Dear Doctor Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

I think I’m depressed. I’m constantly wondering about the meaning of life. I’m constantly asking myself what my real purpose is here and then thinking that maybe I just don’t have one. Are these normal thoughts? Do I need Prozac or something?

Sincerely,

R. J. Kiplong

Algona, Washington

Hey R.J.,

I’m not really a doctor, man. My first name is just actually “Doctor.” I’m serious. People think I’m a doctor because of my odd first name but, I swear, I am definitely not trained to help people with their medical questions. I don’t have any answers for you. Sorry.

Sincerely,

Doc Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

I’ve been taking Flexeril for back pain for a few weeks now. Lately, my wife has complained about my lack of sex drive. Is this a side effect of my medication?

Sincerely,

Sanjay Duma

Greenville, South Carolina

Hey Sanjay,

I’m not a medical doctor, as you can see from my response above to R.J. I’m a mostly-unemployed 24-year-old graduate of Madison Community College. I got my education in VCR Repair and I specialize in Panasonics. I only got the temp job writing this help column because my uncle has worked for the paper for 15 years and he convinced them to give me a chance. So, I’m sorry, but unless you have any questions about the dangers of hitting eject before a tape is done rewinding, or the proper method for removing a stuck tape from a four-head Panasonic PV-V4021, I can’t really help you.

Sorry about that,

Doc Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

My oldest son “Murphy” recently confided to me that he may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from his girlfriend. I would like to get confidential testing for him, but am unsure where to turn. Can you recommend something?

Sincerely,

Elana Matthews

Santa Barbara, California

Dear Elana,

I’m not a doctor, so this is just personal advice, but why don’t you just look a few up in the phone book and ask them about their policies or something? Definitely check it out though. My friend Dale got some bad warts from this chick he met at a place called Laser in Santa Barbara once. It was no good. Tell Murphy to stay away from that place. Also, if he gets bedridden or has to stay in a hospital for treatment or something, I recommend buying him a Panasonic PV-V4622. You can tape all his favorite shows with the touch of a button on that thing. It’s would be a fine machine for a fine boy.

Good luck,

Doc Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

What do you recommend for treating cuts?

Sincerely,

Yvonne Lee

Buffalo, New York

Dear Yvonne,

How about a Band-Aid? Incidentally, I think it’s getting pretty clear that I should have given this column a better name. I was thinking about calling it “Dear Doctor Castle, I Have A Question I Want To Ask You About My VCR”, but then I thought that might be too long. I also wanted to call it “Dear VCR Man,” but one of the editors thought that might lead to some confusion about whether I was a man specializing in VCRs or a man made out of VCRs. The whole thing is getting pretty frustrating, though. On a complete different note, who writes a letter to a newspaper asking how to treat a cut? Who does that?

Yours,

Doc Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

My grandmother “Rosemarie” has been drinking an herbal ginseng remedy every morning and eating a low-fat energy bar for lunch for the past two years. She’s currently taking calcium pills, Provera 2.5 mg, Synthroid 150 mcg, and getting Vitamin D injections. Her blood pressure is a little high but she has no family history of heart problems. Do you think it would be a good idea for her to start a cardio program three times a week?

Thank you,

Cynthia Drummond

Angora, Minnesota

Dear Cynthia,

Yes. I definitely think this would be a good idea. Please start her up on an intense cardio program, only instead of three times a week make it three times a day. And don’t stretch beforehand because it’s not necessary. And tell her to stop drinking water because it turns into poison inside your body when you exercise.

Yours,

Doc Castle

Dear Cynthia,

Wait, I feel bad about that. I’m going to level with you here, Cynthia. I’m a VCR repairman. I repair VCRs when they are broken. I know how a VCR works and can fix problems inside one. I provide VCR advice when asked. That’s all I know how to do. So please, if I can make this clear for the last time: Do not ask me for medical advice, and, if I provide medical advice to you, do not take it.

Yours,

Doc Castle

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Dear Doctor Castle,

Sorry to bother you with such a simple question, but do I take Amoxicillin with or without meals?

Thank you,

Alice Donson

Tallahassee, Florida

Dear Everybody,

Okay, you broke me. Are you happy? You people finally broke me down. I’m willing to accept that I’m not a doctor but, clearly, you people are not willing to accept that. In an ideal situation I’d be in a family room repairing a VCR right now. I’d be making the family VCR work again, giving people the ability to watch their favorite movies again, the ability to laugh again, to cry again, to make love again. In an ideal situation my skills would be used to better people’s lives, not to constantly explain myself. Not to apologize for who I am. Not to feel shame and regret every time I mention my occupation. But you know what? You people make me feel all of these things. So I would like to formally announce the end of “Dear Doctor Castle.” Enjoy your fancy DVD players and unbroken VCRs, folks. If anyone needs a VCR repaired one day, try going to school for three years and learning how to do it yourself.

Yours,

Doc Castle

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