Diabetes At Work

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Yesterday, I had my first video shoot for what could become my full-time job. My friend Jon Murray and I are in the process of making a video for a Web site called They have asked us to write, record, and make a video about something topical each week.

For our debut, we decided to sing a song about everyone’s favorite, recently resigned member of the House of Representatives—Mark Foley. We ended up writing and recording what I think is a funny, catchy song. It’s layered with harmonies and jokes about a pretty easy target, but I think we bring up a few good points, too. And the chorus is exceptionally catchy. (Well, you can be the judge when you see the video—as always, 16 years old and over, please.)

But here’s the tricky part: I’m playing the role of Mark Foley, and in the video we are going to show him eating a cannoli. Wait a minute. I have diabetes.

I can’t be expected to do three or four takes eating several cannolis. My blood sugar would go through the roof or I’d have to take about nine units of insulin only to see my blood sugar spike and then come crashing down two hours later when I’m playing Mark Foley with his pants off in the office. The last thing anyone needs is low blood sugar with their pants down.

So, how did we solve it? The old-fashioned way. My friend who was helping us out on the shoot stood beside me with a garbage bag, and after each take I’d spit out anything that I’d put in my mouth.

Looking back, I feel sorry if anyone from the bakery where we purchased seven cannolis happened to see me attempting to eat them, let alone the good folks who earn an honest living where we were shooting in Brooklyn. The last thing they need to see when they’re walking to lunch is a diabetic dressed up in a ridiculous Mark Foley costume spitting up cannolis.

Not that anyone would know I had diabetes, but the spitting out of a delicious cannoli is often a dead giveaway. You know how the old medical saying goes, “If they’re on the street or at a party and spitting out something they just realized had loads of sugar in it, they have diabetes.” I’ve heard it and said it a thousand times myself.

Well, I’m curious to see what the future will bring for this project and how I’ll have to adjust my schedule to treat my diabetes. It’s certainly a constant puzzle with every day being a new day on the job. Sometimes I wish I could jut grow a silver, walrus-like moustache, stare angrily into a camera lens, and tell people aggressively that they need to “Check your blood sugar, check it often.”

Until then, I guess it’s silly videos for the Internet.

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