an annual event that causes my limbs, lips, liver and lights intense delight and/or confusion.

All “State of Anything” addresses are a chance to look back at how the country/state/body functioned in the past year and what can be done to help them function better in the coming year. But the main point of such addresses is to make everyone feel positive and inspired about the future, make them giddy to the point of causing them to stand up and applaud wildly, so such addresses necessarily involve spreading a certain amount of metaphorical meadow muffins around, if you catch my drift.


So I dragged out the podium, lectern and teleprompters I keep stashed in the storage room under the house for important occasions and began …

“Greetings fellow organs, muscles, fluids, nerves, skin and united anatomical parts! This is your brain speaking via your mouth, although what I say will be relayed by the right hand via universal sign language to all of you except the ears. I’m pleased to announce that overall, the State of the Body is surprisingly good. The body as a whole is relatively ambulatory and able to remain semi-perpendicular throughout the day, which, considering the number of miles we’ve racked up on this baby, is frankly amazing.

“I’m pleased to report that a recent physical examination by a certified medical professional caused the doctor to say with some enthusiasm, “You look great!” Doctors haven’t always made such proclamations in previous years. This year we decided to restrict our contact to dermatologists who confine their examinations to the skin. They, in fact, are the only doctors who ever say we look great because they only care about the skin, not how much of it we have or much we weigh. Yes. We have a lot of skin. But it looks marvelous. So, good work skin.

“In the past year the internal organs have been operating within normal parameters, except for the bladder, which seems to be undergoing some sort of shrinkage. Bladder, I don’t want to single you out for rebuke, but you used to be able to go all night without having to be evacuated. This getting up two or three times a night is bothersome. And don’t try to blame your problems on the prostrate. The dermatologist said the prostrate probably would look great if he could see it.

“The liver turned in another sterling year of service. Well done, liver! You da organ! We’re counting on you for continued outstanding performance processing the vast intake of nutrient-rich medicinal chardonnay that is an essential part of our diet.

“In fact, I must give credit to all the mono-organs … the heart, the spleen, the gall bladder, the stomach … you know who you are … you toil on with solitary dignity knowing that you are on your own, you have no back up like the legs, arms, lungs, eyes and kidneys do. Now, we have heard some murmuring from the heart in the past few years but the dermatologist assures me it is nothing to be concerned with.

“In the coming year we must address the overall bodily infrastructure. While President Obama says it’s essential to invest in and grow the country’s infrastructure, I’m here to tell you that our body’s infrastructure is big enough. Too big, actually. We need to address ways of decreasing our infrastructure at least to the point where the knees, feet and toes will stop complaining. We walked to the mailbox and back the other day and you would have thought the feet and knees were undergoing “enhanced interrogation techniques” at Guantanamo Bay the way they were whining. Geeze, guys, get a grip.

“Hands and fingers had a good year, except for that little incident involving the electric table saw. Whew. That was a close one. But a report from the Nerves Committee says full feeling should soon return to several fingers on the left hand.

“The mouth, if I might say so myself, performed magnificently last year both as a conduit for nutrition and an organ of communication, although there were a few awkward moments in public when it tried to do both at once. The ears are fully operational, despite the curious sudden growth of hair in their external tracts. We are attempting to convince the top of the head to round up these rogue tufts of hair as well as some colonies that have begun sprouting on the back and shoulders.

“What can I say about the eyes? The eyes have it. With the help of reading glasses from Long’s Drugs. Why type size continues to shrink every year in newspapers and on aspirin bottles we don’t know.  And at this time, I’d like to formally welcome the newest members to our body: the jowls. Take a bow, jowls. Or … yeah, shaking’s good.

“So, the state of the body is excellent and we look forward to a new year of cooperation between all of the various necessary organs, limbs, sacs, vessels, nodules, nerves and cortexes. We will now adjourn to an Executive Session where I will brief you in private about our, er, private parts. All I can say publically is that the demonologist said they look marvelous.”



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Charles Memminger is a national award-winning columnist, screenwriter and author. His first novel, "Aloha, Lady Blue" will be published nationally Jan. 22, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. Memminger is a senior writer at Communications Pacific, Hawaii's premier communications, marketing and PR firms. Memminger's commentary represents his personal views and are not affiliated with any organization. To keep up with developments regarding "Aloha, Lady Blue," like him at: E-mail him at


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