The incredible shrinking Maynard

Every few years, the company I work for encourages all of us employees to get health screenings. And, on occasion, I comply, even though I know it’s motivated more by a desire to reign in health care costs than it is by any real concern about my personal well-being. Well, this year, after going through the process of being weighed, measured, and poked at with needles, I was given a report that showed, among other things, that I was dramatically shrinking.

And that brings us to the point in the post where I’d like to ask a favor… I know some of you are mathematicians and scientists, right? Well, if one of you could take a moment, I’d appreciate it if you could look at the following data and tell me when, if I keep shrinking at this rate, I’ll completely disappear.

OK, here’s the raw data.

On 4/25/2010 I was 6’00”.
On 2/9/2011 I was 5’11”.
On 1/3/2019 I was 5’10”.

So, if I continue shrinking at this rate, when will I just cease to exist with a tiny, sad, little “pop”?

Speaking of health stuff, I also have some good news to report today. According to my doctor, the hearing issues I’ve been experiencing lately are not being caused by a tumor. No, according to the MRI results I just received, there’s nothing in my brain that shouldn’t be there. My tinnitus is pretty bad, and I’ve recently experienced a somewhat significant loss of hearing in my left ear, but it’s apparently not being caused by any kind of malignant growth, so I’m happy about that. And, what’s more, I got official confirmation that I have the “appropriate brain volume” for a patient of my age. So I’ve got that going for me, even if I’m shrinking elsewhere.

In all seriousness, I was fearing the worst when I had this MRI done last night. My tinnitus has been getting progressively worse over the past two moths, and, while most of my hearing loss is bilateral, meaning that it’s happening equally in both ears, my most recent hearing test showed that my left ear was functioning significantly worse than my right ear when it came to picking up words spoken at a volume of 50 decibels. And this, apparently, raised a red flag. But, like I said, the good news is, there doesn’t seem to be anything growing in there that shouldn’t be. So, as I close out this, my 50th year on earth, I am happy to report that not only did I ace my first colonoscopy, but my brain is just as it should be, with perfect volume, and no malignant growths.

update: Thank you to Todd Phipps of Greensboro, North Carolina, who converted me over to centimeters, graphed the data, and extrapolated that, at my current rate of shrinkage, I would disappear from existence in 399.8 years.

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  1. Jcp2
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted January 22, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, OK, but shrinking to the point of non-existence, and with a loud buzzing in my ears. Otherwise fine, though. Good brain volume. Pristine colon.

  3. Lynne
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    That does sound scary! I am glad for the good outcome for you.

  4. iRobert
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Though we do not have enough data here to pinpoint the rate at which you are shrinking, we do have enough to approximate the likely earliest moment when you will have no height. The soonest you will reach that will be in the year 2586. You’ll be about 618 years old by that time.

    Depending on how your width and depth is changing, by the time the year 2586 rolls around, you may spend those last moments as a round or oblong disk on the ground. Try to think of it as sort of a spotlight, like you’d see in a broadway performance. It will be a classy exit from existence in that way. But the spotlight there on the stage would be made of 618 year old human flash rather than bright white light.

  5. iRobert
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    You will be a round or oblong disk made of 618 year old human flesh, so in those last few years we can assume you’d resemble a pancake somewhat and may have considerable difficulty evading breakfast-seeking predators.

  6. iRobert
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you don’t have a tumor. I’m no doctor, but I think that constant ringing in your ear is caused by all the people talking about you behind your back.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Good job burying the “I don’t have a brain tumor” lead. Congratulations.

  8. Posted January 23, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Perhaps your brain won’t shrink with the rest of you, making its currently appropriate volume more like an 11 in a few years. That would make you very rock and roll.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Yoga. Stretch that shit out. Good for the brain too. I know it’s a cliche now but Washtenaw County was a center for the practice long before it became a fad. And it works, especially to combat the effects of aging on the body and brain. (Yes, there’s data) Doubt it will have hearing impacts but there’s plenty of help for that out there. Just go to someplace without mirrors and without hip gyrations and other American ego culture intrusions on the practice.

    A clean colonoscopy is a dream, you lucky dog.

  10. Anonymatt
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Your 50th year on Earth ended 2/11/2018, you’re closing out your 51st.

  11. Todd Phipps
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    By extrapolation you have about 400 years Mark. If this shrinkage is a linear shrinkage.

  12. John Brown
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    It sounds most likely to be a sampling error. Unless it was the exact same nurse and equipment each time, forget about it. Unless your spine and posture is totally crap.

    But if you’re worried about it try pull ups with lifting your legs to horizontal, like a gymnast. This will simultaneously train your core to support your shrinking spine, and your arms for wielding a beefy AR10 when we do our open carry protest on Pennsylvania Ave.

  13. Posted January 23, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I always pictured Mark as more of an AR15 guy. I’m not sure why.

  14. John Brown
    Posted January 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The Liberal Panthers have both, which he is welcome to try out anytime. Washtenaw Sportsman Club loves newbies. And it really fucks with their head if you arrive in a Prius.

  15. iRobert
    Posted January 24, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Do they have Darwinian instructors there who train 9 year olds on fully automatics?

    I’m always impressed with the reasoning abilities of the average American.

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