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The Diesel Fitter

I took care of a patient who was a pipefitter and which reminded me of another patient I had long long ago. I looked back through the blog and never mentioned this story before, so here it is.

The patient was rather intoxicated and he said that he had hurt his leg at work. So naturally I asked him what kind of work he does.

“I’m a diesel fitter.”
“You mean a pipe fitter?”
“No, a diesel fitter.”
“Well what does a diesel fitter do?”
“I work on an assembly line in a factory.”
“In a truck factory?”
“No I work in a factory that makes nylon products – like panty hose.”
“Doing what?” [this was the wrong question to ask] “Weeeellllll … when the panty hose come off the end of the assembly line, I hold them up to the different mannequins and say ‘Yup, diesel fitter.'”
Then he let out this gruff loud laugh that just filled the whole department. It was kind of a cross between a low cackle and a choke. Every time he paused to take a breath, the laugh got a little louder.
Several people wandered over to see what was going on. I got embarrassed and started shaking my head which made him laugh even harder.

“No mercy for you. Motrin and an ice pack. You’re outta here.”
“But … but … doc! I was only kidding! Come on now!”
Then I did my best impression of his cackle/choke.
“Got ya.”
“You’re all right, doc. You’re all right.”



  1. WC…I have a question…totally not related to the post. A pt. is treated for breast cancer-a double mastectomy and chemo. And, recently had a follow-up MRI and and onco doc said there is a thoracic aneurysm. Would this not have been found a year ago? Either pre-op, post-op? Is it a potential chemo side effect or something that finally got big enough to detect? Just curious…no other symptoms that pt. can identify in relation.

  2. I once was at the deposition of a man dying of mesothelioma, who had only a few weeks to live, but he was still able to say this:

    “Q. Are you married sir?

    A. Not anymore.

    Q. Were you divorced as a result of any medical condition?

    A. Yeah, I got seenus disease.

    Q. I’m sorry, what disease?

    A. Seenus.

    Q. What exactly is seenus disease, sir?

    A. Well, I was driving through town with my girlfriend, and my wife seenus.”

    He was a retired pipefitter.

  3. That was funny. I love that he reacted so strongly to his own joke. Took me a minute though …and t-h-e-n I got it. Thanks for sharing it. :)

    Also funny Matt. That one was easier. Might not have been if I didn’t read diesel fitter first.

    Reminds me of the old Law firm joke: Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. :)

  4. Nice one, WC.

    Wait a minute… M-Matt? …our Matt?

    Just told a joke?

    Well, I’ll be.

  5. Matt is lightening up; I like it.

  6. I know, I am blown away that Matt recounted a joke.

  7. I thought it was pretty funny.

  8. Are you sure it’s not an imposter?

  9. Reminds me of one I heard from Emil Cohen, which worked better in Yiddish but I’ll try to translate: He asked a fellow what he did for a living and the man told him he was a “tzitzis macher”. (Yiddish: macher = maker, and tzitzis are the fringes at the corners of a tallis, which have to be tied in a specific way.) He says “So what does a tzitzis macher do, exactly?” and the guy answers “I stand behind poker games, and when someone plays the wrong card, I go [clicking his tongue] `tz-tz-tz-tz’…”

  10. Not a good idea telling a joke while this blonde is in a good mood. I nearly hyperventilated laughing at these jokes. Now time to pass out by laughing at the Skype laughter chain. :)

    In all seriousness, great jokes, keep them coming.

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