“A Message From Brimley and Me” by B.J. Jones
Yes, I know
you’re Wilford Brimley
and you have diabetes.
I’ve heard and seen and seen
your insulin-deprived sales pitch
between bids on the Price is Right.
I’m B.J. Jones
and I too have diabetes,
but I’m nothing like you
Brimley. With your
drooping mustache pronouncing
“diabetes” like it rhymes with “margaritas,”
which a finger-pricker
like yourself would never drink.
Oh no, you’re a Diet Coke man.
Diet Coke in your whiskey.
Diet Coke for breakfast.
Diet Coke after a session on the treadmill.
All that mouse-tested aspartame tricking your
taste buds, but when the commercial
is over I know what your sweaty, shaky fists reach for
and it’s not a banana—which I
could hold under my noise, tips down,
to impersonate you saying,
“I’m Wilford Brimley and I have diabeetus. I also have a fried Twinkie in my back pocket and while you watch electric wheel chairs spin around, I’m going to totally scarf this.”
The sugar-free Popsicles and low-sugar applesauce are props to your pancreas. The chips, cookies, ice cream, sweetened tea, Big Mac and fries are followed by a Juliet-dagger-thrust of insulin to the leg.
He’s Brimley and I’m Jones,
and we hate type II diabetes.
We bleed on testing trips that
spit out a tattling number and
hope that one slice of wheat bread won’t cost us
an amputated toe or blind eye sometime in the future.
But Brimley has been shooting these commercials
before Drew took the bids on the Price is Right,
and if consistent I will make it as far
as Wilford has—with two eyes and ten toes.