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* EXTRA CARTOONS September 2012 $3.99


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Conan O’Brien, and more SenoKot-S


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©2012 Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. All rights reserved. 12/11 LUN239-11 1. 2 AND 3 MG TABLETS
Jokes, Folks! Hot. Thirsty.
Humor Editor Lost. Three women
Andy Simmons picks took a drive to Death
his favorite gags Valley for a day of ex-
from his new book, ploring and wound up
Now That's Funny! struggling for survival.

© Laughterpedia
The stuff that cracks
us up, from A to Z.

& Secrets Your


irt Tell You

© Love Unleashed
Dog-crazy: Tim
remembers, Dean
What Washington
insiders don’t talk about.

Koontz recommends, The Children He

and Steve Madden Couldn't Forget

reflects. Scott Neeson left

his high-powered

Hollywood job to
The Man Who save hundreds of
Wouldn't Quit
Cambodian children.
A tale of extraordinary
courage in the face of
racism, alex haley,

MARCH 1963 ,,4‘


Feather Fancy 124 Why a Hospital

A magnificent showcase Bill Costs

of gorgeous and useful
It Costs
how to
understand your
11 health-care
save thousands.
bill — and

readersdigest.com 9/12

13 things
principal 12 Cartoon Special
18 Laughter, the Best Medicine
tell you
22 Life in These United States
26 All in a Day’s Work
28 Humor in Uniform

36 Health Paula Deen’s health makeover;
everyday things that make you dumb

59 Family i3thingsprincipalswon’ttellyou
64 Food Tasty ways to eat PB&J
76 Home Quick fixes for a stylish home
81 Digital A hero is born when he
conquers cables and restores the Internet

99 Culture The greatest sports

moment I ever saw

David Byrne’s
new book is an
a Reader?
ode to music 5 Editor’s Note
Subscribe to the
7 React Your letters Reader’s Digest app for
10 RD Recommends your digital tablet and
get the first chapter
30 Hometown of all six books
Heroes free!
One woman acts quickly
to save another

185 Books Six excerpts and reviews


193 Word Power


200 Quotable Quotes

readersdigest.com 9/12











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Spu r i na

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Always there for you-
' )\' )
\ Editor’s Note I
Laugh “Laughterpedia”
(page 112)
Gulp “Why a Hospital
Costs What It Costs”

Now That’s Funny! (page 124)

Cheer “The Man
Ihave one joke. I simply can’t humor editor Who Wouldn’t Quit”
(page 144)
remember any others. Here I go: for nine years.
No matter what question I ask, Andy decides
say “pea soup.” which jokes get into the magazine,
OK. and it’s a more daunting task than
What did you have for breakfast? you’d think.
Pea soup. A Reader’s Digest joke must be
What did you have for lunch? funny (obviously) and clean (readers
Pea soup. pass their magazines up and down
What did you have for dinner? the family tree). Andy does a terrific
Pea soup. job. Every issue, our humor pages
What did you do all night? rank as your favorites. As if he didn’t
Pee soup. have enough to do, he also wrote
Pathetic, right? I kill at home. (One a hoot of a book, Now That’s
of the surprise upsides of parent- Funny! See 13 of his favorite
hood is that you’re suddenly the jokes from the book on page
most hilarious person in the world.) 108. You can also thank
You might ask yourself, How him for the political
is it possible that Reader’s Digest cartoons on page 12
(legendary for our trademark column and the alphabet soup
“Laughter, the Best Medicine”) has of hilarity on page 112.
an editor who’s joke-challenged? Check out this

She has Andy Simmons, our *'

shot of our art team
yukking it up at

Andy’s photo shoot.

Me? I was back in the
office, working on the
budget. Some might say,
Now that’s funny.


FROM liz@rd.com
Andy, Dean, Emilie, Bill, and Bob
Follow me on Twitter
readersdigest.com 9/12 sffiLizVacc

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bransibion. CTOOpS . .

d pbesb hSgbher
life veterans opporbunibies
. M
honorable ^ COT,ipassion politics

j°bs re Pubi,can

Outrageous Praise WORD BY WORD

The June issue was excellent! It This graphic “word cloud” via
blew me away. By the way, I got a wordle.net reveals the most
paper cut while reading your maga- frequently used words in your
letters on the June issue.
zine, so I expect a $25,000 check for
pain and suffering, a Band-Aid, and
a warning printed in your next issue. “That’s Outrageous!” I’ve been a
Robert Distel, Unionville, Connecticut subscriber for many years, and this
is the first time I’ve ever seen the
This has to be one of your best magazine address issues of gays and
issues ever, if not the best. So lesbians. We read RD too!
much of what you presented would Missy Aymami, viae-mail
make great TV or movie comedy
material— if it weren’t true. But Ienjoyed the quips, but the one
that’s the craziest part: It’s all true. item on intolerance was not funny.
Lucille VanDusen, Wrightstown, New Jersey The Catholic Church has clearly
expressed its views on homosexuality.
Outrageous Debate Why did Ms. Johnson think the
Three cheers for church should change that expressed
Reader’s Digest for ideology for her or anyone else?
including the item That is outrageous.
on intolerance in Charlotte Pestel, Kalispell, Montana

readersdigest.com 9/12
^ Who’s Fighting for
Our Vets?
Thank you for in-
We asked our friends on cluding stories of
Facebook to suggest their own military members in
captions for this cartoon. These transition (“You’re
are a few of our favorites. Welcome, America. Now Hire Us”
and “Soldiers No More”). When I
left the service, I found the transi-
tion to civilian life difficult. Since,
I’ve been blessed with a number of
career opportunities, including my
current job at Microsoft, a company
committed to recruiting veterans.
Jim Barber, Parker, Colorado

I am currently deployed, and

“You’re Welcome, America. Now
Hire Us” shed an honest light on
what service members may experi-
“When veggies go bad.” ence once they finish their tours.
Mickey Halley Articles like this also educate me so
thatI can prepare my sailors for the
“I can’t believe it — I’m being held up unique job-search challenges they
by the Broccoli Raber.”
will face in the future.
Laura Pinto
Chief Quinton J. Avery, via e-mail
“Payback for al those years of

boiling out my nutrients.” America as a whole is struggling for

Susan Hokama
jobs. However, our troops deserve
"Give it up, lady, or I’m gonna get much more than they are getting.
Steamed!” Lynn R. Heim Put Congress on military pay and
our military on Congress pay.
“I have heard of stalking, but this
Lois Crigger, via Facebook
is a little extreme!”
Michele Renee Clark

The more read about these honor-

“Wow — looks like someone needs able people, the more frustrated I MARK

tOVegOUt.” JannFlebbe became. It’s ridiculous that these BY

individuals need to go back to

Original caption:
school for certification. Why can’t
“This isn’t helping your reputation.” ILLUSTRATED

the government ensure that when

our soldiers go through medical or
8 readersdigest.com 9/12
technical training in the armed
forces, they automatically become READER’S DIGEST
certified in the civilian workforce as EVERYWHERE
well? This seems to be a no-brainer.
Rita Fasson, Orlando, Florida

My husband and I own a small busi-

ness, and we’ve always sought out
ex-military to fill positions, like the
men and women in Gary Sledge’s
article. Those we’ve hired are sharp,
well trained, disciplined, profes-
and motivated. I hope more
sional, Nook
employers see the valuable resource
thatwe have in our former military.
Lynn Crawford,

Mending Family Fences

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Kindle Fire Kindle

Joe Hagan wrote

a beautiful article
about how differ-
ences in political facebook.com/
views affect families (“Red Dad, Blue
Son”). As the Republican daughter
of a Democrat who’s married to the
Republican son of a Democrat, I’ve You 03®
learned the key is to respect and youtube.com/
love one another in spite of differing
Opinions. Lisa Shumway, Dayton, Nevada

A Reasonable Reaction
I found it ironic that readersdigest pinterest.com/
.tumblr.com readersdigest
the conclusion of
“Overreaction Send letters to letters@rd.com or React, Reader's Digest,

Nation” mentioned PO Box 6100, Harlan, Iowa 51593-1600. Include your full

name, address, e-mail, and daytime phone number. We may

headlines that make people worry and use them in all print and electronic media.
edit letters
Contribute For short humor items, please see page 28.
that their canker sore is cancer, yet We regret that we cannot accept or acknowledge unsolic-

on the very next page

the article ited artwork, photographs, or article-length manuscripts.
Do Business Subscriptions, renewals, gifts, address changes,
was about “Health Horrors!” Thanks payments, account information, and inquiries: readersdigest
.com/help, 877-732-4438, or write us at Reader's Digest,
for the chuckle! PO Box 6095, Harlan, Iowa 51593-1595.
Ali Bramson, Verona, Wisconsin
RDRecommends *

Of Fleeting Interest


Worth downloading: BREAKFAST
Radical Face, Young One secret from this
the Giant, and compact e-book:
Edward Sharpe Stack your dayto
and the Magnetic tackle goals first VIDEO: FROM
thing, when you LOVE TO BINGO
REDUCING SECRET mostcontrolyour

YOU PROBABLY A clever one-minute

schedule! flip-motion movie
Acupuncture: Lab HAIRCUT GIVE with real heart tells MAE

rats were measurably YOU A LAZY EYE? a life story, using

more relaxed Australia’s Daily 873 photos from IDA

afterward. Could it Telegraph explores stock agency

workforyou? whether bangs can Getty’s archives.

cause amblyopia.
What would they
have said about
mop tops? BIS;



Postmortem, you SITES THAT Scary phenom in
can crush ashes into COULD REPLACE which you can die
a diamond or blast FACEBOOK even after being DAVID

them into space, Huffington Post rescued. The three

or opt for this examines what’s new signs to watch for:
foryoutolike, difficulty breathing, IMAGES:

Businessweek: including our extreme tiredness,

Convert them into editor’s favorite, and changes in
a vinyl record. nextdoor.com. behavior.

The Washington Post

profiled Jan Scruggs,
detailing his ROBERTS EFFECT
G MA anchor’s

controversial drive Within hours of the

for an education announcement, 3,600 people
center at the D.C. signed up to donate bone
Vietnam Veterans marrow (compared with 200 to IMAGES:

Memorial. 300 on atypical day).


Of Lasting Interest

* In case you missed it, go to readersdigest.com/recommends.


10 readersdigest.com 9/12
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Knock knock. Who's there? It's Now That's Funny,

the new book by Reader's Digest Humor Editor Andy
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and encounters with some of comedy's biggest stars is
sure to have you rolling from page to page.

Get your copy today at i->. Readers.

ReadersDigest.com/Funny Digest

Laughter, the Best Medicine

hose first two

a bird!
people, the ones
said, “It’s
a plane!”
What were they
so excited about?
Shar Vanderworth

Two great white sharks

swimming in the ocean
spy some surfers. The
younger one licks his
lips and makes a bee-
line for them.
“Just a minute,”
says his father,
stopping him. “First
we swim around them
with just the tip of
our fins showing.”
And they do.
“Now we swim
around them a few
times withall our

fins showing.”
And they do. I knew was going bald because

“Now we eat everybody.” it was taking longer and longer to

When they are both gorged, the Wash my face. Comedian Harry Hill

son asks, “Dad, why didn’t we just KIM

eat them when we first saw them?” My parents keep asking why I never BY

“Because they taste better without come home for a visit. It’s because
all the poop inside.” Delta Air Lines won’t wait in the

Submitted by Frank Johnston, yard while I run in.

Jacksonville, Florida
Comedian Margaret Smith
18 readersdigest.com 9/12

© Humor Just saw an ad for an “Improvised

Shakespeare Company.” Good idea.
The problem with Shakespeare
I’ve been told that when you meet was always the writing.
the right person, you know immedi- Comedian Ritch Duncan
ately. How come when you meet the
wrong person, it takes a year and
a half ? Comedian Phil Hanley
it’s pretty cute: Instead of playing
The prosecutor was relentless as he telephone, the kids just play tech
badgered the witness. “What did the support. Jimmy Fallon, on Late Night
accused do when he learned the
jewelry was part of a stolen hoard?” A cruise ship passes a small desert
he demanded. island. Everyone watches as a ratty-
“He did what any honest man looking bearded man runs out on
would do,” said the witness. the beach and starts shouting and
“And what was that?” waving his hands.
“I didn’t think you’d know.” “Who’s that?” asks one of the
Submitted by Gene Newman passengers.
Parsippany, New Jersey
“I have no idea,” replies the
captain. “But every year we sail
My divorce was messy because there past, and he goes nuts.” From Esquire
was a child involved. My husband.
Comedian Wendy Liebman My wife got pulled over for making
an “S” turn. She started to make a
I read about a new 24-hour day “U,” then changed her mind.
care that’s opening in India. Yeah, Comedian Gabe Abelson

Scott Cromwell’s
new pet —a budwing
mantis— tries to
stake her claim
in Cromwell’s
Oklahoma household.
But Winston the
Labrador just wants
to go back to sleep.

20 readersdigest.com 9/12
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Life in These United States

uring a congressional
race in our district, A SPOT-ON REBUKE
a party loyalist
took one of the candidates
to a meeting of farm
leaders. There he read
off a laundry list of the
man’s qualifications: native
Iowan, graduate of an Ivy
League college, successful
businessman, State Depart-
ment staffer, and so on.
When he finished, a farmer
stood up.
“Seems to me it would
be a mistake to send this When the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota,
man to Washington,” he backed out of a deal to buy his home, Jim
said. “We ought to keep Deitz gave his house a paint job the town
him around for breeding elders would not soon forget. Added bonus,
purposes.” said Deitz: “Pizza-delivery drivers won’t
A. J. Finder, Grinnell, Iowa have any trouble finding this place.”
Source: Associated Press

Well Schooled
Wisdom and pearls from
preschoolers. “I’ve got two pretend friends
“You wanna know how I know cornin’ to my Easter egg hunt,
fairies are real? Because I am and their names are Nothin’ and
a fairy.” Nobody.” From Preschool Gems,
“There’s no more elfs by Leslie McCollom (Perigee)

in my ear. They all PHOTO

went on vacation Some texts should

Scene: Car dealer-
not be abbreviated. Case
to my nose.” in point, this message from my ship near Chicago.

“When I grow cousin, which simply read “A J D.” Customer: I

up, I want to be was confused until my father called wanna get it, but
Canadian.” to tell me, “Aunt June died.” I can’t afford it. » ERIC

Mclodie Diaz Cruz, Heartland, Texas

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simple Chock full o’Nuts today and let its l

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, ,

©Humor my cell phone, I found this text

message awaiting me: “CGYT?”

Car Salesman: Are you sure? “Huh?” I responded.
Customer: If I buy it, I’ll probably She shot back: “Cat Got Your
have to give up my apartment. Thumb?” Rep. Paul Broun, Athens, Georgia
Car Salesman: Can’t you live with
your parents? Fromburbia.com Who Could Resist?
Sign spotted on a telephone pole in
My wife and had been texting
I my neighborhood: “Garage Sale this
back and forth when unbeknownst Saturday— 7am until 100 degrees.”
to her, I had to stop for a few One would be hard-pressed to
minutes. When I returned to pass on this ad, spotted on Craigslist:
“1990 Ford Escort $250. Could be
driven. Should be towed.”
FACEBOOK VS. DAD The flyer invited me to a
Not everyone has mastered social media. seminar entitled: “Everything
You Ever Wanted to Ask About
David Dr [ im
where to buy chicken casserole Cremation.” The location:
supplies Smokehouse BBQ,
Like -Comment 3 hours ago
My friend’s ad: “For Sale:
'96 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.
Stephen D Dad, this is
facebook, not google. T ry again. Brand-new convertible top and
Like -3 hours ago
tires. Needs minor work.

David Da a em * where to buy Serious injuries only!”

chicken casserole supplies Submitted by
Like - 3 hours ago
Kathy Richey New Bern, North Carolina;
Ryan Malloy Dover, Delaware;
Stephen D 1
Dad no. L. J., Independence, Missouri;
Like - 3 hours ago Dr. Navjot Gill, Glastonbury, Connecticut

David Da m-mmm where to buy

supplies for chicken casserole And One from Abroad
Like - 3 hours ago
Usually, the secretary at my son’s
Stephen D ® elementary school answers when
a Are you
serious? I call, but on one occasion, I
Like -3 hours ago
spoke to an unfamiliar voice.
David Da a tama chicken “Do you know who it might
casserole supply store
Like - 3 hours ago
have been?” I asked my son.
“It could have been Mrs.
Stephen D - Fiesta
Mart, 8130 Kirby Drive.
Campbell,” he said thoughtfully.
-3 hours ago
Like “Did it sound like she was wear-
ing a blue coat?”
Mandy Williams, Mitcheldean, Great Britain

24 readersdigest.com 9/12
Apr 01 5=00 pm

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All in a Day’s Work
young girl
walked into
her school
and asked
the librarian — my
daughter — for a
particular book.
“Are you sure you
want this book?” my
daughter asked. “It’s
pretty scary.”
“I’m not afraid
of anything,” said the
girl. “I’ve seen my
grandmother naked.”
Alfred K. Harwell,
Cartersville, Georgia
'You’re just the kind of person we’re looking for
to test our airline seats."
We’ll Call You
It’s tough enough landing a job.
Try not to commit these interview might not like about the job, he said,
gaffes, as reported by actual ‘Dealing with people.’”
hiring managers: Source: Robert Half Technology
“The candidate arrived in a
catsuit.” Iwas at a sporting event when a
“The candidate sent his sister gentleman behind me gasped and
to interview in his place.” fell over. I climbed over the seat and
“A job applicant came in for an first established that he was breath-

interview with a cockatoo ,

ing. As I checked the man’s
on his shoulder.” pulse rhythm, a woman L.

“An individual stormed over and pushed BY

applied for a Adding a funny me away.

customer-service hat to your pajamas
^ r “Step aside! I’m
and when at home = weird.

,. a nurse!” she
Adding a funny hat to your
asked what he shouted. She then
pajamas at work = chef.
26 Comedian Julieanne Smolinski

of funds. He was quite reasonable.

FORE! “So,” he said, “who didn’t have
Managers of golf courses money, me or the bank?”
have to watch out for errant Harish Rao, Mississauga, Canada

drives, as well as errant phone calls

from customers like these: I was prosecuting a case involving a
man charged with driving under the
Staff: Golf course. May I help you?
Caller: What are your green fees?
influence. The defense counsel was
Staff: Thirty-eight dollars.
beginning to lose his cool with the
Caller: Does that include golf? police witnesses and implied that
they had gotten their facts wrong.
Staff: Golf course. May helpyou? I
“People do make mistakes, don’t
Caller: Yes. need to get some
they, Officer Lock?” he demanded of
information from you. First, is this
one witness.
your correct phone number?
“Yes, sir,” came the reply. “I’m
Staff: Golf course. May helpyou?
Officer Webster.”
Caller: My kids just came home The defense lost.
with pockets full of range balls and Roger Gray, St. Albans, Great Britain
said they stole them from your
driving range. Would you like to buy
Offices around the country
Staff: Golf course. May help you? I

Caller: Yes, we have a tee time for are cutting back. Some more
than others.
two weeks from Friday. What’s the
weather going to be like that day?
Submitted by
Ed Thompson North Salem, New York

proceeded to examine the man.

As I retreated to my seat, I an-
nounced, “When you get to the part
about ‘Call a doctor,’ I’ll be here.”
Karl J. Pizzolatto, MD, Lakewood, Washington

As an insurance broker, I sometimes

have to call people who have missed
paying their monthly premiums.
One day, I called a customer and
told him his insurance-premium
check had bounced due to a lack
readersdigest.com 9/12

Humor in Uniform
ome on leave from Iraq,

H my step-grandson was
showing off his abs.
Not to be outdone, my husband
thumped his prodigious stomach
and bragged, “I still have my six-
pack. It’s just six inches deeper.”
K. H., Rogersville, Alabama AND KILL YOU

My brother was vacationing

on a beach when he heard SHELL SHOCKED
someone call to him using an
A military base in New Zealand figures that
old nickname from his Navy
no one ever got killed by stating the obvious.
days. My brother couldn’t place
the face, but the man insisted
they had served together, and he “The doctor said that I suffer from
even told stories of their days on amnesia.” Ruth Falcao, Olinda, Brazil

the high seas.

Soon the memories came flooding My sister had her kindergarten
back. As they reminisced, the friend class write tomy nephew Nate
revealed that he had received a and his Marine buddies serving in
medical discharge. Afghanistan. Nate’s favorite letter
“What was wrong?” my brother was this one:“Dear Marine, thank
asked. you for being in the Army.”
His friend replied dolefully, Anne Kopp, San Ramon, California

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28 readersdigest.com 9/12
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Johnson, with Faith
and Christian. She
received an award
for valor from the
Air Force Academy
for her actions.
Danger on the Road
A quick-thinking mother comes to
the aid of a woman in distress

eslie Johnson thinks fate put her at the inter-

L section of Marksheffel
Avenue at 6:15 a.m. last
Road and Constitution
August. Johnson and
her kids, Faith, eight, and Christian, five, left their
Colorado Springs home early that morning to pick
up breakfast on the way to the kids’ summer day
care. Stopped at a red light, Johnson, 40, an Air
Force administrative assistant, saw a young woman
jump out of a Honda Civic and, dressed in pajamas
and with unbrushed hair, run barefoot from car to
car,pleading for help. Other drivers looked past her
or locked their doors, but Johnson waved her over.
“He’s gonna kill me!” screamed the woman.
“Get in!” said Johnson immediately.
“I can’t! Your kids are in the car!”
“The police station is close,” Johnson responded.
“Just get in!”
The woman, Jacqueline Maes, 21, scrambled
into the backseat next to Christian. Johnson floored
the accelerator, running the red light. The Civic’s
driver, Maes’s ex-boyfriend Corey Handy, followed
them. As Johnson learned later, Maes was sched-
uled to testify against Handy in a domestic abuse
trial. Earlier that morning, Handy had persuaded
her to pick him up, claiming that his “I didn’t hear Christian,” says
motorcycle had broken down. When Johnson. was afraid to turn
she arrived, he forced her into the around. thought he had been shot.”

passenger seat of her car and took Miraculously, the bullets had
the wheel, threatening to kill both of lodged in the door. Everyone was
them. When Handy grabbed Maes’s shaken but safe. “Jackie and Faith
phone to make a call, Maes bolted. were crying; Christian was mad. I
“He has a gun!” Maes said to was concerned with what we’d do
Johnson. if Handy came back,” says Johnson.
“I told my kids to get on the floor “It hit me a day or two later how
immediately,” recalls Johnson. “Faith bad it could have been.”
started crying— she was old enough A driver who had witnessed the
incident drove them to
“I was afraid to turn around,” a nearby church to wait
says Johnson. “I thought for the police.
Later, Maes and
Christian had been shot.”
Johnson learned that
toknow what a gun is. Jackie lay Handy had ditched the car and
down by Christian on the seat in disappeared. Police found him three
the back.” weeks later in New Mexico and
Johnson swerved her Chevrolet arrested him on kidnapping,
Suburban through traffic, but attempted murder, and other
Handy, 28, caught up and pulled charges. In April, Handy pleaded
alongside her, waving his gun. She guilty to attempted first-degree
edged onto the right shoulder of the murder and was sentenced to
road, putting another car between 30 years in prison in Colorado.
hers and the Civic. But the driver Until Handy was behind bars,
of the middle car saw Handy’s gun Johnson had trouble sleeping, and
and slowed down, allowing Handy loud noises frightened her. “The
to catch up to Johnson again. children talk about it almost daily,”
“I slammed on my brakes, ex- Johnson says. She had to buy an-
pecting him to speed past,” says other car after police impounded
Johnson. “But he stopped, too, and the Suburban as evidence. Still,
started shooting.” Johnson says she wouldn’t have
Handy fired his handgun at the responded any other way. “Jackie
car six times. A bullet shattered the reminded me of my 18-year-old
backseat window, and four more daughter, Alayna,” says Johnson.
bullets struck the left back door, “If Alayna were in trouble, I pray
inches from where Maes and that somebody would help her.”
Christian crouched. Then Handy “Leslie was a blessing,” Maes says.
sped away. “She saved my life.”
32 readersdigest.com 9/12
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page 59

The Bear Minimum

At Hubbart Point, Manitoba, on the western coast of
Canada’s Hudson Bay, a hungry polar bear roams amid a blaze
of August fireweed. Good luck to her. With sea ice now melting

earlier in spring and forming later in fall, seal-hunting


Everyday Things
That Make You Dumb
Why mundane experiences can throw
your mental muscles for a loop
BY NATALIE WOLCHOVER # from Life’s Little Mysteries
Doors sity of Notre Dame have discovered
Ever walk into a room with some that passing through a doorway
purpose in mind, only to completely triggers what’s known as an event ANDERSON/CORBIS

forget what that purpose was? boundary in the mind, separating

Turns out, doors themselves are one set of thoughts and memories
to blame for these strange memory from the next. Your brain files

lapses. Psychologists at the Univer- away the thoughts you had in the
36 readersdigest.com 9/12
previous room and prepares a blank circles. But they don’t occur when
slate for the new locale. we can recalibrate our sense of
direction using a nearby building
Wide-open spaces or mountain, for instance.
We walk in circles when we traverse
terrain devoid of landmarks, such as Beeps
the desert. Even though we’d swear If you can’t concentrate during the
we’re walking in a straight line, we irritatingsound of a truck backing
actually curve around in loops as up, blame the brain baffle on an
tight as 66 feet in diameter. German evolutionary glitch. Natural sounds
research from the Max Planck are created from a transfer of en-
Institute for Biological Cybernetics ergy (say, a stick hitting a drum)
reveals why: With every step a and gradually dissipate, and our
walker takes, a small deviation perceptual system has evolved to
arises in the brain’s balance (vestib- use that decay of sound to figure
ular) or body awareness (proprio- out what made it and where it came
ceptive) systems. These deviations from. But beeps don’t typically
accumulate to send that individual change or fade away over time, so
veering around in ever-tighter our brains have trouble keeping up.


The physicians of the hit television show The Doctors reveal
PRODUCTIONS the top foods for blunting brain fog.

• SEAFOOD Salmon and tuna contain abundant levels of omega-3 fatty

acids, healthy fats that may improve the retention of brain cells.
• BROWN CARBS Whole grains, which you digest slowly, provide fuel
for your brain. (Althoughyour brain accounts for only 3 percent of your
body weight, It uses 20 percent of energy.) Rich sources include whole
wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and bran flakes.

• BERRIES Rich in protective anti-

oxidants, blueberries, strawber-
ries, and cranberries are linked to

better memory and coordination.

CHOCOLATE These Indulgences
are also packed with brain-healthy


Indications and Usage
Victoza* (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve
blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes when used along with diet and exercise.
Victoza*is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes. Victoza* is not a substitute for

and has not been studied in combination with prandial (meal-time) insulin. Victoza* is not for
people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis. It is not known if Victoza* is safe
and effective in children. Victoza* is not recommended for use in children.

Important Safety Information

In —
animal studies, Victoza* caused thyroid tumors including thyroid cancer in some rats —
and mice. It is not known whether Victoza* causes thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid
cancer called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in people, which may be fatal if not detected
and treated early. Do not use Victoza* if you or any of your family members have a history
of MTC or if you nave Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). While taking
Victoza*, tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble
swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
Do not use Victoza* if you are allergic to liraglutide or any of the ingredients in Victoza*. Serious allergic
reactions can happen with Victoza If symptoms of serious allergic reactions occur, stop taking Victoza*

and seek medical attention. Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) may be severe and leadto death.
Before taking Victoza*, tell your doctor if you have had pancreatitis, gallstones, a history of alcoholism,
or high blood triglyceride levels since these medical conditions make you more likely to get pancreatitis.
Stop taking Victoza* and call your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area that is
severe and will not go away, occurs with or without vomiting, or is felt going from your stomach area
through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.
Before using Victoza*, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially sulfonylurea medicines

novo nordisk
Eating right and staying active helped me
see diabetes a new light. So did asking in
about non-insulin Victoza®.
Like Paula Deen, I'm helping manage my diabetes by taking walks and eating smaller portions.
I also asked my doctor about Victoza®. Here's what learned: I

r Victoza® starts to lower blood sugar in as soon as

keeps it down*
two weeks, lowers A1C,* and

v Victoza® comes in a prefilled Pen I use just once a day, any time, so it fits into my busy life

v While not a weight-loss product, Victoza® may help me lose some weight

Ask your doctor how Victoza* can help you better manage your diabetes, too.
Visit victoza.com or call 1-866-821-7406 to learn more.

Non-insulin • Once-daily

*Victoza“ 1 .8 mg, taken alone or in combination with diabetes pills, lowered A1 C by .0 to on averaqe as shown
1 1 .5 points '
in medical studies.
'Victoza* has been shown to keep A1C down in a 2-year medical study.
Individual results may vary.

or insulin as taking them with Victoza® may affect how each medicine
works. If you use Victoza*
with insulin, you may give both injections in the same body area (for
example, your stomach area)
but not right next to each other.
Also tell your doctor
if you have severe stomach problems
such as slowed emptying of your stomach
(gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food; have or have had kidney or liver problems; have any
other medical conditions; or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Tell
your doctor if you are
breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is unknown if Victoza® will harm your
unborn baby or if Victoza®
passes into your breast milk.
Your risk for getting hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is higher if you take Victoza*
with another
medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. The dose of
your sulfonylurea
medicine or insulin may need to be lowered while taking Victoza*.
Victoza* may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea leading to dehydration,
which may cause kidney
failure. This can happen in people wTio have never had
kidney problems before. Drinkinq plenty of
fluids may reduce your chance of dehydration.

The most common side effects with Victoza® include headache, nausea, and diarrhea.
Nausea is most
common when first starting Victoza®, but decreases over time in most people. Immune system-related
reactions, including hives, were more common in people treated
with Victoza* compared to people
treated with other diabetes drugs in medical studies.

Please see Brief Summary of Important Patient Information on next page.

If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. pparx.org or
Visit call 1 -888-4PPA-NOW.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs
to the FDA
Visitfda.gov/medwatchorcall 1-800-FDA-1088.
Victoza* is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
6 2012 Novo Nordisk 0412-00008546-1 May 2012

liraglutide (rDNA origin) injection
Victoza” should be used with caution in people with a history
of pancreatitis.

ViCTOZA • Serious low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may occur when

Victoza® is used with other diabetes medications such as
liraglutide (rONA origin) injection sulfonylureas and insulin. This risk can be reduced by
lowering the dose of the sulfonylurea or insulin.
Important Patient Information
•If serious allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylactic reactions
This is a BRIEF SUMMARY of important information and swelling) occur, discontinue Victoza” and other suspect
about Victoza*. This information does not take the medications and promptly seek medical advice.
place of talking with your doctor about your medical
•Victoza® may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea leading
condition or your treatment. If you have any questions
to the loss of fluids (dehydration). Dehydration may cause
about Victoza”, ask your doctor. Only your doctor can
kidney failure. This can happen in people who may have
determine if Victoza” is right for you.
never had kidney problems before. Drinking plenty of fluids

WARNING may reduce your chance of dehydration.

During the drug testing process, the medicine in •Like all other diabetes medications, Victoza® has not been
Victoza” caused rats and mice to develop tumors shown to decrease the risk of large blood vessel disease
of the thyroid gland. Some of these tumors were (i.e. heart attacks and strokes).

cancers. It is not known if Victoza” will cause thyroid What are the side effects of Victoza”?
tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary
•Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling
thyroid cancer (MTC) in people. If MTC occurs,
in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness
it may lead to death if not detected and treated
ot breath while taking Victoza®. These maybe symptoms of
early. Do not take Victoza” if you or any of your
thyroid cancer.
family members have MTC, or if you have Multiple
Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). This
•The most common side effects, reported in at least 5% of

people treated with Victoza® and occurring more commonly

is a disease where people have tumors in more than
than people treated with a placebo (a non-active injection
one gland in the body.
used to study drugs in clinical trials) are headache, nausea,
What is Victoza” used for? and diarrhea.
•Victoza® is a glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor • Immune system related reactions, including hives, were
agonist used to improve blood sugar (glucose) control in more common in people treated with Victoza® (0.8%)
adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, when used with a diet compared to people treated with other diabetes drugs (0.4%)
and exercise program. in clinical trials.

•Victoza” should not be used as the first choice of medicine •This listing of side effects is not complete. Your health care
for treating diabetes. professional can discuss with you a more complete list of

•Victoza® studies contain limited data in people with a history side effects that may occur when using Victoza®.

of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Therefore, it

What should know about I taking Victoza* with other
should be used with care in these patients. medications?
•Victoza® is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus • Victoza” slows emptying of your stomach. This may impact
or people with diabetic ketoacidosis. how your body absorbs other drugs that are taken by mouth
• It is not known if Victoza” is safe and effective when used at the same time.

with mealtime insulin. Can Victoza* be used in people with kidney or liver

Who should not use Victoza”? problems?

•Victoza® should not be used in people with a personal or • Victoza® studies contain limited data in people with kidney

family history of MTC or in patients with MEN2. or liver problems.

•Victoza® should not be used in people with a severe allergy Still have questions?
to Victoza” or any of its ingredients. This is only a summary of important information. Ask your
What is the most important information I should know doctor for more complete product information, or

about Victoza”? •Call 1-877-4VICT0ZA (1-877-484-2869)

• In animal studies, Victoza® caused thyroid tumors. People •visit victoza.com
who use Victoza® should be counseled on the risk of MTC
and symptoms of thyroid cancer.
Victoza• is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
• In clinical trials, there were more cases of pancreatitis in
Date of Issue: April 2012
people treated with Victoza® compared to people treated with
Version 4
other diabetes drugs.
and other
If pancreatitis is suspected, Victoza”
potentially suspect drugs should be discontinued.

Victoza® should not be restarted if pancreatitis is confirmed.

©2012 Novo
May 2012
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a —

When Words Are

What one doctor is thinking, feeling, and
grieving when she delivers bad news
# from Pulse — Voicesfrom the Heart ofMedicine

met Burt — spending time with

healthy-looking your family, doing the
I 53-year-old with a things you love,” I
direct, sky-blue gaze told him. I outlined a
the Monday before plan for two weeks of
Labor Day. Two years radiation to his spine.
before, he’d had can- We started it that
cer. It was in remis- same Monday, and
sion, but for several Burt improved rap-
weeks, he’d been idly. By Thursday, his
having excruciating pain was a zero. Burt,
low-back pain (a ten his wife, his son,
out of ten). The day and I stood in the
before, a new CT scan exam room, giving
showed that his tumor one another high
had spread to his liver, bones, and fives. “There’s one
spine — the cause of his pain. thing,” Burt said.
If this were my brother, I’d be “My right leg feels funny. I think I

hysterical. But I’m a radiation oncolo- pulled a muscle getting out of bed.”
gist, and this was my patient. I spoke I couldn’t find any change. “Let’s
frankly, trying to help the family cope keep an eye on things,” I said.
with the nightmare Burt now faced: On Friday, Burt’s family pushed
the near certainty that his life span him into my office in a wheelchair;
had abruptly been cut to a matter of he’d become completely paraplegic.
months, the reality that most likely I stood riveted with horror. The
no treatment would change the date likely reason was that, despite the CORBIS

of his death. “It’s all about comfort, radiation, the tumor was growing. »
42 readersdigest.com 9/12
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Part of me wanted to fall down with his sky-blue gaze, gave me a
and cry, “This is the most awful half smile, and said, “Whatever you
thing I can imagine— this big, strap- say,Doc. Whatever you say.”
ping man now has to lift his legs up The neurosurgeon was able to
with his hands!” Another wanted to book an OR for 9:30 that night. I
stamp my feet and weep with frus- thought about Burt all evening.
tration and rage at cancer’s cruelty. When I got up the next morning,
But had to do what doctors do: stay
I an e-mail blinked from my inbox.
clear-eyed, get a history, do an exam, “Hello,” the neurosurgeon had
make an assessment, create a plan. written at 6 a.m. “He is better after
I went to my office, sat down, and decompression of the L3-4 spinal
closed my eyes. Then I picked up my segments. Better than antigravity.”
phone and arranged an emergency Translation:The surgery had worked.
consult with a neurosurgeon friend. Burt could move his legs again.
I went back to talk to Burt, who Six weeks later, with the help of a
gazed at the wall behind me. “What’s cane and a walker, he made it back to
happening here isn’t normal,” I said. his cabin; they fished, they sat on the
“The radiation should have worked. porch, and then they closed it up.
But I think the tumor is still growing, He lived nearly three more
and my only hope is that a surgeon months.
can take some tumor out. I don’t
know if he can; I don’t know if he
should. I know that we can’t hope
this will go away. We have to get
you to aneurosurgeon who can
operate on Labor Day weekend.” 3 p.m.
Burt still couldn’t look at me. He That’s when factors such as coffee,
sat for a while, then said, “This is my lunch, and stress (cortisol dries your
last Labor Day. We were going to mouth, a lack of saliva
our cabin. We were going fishing; boosts bad breath)
we were going to close it up.” combine to create
a perfect storm for
One thing the cancer clinic
a stinky mouth. To
teaches you is that there are times
freshen up, brush
when words are worthless. So I
after lunch and
didn’t say anything. Partly I didn’t
drink water to stay
have any words, and partly I could

barely speak. Burt looked down at
Source: Thomas Connelly, DDS,
the floor and closed his eyes. After on huffingtonpost.com

a long moment, he looked up at me

44 readersdigest.com 9/.1
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The Paula Deen Effect

The Food Network star’s controversial type 2 diabetes
diagnosis triggered a slew of questions about how to
handle the condition. We turned to experts for answers.
hen Deen revealed she disease, says dietitian Amy Camp-
had type 2 diabetes earlier bell, RD, a certified diabetes educa-
some fans rallied
this year, tor (CDE) at Joslin Diabetes Center.
behind her, but many demanded an Many hereditary and lifestyle
explanation from the queen of com- —
factors high cholesterol or blood
fort cuisine — for waiting three years pressure, inactivity, and family
to share her diagnosis publicly —
history can raise your chances.
for promoting an unhealthy cooking “While being overweight may have
style while personally trying to lose triggered diabetes, she had to have it

weight. Whether you stand in Deen’s in her background,” explains Geralyn

corner or alongside her critics, her Spollett, MSN, CDE, president of
announcement no doubt raised health care and education at the
questions about how diabetes devel- American Diabetes Association. Peo-
ops and how you can prevent it. ple with diabetes should get less than
Here, experts set the record straight: 7 percent of calories from saturated
fat, or about 15 grams per day (one

Q: Paula Deen adds tablespoon of butter has 7 grams).

butter by the stick to
her meals. Did she get Q: I read that Deen ditched
diabetes because her staple sweet tea after
of her diet? her diagnosis. Is that
A: Deen’s recipes are because sugar causes
high in saturated diabetes?

fat, which triggers A: Sugar doesn’t “give” PHOTO

inflammation and you diabetes, but

can lead to insulin re- there’s one caveat:
A study presented at

sistance. But the way

she cooks is not the the American
only reason she Heart Associa- CARLO

developed the tion Scientific

46 readersdigest.com 9/12


Shaving with soap and water won’t get

you this soft or this smooth. Enjoy
soothing aloe and emollients to
help prevent nicks and cuts. And
magnificent moisturizers for legs
that look and feel like pure silki
Now availble in rust-proof cans.

Health Digest
Sessions last year found that women Q: Deen is looking much thinner of late.
who drank two or more sugary Is there a goal weight should aim for?

if they were a
drinks a day, even A: Shedding extra pounds is a pri-
normal weight, were more likely to mary strategy for reducing your risk
develop abnormal levels of fasting of diabetes, says Spollett, but you
glucose— a sign of diabetes. “Liquid don’t have to lose a lot. Studies have
sugar may work differently from shown that dropping 5 to 7 percent
other sugar,” explains Campbell. “It — 10 to 14 pounds for a
of your weight
seems to start a cycle that increases 200-pound person — can significantly
dangerous visceral fat, which can help reduce blood sugar. (It can also
lead to metabolic syndrome, a precur- help improve blood pressure and
sor to type 2 diabetes.” Be mindful of cholesterol.)
how many sugary beverages you sip,
especially if you have other diabetes DIET TRICKS
risk factors, advises Campbell.
Q: Preaching portion control, Deen CHEF LOST SO POUNDS
has said, “It’s not what you’re eating, Small eating changes helped
but how much.” So can enjoy what-
Deen get slimmer. She:
ever want, if have only a little?

A: “As a dietitian, I’m trained to tell

serves smaller portions of carbs and
you there’sno food you can never
doubles up on salad or vegetables,
eat,” says Campbell. “While that’s
especially Southern staples like
true, you can’t eat whatever you
okra, mustard greens, collards, and
want, whenever you want even if — black-eyed peas, as well as broccoli,
it’s only a little. So if you want fried cucumbers, and tomatoes.
chicken or mac and cheese, you can
have a small portion of it, but not of-
Sundays, Deen invites family for
ten.” Most other times, it’s impor-
home-cooked meals, such as rice
tant to make healthy choices and
and gravy, country-fried steak, but-
balance nutrients. An easy way to do ter bean soup, and mac and cheese.
that: Divide your plate into sections.
Fill half with vegetables (such as
ing with her sons, Jamie and Bobby,
leafy greens, tomatoes, and carrots),
Deen lightens favorite recipes: She
use a quarter for a healthy carb
mashes cauliflower instead of pota-
(whole-grain pasta or rice), and add toes or uses extra-lean ground beef
lean protein (chicken, sirloin, or and whole-grain noodles in lasagna
remaining quarter. Finish
fish) to the to reduce fat and boost fiber.
with a piece of fresh fruit.

48 readersdigest.com 9/12



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one-third the blood of OneTouch Ultra

w Starts fast, too

I# ® The patented ZipWik design

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it in,

For In Vitro

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Visit MyFreeStyleMeter.com or call

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FreeStyie Lite blood glucose test strips are intended to be used with Freestyle Lite and Freestyle Freedom Lite meters only.

All offers are void where prohibited. Abbott may modify or rescind this offer without notice.
1 . Comparison vs. OneTouch Ultra Blue test strip with OneTouch Ultra2 meter.
2. Product provided as a free sample shall not be resold or submitted to any third-party payer for reimbursement.
Freestyle and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc.

in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Abbott
©201 Abbott. ART22655-003 Rev. a 05/12 Diabetes Care

News from the World of Medicine


A Device That Smarter Hip Stem Cell Cure
Predicts Heart Implant for Baldness
Attacks Many hip implants are Scientists have grown
A silver-dollar-size metal, which requires hairon bald mice using
implant that is placed extra care during sur- stem cells collected
under the skin near and
gical implantation near the mice’s whis-
the left shoulder, the can cause problems if kers (so embryos aren’t
AngelMed Guardian parts grind against necessary). The hair
may help ID a heart each other and release strands grew back
attack quickly by particles that may even after being
monitoring the heart’s cause inflammation plucked and were able
electrical activity for and damage organs. to rise into goose
unusual patterns, Now researchers have bumps as normal hair
potentially before the developed a metal-free does. If it proves suc-
wearer notices any alternative, a special cessful in humans, the
symptoms. If the im- blend of plastics. The therapy could replace
plant detects a prob- pins that hold the two current hair-loss treat-
lem, it will vibrate, and pieces in place are ments (such as hair
a portable pager will made of bone mineral transplantation surgery
sound an alarm and (not metal or cement). and topical medicine
flash a warning light. In early tests, a robot like Rogaine) for male-
It’s approved for sale simulated walking up pattern baldness. The
in Brazil and Europe, and down stairs; re- researchers hope to
and the manufacturer searchers hope to mar- start clinical trials in
will seekFDA approval ket the hip in Europe humans within three to
here within a year. within five years. five years.
Source: Angel Medical Systems, Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Manu- Source: Takashi Tsuji, Research Institute
Shrewsbury, New Jersey facturing Engineering and Automation for Science and Technology at the Tokyo
I PA, Stuttgart, Germany University of Science, Japan

5° readersdigest.com 9/12
Free cleft surgery which Your support can provide free treatment
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and ways to help by texting OPTIN to 27722*.

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Foods That Could Save Your Life

W hat’s cookin’?

at five
alive after ten years than those
aren’t just
Perhaps a longer

times a

journal Public Health Nutrition that found that people

home week were
according to a

nearly 50 percent
steered clear of the
from eating healthier but also from grocery shopping, following
new study in the
who cooked
more likely to be
kitchen. The benefits

a recipe, and preparing food, which help your brain develop new connec-
tions. Make your kitchen cooking-friendly by keeping these fat-releasing
staples (from our new book The Digest Diet) handy for hectic weeknights.

This makes a
sweet, tangy
Packed with
protein, eggs
are a filling
« Skinless,
glaze that’s meatless Greek Keep these
perfect for Nuts supper option. yogurt in the freezer
Chop walnuts,

salmon or as Combine them It can have and grill on

a simple, fresh almonds, or with a mix of double the Sunday for a JIM

salad dressing. other favorites fresh seasonal protein of reg- week’s worth
Vinegar may and sprinkle veggies and ular yogurt. Its of salad top- COURTESY

help prevent on top of sal- calcium-rich thick creami- pers or dinners

your body ads or chicken cheese in an ness makes it a (serve with
from clinging dinners for omelet or a good swap for veggies and MUNICH;

to fat. added crunch. frittata. sour cream. wholegrains).




Jim Tyler, 49, lost 22 pounds in one month ALAIN

on The Digest Diet —and his blood pressure

dropped 20 points. “I learned how to give CORBIS;

favorite foods a healthy spin,” he says. He reports that his son

can’tgetenoughoftheglazed-chickendishes. Perrio. Biumberg
M Get advice from fellow dieters on facebook.com/
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• Do not use ADVAIR to treat sudden, severe symptoms of asthma or COPD. Always have a rescue inhaler
medicine with you to treat sudden symptoms.
• Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS if you have severe allergy to milk proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
• Do not use ADVAIR more often than prescribed. Do not take ADVAIR with other medicines that

contain long-acting beta -agonists for any reason. Tell your doctor about medicines you take and about
2 j
all of your medical conditions.
• ADVAIR DISKUS can cause serious side effects, including:
• serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of
the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash; hives; swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue;
breathing problems.
• sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine.
• effects on heart: increased blood pressure; a fast and irregular heartbeat; chest pain.
• effects on nervous system: tremor; nervousness.
• reduced adrenal function (may result in loss of energy].
• changes in blood (sugar, potassium, certain types of white blood cells].
• weakened immune system and a higher chance of infections. You should avoid exposure to chickenpox
and measles, and, if exposed, consult your healthcare provider without delay. Worsening of existing
tuberculosis, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections, or ocular herpes simplex may occur.
• lower bone mineral density. This may be a problem for people who already have a higher chance of low I

bone density (osteoporosis].

COPD? Ask your doctor about breathing better with ADVAIR®*
ADVAIR helps improve your lung function so you breathe better.
Results may vary. Unlike most chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease [COPD] medications, ADVAIR contains both an anti-
inflammatory t and a long-acting bronchodilator working

together to help improve your lung function. ADVAIR DISKUS

250/50 is approved for adults with COPD, including chronic

bronchitis, emphysema, or both. ADVAIR DISKUS is not for,

and should not be used to treat, sudden, severe symptoms

of COPD. ADVAIR won't replace a rescue inhaler. You should

only take I inhalation of ADVAIR twice a day. Higher doses will not

provide additional benefits. Ask your doctor about ADVAIR.


(fluticasone propionate 250 meg and salmeterol SO meg inhalation powder)


• eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts. You should have regular eye exams while usinq
• pneumonia. People with COPD have a higher chance ot getting pneumonia. ADVAIR may increase the
chance of getting pneumonia. Call your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
in mucus [sputum] production; change in mucus color; fever; chills;
increased cough; increased breathing
• Common side effects of ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50 for COPD include: thrush in the mouth and
throat, throat irritation, hoarseness and voice changes, respiratory infections, headache, muscle
viral and
bone pain.

‘Measured by a breathing test in people taking ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50, compared with people taking
I either fluticasone propionate
<50 meg or salmeterol 50 meg. Your results may vary,
tit is not known how anti-inflammatories work in COPD.
Restrictions apply. See ADVAIRCOPD.com for eligibility rules.

Please see Brief Summary of Important Safety Information about ADVAIR DISKUS on adjacent page.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit
www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

To get your first full prescription free and to save on refills * visit ADVAIRCOPD.com
or call 1-877-200-4673.
If you don't have prescription coverage
and can't afford your medicines,
visit GSKforYou.com

or call 1-866-GSK-FOR-U (1-866-475-3678) GlaxoSmithKline

(fluticasone propionate and BRIEF
salmeterol inhalation powder) SUMMARY
This summary does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or
treatment. See full Prescribing Information for complete product information.

What is the most important information I should know about ADVAIR DISKUS?
ADVAIR DISKUS can cause serious side effects, including:

1. People with asthma who take long-acting beta 2 -adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as
salmeterol (one of the medicines in ADVAIR DISKUS), have an increased risk of death from asthma
problems. It is not known whether fluticasone propionate, the other medicine in ADVAIR DISKUS, reduces
the risk of death from asthma problems seen with salmeterol.
• Call your healthcare provider if breathing problems worsen over time while using ADVAIR DISKUS.
You may need different treatment.

• Get emergency medical care if:

- breathing problems worsen quickly and

- you use your rescue inhaler medicine, but it does not relieve your breathing problems.

2. ADVAIR DISKUS should be used only if your healthcare provider decides that your asthma is not well
controlled with a long-term asthma control medicine, such as inhaled corticosteroids.

3. When your asthma is well controlled, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking ADVAIR DISKUS.
Your healthcare provider will decide if you can stop ADVAIR DISKUS without loss of asthma control.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe a different asthma control medicine for you, such as an inhaled

4. Children and adolescents who take LABA medicines may have an increased risk of being hospitalized for j

asthma problems.


• ADVAIR DISKUS combines an inhaled corticosteroid medicine, fluticasone propionate (the same medicine
found in FLOVENT®), and a LABA medicine, salmeterol (the same medicine found in SEREVENT®).
- Inhaled corticosteroids help to decrease inflammation in the lungs. Inflammation in the lungs can lead to
asthma symptoms.

- LABA medicines are used in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). LABA
medicines help the muscles around the airways in your lungs stay relaxed to prevent symptoms, such as
wheezing and shortness of breath. These symptoms can happen when the muscles around the airways i

tighten. This makes it hard to breathe. In severe cases, wheezing can stop your breathing and cause death
if not treated right away.
• ADVAIR DISKUS is used for asthma and COPD as follows:
ADVAIR DISKUS is used to control symptoms of asthma and to prevent symptoms such as wheezing in adults
and children aged 4 years and older.

ADVAIR DISKUS contains salmeterol (the same medicine found in SEREVENT). LABA medicines, such as
salmeterol, increase the risk of death from asthma problems.
ADVAIR DISKUS is not for adults and children with asthma who are well controlled with an asthma control
medicine, such as a low to medium dose of an inhaled corticosteroid medicine.
COPD is a chronic lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50
is used long term, 2 times each day to help improve lung function for better breathing in adults with COPD.
ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50 has been shown to decrease the number of flare-ups and worsening of COPD j

symptoms (exacerbations).
Who should not use ADVAIR DISKUS?
• to treat sudden, severe symptoms of asthma or COPD.
• if you have a severe allergy to milk proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using ADVAIR DISKUS?

Tell your healthcare provider about all of your health conditions, including if you:
• have heart problems • have diabetes • have an immune system problem • have thyroid problems
• have seizures • have osteoporosis • have high blood pressure • have liver problems
• are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if ADVAIR DISKUS may harm your unborn baby.
• are breastfeeding. is not known ADVAIR DISKUS passes
It if into your milk and if it can harm your baby.
• are allergic to any of the ingredients in ADVAIR DISKUS, any other medicines, or food products
• are exposed to chickenpox or measles
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription
medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. ADVAIR DISKUS and certain other medicines may interact
with each other. This may cause serious side effects. Especially, tell your healthcare provider if you take
ritonavir. The anti-HIV medicines NORVIR® (ritonavir capsules) Soft Gelatin, NORVIR (ritonavir oral solution)
and KALETRA® (lopinavir/ritonavir) Tablets contain ritonavir.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time
you get a new medicine.


Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS unless your healthcare provider has taught you and you
understand everything.
Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions.
• Children should use ADVAIR DISKUS with an adult’s help, as instructed by the child's healthcare provider.
• Use ADVAIR DISKUS exactly as prescribed. Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS more often than
ADVAIR DISKUS comes in 3 strengths. Your healthcare provider has prescribed the one that is best for
your condition.
• The usual dosage of ADVAIR DISKUS is 1 inhalation 2 times each day (morning and evening). The 2 doses
should be about 12 hours apart. Rinse your mouth with water after using ADVAIR
• you take more ADVAIR DISKUS than your doctor has prescribed, get medical help right
away if you have any
unusual symptoms, such as worsening shortness of breath, chest pain, increased
heart rate, or shakiness.
• If you miss a dose of ADVAIR DISKUS, just
skip that dose. Take your next dose at your usual time. Do not
take 2 doses at one time.
• Do not use a spacer device with ADVAIR DISKUS.
• Do not breathe into ADVAIR DISKUS.
• While you are using ADVAIR DISKUS 2 times each day, do not use other medicines
that contain a
LABA for any reason. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA
• Do not stop using ADVAIR DISKUS or other asthma medicines unless told to do so by your healthcare provider
because your symptoms might get worse. Your healthcare provider will change your medicines
as needed.
• ADVAIR DISKUS does not relieve sudden symptoms. Always have a rescue inhaler medicine with
you to treat
sudden symptoms, If you do not have an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator, call your
healthcare provider
to have one prescribed for you.

Call your healthcare provider or get medical care right away if:
• your breathing problems worsen with
• you need touse your rescue inhaler medicine more often than usual
• your rescue inhaler medicine does not work as well for you at relieving symptoms
• you need touse 4 or more inhalations of your rescue inhaler medicine for 2 or more days in a row
• you use 1 whole canister of your rescue inhaler medicine in 8 weeks’ time
(fluticasone propionate and BR EF

salmeterol inhalation powder) SUMMARY (CONI) I

• your peak flow meter results decrease. Your healthcare provider will tell you the numbers that are right for you.
• you have asthma and your symptoms do not improve after using ADVAIR DISKUS regularly for 1 week

What are the possible side effects with ADVAIR DISKUS?

• ADVAIR DISKUS can cause serious side effects, including:
• See “What is the most important information should know about ADVAIR DISKUS?”

• serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the
following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- rash
- hives
- swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue
- breathing problems
• sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine
• effects on heart
- increased blood pressure
- a fast and irregular heartbeat
- chest pain
• effects on nervous system
- tremor
- nervousness
• reduced adrenal function (may result in loss of energy)
• changes in blood (sugar, potassium, certain types of white blood cells)

• weakened immune system and a higher chance of infections

• lower bone mineral density. This may be a problem for people who already have a higher chance of low bone
density (osteoporosis).
• eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts. You should have regular eye exams while using ADVAIR DISKUS. I

• slowed growth in children. A child’s growth should be checked often.

• pneumonia. People COPD
have a higher chance of getting pneumonia. ADVAIR DISKUS may increase the
chance of getting pneumonia. Call your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- increase in mucus (sputum) production
- change in mucus color
- fever
- chills

- increased cough
- increased breathing problems
Common side effects of ADVAIR DISKUS Include:
• upper respiratory tract infection > hoarseness and voice changes • bronchitis • headache
• throat irritation > thrushin the mouth and throat • cough • nausea and vomiting
• thrush in the mouth and throat > hoarseness and voice changes • headache
• throat irritation > viral respiratory infections • muscle and bone pain
In children with asthma, infections in the ear, nose, and throat are common.
your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the side effects with ADVAIR DISKUS. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for additional information about ADVAIR DISKUS. You can also contact the
company that makes ADVAIR DISKUS (toll free) at 1-888-825-5249 or at www.advair.com.

ADVAIR DISKUS, DISKUS, FLOVENT, and ©2012 The GlaxoSmithKline Group

GlaxoSmithKline SEREVENT are registered trademarks of of Companies All rights reserved.
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 GlaxoSmithKline. Norvir and Kaletraare Printed in USA.
ADD:7MG January 2011 registered trademarks of Abbott Laboratories. AD5800RO July 2012


13 Things
Tell You

lf you want to talk to

I me about a problem,
schedule a morning
appointment, when I’m
fresh. By the afternoon,
I can get pretty frazzled.

You’re right, that teacher

2 does stink, and I’m actually
in the process of firing her.
Legally, I can’t tell you that,
though, so that’s why I’m sitting
here quietly while you complain.
We had a young man struggling

Of course I’m going
prove of a child missing class
to disap- 4
to focus during year-end tests.
underwear is on backward,”
for vacation. What I won’t tell you he problem with all
said. That’s the
is that I encouraged my own daugh- this testing:We’re being judged by
ter to pull her kids out of school to assessments taken by kids who may
visit me during my break. have their underwear on backward. »
readersdigest.com 9/12
Famih Digest
Don’t ask me to make a
teacher forgive a homework
You think that what happens assignment or not to teach a specific
5 at home stays at home? We hear subject. We don’t dictate to teach-
about your financial problems, your ers; we work with them.
nasty fights, your drinking problem.
We end up knowing way too much I’ve had a few students who
about everybody. were bullies. We suspend
them again and again, but it’s very
The child you see at home is tough to expel a student. The truth
almost never the same one we is, they have a right to an education.
see at school.
Kids are easy. It’s the
Don’t tell me your child would parents who are tough.
7 never lie to you. All kids make
mistakes, and great students are
They’re constantly trying to solve
their kids’ problems for them.
often the ones most afraid to tell

their parents when they screw up. What do I love about this job?
I can influence and inspire kids

8 When
we have a child who
throws things or tries to hit
she’s angry, parents inevitably
and work through prob-
adults, help
lems, and find solutions.And every
day I can pop into a classroom where
say, “I don’t have a problem with something interesting is going on.
her at home, because I spank her.” What other job gives you all of that?
Sources: Principals in New York
Georgia, Utah, Florida, and
My biggest pet peeve? and former principals in New Hampshire and Vermont

Parents who complain to

me before talking to the teacher.
| For more things your principal won’t
tell you, go to rd.com/september.


• READ UP Before you try to help your child with difficult math homework (and
end up confusing her more), pick up Math on Call, a book of simple explanations
and diagrams of basic math concepts.

• SING HER PRAISES you see a teacher doing good things at your child’s

school, send her a note. Teachers need to hear positive feedback too.

• SHOW YOUR SUPPORT Early in the year, ask your child’s teacher what
you can do to make her job easier. That way, if you have issues later, your first
connection was a positive one.

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I Digest
of Minnesota researcher and thera-
pist,began using the approach when
Marital Aid he became troubled by the number
of “mixed agenda” couples he saw
A new way to help struggling
in his own practice. “Divorce is on
couples decide their fate
the table for one but not both of
nlike traditional the partners,” he says. “Traditional

U marriage counseling,
“discernment ther-
apy” helps couples gain
marriage counseling has no way to
deal with those people.”
Doherty and his colleagues
clarity about whether have worked with more
or not to divorce. than 50 couples and are
The new practice training additional coun-
is gaining popularity selors around the country.
among therapists and There’s not yet enough
frustrated partners in data to determine
troubled marriages. whether the practice
In this approach, is more effective than
the couple spend up traditional counseling
to five sessionsexamin- at keeping couples to-
ing the relationship and gether, but Doherty sees
what sent it off track. The advantages in it anyway.
therapist asks the pair how they ‘It’salmost always a good
have tried to save the marriage. idea to slowdown and look at your
They then must decide on a course marriage from different angles,
of action: divorce, continue the including your role in it,” he says.

marriage without intervention, or “If people end a marriage without

reconcile over a six-month period looking at their own contributions FUCHS;

of counseling. to the problems, they are leaving

Bill Doherty, PhD, a University with a big blind spot.” THOMAS


CC Mywifetellsmeif I

ever decide to leave, she’s

comingwith me.” TOP:



62 readersdigest.com 9/12



Available on the

Apple and iPad are trademarks of Apple
registered in the U.S. and other
^ Readers
App Store is
a service mark of Apple Inc Digest


6 Tasty Ways to Eat PB&J

he average American eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

T by age 18. And while I love this brown-bag staple, it can get a little
boring when I’m onto my third in a week. So I experimented and found
six delicious ideas to upgrade this classic combo. Go ahead, try them all!

readersdigest.com 9/12
THE BALANCED WAY honey, chocolate, strawberry and
1 Seriouseats.com set out with banana slices, and pineapple jam.
measuring spoons and a team of
tasters to determine the perfect THE CHOCOHOLIC WAY
ratio.“Much to my surprise, the
servings suggested on the peanut
4 Top your peanut butter with
a schmear of Nutella, as New York
butter and jelly jars (two tablespoons City’s Peanut Butter & Co. shop
and one tablespoon, respectively) does in its Peanut Butter Cup
were perfect when spread on bestseller.
two slices of white bread,” writes 'A.
Ed Levine, Serious Eats founder. THE SEINFELD WAY
And a commenter shared a simple Jerry loves to
trick for portable sandwiches: “Use sprinkle cinnamon on
frozen bread, then wrap and go. his peanut butter and
It’ll thaw by lunch, and the PB&J bagel sandwiches.
will become extra gooey.”


2 Ruth
Reichl, former editor-in-
6 If you’re feeling adventurous, try
one of these fun toppings along with
chief of Gourmet, spreads butter your peanut butter: cream cheese,
on thick white bread and adds a mayonnaise, tomato, romaine lettuce,
sprinkle of salt. “You won’t believe or bacon. Each combination has
how much more delicious this legions of fans— and the Reader’s
makes peanut butter taste,” she Digest staff even put them to the test.
writes at gilttaste.com. After Our verdict? Strangely delicious!

topping with natural peanut butter

and strawberry jam, she puts the KITCHEN SECRET
sandwich in the microwave for
eight seconds. “This will melt the Speedy
ingredients into a texture so sexy, Caramelized
you will barely recognize the inno-
cent sandwich of your childhood.”
Love rich caramelized onions but
THE GRILLED WAY hate the 45-plus minutes they take

3 Fire up the skillet for a meal that

to make? America’s Test Kitchen
has a nifty trick: Microwave sliced
could double as dessert. Butter the
onions and a pinch of salt for
DAVID outside of your sandwich, then toast
20 minutes, covered with a plate,
over medium-high heat in a skillet
until they wilt and soften. Strain off
untilgolden brown. Cooking Light the water, then saut 4 as normal—
suggests a banana split-inspired except, well, with a big head start.

combination of peanut butter,


When to Splurge (& Save)

at the GroceryStore
Eat deliciously on a budget with a little trick: Buy the
best when it truly makes a difference, and fill the rest
of your cart with values.


You don’t need to go for a wildflower artisanal blei IMAGES

Honey but carefully check the label. Often the cheap “he
in a bear squeeze jar is mixed with corn syrup.


Consumer Reports’ two best supermarket coffees (Gloria

Coffee Jean’s and Newman’s Own) cost about $13.50 a pound but ROBERT

scored significantly better on taste than $8-a-pound brands.

Generic and bargain-basement pastas often end up as a

Pasta mushy mess. You don’t have to spend much more to get chefs’ MORRIS/STOCKFOOD;

picks like Barilla or De Cecco, which are used in top restaurants.

Fifty percent of the olive oil sold in the United States may
Extra-virgin STEVEN

be adulterated with cheap filler oils. Ideally, taste before you ;

olive oil
buy, and check for a regional seal of certification on the bottle.

Vanilla ‘‘Never use the artificial stuff!” says Susan Reid, editor of

extract The Baking Sheet. “It has one chemical flavor note trying to BURKE/GETTY

make up for over 200 flavor notes found in true vanilla.”

One-dollar bars combine 20-plus ingredients LAUREN

to create a bar-shaped amalgam of brown

chemicals. For $2 more, you could get TOP:

real dark chocolate.


Sources: Consumer Reports ivillage.com; The New Yorker, cheaphealthygood.com;


66 O, the Oprah Magazine-, Dollar Savvy, biggirlssmallkitchen.com



It’s cheaper than out-of-season fresh produce

and is also often higher in nutrients and better
tasting because it’s frozen right after picking.

Preformed frozen burgers cost more than plain


ground beef and you can make patties yourself in less than
ten seconds each! Plus, E. coli might be more prevalent in the
frozen patties.

Light juices
To make reduced-calorie versions of these products, companies
and light
simply add water (and maybe artificial sweetener or thickener).
Buy the regular version and water it down yourself.

If you’re melting or mixing the cheese with other

Cheese ingredients, go cheap! Save the $20-per-pound
artisanal triple-crimes for a special cheese plate.

When oil is going to be cooked, you can usually substitute

Everyday vegetable or regular olive (even
COOKE/STOCK oil if the recipe calls for extra-
virgin). High heat destroys much of the taste.


Consumers and wine experts liked inexpensive bottles —

Wine think Barefoot, T rader Joe’s Charles Shaw, Black Box—just as

much as their pricey counterparts in a large-scale blind tasting.


Specialty Consumer Reports taste tests prove that Duncan

baking Hines brownies are just as showstopping as
mixes ones made from pricier gourmet mixes.

That idyllic blue stream on the label likely has nothing to do

Bottled with your drink: 49 percent of bottled water in the United

water States comes straight from purified municipal tap water.

Instead, use a simple home filter.

(For more of The Digest, see page 76)

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Got some downtime? Spruce up your home’s style with:

A Tube Sock
Cut the foot from a sock and slip
\ the remaining portion over a vase.

Bright Paint
Wrap utensils in painter’s tape,
leaving the bottom two inches of
the handles exposed; dip handles
in different shades, let dry, and
remove tape. Be sure not to get
paint on parts that touch food.

Glue old rulers to the face of a
wooden picture frame before
setting on the shelf. For a more
geometric look, cut rulers into
different lengths before adhering.
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activity level.The lifetime of any device is limited
has serious risks which include, but are not and depends on several factors like weight
limited to, blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and
and activity level. Your doctor will help counsel
death. Implant related risks which may lead to a
you about strategies to potentially prolong the
lifetime of the device, including avoiding high-
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(abnormal bone growth in tissue), wear of the
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implant, metal sensitivity, soft tissue imbalance,
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The Wi-Fi Hero

An unlikely computer crusader rescues his tech-impaired hosts
BY MIKE LACHER # from mcsweeneys.net
o, inthe twilight days of the The Google. Refresh was clicked,
second year of the second again and again. Perhaps The
decade of the third millennium Google was broken, the people
did a great darkness descend over thought, but then The Yahoo, too,
the wireless Internet connectivity did not load. Nor did Hotmail. Nor
of the people on Ferndale Street in usatoday.com. The land was thrown
the North Central lands of Iowa. For into panic. Internet Explorer 6 was
many years, these gentlefolk basked minimized then maximized. The
in a wireless network overflowing Compaq Presario was unplugged
with speed, Internet flowing like a then plugged back in. The old
river into their Compaq Presario. mouse was brought out and plugged
But then one gray morning did in beside the new mouse. Still, The
Internet Explorer 6 no longer load Google did not load.
readersdigest.com 9/12 81
I Digital Digest
heavens roared. The earth wailed.
The green lights turned off. Silently
Some kingdom thought
in the the warrior counted. One. Two.
the cause of the darkness must be Three. And just as swiftly, the war-
the Router, which, according to riorplugged the cord back into the
legend, had been installed behind Router. Great crashes of blood-red
the recliner long ago. Concluding lightningboomed overhead. Murders
the trouble must lie deep within the of crows blackened the skies. The
microchips, the people did despair Power light came on solid green.
and resign themselves to defeat. The warrior stared at the Internet
But with the dawn of the feast light, waiting, waiting. And then, as
of Christmas did a beacon of hope the world around him seemed all but
manifest itself upon the inky dead, the Internet light began to blink.
horizon. Riding inupon a teal Ford The warrior made haste to the
Focus came a great warrior, a suitor Compaq Presario. With a resounding
of the gentlefolk’s granddaughter. click he opened Internet Explorer 6.
Word had spread through the And then did he see, at long last,
kingdom that this warrior perhaps that The Google did load.
knew the true nature of the Router. And so the good people of the king-
The people did beseech the war- dom were delighted and did heap lau-
rior to aid them. While others may rels and Jell-O salad at the warrior’s
have shirked the duties, he accepted feet, for now again they could have
the quest and strode bravely across their Hotmail as the wireless Internet
the living room’s beige shag carpet. did flow freely to their Compaq Presa-
Deep, deep behind the recliner rio. The warrior ate his Jell-O salad,
did the warrior crawl, over great thanked the gentlefolk, and then went
mountains of National Geographic to the basement because the TiVo was
magazines and deep chasms of TV doing something weird with the VCR.
Guides. At last, he reached a gnarled
thicket of cords, a terrifying knot of
gray and white and black and blue
threatening to ensnare all who ven- “Nomophobia”
tured farther. The warrior charged
# from the Los Angeles Times
ahead and bested the thicket, rip-
Short for “no-mobile-phobia,”
ping away the vestigial cords and
nomophobia is the fear of being
swiftly untangling the deadly trap.
without phone. Sixty-six percent of
And finally, the warrior arrived users in the United Kingdom recently
at the Router. The warrior swiftly surveyed said they suffered from
maneuvered to the rear of the box nomophobia. We’d guess the percent-
and pulled with all his force, dislodg- age would be even higher in America.
ing the cord from the Router. The

82 readersdigest.com 9/12
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Electrical Arts MAUD

A decorative solution to MAISIE

a digital irritant

ow to handle

the unsightly COURTESY

mass of snarled cords con-

nected to our tech gadgets?
Rather than shoving the whole thing

behind furniture, turn the tangle

into beautiful budget artwork.
Interior designer Michael Moeller MICHAEL

joined two walls with orange exten- sculpture (it’s easy and safe, even
sion cord loops for one New York for design newbies—just don’t plug
couple; London artist Maisie Broad- the cord in until you’ve attached

head followed a design she sketched itto the wall), all you need is an
on a paper template to turn a long extension cord, a box of cable wall TOP:

lamp cord into over-the-mantel art. tacks, and an accessible socket.

To make your own wire wall Then follow the light(s).

84 (For more of The Digest, see page 99)



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The Greatest Sports Moment

I Ever Saw

ver the years, I’ve covered finished 12th the year before; he
Final Four tournaments, a was back for another run and was a
Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star favorite. The finals would be broad-
Game, even the Bassmaster Classic. cast live on ESPN. Before the bee
I’ve been on the scene as teams were started, the lobby of the Grand Hyatt
crowned national champions and was full of kids playing chess or read-
players won titles with last-second ing Harry Potter books or catching
shots. But the most dramatic moment up with friends from the year before.
I’ve witnessed in sports— if you’ll let Others were up in their rooms, study-
me stretch the definition of sports just ingword lists and definitions and
a little— happened in a hotel ballroom derivations for the thousandth time.
in Washington, D.C., back in 2004. You can qualify for the bee through
And the hero was a 13-year-old boy. eighth grade, and some of the kids
I was there to cover the National had won their local and regional bees
Spelling Bee. I was working for the year after year, hoping to be the last
newspaper in Charlotte, North Car- speller standing at the national bee.
olina, and a kid from our area had One of the 265 kids who made it to
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Washington was Akshay Buddiga He asked for the pronouncer to
(OCK-shay boo-DEE-guh), a 13-year- say the word again.
old eighth grader from Colorado Alopecoid.
Springs. His brother, Pratyush, had Akshay started to wobble, and his
won the bee two years before, and eyes went wide. The pronouncer
Akshay wanted to match his broth- said it one last time.
er’s success. Akshay was nervous the Alopecoid.
day of the finals. He didn’t eat much. And this time, the word caught
You could eavesdrop in Harvard Akshay flush on the jaw.
Yard all day and still never hear the He stumbled sideways to his left
words used in the National Spelling but could not keep his balance. He

Bee. These words forgotten Span- crashed to the stage so hard, his feet
ish dances, descriptions of frog life, flew into the air.

cheese-making terms— live in the The audience made this sound:

dark corners of the unabridged OhhhhhhOHHHHHHHOhhhhhhh.
dictionary. Each speller steps An official said, Stop the clock.
to the microphone, and the official Akshay had fallen right in front of
pronouncer announces a word. If another group of spellers. They
the speller gets it wrong, a bell rings leaned over in their seats to ask if he
a single cruel note. If the speller was OK. The officials waited to see
gets it right, there’s a moment of what he would do. The room went
sweet silence, then three magic quiet except for the click-click-click
words: That is correct. of the photographers’ cameras.
Akshay Buddiga’s moment came in Akshay raised his head. He looked
round six. His word was alopecoid, around the room for a few seconds.
meaning “like a fox.” He knew the Then he got up.
word. But there was a problem. In his The placard around his neck,
head, he saw two different spellings. marking him as Speller No. 25, was
He couldn’t decide which was right. twisted around backward. But as he
He had two minutes to spell the walked back to the middle of the
word. He asked for the definition. stage, straightening his glasses, the
He asked the pronouncer to use placard fell into place.
alopecoid in a sentence. He was Take a break, one official said.
stalling, trying to pick between the Take a break.
two versions in his head. He Akshay didn’t. He went straight to
jammed his hands in his pockets. the microphone.
Without knowing it, he stood so “A-L-O-P-E-C-O-I-D,” he said.
straight that he locked his knees. “Alopecoid.”
He started to feel light-headed. The official didn’t leave room for

102 readersdigest.com 9/12

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the bell or the silence. She spoke young man who provided such great
right away: “That is correct.” drama. When a Grey’s Anatomy
He went back to his seat to a episode featured a fictional spelling
standing ovation. bee champ, a bunch of Akshay’s
Why do so many of us love friends called to tell him about it; the
sports? Why do we crave competi- character mentioned him by name.
tion? One of the reasons, I think, is Akshay says a lot was going
compete hard enough,
that if you through his mind when he was lying
you’rebound to get knocked down. there on the stage: “All of the pres-
And when you do, you find out how sure I put on myself, all the work
good you are at getting up. that I’d done.” He still had two differ-
Akshay Buddiga ended up finish- ent spellings of alopecoid bouncing
ing second in the National Spelling around in his head — but now his gut
Bee. He’s 22 now and just graduated was telling him which one was right.
from Duke in biomedical engineer- As he walked to the microphone, he
ing. He’s headed to grad school at decided he didn’t care if he missed.
Stanford in the fall. He was going to trust himself.
Look up “spelling bee faint” on That was correct.
YouTube, and you’ll find several clips
of Akshay’s big moment, including
Tommy Tomlinson is a staff writer for
sportsonearth.com, a new website that

one that has 1.2 million views. But launched last month, and a former reporter
few people know the name of the and columnist for the Charlotte Observer.



Put Your Left Side Forward

Your “good” side is more science than pose. Scientists at Wake Forest University JASON

showed research subjects photographs of 20 male and female faces taken from
opposite angles. The participants uniformly found the left side of the faces more IMAGES;

appealingthan the right. Since the brain’s right hemisphere is better at signaling
emotion than the left— and con-
trols the left side of the face-

facial expressions tend to be stron-

ger on the left. Perhaps
that’s why iconic

paintings like Ver-

meer’s Girl with a
Pearl Earring lead

with the leftside.


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r<Cover Story

Humor editor ANDY SIMMONS* has a book
coming out filled with jokes, anecdotes,
essays, and interviews from his nine years at
Reader’s Digest and he wants to shamelessly

promote it in our pages.

Our response: “As
long as we don’t have
„ to pay you.” Here
are some of Andy’s
favorite gags from
' Jf Now That’s Funny!
. * v
Now That’s Funny! ($14.99,
Reader’s Digest Association)
isfound wherever brilliant
books are sold.


Favorite joke sent in by a celebrity: a newly trained hypnotist, had acci-
“Doctor, please help me,” says an dentally hypnotized himself while
elderly patient. “I have silent passage rehearsing a new act and had been
of gas every morning. I have silent standing like that for five hours.
passage of gas every afternoon, and
I suffer from silent passage of gas Favorite anecdote about why we
in the evening. Sometimes I have have locks on bathroom doors:
silent passage of gas at unpredict- While my three-year-old grandson
able times — for instance, just now. was attending a birthday party, his
Doctor, can you help me?” friend’s father sneaked off to take
“Sure, I can help you,” says the a shower before work. Halfway
doctor. “But first you need your hear- through, the father heard a tapping
ing checked.” From Dr. Oz, media mogul on the shower door, followed by the
my grandson peering in.
sight of
Favorite joke I can’t share with Looking around the stall, he asked,
my kid: Why does the Easter Bunny “Is my mom in here?”
hideall his eggs? Because he doesn’t Submitted by reader Billie Creel
want anyone to know he’s screwing
a chicken. Favorite story about the evolution
of couples: After learning that
Favorite philosophy her parents were in a
I live by: I don’t minor car accident,
want to achieve my wife called her
immortality mother.
through my
work; I want
to achieve
through not
dying. Woody Allen
Favorite dolt who
reminds me that am I

smarter than at least

one person: Londoner
Joanna Kirchmeier ar-
rived home to find her
husband, Helmut, in
front of a mirror “just
staring at himself, his
pupils tiny.” Helmut,

“What happened?” she asked. Favorite reason to loathe technology:
“I was driving and fell asleep,” said I don’t shop online, because I don’t
her mother, irritated. “And of course, own a computer. My belief is they
your father wasn’t paying attention!” haven’t completed inventing com-
Submitted by reader Guy Lambert puters yet. Why? Because they don’t
work. If they worked, not every
Favorite invention that I’m looking business in the world would have
for on Amazon as type this: It I a department to fix them. They don’t
appears that in the face of chemical have a department to fix pencils.
or biological warfare, a woman’s Humorist/curmudgeon Fran Lebowitz
primary job is to doff her clothes.
That’s where the Face-Mask bra Favorite reason to love technology:
comes in. It’s a brassiere that, in Consumers in northern Alabama
an emergency, can be converted became suspicious when they
into a pair of protective masks. In received recorded messages urging
the event of dangerous fumes, say them to go to a website where they
the inventors, masks may not be could “update” their bank account
available, but there’s almost always records. How did victims know it
a bra handy. was just a “phishing” expedition?
Their caller IDs read “This is a scam.”
Favorite complaint that’s not
nearly as whiny as I’d have written Favorite advice plan to pass on to

As a TV writer, I rarely watch

it: kith and kin (once I figure out what
TV. And one reason is those big ban- kith means): When I was a self-
ner ads that scroll across the bottom conscious teen,my mother told me,
of the screen, interrupting a show “You think people are thinking
I want to see to promote a show I about your zit or your large nose,
never want to see. If I’m watching but they’re not. No one else is think-
something about Charlemagne, do ing of you as much as you think they
Ineed to know about an all-new are, because just think how much
season of American Chopper ? you’re not thinking of other people.”
These ads cover up subtitles in for- And she was trying to cheer me up.
eign films and obscure key clues on Comedian Anita Renfro
mystery shows. And once, during the
somber classic Saving Private Ryan, Favorite practical joke I swear I’m
a Day-Glo green banner unfurled, going to pull off one day: I once
featuring the capering cast of Uncle saw a dead deer by the side of the
Fatso’s Family. And I wondered, road. I ran home, put on a Santa
Who are you people? And what are suit, and then lay down beside the
you doing in occupied France? deer—just in time for a school bus
Mike Reiss, a founding writer of The Simpsons to drive by. Tom Mabe , prankster H
readersdigest.com 9/12

Dig in!
Stuff that
us up,

Late Night host Jimmy Fallon
brings back the lost art of the thank-you

note in his book Thank You Notes 2

(Grand Central Publishing).
• Thank you, hard taco shells, for surviving FRANK

the long journey from factory to supermarket

to my plate ... and then breaking the moment

I put something inside you.

112 readersdigest.com 9/12

When Bob Carey first
donned a tutu, he just wanted
to make his wife laugh. It
worked. So the New York artist
created a photo book of him-
self in various locations sport-
ing pink tulle. Once, while he
was shooting in New Jersey, a
father pointed to him and told
his son, “This is exactly why
I want you to exercise.” Net
• Thank you, friend who says he
proceeds for Ballerina (buy
“doesn’t want to take sides,” for basically
saying you don’t want to take my side.
one at thetutuproject.com) will
go to fight breast cancer, for
• Thank you, pigs in a blanket, for which Carey’s wife was treated.
allowing me to eat the equivalent of five
hot dogs while I’m at a party.
TABLET BONUS To see videos of
• Thank you. For Dummies guides, for “Ballerina” and some of our favorite
identifying the subjects I most want to comedians, download the Reader's
learn about — and then insulting me. Digest app for your iPad or Kindle Fire.

© COMEDIANS The humor site dead-frog.com

pitted top comics dead and alive against one
another then asked viewers to vote for the best. We list
their top ten funnymen in order. Let the arguments begin.

George Carlin just panic. I can’t read “Yeah, Oscar! You’re

1 bumper
Here’s a my watch ... I always a grouch!” It’s like,

sticker I’d like to see end up saying some- “I live in a @#$%*#@

“We are the proud thing useless, like, trash can!”
parents of a child “It’s 20 of 9:40.”

whose self-esteem Jim Gaffigan

sufficient that
doesn’t need

4 Hedberg
It is just
e-mail has

us promoting When someone changed our lives.

his minor tries to hand me You get a handwritten JR/GETTY

scholastic a flyer, it’s kinda letter in the mail


achieve- like he’s saying, today?“What the? ...

ments on “Here, you throw Has someone been
the back of this away.” kidnapped?” BOB

our car.”

2 Richard Pryor
Iwoke up in an wise
5 A word to the
ain’t necessary.
9 Norm
They say that if you’re

ambulance. And it It’s the stupid ones afraid of homosexuals,


wasn’t nothing but that need the advice. it means that deep NANCY

white people staring down inside,

at me. I said, “Ain’t Steve Martin you’re actually
this a
died and
@#$%. I done
wound up in
6 Boy, those
French: They have
a homosexual
the wrong heaven.” a different word for That
everything! worries
Louis C.K. me, because
3 hate when

people ask me the 7 Dave

I’m afraid
of dogs.
time on the (On Oscar the
street Grouch from Sesame Jon
’cause Street ): They judge Stewart
something him right in his face, December 25 is
happens “Oscar, you are so National Jews Go to
to me. I mean! Isn’t he, kids?” the Movies Day!

114 readersdigest.com 9/12

Following Facebook’s
Looking for
IPO fiasco, a new verb that certain
has appeared that something that
describes losing one’s will make people
shirt on Wall Street. take notice?
The new word, which The website
has its etymological pinterestyouare
roots in the name drunk.com has
of the company’s found items on
founder, is Zucked. Pinterest that
Source: New York Times will do just that.

© FANATIC Some sports fans try

to psych out the opposing team by
booing. Then there’s University of Alabama
sophomore Jack Blankenship. Source: gadailynews.com

Kazakh gold medalist Maria Dmitrienko
got a surprise when she took the podium at
the Arab Shooting Championship in Kuwait.
Officials accidentally played the parody version
of her national anthem from the movie Borat,
with the lyrics: “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes
[are the] cleanest in the region.” Time Source:




Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not known for her
sense of humor. But this photo of her (right) sparked an
online meme (textsfromhillary.tumblr.com) that portrayed
her as a no-nonsense powerhouse keeping the president



and everyone else in line. Clinton reportedly loved it.


116 readersdigest.com 9/12

Charlie Sheen threatened to sue a New York
renamed its VIP room in his
strip club that

honor. The room is known for serving sushi

on the bodies of scantily clad women, and,
according to the New York Post, Sheen is
concerned it could ruin his reputation.

In her
Hate Everyone
Starting with
new book,


Amazon invites customers

to reviewits products.
(Berkley), Joan
Here’s one of the snarkier Rivers says that
posts: Wheelmate (a small, she has
portable desk that clips onto
a steering wheel): “A total
lifesaver. It lets me prop

my sheet music against the with her

wheel, allowing me to play weight:
the guitar with both hands
while driving.”
“In Girl

they had to

A California man who threw tent. I considered

a hot dog at Tiger Woods
during a golf tournament
M&M’s one of the food

blamed his actions on the groups. I was the only

movie Drive, which, he person who ran with
insisted, left him wanting to the bulls carrying a bot-
do “something courageous
tle of A1 Steak Sauce.
and epic.”
Source: Sports Illustrated My husband used to
me with his eyes.”


As any writer will

from your kid, like


you, great prose
comes out of angst, love, fear, and
exuberance. All of which can be found
in PS. I

a camp
President Obama’s
support of gay marriage
It Here, edited by Diana Falanga (Abrams Image):
brought out the pundits:
Dear Mom and Dad, Sailing is awesome ... When Romney said he had
people start to annoy me on the boat get a good I
no problem with gay
gripon the boat and flip it on its side, and every-
people because one of
one falls except me. Chuck — his best friends owns
Dear Mom, Dad, and Lexi, Hi! Camp is great, San Francisco.
and have great news! The nurses haven’t found
I Craig Ferguson,
anything in my hair for the past two days! Love The Late Late Show

you and miss you! From Ashley This week. President

Dear Mom, Dad, Joe, Nute, and Helga, just I
Obama was finally

got back from my three-night trip to T rout Lake. It outed as a Democrat.

was incredible!!!!!!!!!! One kid was minorly struck by Seth Meyers,
on Saturday Night Live
lightning, otherwise it was really fun. Love, David

Nothing will put you on the
road to sobriety quicker than
having Richard Branson’s
face stari ng at you from the
bottom of a cocktail glass.
And yet on board the CEO’s
airline. Virgin Airlines, the

ice cubes are molded in

his likeness.

What keeps Conan O’Brien awake at night:
“Anyone else worried that
we’re in the midst of a cupcake
store bubble?” Via Twitter
© Writer A.
Jacobs is very much

But he mourns a part of

himself that has met its demise.
My Own Damn Business, 42, Dies
The concept that a few small parts of
my life should remain unknown to cor-
porations or colleagues died Thursday
night.The cause of death was a
PRESS coupon from Target for half-price
hemorrhoid ointment, with the note:
ZUMA “We noticed you bought a soft travel
pillow last week. People who buy soft
travel pillows are 40 percent more
likely to seek relief with hemorrhoid

cream. Would you like something to

soothe your swollen rectal glands?”

Bom 42 years ago when first I

developed the notions of self and

shame, My Own Damn Business had
been ailing for some time due to PRECISION
numerous questionnaires, surveys, Bet you can’t hit
embedded cookies, Faceboolds a telephone pole in the
marketing of all my likes and dislikes,
Google’s of every search
middle of a vast, empty
list I’ve ever

made, and Hulu’s requests about how desert. Kudos to this

I rated my “ad experience.” From Esquire woman, who accom-
plished the difficult feat!

It’snever too late for a guilt trip:
__ /

“Anello, Josie, 94, Tampa, passed February 11, 2012, peacefully at home. She
survived by her son A. J., who loved and cared for her; daughter Ninfa, who
her trust; and son Peter, who broke her heart.” source: iegacy.com

One of the surprise off-Broadway hits this year was Old Jews Telling Jokes.
It boasted an interesting story line— old
Jews who tell jokes. Here’s one of them:
During a bank robbery, the robber’s mask falls off. He puts it back on, turns
to a man,
and says, “Did you see my face?” The customer says, “Yes, did.” The robber
him. He turns to a woman. “How about you?” She says, “No. But my
husband did.”
readersdigest.com 9/12
If you’re a kid, and you have
the opportunity to answer a test question
correctly or crack wise, which would you
This heartfelt letter
to the editor appeared
choOSe? Exactly. Fromfunnyexam .com
inthe Times of
Northwest Indiana:
“A lot of deer get
3. Find x.
hit by cars west of
Crown Point on U.S.
231. There are too
many cars to have
the deer crossing
here. The deer cross-
ing sign needs to be
moved to a road with
less traffic.”

RANT others. If it weren’t

Bill Maher doesn’t for throwing conniption
want to offend you, fits, we wouldn’t get any
but he’d like it if exercise. I have a better
you’d just chill out. idea. Let’s have an
amnesty— from the left
When did we get it in and the right — on every
our heads that we have made-up, fake, totally
the right to never hear insincere, play-acted hurt,
anything we don’t like? In the insult, slight, and affront. Let’s

last year, we’ve been shocked and make [one day a year] the National Day
appalled by the unbelievable insensitiv- No Outrage. One day a year when

ity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, you will not find some tiny thing some-
Hank Williams, Jr., CeeLo Green, Ashton one did or said [offensive] and pretend
Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk you can barely continue functioning
Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super until they apologize. don’t want to
I live

Bowl half-time show, and the ESPN guys in a country where no one ever says
who used the wrong cliche for Jeremy anything that offends anyone. That’s
Lin after everyone else used all the Why we have Canada. From New York Times KEVIN

120 readersdigest.com 9/12

Writing smart and funny in 140 characters or
TEAM But as Jesse Pearson, in Playboy,
less isn’t easy.

MASCOT reminded us recently, the old masters of comedy

The Draper, Utah, would have jumped all over Twitter:
school board nixed OSCAR WILDE “One should always play fairly when
a new school’s nick- one has the winning cards.” (61 characters)
name, which had been
chosen by students.
DOROTHY PARKER want to know what
“If you

God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it

The reason:
to.” (84 characters)
It’s offensive
The name: Cougars HENNY YOUNGMAN “When I read about the
evils of drinking, gave up reading.” (59 characters)
Whom might it offend: I

Middle-aged women JACKIE MASON “80% of married men cheat

Source: deseretnews.com in America. The rest cheat in Europe.” (62 characters)


this guy didn’t see
The story
goes that

his glasses on the

seat and sat on
them. Whatever.
In any case, to
quote doctors Rich
E. Dreben, Murdoc
Knight, and Marty
A. Sindhian, it’s
“yet another

reason to wear
From Stuck Up!: too Objects Inserted and
Ingested in Places They Shouldn’t Be,
by Rich E. Dreben, MD, Murdoc Knight, MD,
and Marty A. Sindhian, MD (St. Martin’s Griffin)


O Racing
Retro was all the rage
at the annual Duck
& Fashion Parade, in
An ad was posted
Craigslist, presumably by a
lonely rodent: “Looking for adult
female mice, preferably pretty
Moore Park, Australia.

We pull back the
curtain on actor
and Internet
maven (funny
Frankly, prefer

Donna Karan.
• At age eight, what
he told his distraught younger
brother when they learned that
their parents were divorcing:
“Look at it this way, we’re going
tohave two Christmases!”

• On his medications: “I take

fish oil and 81 milligrams of
aspirin a day— 81. Science has
shown that 80 wasn’t effective.” R

• On underwhelming his fans:

“I’ll be, ‘Oh, hey, how are you?’
and they’re like, ‘What are you M
going to do? Do
something! Are

you sure that’s him? He’s not

doing anything!”’ Source: Rolling Stone USA;

What makes a woman a woman.
“Feminism promised us two


things: fatter dolls and an end to LEFT:

traditional gender roles.”


Liz Lemon ( Tina Fey) on 30 Rock

122 readersdigest.com 9/12

After perusing this menu in a
Xi’an, China, restaurant, we’ll stick
with the cheeseburger. Source: signspotting.com






David Letterman dedicated one of his Top 10 Lists to
shows he hopes will air on Dog TV, the first television
channel devoted to canine viewers.

10 . Neuter, She Wrote

9 . Doogie Schnauzer, MD
8 . America’s Got
7. Howl Met Your Breeder
6. Bones

5. The King Charles

Spaniel of Queens

4. Keeping Up with the
3. “Who’s a Good Boy?”
starring Nathan Lane

2. Two Broke Bitches


1. ShihTzuMyDadSays

t ..I.
\ C i
* i

Why a
Bill Costs
What It

Reader's Digest
investigates the shocking
ways we overpay.
Here’snow to understand
your bill— and save


W is CEO
m hen radiologist Jeffrey Rice’s son needed

foot surgery, the family chose a respected
orthopedist in St. Louis. Rice called the
hospital to schedule the surgery
a simple question:
hospital didn’t
with the price: $37,000. Shocked, Rice,
of Healthcare Blue Book, a
helps consumers compare medical costs, asked
included his in-network discount.
and asked
How much will it cost?
know and called back


He was
and they called with the recalculated price: between
$15,000 and $25,000. Curious, Rice asked the sur-
geon if he operated anywhere else, and he suggested
an outpatient center in his office building, which
if it

told no,

quoted a charge of $1,515. “Just two or three phone


calls,” says Rice, “and I got almost 90 percent off.”

12 5
his story raises two CEO of the Family Medicine Resi-
questions. First, what dency of Idaho, a physician training
magical math can program. “But there’s so much com-
transform a $37,000 plexity, human error, and misinter-
sticker price into pretation. If patients are unaware or
$1,515? Second, why afraid to ask questions, there’s prob-
don’t we all shop for medical services ably a tremendous amount of payment
as Rice did? If we want to renovate a happening every day for things that
bathroom, we’ll a few contractors
call should never have been billed.”
and compare estimates. If we need to Think such scrutiny shouldn’t mat-
replace a hip, however, few of us re- ter because you’re insured? “Sure,
search the best cost up front. with insurance you may be getting
But even when we do, the answers 20 percent off the hospital’s charge,”
are confusing and variable. While the says Pat Palmer, founder of Medical
value of a house is based on an as- Billing Advocates of America, a group
sessment, and the cost for an antique that helps patients handle medical
is determined by an appraisal, a full
bills. “But if that hospital made an
explanation of medical costs is hard error, you could be paying 80 per-
tocome by. After we asked 18 health- cent of something you shouldn’t be

industry sources including doctors, paying to start with.” Plus, with the
medical coders, patient-advocacy number of high-deductible plans on
groups, health-care economists, an the rise, more patients are paying out
insurance executive, a hospital CFO, of pocket for many services before
and a Consumer Reports editor— we their coverage kicks in.
learned that no one seems to know Here, four eye-opening facts about
the whole story. A physician from medical bills — and how to use that
the Northwest told us medical billing knowledge to save money on your
was “complex voodoo magic”; an Ivy health care.
League economist said it was “based
on the phases of the moon”; and one
academic hospital in the Northeast / Hospital prices are
refused to comment, citing “a recent f shockingly complex
large settlement relating to a billing Considering that industry analysts
problem.” claim that hospital price calculations
But one point was clear: Paying at- are arbitrary, we asked hospitals na-
tention to the billing process may save tionwide a simple question: How do
you money. “People tend to be pretty you calculate your sticker prices?
trusting of the medical system —when Five declined to comment or didn’t
they get a bill, they pay it,” says Ted provide an answer, leaving Murray
Epperly, MD, program director and Askinazi, senior vice president and
CFO of Lawrence Hospital
Center in Bronxville,
New York, to offer
this explanation:

For an outpa-
tient MRI, as
an example,
his hospital
calculates its

charge based on
such factors as
the cost of buy-
ing or leasing
the machinery,
the wear and
tear on that ma-
chine, staff sala-
ries, the climate
control and electric
bill, cleaning costs, lo-
cal competitive pricing,
and other costs related to
the hospital’s overhead, like
malpractice insurance.
Surprisingly, medical services
can vary wildly from one hospital
to the next.The median charge for companies are willing to pay for
acute appendicitis admissions at those services. The figures are deter-
289 medical centers and hospitals mined by a negotiated contract that
throughout California, for example, dictates the rate at which the com-
ranged from $1,529 to almost $183,000, panies will reimburse the hospital on
an Archives of Internal Medicine the patient’s behalf. (In addition, the
study reported in April. Within San rates paid by Medicare and Medic-
Francisco alone, the range between aid, Askinazi adds, often fail to cover
the lowest and highest charge was the hospital’s cost of providing the
nearly $172,000. service in the first place, which means
But hospital sticker prices matter some of those costs are often shifted to
only to a limited extent because they commercially insured patients.)
typically gettrumped by a higher Now, all those factors affect the
power: the amounts that insurance math for one simple outpatient test.
Bin Cost What
It Costs
I learned the hard way that error-detecting
tactics are only as effective as your hospital
is responsive. Long story short: My mother
received a one-page bill for a three-day
stay last year at a New England community
hospital. It was just a basic bill with 13 line
items (from “Room-Board/Semi” to
“Laboratory”). Though the total charge
was $11,648.87, insurance covered most of
it, so my family paid the balance without
question. But after reporting this piece,
I wanted to find out exactly what we’d
paid for, so called to request an itemized

statement. Here’s what followed. k. h.

The number of calls it took over a six-day
period to get a live person on the phone
who said they would mail an itemized bill.

The number of days that passed without
the bill arriving. I called the hospital and
was told it was never sent because they
never verified the mailing address.

The number of days that continued to
pass without the bill arriving. I called
twice and was told that it takes 30 days
for itemized bills to be sent, and each CjjlHWG

time followed up,

I my request was
moved to the bottom of the list.


The number of bills received by ANN

press time.
For an inpatient hospital stay, those after the hospital starts offering it

computations sprout into an intricate are helping to recoup the facility’s

vine in which every service (from equipment costs.
radiology to pathology) generates its

own charges. The hospital also has

facility charges, covering room and SaJ/z, HqAaj/
board, certain room-use fees (such Shop around. Compare prices in
as the operating room), and nursing advance. “When you schedule your
services, all of which get consolidated procedure, say ‘This is my insurance.
into the bill sent to you and your in- How much will this cost me?’ ” advises
surance company. Healthcare Blue Book’s Jeffrey Rice.
As technology advances, those “If the hospital can’t tell you, that’s a
charges rise. Palmer had a client from warning sign they might not be a good
Louisville, Kentucky, who was aston- deal; once you make two or three calls,
ished to receive a charge of $45,330 you can usually find a good-value fa-
for a prostate surgery and an over- cility.” To learn what a reasonable
night stay (insurance would cover price should be, check out the free,
only $4,845). The billing department online cost-comparison tool from
told Palmer that the steep price was Healthcare Blue Book (healthcare
not only because it was a robotic pro- bluebook.com), which lists “fair” rates
cedure but also because patients who in your zip code based on the average
receive the high-tech surgery shortly insurance reimbursement fee. Also

Hospital /^.Surgery Center

When possible, consider having tests and less-invasive procedures at
outpatient facilities like a surgery center or your doctor’s office, both of which
can be less expensive than a hospital visit. According to Healthcare Blue Book
data, prices paid for a colonoscopy by managed-care network patients in a
Midwest city ranged from $4,481 at an “academic medical center” to $840 at a

“freestanding office.” While some patient-advocate groups find that recently,

outpatient facilities are charging the same price or even more than
a hospital, other sources, including Healthcare Blue Book CEO
Jeffrey Rice, maintain that “outpatient centers often have the same
or better quality, better service, and better pricing.”
Bottom line: Include outpatient facilities
when you comparison shop.

readersdigest.com 9/12 129

try FAIR Health (fairhealthconsumer diagnoses (ICD-9), one for procedures
org), a nonprofit that lists estimates (CPT), and one for durable medical
of providers’ charges for services goods and certain services (HCPCS).
in your area plus how much of that It’s the job of the coder who can —
charge insurance should cover if you be one of many coders in a hospital
go out of network. billing department or an office man-
Research your own resources. For a ager doubling as a coder in a neigh-
more precise prediction of a proce- —
borhood practice to translate every
dure’s cost with your insurance policy, single illness, treatment, and pair of
check your insurance company’s web- crutches into a number. Those codes
site, which may provide a members- are critically important because they
only cost-comparison tool, says Nancy help dictate the rest of the payment
Metcalf, Consumer Reports senior stream that follows.
program editor and health insurance It’s a complex task. CPT codes, for
expert. Some hospitals post procedure example, are listed in a city-phone-
charges on their sites as well. book-size manual in which even an
MRI has about 60 variations. “Some-
Coding is so tricky, times I’ll look at the information and
think,I don’t know what the hell kind
even doctors
of code I’m supposed to use here,”
don’t get it
says one clinician who does her own
Unlike the corner gas pump, CT scan coding. “There’s so much to consider,
machines and syringes don’t have and can be open to interpretation.”

visible price tags, making it hard for Many clinicians still write their
patients and doctors alike to know patients’ progress notes on paper,
their cost.“Most physicians are in the sometimes carbon copy forms with
dark about costs,” Dr. Epperly says. areas for handwritten notes and
“I did a procedure this morning to boxes listing corresponding code
put a scope into a patient’s stomach, choices to be checked off. “People
and I don’t know how much she’ll get are busy, and a check mark could end

charged I’m focused on what to do up on line one versus line two, and
as a physician to help people. I just doctors’ handwriting is notoriously
filled out the form and put down what sloppy, so a 2 could be misinterpreted
we did; mycoder is the person who as a 3," says Dena Bravata, MD, chief
will translate that into money.” medical officer for Castlight Health,
So we —
asked coders trained spe- a cost transparency company.
cialists certified by the AAPC (formerly Some medical professionals don’t
the American Academy of Profes- have a firm grasp of coding to begin
sional Coders) —
what happens next. with. In 2010, a 71-year-old cancer
In a nutshell: Medical billing runs
on patient in Florida paid his physi-
three sets of universal codes: one for cian $10,000 for injection treatments

130 readersdigest.com 9/12

The Everyone Makes
Don’t avoid an overwhelming bill. “Throwing it in the garbage or pretendingyou

didn’t see the absolute worst thing you can do,” says patient advocate Jennifer Jaff.
it is

This mistake can lead to collection agency disasters. Deal with a problematic bill
promptly: Set up a payment plan or begin to investigate or appeal an apparent mistake.
If the situation proves too complex, these resources can help.

Jf-The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a website with a map of
the states that can direct people to agencies, including state insurance departments
and local nonprofits, that
can help people find health coverage, file appeals, and
learn about other health-care issues, (healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/
^Medical Billing Advocates of America is a national network of advocates who help
patients deal with overcharges and insurance company underpayments, (billadvocates
.com; rates vary by case, averaging 35 percent of savings obtained)
^Patient Advocate Foundation (which helped the 7i-year-old Florida patient on page
130) offers support to patients who have a chronic, life-threatening, or debilitating
illness, (patientadvocate.org; free)
Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness provides legal information, advice, and
counseling for patients with chronic conditions, (advocacyforpatients.org; free)

through an implanted pump because about 13,600. Professional coders are

his insurance claims were denied. already preparing. While many predict
Turns out, the physician’s wife and billing delays,some are so concerned
office manager doing the billing were about the transition, they’re forecast-
using the wrong codes. Instead of ing a Y2K of coding. “It’s going to be a
coding for only the injection therapy, major catastrophe,” says Pat Palmer of
they’d been coding for the actual sur- Medical Billing Advocates. “There will
gery to implant the pump— ten times be glitches everywhere, and I foresee
per month for over a year. a huge increase in errors.”
The system is only getting more
complicated. As science generates
diagnoses and treatments, the Ameri-
new * 70 SaA/e,
can Medical Association issues more Ask up front. Coding is typically too

codes. In October 2014 for the first technical for a layperson to grasp: It

time since 1977 the government will would be like going to a grocery store
institute an upgrade of ICD-9 codes to and seeing aisles of bar codes without
ICD-10, bumping the number of diag- the products they’re attached to, says
nosis codes to more than 144,000 from Richard Gundling, vice president of

health-care financial practices for the for Tuesday morning got canceled be-
Healthcare Financial Management cause your condition changed. “Eight
Association. But it’s useful to learn out of ten times, that charge is still
the codes for your care. “The doc- going to show up on that bill because
tor’s officecan often give you the CPT itwas put into the system and not
code for a procedure in advance,” taken out,” says Palmer.
says Gundling. “It might change if Other errors include double billing
anything in your treatment changes, or charging for items you didn’t use.
but at least it would give you a frame “I remember watching a few catheter-
of reference.” You can give that code ization procedures,” says June Mor-
to your insurance company or your gan, a coding educator specialist with
hospital when you ask for a price the AAPC. “As additional supplies are
estimate. Some cost-comparison pulled, the person who hands them
tools, like FAIR Health’s, allow you to the doctor tells someone else the
to search by CPT code. part number so it can be added to
Question the code. A coding error the bill. But sometimes it’s hard to

could be to blame for an outrageously hear the part number, and it has to be
high bill. (Sometimes codes are listed repeated, so you can see how the
on bills, sometimes not.) If your bill patient could be billed for supplies not
includes codes, check if they jibe with used, or not billed for supplies used, or
the ones you got from your doctor billed for duplicate supplies.”
beforehand. If a bill has codes without In still other instances, “sometimes
corresponding descriptions, call the supplies are pulled for a procedure
billingdepartment to make sure they like an echocardiogram before the
match the procedure you got (or look patient arrives,” Morgan says. “If the
them up on FAIR Health’s site) or enlist patient cancels or is a no-show, the
the help of a patient advocacy group supplies should be returned and cred-
that has coding specialists (see “The ited to his or her account. But some-
Mistake Everyone Makes,” page 131). times the staff just uses those supplies
on another patient instead, leaving the
Supplies and charges on the wrong account.”

appointments are
hard to track ~*To SaVe, hoLeuf
Even with regular audits and billing Maintain a patient log. Avoid mis-
software to ensure accuracy, hospi- taken charges by noting what hap-
tal bills are subject to honest human pens during your hospital stay.
error. One common problem: getting Granted, when you’re laid up, you’re
charged for something that didn’t not thinking about billing. But to the
happen. Say you’re in the hospital extent possible, you or a family mem-
for surgery, and a CT scan scheduled ber could keep a notepad by your bed

132 readersdigest.com 9/12

That Costs Ufkat?(?
The su rprising costs of the items i n the following chart reveal
how even little things can add up fast on your hospital bill.

MARKING PEN To mark the right body $ 17-50
part for surgery

CUFF, BP ADULT Use of blood pressure cuff $20

ORAL ADMIN. FEE Charge for nurse to hand $87.50

you medicine taken by

PULSE OXIMETER Pieces put on finger to $100

PROBE measure oxygen

WARMER AIR Sometimes listed as Bair $113


and record the tests and

medications you re-
Who port in bed. “If you end
up needing one of these

ceive and any that
Goes regular supplies,” she
are canceled — along Bankrupt advises, “just have a
with the dates. family member get
Keep track of 62
The percentage of bankrupt-
it from a drugstore
the time. Some or bring it from
cies due to medical costs
charges, like those home.”
for time in the Get an itemized
operating room, 50The percentage increase
statement. A typ-
are determined ical hospital bill
of bankruptcies due to medical
by the minute. problems between 2001 and 2007
divides charges
Have a family into broad cat-
member note
when you go
The percentage of patients whose
egories, such
as Laboratory,
into and come largest single out-of-pocket Radiology, or
out of surgery, expense was hospital bills Pathology, with-
suggests Palmer. out much detail.

“ORs may cost 75 Palmer advises

$200 per minute, The percentage of people thatyou request
so if you’re billed
whose illness caused bankruptcy a detailed item-
for two hours who were insured ized statement
but your husband which can be 15
knows you came 58 The percentage of patients’
pages or longer
out after one, that breaks out each
families in which someone
that’s thousands of specific charge. If
lost or quit a job because
dollars in savings.” of the medical event
you don’t understand
The recovery room, Source: The American
an item, ask the billing
where per-minute Journal of Medicine, department to make sure
charges are also used, is it matches the care you
another area to pay atten- received.
tion to. “Sometimes patients
get stuck in recovery simply be-
Not every
/f doctor
cause nobody is available to take them
is in
to their regular room,” says Palmer.
Bring your own supplies. Everyday f your network
items could mean more bucks on a Many doctors bill patients indepen-
billthan you expect, says Palmer, who dently from the hospital they work
has seen $10 charged for a diaper in a in —and they’re not necessarily in
nursery and $119 for an egg-crate pad your insurance network just because
given to a patient who required sup- the facility is. Recently, a New York
i34 readersdigest.com 9/12
patient whose finger had been sev- specialists you’ll need, such as the
ered by a table saw went to an in- anesthesiologist, are in-network (and
network emergency room but got request only those who are). “You
stuck with an $83,000 bill from the can’t always arrange it ahead of time,
out-of-network plastic surgeon who but if possible, do it,” says Metcalf.
reattached the finger. Another New “It’s too late when you’re lying on the
York patient scheduling heart surgery gurney.”
confirmed that both the hospital and Add admission-form language. At the
the surgeon would be in-network, hospital, attach a statement toyour
which should have left only a co-pay. admission paperwork that says you’ll
But a nonparticipating surgeon as- pay for nonparticipating providers
sisted, resulting in a surprise $7,516 only if you’re notified in advance.
billfrom just that physician. Best-case scenario, your hospital will
Providers may not know (and honor it outright. If not, you’ll be in a
are not required to inform patients stronger position to dispute potential
beforehand) whether they are in- charges down the road.
network. “We use the term RAPE,” Contest the charge. If you get an
says Cindy Holtzman of the Georgia- outrageous out-of-network bill, use
based Medical Refund Service. “It out-of-network reimbursement data
stands for Radiologist, Anesthesi- from sources like FAIR Health to
ologist, Pathologist, and ER doctor; negotiate with your insurance
that’show we were taught in billing company for better coverage, says
advocacy workshops to remember Jennifer Jaff, executive director of
which specialties are most likely Advocacy for Patients with Chronic
to be phantom billers that could be Illness (who herself saved $1,100
out-of-network.” on a colonoscopy and endoscopy
this way). You can also ask your
* To Saj/e, tfoA^jj insurance company to cover an out-
of-network physician at your in-
Ask who’s in. For a scheduled pro- network rate, a strategy that Palmer
cedure, ask in advance whether any has used successfully.


As approached the supermarket, a woman grabbed the
I cart near the
door and asked, “Do you want this?”
“No” said. “I’m only here for one thing.”

As she walked away, heard her mutter, “Typical male.”


Barry Pippen, Cardiff, Great Britain


t"" *
We know him for
football and his faith,
but long before he
was famous on the
field, Tebo w showed
true grit in saving
his treasured pet.

from Through My Eyes

or my birthday the sum- and his driveway, keeping my eyes

F mer before my
year in high school, I
went with my brothers, Robby
on the underbrush. There it
was —
that golden head pop-
in the brush. I slammed
ping up
and Kevin, to Disney World. When on the brakes, jumped out of the car,
we returned to our farm outside Jack- and ran toward him.
sonville, something seemed different. s»
My mom met us as we pulled up in Otis put his head back down. In the
front of the house. past, he would have come running
“I haven’t seen Otis all weekend,” to me. I reached him, afraid that he’d
she said. She seemed pretty unsettled. been bitten by a snake. He looked
Otis (the “first was always
greeter”) fine, and I slowly and gently lifted his

excited to see everyone on their ar- head. I still didn’t see anything wrong,
rival. Now Mom was telling us he’d until he opened his mouth.
been gone all weekend? It wasn’t It was a bloody mess. His bottom
completely out of the ordinary for jaw appeared to have been split down
him to take off for several hours but its full length, the two pieces hanging

never several days, so we all headed loosely. He was missing teeth, I would
out to find him. later learn, but I couldn’t tell at the
I took off on then decided
foot, time with all the damage and blood.
that the car would be faster. I drove I looked at his legs and realized that

around the property, calling as loud instead of being tucked under him as
as I could. I kept hoping Otis would they should be, they were awkwardly
come bounding and barking from be- splayed. Otis had been hurt bad, but I

hind a corner of somewhere. couldn’t figure out by what.

I made another pass down the I gently but quickly scooped him
138 readersdigest.com 9/12
up, puthim on the seat of the car, and tone and strength.He didn’t seem to
raced back to the house to tell the want to move them on his own, but he
others so we could head to the vet. let me move them for him. Over time,
All the way there, I was getting an- I started moving my hand out from

grier. It was becoming clear that Otis under his back legs, which would
hadn’t been attacked by a “what” but force him to paddle a bit to feel like
by a “who.” It looked to me like he’d he was staying afloat. I never took my
been struck repeatedly. hand off his chest and never made
The vet agreed with my guess and him paddle much. Just long enough
suggested that this could have been so he could take a few strokes and
the work of a baseball bat. “Tim, his regainsome confidence and strength.
injuries are too severe,” he said. Otis’s was hard to look at Otis without

back, legs, and hips were severely feelinghow painful the attack must
damaged, and his jaw was radically have been and how much he still
fractured. Surgery would have been must have hurt.
extensive and expensive, and there Thankfully, he continued to get
was no guarantee he’d survive. Plus, better,and over the next few months,
the lengthy rehabilitation might prove with the regular pool workouts
to be more than he could take. and lots of milk shakes he loved —
So we brought Otis home to die and —
vanilla he regained the ability to
laid him carefully on his bed. walk, albeit with a noticeable limp.
Only we forgot to tell Otis that was He never ran again, but after an
the plan. We forgot to tell him these initial period where he seemed
were his last days. ashamed or worried that he’d done
So every day, I carefully lifted Otis something wrong— which made me
and carried him to our swimming upset at the physical injuries he’d
pool. I gently submerged him on my suffered — he settled back into being
lap up to his shoulders, and we rested himself. He was a bit frail, but he was
together in the pool for a while. our Otis, no less, the one we always
After I’d been doing that for a cou- knew and loved.
ple of weeks, I began gently moving

BIGPAWDESIGNS/CLARE his back legs and watching his reac- Otis lived to be 13 and diedwhen Tebow was
tion.We took it slowly and increased away playing college football. Today, the Jets
quarterback owns a Rhodesian ridgeback
his range of motion over time to help
named Bronx.
his muscles regain some
# from The Literarian

aving written several novels in
which dogs play leading roles
and many more in which they
are supporting players, having written
five books from the point of view of
my golden retriever, Trixie, and having
written a memoir of Trixie after her
death, am rather widely known— so

am known at all—as a dog lover.

far as I modern fiction, which
Some even think I am dog-obsessed. is generally nihilistic
Guilty. I happen to feel that if people or too hip to believe in
were always as humble, dutiful, giving, anything beyond the ma-
and straightforward as dogs, the world terial.Those two things are: We have
would be a better place. Here, in no souls, and the world is a mysterious
particular order, are five books about place. This is a moving story about

dogs, fiction and nonfiction, that have love, tragedy, commitment, humility,
charmed me over the years. and redemption. It embraces the idea
that life has dimensions we cannot
THE ART OF RACING see but that if we are honest with our-
IN THE RAIN selves, we intuit every day of our lives.
From what I’d heard about this novel, CITY
I didn’t want to like it. For one thing, BY CLIFFORD D.SIMAK BAUER

reincarnation plays a role in the end- Often science fiction is little con-
game, which I was pretty sure would cerned with characterization, favor- JERRY

be hokey as hell. For another thing, I ing story and/or intriguing scientific
suspected the dog’s voice would strike speculations instead. Simak always COURTESY

me as unbelievably wise. I was wrong. wove complex and believable char-

This is a fine story full of honest emo- acters. In these eight tales, written
tion, which dares to say in the 1940s and collected into a
two things that are novel in 1952, Simak creates
rarely said in many strong characters,
but especially an endearing robot with fewer than 100 words per topic,
named Jenkins and, beginning in the invites the reader to meditate on the
third of the eight, a series of wonderful virtues of dogsand what we can learn
dogs, who by the end of the novel have from them. Not heavy intellectual stuff
inherited a world in which humankind but simple, true, touching.
no longer exists and is a legend on the
way to becoming a myth. PUKKA: THE PUP
BY TED KERASOTE Revelation 1 don’t know Ted Kerasote,
This is a wonderful, wonderful book but he did give a favorable review of my
about the love of a man for a dog and memoir of Trixie, A Big Little Life, which
a dog for a man. It is rich with senti- delighted me because I so like the two
ment but never falls into sentimental- books of his I have listed here. I assure

ity. I am known have no patience

to you, I be bought for a good re-
for books about dogs who are por- view. I even be rented. Pukka was
trayed as goofy screwups and agents published in 2010, and for a beautifully
of chaos, as these always strike me as produced book rich in color and photog-
exploitative nonsense written by clue- raphy, its $18.95 price is an unbelievable
lesspeople who were themselves the bargain. The photographs are some of
causes of their dogs’ neuroses. Mr. the most charming dog shots and most
Kerasote understands his dog, Merle, arresting nature photos I’ve ever seen,
the depth of canine intelligence, and and by the time you’ve paged through
the beauty of the canine heart. He is it over and over (which you will do),

also not afraid to write of his own feel- you have come to know Pukka and to
ings with a tenderness that is at once have glimpsed Kerasote’s life as well.
masculine and universal. Perhaps the It’s a window into another life that looks
best memoir of a dog ever written. highly appealing, but it also captures the
adventure of puppyhood and the joy in
DOGS 8t DEVOTION life that dogs know and can teach us.
The monks breed and train German Dean Koontz’s books, published in 38
shepherds and have written several languages, have sold over 450 million copies
bestselling books about them. This ex- worldwide. He and his wife, Gerda, are major
contributors to Canine Companions for
cellent little book takes such qualities
Independence, a charity that provides highly
of a dog as playfulness, humility, and trained assistance dogs for children and adults
fidelity and, with a picture matched with disabilities, free of charge.


ROMA ON HER at theother end of the
house, perched in the

ADORED MASTER, chair and watching you

ride away. You look back and wave.
STEVE MADDEN I knowI look sad. But I’m a hound

dog. always look sad. Sad and hot.


D ear That Guy,

You know that ratty old black
and white chair by the window
near theTV? The one you pulled out
Harried too. But I have it pretty good
old guy
I sleep in the chair.
comes at lunch and
out and throws a stick for me, and he

of the Dumpster by the hotel the usually slips me some jerky. Some-
week after you graduated from col- times he sits in the house and talks to
lege because you were living in a stu- Martha, even though there’s nobody
dio apartment and after paying rent else here. Sometimes he falls asleep
had no money for furniture? That in the other chair. I think he used to
chair is magic. If I sit on it, you come live here.
back. Always. I used to think the type of bag you
Every time it’s the same. You say took with you dictated when you’d be
goodbye to me at the back door, play back. When you have that leather bag
with my floppy ears, and say, “Roma, with the brass buckle, you come back
you stay. Stay. Be a good dog, and in time to feed me dinner and take
I’ll see you soon.” I love that. By me on a walk in the woods behind
the time you’re pedaling that old the house, down near the fern bed
white mountain bike up the where you found me a few years ago.
dirt driveway, I’m already When you have that little green bag,
readersdigest.com 9/12
you come back in an hour or two, and and I lick your face, and you don’t
you’re wet and smell like chlorine and mind, and you tell me to sit, which I
are too tired to do much of anything kind of hate but never told you, and
but sit on the porch and flip a ball you give me a Milk-Bone, which I
out into the yard for me. My favor- love and you definitely know. Dogs
ite is the blue backpack because that can’t smile, but humans can.And you
means we’re hitting the trail behind smile when you see me. And the dark
the house and might walk through things in the middle of your eyes get
the woods and gorges all day long, big. Know what? You love me.
although sometimes that makes my But not as much as I love you. And
paws hurt and means I won’t leave not just because you gave me a warm
the magic chair for a long time. My place to sleep and yummy food and
least favorite is the giant red and because when you reach out a hand,
black bag you dump all that camp- it’s to stroke my head, not to hit me
ing and climbing equipment in. That the way the people who dumped me
means you’re going to be gone for a by the fern bed did, but because you
long time, and sometimes it seems letme love you, and you love me back.
like no matter how long I sit in the And when you say you’ll come back,
chair, you’ll nevercome back. you always do.
But here’s the thing: You always do. Love always,
You come back, and I bark and run in Roma
circles and jump up on you. And you
Roma died on Christmas, 1999. Steve Madden
get down on the rug and roll had no dog until Fenway the beagle
around with me, moved in this year.

r Pets steal our hearts, become our dearest friends, and can
even save our lives. Post a miraculous or moving story about your
furry, feathered, or scaled companion on our new Tumblr for a chance
to be published. Entries must be 300 words or fewer.
Details at rd.com/september.
Reader’s Digest Classic

George Haley,
here at the
Lincoln Memorial
has worked in
for more than
40 years.


This story was first published n low tones, the dean was explaining
in Reader's Digest at the
to a prospective law student the con-
height of the civil rights
duct expected of him. “We have fixed
movement, the sameyear
that Martin Luther King, Jr.,


IV .
gave his “I
Dream” speech.
Have a I
up a room in the basement for you to
stay in between classes. You are not
wander about the campus. Books will be
sent down to you from the law library. Bring
events in the life
sandwiches and eat lunch in your room. Al-
of George Haley
that occurred at
ways enter and leave the university by the
an even earlier back route I have traced on this map.”
SKSBSsi time in America The dean felt no hostility toward this young
and contains man; along with the majority of the faculty and
offensive language. We have
the trustees, he had approved the admission of
retained that language in
24-year-old George Haley to the University
the interest of historical
accuracy and to preserve the of Arkansas School of Law. But it was 1949,
integrity and intent of the and this young Army Air Forces veteran was a
author’s original version. Negro. The dean stressed that the key to avoiding


violence in this Southern school was
maximum isolation. VETERAN Haley, with grandmother
George was dismayed at the pattern Cynthia Palmer (right), was drafted
in 1943 and seasoned by three years
of life laid out for him.He might have
in the armed forces before going to
entered Harvard Law School, where
college and law school at 24 (below).
he would not have had to live the life
of a pariah. Yet he had chosen this!
A letter from his father had deter-
mined him. During his last semester at
Morehouse College in Atlanta, he had
opened the letter to read: “Segregation
won’t end until we open beachheads
wherever it exists. The governor of
Arkansas and educational officials
have decided upon a quiet tryout of
university integration. You have the
needed scholastic record and tem-
perament, and I understand that Ar-
kansas has one of the South’s best law
schools. I can arrange your admission
if you accept this challenge.”

George had great love and respect

for his father, a college professor and
pioneer in Negro education. He ac-
cepted the challenge.
versation, but as he stepped through
The first day of school, he the door there was silence. He looked
went quickly to his basement room, for his seat. It was on the side between
put his sandwich on the table, and the other students and the instructor.
started upstairs for class. He found When the lecture began, he tried des-
himself moving through wave upon perately to concentrate on what the
wave of white faces that all mirrored professor was saying, but the hate in

the same emotions shock, disbelief, that room seeped into his conscience
then choking, inarticulate rage. The and obliterated thought.
lecture room was buzzing with con- On the second day, he was greeted
with open taunts and threats: “You,
nigger, what are you doing here?”
TABLET BONUS Download our
iPad or Kindle Fire app to watch “Hey, nigger, go back to Africa.” He
an interview with George Haley and tried not to hear; to walk with an even
to hear him read some of the many
letters he received about his story.
pace, with dignity.
The students devised new ways to

146 readersdigest.com 9/12

paper bag of urine. After this incident,
he was offered a key to the faculty
toilet; he refused it. Instead, he de-
nied himself liquids during the day
and used no toilet.
He began to worry that his passive
acceptance of degrading treatment
might be destroying him, killing
something of his manhood. Wouldn’t
it be better for him to hate back, to

fight back? He took his problems to

his father and brother in long, ago-
nized letters. His father answered,
“Always remember that they act the
way they do out of fear. They are
afraid that your presence at the uni-
harass him. Mornings when he came to versity will somehow hurt it, and thus
his basement room, he found obscene their own education and chance in
and threatening notes shoved under life. Be patient with them. Give them

the door. The trips from the campus a chance to know you and to under-
back to his rented room in town be- stand that you are no threat.”
came a test of nerve. One afternoon, at The day after this letter arrived,
an intersection, a car full of students George found a noose dangling in the
slowed down and waved him across. basement room.
But the moment he stepped in front His brother wrote, “I know it is
of the car they gunned the engine, remember that all our
hard, but try to

making him scramble back and fall to people are with you in thought and
his hands and knees in the gutter. As prayer.” George read this with a wry


the car sped away he heard mocking smile. He wondered what his brother

laughter and the shouted taunt, “Hey, would say if he knew how the town
missing link, why don’t you walk on Negroes uneasily avoided him. They
your hind legs?” knew he walked the thin edge of vio-
lence,and they didn’t want to be near
His basement room was ifan explosion occurred. Only a few

near the editorial offices of the Law Re- gave him encouragement. A church
view, a publication written and edited deacon proffered a rumpled dollar
by 12 top honor students of the senior bill to help with expenses, saying, “I

class. He had heard of their bitterness work nights, son. Walkin’ home I see

that he had to share their toilet. One your studyin’ light.”

afternoon his door flew open, and he Despite his “studyin’ light,” George

whirled around to catch in the face a barely passed the first semester

exams. His trouble was that in class the highest A. We thought you’d want
he couldn’t really think; all his nerve to know.” Then, embarrassed, they
endings were alert to the hate that backed out of the room.
surrounded him. So the second se- For a moment he was stunned, but
mester, using a semi-shorthand he then a turmoil of emotion flooded
had learned in the Army Air Forces, through him. Mostly he felt relief that
George laboriously recorded every he didn’t have to report failure to his
word his professors said. Then at father and friends.
night he blotted out the day’s harass- When George Haley returned for
ments and studied the lectures until his next semester at Arkansas, there
he could almost recite them. was a sharp decrease in the hate mail
under his door, and there was grudg-
By the end of the year ing respect for his scholastic accom-
George had lost over 28 pounds, plishments. But still, wherever he
and he went into the examinations went, eyes looked at him as if he were
exhausted, both physically and a creature from a zoo.
emotionally. Somehow he finished One day a letter arrived: “We are
them without collapsing, but he had having a ‘Race-Relations Sunday’ and
flunked, he thought. He had done his would enjoy having you join our dis-
best, and now he could honorably cussion.” It was signed by the secre-
leave. Some other Negro would have tary of the Westminster Presbyterian
Student Founda-
tion. His first re-


action was
They wanted

THEY GO THROUGH JUSTTO discuss, did they?



BEING,” HE WROTE. these do-gooders

been all the time
he’d been going
to do what he failed to do, some other through hell? Bitterly he tore up the
man stronger and smarter. invitation and threw it in the waste-
The afternoon the marks were basket. But that night he tossed rest-
due, he went to his basement room, lessly. At last he got out of bed and
dropped into the chair, and put his wrote an acceptance.
head on the table. There was a knock At the church, he was met by a
on his door and he called, “Come in!” group of young men and women.
He could hardly believe what he saw. There were the too-hasty hand-
Into the room filed four of his class- clasps and the too-bright smiles. At
mates, smiling at him. One said, “The last the chairman stood up to intro-
marks were just posted and you made duce George. He said, “We hope that
148 readersdigest.com 9/12
Mr. Haley will tell us what we can do he smiled! It was an important change.
as a Christian body ...” Toward the end of his second year
George got to his feet and moved a senior asked him, with elaborate ca-
stonily to the podium. Those intro- sualness, why he didn’t write some
ductory words released something of articles for the Law Review. It was
a maelstrom of emotions. He forgot traditional that only the best students
his carefully prepared speech. “What received such invitations, and he felt
can you do?” he blurted out. “You can himself flushing with pride.
speak to me!” It was only he returned to
Suddenly, all that had been dammed school for the third and final year that
up came pouring out. He told them he decided to go to the cafeteria. He
what it was like to be treated like an didn’t really want to go. In this last
enemy in your own country; what it year he longed to relax, to let down
did to the spirit to be hounded for no his guard. But he was in this school
crime save that of skin color; what for more than an education.
it did to the soul to begin to believe He went and stood in the cafeteria
that Christ’s teachings had no valid- line. The other students moved away
ity in this world. “I’ve begun to hate,” from him in both directions so that he
he confessed. “I’ve drawn on every moved in his own private air space.
spiritual resource I have to fight off His tray was almost loaded when
this hatred, but I’m failing.” His eyes three hulking students ahead shouted,
flooded with tears of anger, then of “Want to eat with us, nigger?”
shame. He groped for his chair. They jostled him, knocking his tray
The silence vanished in a roar of to the floor with a clatter of breaking
applause and cheers. When the chair- dishes. As George stooped to retrieve
man’s gavel finally restored order, it, his eyes blazed up at his tormentors

George was unanimously voted a and for the first time he shouted back.
member of the group. Thereafter he “You’re adults!” he said. “Grow up!”
spent a part of each weekend at West- They shrank from him in mock terror.
minster House, enjoying the simple Shaking, George replaced the
pleasure of human companionship. dumped food and made his way over
to a vacant table. He bent his head
A slight thaw also be- over the crockery. Suddenly, a bald-
gan to take place at the university. ing student stopped beside him with
George’s classmates gingerly began his tray and drawled, “My name is
moments of shoptalk with him, dis- Miller Williams. Mind if I sit here?”
cussing cases.One day he overheard a George nodded. Now the two of them
group discussing a legal point, and one were the center of all eyes. Now the
of them said, “Let’s go down and ask taunts were directed at the white stu-
Haley in the Noose Room.” He knew dent, the words “nigger lover.”
only a moment of indignation then — Miller Williams was hardly that. “I

was bom in Hoxie, Arkansas,” he said,
“and I have spent all my life in the
South. But what’s happening here just
isn’t right, and I’m taking my stand
with you.”
Later that day, Williams brought
several students to George’s room for a
bull session, and they laid it on the line.
“Don’t you niggers carry knives?”

George emptied his pockets—no knife.

“How often do you bathe?” Every day,
George told him. “Don’t most of you
lust after white girls?” George showed
him snapshots of a pretty Negro girl
he was dating in his hometown.
Following this session, he wrote his court defense attorney, and his Law
brother: “Improving race relations is Review colleagues picked him as com-
at least 50 percent a matter of simple —
ments editor the man entrusted
communication. Now that I’m able to with the selection of articles to print.
talk to a few whites, I realize what
terrible beliefs cause that prejudice. SdlOOl WaS drawing to a
I can see the emotional struggle they close, and he felt a deep satisfac-
are going through just to see me as an tion in having accomplished most
equal human being.” of his goals. But then the old specter
Increasingly the last year became a rose again. Each year, distinguished
time of triumph, not only for George alumni returned for a faculty banquet
but for white students who were able to salute the Law Review staff. With
to discard their own preconceptions. a sinking feeling, George dreaded
When a student sidled up to him and what would happen. And that evening
wrote you a letter I’m sorry U<
said, “I when George entered the hotel ban- au.
for,” George stuck out his hand and quet hall, the reaction was just what
the student shook it. When another si- he feared. The moment the alumni
lently offered him a cigarette, George, saw him, a pall fell on the room.
who didn’t smoke, puffed away, know- George felt sick. The food passed
ing it was far more than a gesture. his lips untasted. It came time for
He was named to the Law Review speeches. The law school dean, Qw
staff, and his writing won an award Robert A. Leflar, welcomed the
from the Arkansas Law Review Corp. alumni and introduced the student
His winning paper represented the editors, one at a time. There seemed
university in a national competition. an eternity of names, and George felt a_i
The faculty chose him as a moot- a frozen smile on his face. uO

150 readersdigest.com 9/12

and the ovation became thunder-
HALEY TODAY ous. “Speech! Speech!” they shouted.
George Haley pushed himself to his
It’s hard to believe that anyone ever feet. He could say no word for he was
hated George Haley. Fit and dapper
unashamedly crying. But that was
he has a ready smile and a
at 87,
kind of a speech too.
warm, open manner. He can tell a
Today, ten years later, George is
joke, and he has a treasure trove
a respected lawyer in Kansas City,
of stories to share from his long
career, which included a stint as U.S.
Kansas. He has been deputy city attor-
ambassador to Gambia. The walls of ney since 1955. He is a steward in his
his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, church, has helped found a number of
where he lives with Doris, his wife Negro business firms, and is vice pres-
of 58 years, are lined with photos and ident of the state Young Republicans.
documents attesting to his achieve-
ments, including pictures of Haley Dozens of old school-
with Martin Luther King, Jr., whom mates are now George’s close friends,
he met in college and remained but perhaps the most touching accep-
friends with until King’s death. In tance of him as a man came a few
his home office, Haley recalled life as
years ago when he received a tele-
one of the first black students at his
phone call from Miller Williams, who
Southern law school and as someone
had sat with him in the cafeteria. Wil-
hated for no other reason than the
liams, now an instructor of English
color of his skin. There was pain,
at Louisiana State University, called
but he was strong and didn’t let it
change him. “I wasn’t scarred at all,” to announce the birth of a daughter.
he said. And that may be the most “Lucy and I were wondering,” he
extraordinary thing about a most said, “whether you’d care to be her

extraordinary man. David Noonan godfather?”

This simple request made forever
real the love and respect between two
Dean Leflar said, “The next young people. George knew that the long
man demands, and receives, as much struggle and pain had been worth-
ifnot more respect than any other while. He knew, too, that his father
person in our law school.” had been right in saying, “Be patient
Eleven chairs scraped back, and 11 with them. Give them a chance to
men stood up. They were the Law Re- know you.”
view editors, and they were looking I know it too. For I am George’s
at George and applauding vigorously. brother.
Then the faculty stood up and added
Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book,
cheers to the applause. Finally the
Roots, began as a Reader's Digest assignment.
old grads got up, the judges, lawyers A contributor to the magazine for nearly
and politicians from the Deep South, 40 years, he died in 1992 at age 70.
Quills, plumes, bristles
down: Birds have the
best outerwear on
earth. A look at its
magnificent variety
and function.
Photo Essay

From Indonesia’s
red bird of paradise
(left);from the wing
of Africa’s superb
starling (right).

These vibrant
contour feathers
crown the head
of China’s golden
M ost of us don’tspend a lot of time
thinking about feathers, but con-
servation biologist Thor Hanson
does — and thinks we
natural marvels for granted. This

strengths: Depending on type, feathers are amazing

take these

self-confessed feather fanatic lists the lightweights’

insulation, they’re waterproof, their airfoil structure

is a model of aeronautical engineering, and, oh yes,
A peacock feather
(above left) "has
been adapted
for display,” says
biologist Thor
Hanson. “It’s not
waterproof or
flight-friendly. It’s
just to look sexy.”
The red-crested
they’re beautiful. That’s why we stuff them in our turaco (feather,
parkas and stick them in our hats, while physicists above right) is no
slouch in the looks
and engineers continue to try to crack their secrets.
department either:
Hanson, the author of— what else?— Feathers, adds, These African
“They cross that imaginary but significant boundary redheads have
we erect between the natural world and the human green bodies.
world. Feathers are on birds outside your window,
but they’re also in your house. They’re in your feather
duster or your pillow, unchanged from how they are
in nature. You’re never far from a feather.”

readersdigest.com 9/12
Fly fishermen covet
feathers from the grey
junglefowl (India).

Few people
venture into
Death Valley ,

in the summer,
when high
average 115'F.



eath Valley, daughter Gina, 17, and Donna’s friend
the 3,000- and houseguest from Hong Kong,
square-mile Jenny Leung, 19, joined her.
sprawl of sand The trio arrived at the mansion
dunes and arid around 1 p.m. and spent two hours
mountains along touring the place. As they left the
California’s southeastern border, is parking lot on the way home, they
the hottest, driest place in North saw a sign for the Racetrack— a dry
America. Temperatures soar into the lake bed, where shifting boulders
from June through Sep-
triple digits have left skidmarks in the cracked
tember. Annual rainfall averages 2.5 mud. “I’ve always wanted to check
inches; most months, there’s none at that out,”Donna said.
all. Though nearly a million tourists The other two women went along
visit each year, few venture into the with the idea. Gina, who was driving,
valley during the summer, when pointed their Hyundai west on Route
the sun is at its most brutal. 267, then turned south on a dirt road.
The temperature
outside the tiny

AFTER TEN MORE car was over

degrees. After

MILES, GINA REALIZED about an hour,

THEY’D TAKEN A they reached an

WRONG TURN. intersection, but

the sign indi-
cating the way
to the Race-
Like most of her neighbors in track was unclear. Gina turned

Pahrump, Nevada a dusty town left. After ten more miles, she
of 36,000, just 60 miles from the made a wrong turn. She
realized she’d
entrance to Death Valley National tried to reverse course, but they

Park Donna Cooper had driven soon climbing into the high country.
through the valley many times. But Donna consulted the road atlas, but
one Thursday morning in July 2010, itsmap of Death Valley showed only
the 62-year-old retiree decided to ex- the park’s main roads. “Let’s ask Nell
plore a corner of the park she’d never how to get back to Scotty’s Castle,”
visited: Scotty’s Castle, a Spanish- she said, referring to the GPS device
style mansion built in the 1920s. Her she’d named after her mother.

The women
survived their first
24 hours in the
desert on 64 ounces
of water.

Donna took the wheel and followed whose databases for remote areas
the machine’s instructions. “Drive 550 such as Death Valley may include
feet, then turn right on unnamed maps that haven’t been updated for
road,” Nell commanded in a voice decades. As Donna drove in loops and
brimming with digital certainty. zigzags on unmarked roads that grew
“Turn left, then drive one mile. Turn ever narrower and rockier, Gina’s
right. Turn left. Recalculating. Drive head throbbed; nausea set in.
five miles, then make a U-turn.” “I want to go home,” Gina moaned.

“Stop being so immature,” Donna

ing it

ravelers have been losing
their way in Death Valley
often fatally— since 1849,
when pioneers began us-
as a shortcut to California’s gold
Recently, growing
have been led astray by GPS devices,
In the front seat, Jenny struggled
not to cry. Since arriving in the
United States in May, she’d enjoyed
traveling with Donna to Florida, the
Grand Canyon, San Francisco, and
Los Angeles. This, however, was

Long, Winding Road
The wrong turn at Teakettle Junction marked the beginning
of the group’s 200-mile, 52-hour odyssey in Death Valley
Park. They meandered south, then northwest along the
of the park before being rescued.

DAY 1 :







DAY 2 :







162 readersdigest.com 9/12

more adventure than she wanted. children.Now, she knew, two young
Though the car was air-conditioned, liveswere depending on her to get
her lips had become painfully dry. But them out of the desert alive.
three of the four 16-ounce bottles of Around 8 p.m., Nell’s robotic
water they’d brought along were al- voice led them into a rock-rimmed
ready empty, and she couldn’t bring dead end. Gina spotted a faint trail
herself to touch the last one. When leading into the brush, and they fol-
Donna handed her the bottle, Jenny lowed it downhill to a smoother dirt
pretended to take a swig. road. As they rounded a bend, past
“Cut that out,” Donna said sternly. a mostly dried-up salt lake shimmer-
“You’ve got to drink your share.” ing in the sunset, they noticed a sign
Jenny took a sip and swished it in of civilization— a mailbox. Inside,
her mouth for a long time before she Donna found a crinkled, handwrit-
swallowed. ten note: “Sorry we missed you,” it
As they drove on, the shadows was a wire fence,
read. Farther along
lengthened, but the heat barely dimin- a padlocked gate, and an isolated
ished. Outside the car, sand, scrub, and stand of trees.
rubble stretched for miles around. At “Let’s see if anybody’s back there,”
intervals, all threewomen tried calling Gina said.
911 on their cell phones. No reception. “We can’t waste time,” Donna replied.
Donna took inventory: Besides the “We’re on a good road now. We’re
remaining water,
they had two ap-
ples, what was left
of a bag of chips, “WE’RE ON A GOOD ROAD
and some cookies.
The hatchback’s
cargo hold con- “WE’RE GOING TO
tained blankets,
sweaters, extra
shoes, a tool kit,

and a first-aid kit. There was still more going to find our way out.”
than a quarter tank of gas. Following Nell’s instructions,
Donna inhaled deeply, then exhaled Donna kept to the road as it rose into
the fear that had been building inside the barren mountains. As they gained
her. She’d survived worse than
fixes altitude,Gina glanced back at where
this —
including a serious accident in they’d come from. Behind the trees,
her 20s that had left her hospitalized she thought she saw some kind of
for weeks and a near-fatal intestinal habitation. But night was falling, and
illness in Haiti earlier that year. they’d gone too far to turn around.
and her husband had raised eight At home in Pahrump, Charlene

Dean, an old friend of Donna’s and “Mountain lions. Bears,” Donna re-
a reporter for a local newspaper, plied. “Roll up the windows.”
wasn’t worried when Donna and the The girls did as they were told.
show up for dinner. Dean,
girls didn’t Donna passed around the last of
51,was boarding with the Coopers the food, and they took a swallow
in exchange for house-sitting when apiece of their nearly depleted wa-
they were out of town. She’d known ter.Then, with blankets they dug out
Donna long enough to assume that of the back, they tried to sleep. Gina
her friend had changed her plans. dropped off quickly, but Jenny was
worried about
wildlife, and
DONNA AND JENNY Donna fretted
about a boulder
USED STONES TO WRITE flattening the car.

“HELP” ON A PATCH Both agonized

about the next
OF FLAT GROUND. day. “Don’t be
scared,” Donna
said, as she and
Donna’s husband, Rodger, 62, was Jenny sat staring into the darkness.
in North Port, Florida, visiting their “We just need a plan.” A long silence
daughter Sky. He, too, was used to followed.
Donna’s independent ways. But Sky, At 6 a.m. Friday morning, the rising
a 21-year-old nursing home aide, had sun revealed that they were parked
undergone gallbladder surgery that high above the valley, in a sparse
afternoon, and she couldn’t believe grove of pines. Beside the road was a
that her mother wouldn’t get in touch. drop of several hundred feet. Donna
“Something’s wrong,” she kept saying. tried starting the car, but the engine
wouldn’t turn over.

D onna drove until the gas

gauge read empty, then
pulled over. It

p.m., and the odometer

indicated they’d covered more than
200 miles since leaving Scotty’s Cas-
tle. Huge boulders loomed beside the
was 10
“We have
stones to write
to get someone to see
Donna and Jenny used
HELP on a patch of flat
ground. Gina built a fire pit, piling it
full of branches and pamphlets from

Scotty’s Castle. But when she pressed

the car’s cigarette lighter to the kin-
car. The black sky blazed with stars. dling, it just smoldered.
“Looks like we’ll be camping,” In the distance, the women saw an
Donna said. airplane. Gina grabbed a CD and used
“Are there wild animals here?” it as a signal mirror, while Jenny waved
asked Jenny, her voice quavering. a yellow emergency blanket. That
164 readersdigest.com 9/12
Outdated GPS software
often leads travelers astray
in Death Valley, which is too

plane —
and several more after it flew — they contained moisture and some
on. Around 11 a.m., after they’d finished The two were digging for
off the bottle of water, Gina hiked up cactus roots as Gina returned.
the winding road for two miles, past a “We’ve got to go back to that place
cluster of long-abandoned campsites, where we stopped yesterday,” she said.
to where the trees thinned out. She “How are we going to do that?”
gazed out over the landscape: nothing Donna asked. “The car won’t start.”
but desert. “Let’s try it again,” Gina suggested.
Back at the car, Donna was peeling Donna said a silent prayer, then
cacti with her jackknife. She’d read turned the key. The engine roared to
that one variety contained drinkable life, startling them all, and they took
liquid— but as she and Jenny ex- off down the mountainside. Donna
tracted the sticky pulp, they realized stomped on the accelerator at each dip
thisone wasn’t it. Next, they gathered in the road, so that they’d have enough
pine needles to chew; Donna knew momentum to make it up the next rise;
if they stalled, she knew, it’d be over beans and chili, and everyone sat
for them. Five, ten, 20, 30 miles— they down to eat. Then they found a col-
were in the flats now and turning left lection of jars and bottles in a trash
onto the road by the salt lake. The bin and began filling them with water
locked gate finally came into view, and in case the hose ran dry.
the women burst into excited screams:
Here, at was a chance at shelter.
least, n Florida, after arriving home
They left the car and ducked under from the hospital that morning,
the wire fence, the ground burning
through their sneaker soles as they
walked up the long driveway. As they
I Sky tried calling Donna’s phone,
only to be routed to voice mail.
She checked her mother’s Facebook
emerged from the trees, they saw page: no updates. Then she checked
three trailers clustered around a free- Donna’s credit card account. The last
standing wooden porch. They called charges were on Thursday at 1 p.m.,
out, but no one answered. The trail- when Donna bought three tickets to
ers were all locked. But behind the Scotty’s Castle.
Sky called Charlene
largest one, Donna found something Dean, who said she hadn’t heard

incredible a garden hose attached from Donna either. That evening, she
to a spigot. The water was hot, but the called the supermarket where Gina
trio gulped it greedily. Then they lay worked as a courtesy clerk. Gina’s
down for a nap on the porch. shift had started at 4 p.m. Nevada
When they awoke, Gina fetched time. “She hasn’t punched in,” Sky
the tool kit from the car. She un- was told. Her father grimaced as Sky
screwed the hinges on the big trailer hung up the phone. “Now I’m wor-
but couldn’t get the door open. Us- ried,”Rodger said.
ing a crowbar, she pried a padlock Sky phoned Charlene again, and the
off one of the smaller trailers. In- two called the sheriffs departments
side, they found a few cans of chili in several counties, the California
and beans, some packets of instant Highway Patrol, and the ranger sta-
ramen and cranberry oatmeal, half tion at Death Valley National Park.
a box of spaghetti. There were also But the authorities said it was too late
eight half-cases of beer. The food in the day to mount a full search.
would last only a couple of days, At nightfall, Gina lit a signal fire, us-
Donna figured, but the beer could ing matches from the trailer kitchen
sustain them for two weeks — assum- and logs she found stacked in the
ing they survived the heat. yard. Then the women bedded down
The air inside the trailer was on the porch. The heat on the valley
furnace-like, so they pulled the mat- floor was so intense that they had
tresses from the two bunks and laid to get up every 15 minutes to douse
them on the porch, where it was themselves with water.
Donna opened the
slightly cooler. As morning approached, Donna and
readersdigest.com 9 / )2
Jenny walked out to the road and made signs and gave them as much fresh
a cross in the dirt with tree branches. water as they could guzzle. “We were
They wrote, HELP, CALL POLICE in about to give you up for dead and fly
the dust coating the car. back to base,” one of the men said.
The women then broke into the big The women appeared healthy, so
trailer, finding little of use. Next, Gina the pilots offered them two options:
pried open a window on the small- to board the helicopter, one by one,
est trailer, and Jenny crawled inside. and be flown to Lone Pine, the near-
There, on a table, was a CB radio. But est town, or to wait for a backcountry
after hauling it out, along with the an- campground operator to bring a can
tenna, and hooking it up to the car of gas and give them directions to the
battery, there was only static when highway. They chose the latter.
Jenny twirled the dial. After ten min- After the park official showed up,
utes, the static died out too. they filled their tank, thanked their
Gina was ready to weep. But her rescuers, and drove away into the
mother had a better idea: “Let’s get night. This time, they knew where
cleaned up.” they were going.
Jenny and Donna took baths first, fill- You could say that getting lost gave
ing the tub in the first trailer with wa- Gina and Jenny some direction. In-
ter from outside.
Around 5 p.m., it
was Gina’s turn.
Donna washed “WE WERE ABOUT TO
Gina’s hair, her GIVE YOU UP FOR DEAD.”
hands firm on her
daughter’s scalp. SAID ONE OF THE
Gina thought
she heard scream-
ing. It was Jenny.
“Come out!” she was yelling. “Come spired by a conversation with one of
out!” the helicopter rescuers, Gina decided
Donna ran outside, and Gina — pull- to enroll in nursing school. Jenny
ing on her clothes without drying off— went back to Hong Kong shortly
followed. Jenny was waving the after the ordeal but returned to
yellow emergency blanket madly. the United States to live with the
A deafening racket came from the Coopers and attend a local college.
sky. A helicopter marked California And Donna remains undaunted by
Highway Patrol was slowly cir cling thatwide swath of desert in her back-
They’d been found! yard. “Never for a second,” she says,
After landing, the pilots,who were “did I doubt that we would make it
also EMTs, checked the women’s vital out of there.”


Do your calls and e-mails matter? i

Do lobbyists run the country? Is fund-raising more

important than governing? §
What Washington insiders don’t talk about.
porting an almost inconceivably low 10 percent approval
rating, the U.S.
Congress is the Rodney Dangerfield of
legislative bodies —
it can’t get no respect. But is the bad

rap deserved? We invited 22 current and former members

of Congress, plus a handful of aides, to give us straight
talk about how things really work in these hallowed halls.


“The first time you go into the Cab- “One thing that surprised me was
1 inet room for a meeting with the
president, extremely exhilarating.
4 how much walking is involved. If
it’s I have a vote, it’s a quarter mile over
Regardless of your party, regardless to the floor and a quarter mile back.
of your ideology or how much you When I’m invited to meetings hosted
agree with him on policy, being with by senators, it’s three quarters of a
the president of the United States— mile there and three quarters of a mile
the leader of the free world it just — back. For the first few weeks, my feet
doesn’t get any better than that.” were absolutely killing me. Then I no-
Former representative Zach Wamp (R-TN), ticed everyone was wearing Rockports
who served from 1995 to 2011
or other soft-soled shoes, not dress
shoes. That’s what you have to wear.”
spend exactly a third of my time
“I Rep. John Carney (D-DE)
2 in Washington, a third of my time
in Iowa, and a third of my time travel- “Like a lot of congresspeople, I sleep
ing. How do I know that? At one point,
I bought three packages of deodorant:
5 in my office, either on the floor on a
blow-up mattress or my couch. I cook
one for D.C., one for Iowa, and one for in a little place across the hall that’s for
my traveling kit. They all ran out the storage, and I’ve got a deep-dish electric
Same week.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) skillet, a Crock-Pot, a blender, a fridge,
and a microwave. I do the dishes in the
“It’s a constant juggling act with bathroom sink.” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
your family. My
daughter ad-
dressed a school assembly not long “It used to be that members of
ago. I wanted to be there because she
worked really hard on the speech,
6 Congress would buy a place in
Washington when they got elected.
but we had a vote that went late, Now they all get on a plane and head to
and I missed it. She has had to sit their districts. That’s part of the reason
through God-knows-how-many of my there’s more partisanship.”
speeches, so that one really hit home.” Former representative Marty Meehan
(D-MA), who served from 1993 to 2007 and is now
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell

170 readersdigest.com 9/12

Who We Are
“We’re supposed to be “Most of the “When you vote, you’re
7 a representative democ-
racy— but our Congress is
8 on the
staffers 9 often choosing a con-
Hill are in their gressperson for life. Maybe
not very representative. The early- or mid-20s. It it’s not what you intend, but

average age in the House is might mortify the the districts are so gerryman-
57; the average age in the American public, dered, that’s essentially what
Senate even higher, and it’s
is but those are really you’re doing. Most members
mostly wealthy white men. the people running of Congress leave only when
There’s no one under 30, yet the country.” they retire, they die, or they
almost all the people giving Amy Ellsworth, run for higher office.”
blood for our freedoms are a former Former representative
congressional aide Alan Grayson
under 30.” (D-FL),
who served from 2009 to 2011
Former representative Zach Wamp


“Your calls and e-mails do mat- “The best place to talk to a con-
ter, probably more than you gresspersonback in his or her
think. We have a system to track every district or state. In D.C.,
your staff can
call and e-mail and how many people say you’re in a committee meeting or
are for or against something. Before on the floor voting. And when you do
they go to the floor to vote, members meet with someone, you can rush off,
ask for those numbers.” saying you have pressing business.
A former senior congressional aide for That’s not as easy to do back home.”
two GOP House members
Former representative Bob Edgar ( D-PA),
president and CEO of Common Cause, a government
watchdog group
“Never, ever indicate that you
are disappointed to be meeting
with a staff person. People get fixated “Want a sense of how engaged
on meeting with a member of Con- and effective your member
gress, but even if you do, it’s going to of Congress is? Go to thomas.loc
be a grip-and-grin. Having a good rela- .gov to see how many bills he or she
tionship with a staff person can make has introduced and how many got
or break your cause.” Stephanie Vance, passed. There are members in there
former Capitol Hill chief of staff and author of
The Influence Game: so Insider Tactics from the Wash- who’ve gotten no bills passed for a
ington, D.C., Lobbying World That Will Get You to Yes decade.” Former representative Alan Grayson
4A had [lobbying] groups physi-
“I legislation. They may not be on federal
I » cally tear up checks in front of property, but we’re still paying them
my eyes because they didn’t like how to do this. Mike Lofgren, GOP congressional
I was going to vote.” staffer for 28 years and author of The Party Is Over

Former representative Brian Baird (D-WA),

who served from 1999 to 2011
4 “If you’re a prolific fund-raiser
I # who brings millions of dollars
A JFJ “When you have a high-profile to your party, you get elevated to a
1 3
issue like a health-care bill, leadership position even if you’re not
there are five or ten lobbyists per an effective legislator and have no lead-
congressperson, and they have a ership skills. And boy, does that dumb
tremendous amount of influence. In down the process.” A former congressman from
many cases, lobbyists write the bills.” the Southeast who served more than ten years
Former representative Alan Grayson

“We get invited to a lot of re-

“Because it’s against ethics ceptions sponsored by lobby-
regulations to make fund-rais- ists, but ethics rules say that you can’t
ing calls from a congressional office, sit down and you can’t have a fork.
members go to some office off the Hill So the caterers set up standing tables
and sit there for hours calling potential and serve every food you can think of
contributors. It’s time when they could that you can stick with a toothpick.”
be in committee hearings or taking Former representative Bob Inglis (R-SC),who
served from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2005 to 2011
part in debates or writing their own

5 REASONS To Call Your Congressperson

Express Get your Book a Get help Find
your opinion. passport special tour. with Social funding for
They really do faster. Many offices Security or a project.
pay attention They can offer private veterans Most offices
to how many expedite the tours of the benefits. have someone
people contact process, espe- Capitol. For the Members have who can assist
them for cially if you White House, special case- you with
or against have a travel call at least workers who federal grant
particular bills. emergency. 30 days ahead. can helpyou. applications.

17a readersdigest.com 9/12

“As soon as you get to Wash- On TV, we’re really role-playing, not
ington, whether you’re a new debating. We haven’t had a real debate
Republican or a new Democrat, your in a very longtime.” Rep. jim cooper (d-tn)
party pulls you off into a retreat and
brainwashes you that the No. 1 thing “Here’s an observation: The
you can do is to defeat the other team. women in Congress are more
Everything they tell you is through a bipartisan than the men. The men
political prism: ‘What can we do to in Congress have this baseball game
Win?’ ” A former congressman from the Southeast they play for charity ... Republicans
who served more than ten years
against Democrats. When women
started a softball game for the same
“When I was first elected to purpose, we decided to play together,
the Iowa Senate, I believed if with the media as our opponent.”
I was right on principle, all I had to Former representative Kathy Dahlkemper
do was make a principled argument, (D-PA), who served from 2009 to 2011
and I’d sway people to my side. I tell
people about that belief today, and “The fact is, on both sides of
they laugh at me.” Rep. Steve King the aisle, most of the people
[in Congress] are decent and incred-
“If you can see it on C-SPAN, ibly hardworking and do their very
it’s probably not real. Most de- best for their constituents.”
cision making takes place off camera. Former representative Brian Baird

Good Times
“The opportunities to make a dif- but finally got him another hearing. After-

ference in an instant are rare, but ward, the whole family came to thank me.
they do happen. We heard from a Central I still carry a little handmade cowboy boot
American couple who had natural-born he presented to me.” Rep. Steve King
children. The mother was a legal resident
studying to get her citizenship; the husband
“There’s always a way you can
was in the country on asylum, working at serve people as a congressperson;
a beef-packing plant. But he had missed a
you don’t have to do it through a bill.
hearing and was up for deportation. If they You can do it by helping a 101-year-old
deport him, the family loses their bread- woman evicted from a home find a place
winner, their health insurance, the children to live. That’s what’s really cool about
have no father... It was a pretty long battle. this job.” Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI)

>Go to rd.com/septemberfor even more secrets your congressperson won’t

tell you.
E* *%*%%*!

9' iti ”<«•

L - ” x&iL M r
Scott Neeson found
desperate children
living and working
on the garbage dump
in Phnom Penh.
he first time I met Scott Neeson, he

was standing on top of a 27-acre
garbage dump on the outskirts of
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, dressed in a
torn T-shirt, well-worn trousers, and
sturdy rubber boots. The tall, lean
redhead turned and warned me to
watch out for a hypodermic needle
near my foot. “Step on that and you could get hepatitis or
AIDS,” he said, explaining that while the dump contained
the town’s rubbish, hospitals were also discarding syringes,
body and even aborted fetuses here. The stench was
overpowering: a mix of sulfur, rotting flesh, and excrement.

Neeson was greeting child scavengers founded. “It’s heartbreaking,” said

who were scratching out a living by Neeson, as he knelt and balanced a
combing for recyclables. He addressed bright-eyed six-year-old on his knee.
each child in Khmer, prepared to get “I wish I could help every child.”
medical help for any who’d been in- The tale of how Scott Neeson came
jured or beaten, both regular occur- to be saving children left to live like
rences at the dump. rats among garbage reads like a movie
About 50 yards away, I saw a script, an irony he can appreciate. In
mother and two daughters lying un- 2003, Neeson, then 44, was earning
der a plastic-and-cardboard shelter a million-dollar-plus salary as senior
erected on top of trash. executive vice president of market-
“Are they taking a break?” I asked. ing at Sony Pictures; before that, he’d
“No,” Neeson said. “They live been at 20th Century Fox, where he’d
there.” overseen the release of Braveheart,
As we walked, a few kids rushed Titanic, Star Wars, and X-Men. Dubbed
up to Neeson and playfully shouted, Mr. Hollywood by the media, he
“I want to study. Take me to school!” worked and hung out with Mel Gibson,
Neeson is well-known around here; as Tom Cruise, and Harrison Ford, lived
of this writing, he has rescued more in a Beverly Hills mansion, owned a
than 1,200 children in and around 39-foot yacht, and drove a Porsche 911.
Phnom Penh through the Cambo- Never married, he was often seen with
dian Children’s Fund, the charity he a stunning girlfriend on his arm.
176 readersdigest.com 9/12
Still, he told a trusted he offered to support the
friend, “there has to be child’s family. He paid
more to life than making their rent, bought them
movies.” a refrigerator, and gave them money
That year, he set off for a five-week to send their children to school. Two
backpacking and motorcycling trip weeks later,he discovered that the
through Asia. “He’ll be OK,” every- boy’s parents had spent the money on
one said. “He just needs to chill out.” gambling and drinking.
Neeson didn’t intend to spend more A Cambodian friend took him aside
than a few days in Phnom Penh, but and said, “You’re naive, Scott. Those
he was so moved by the charm and people are using you.” He advised
grace of the people he met and so Neeson to go to the notorious Steung
shocked by the poverty he saw that he Meanchey dump, home to the coun-
canceled much of his cross-Asia trip try’s poorest. “There are children
and began exploring the city. After there who really need your help.”
boy begging on the street,
talking to a At the dump, Neeson spotted a

Neeson says this
scene, from his first
trip to Phnom Penh,
“defines the moment
this journey began.”


tiny child so covered in soot that he He promised their mothers $50 a

couldn’t whether it was a boy
tell month if they sent both girls to school
or a Through his translator, he
girl. instead of making them work at the
learned that her name was Rithy, and dump. They agreed.
she was 12. She told him she had never As the girls happily ate ice cream
been to school. Another girl, Nich, —
for the first time in their lives he
nine,walked over and listened. Both asked himself, Is this all it takes to
smelled horrible. He asked the girls if change the lives of two children?
he could meet their mothers, to whom Leaving Phnom Penh, Neeson
he gave $10 each. Then he arranged to looked out the airplane window and
meet them the following day. thought, I have so much. They have so
The next afternoon, as he sat in a riv- little. He decided to come back for a

erside cafe in the tourist district,two few days each month, during his many
children approached his table. They international business trips.
were Rithy and Nich, so cleaned up Within seven months, Neeson had
that Neeson didn’t recognize them. rented a building in Phnom Penh that
180 readersdigest.com 9/12
Neeson, who just that morning had
learned that five of the children in his
new shelter had typhoid, answered,
“What’s up?”
“The plane the studio chartered
doesn’t have the right sort of bottled
water or the food we require,” the
agent said. “We’re not getting on until
this is resolved.”
Then the star grabbed the phone
and said, “Scott, my life is not sup-
posed to be this difficult. Fix it.”
That was the turning point. Shortly
thereafter, Neeson said goodbye to
Hollywood, as well as the Porsche, the
yacht, the mansion, and the salary.
In 2004, he started the Cambodian
Children’s Fund (CCF) with more than
$100,000 of his own money. To keep
costs down, he slept on the couch in
his small office.
At first, he planned to house, feed,
and educate 45 children. By the end
of the first year, he was working with
almost 100 kids; a year later, 200.
served as a live-in shelter, hired a Today, CCF provides housing, food,
small staff, and rescued 12 homeless clothing, health care, education, and
children. He thought about moving vocational training to more than 1,200
permanently to Cambodia but was un- children and employs 445 staffers.
decided. Then one day during a visit, The kids go to public school (a half
phone rang. It was a movie star
his cell day, six days a week), supplemented
and from a promo-
his agent, calling by CCF’s own schools, where they
tional tourNeeson was handling. learn additional English and computer
“Scott, we’ve got a problem,” the skills. The charity also has a nursery
agent said. for babies and toddlers and a day care



Cruise, and Mel

for around 200 kids who “a genuine profile in cour-
Gibson (on the set
come from backgrounds But Neeson says he
of Braveheart).
of abuse and neglect. has only just begun and—
The dump officially if he misses Hollywood,
closed in 2009 (trash is now disposed you’d never know it. “That’s ancient
of outside the city), but the nearby history,” he says. He does revisit his
shantytown remains home to more former hometown several times a
than 1,400 of Cambodia’s most desti- year trying to raise the $3.5 million he
tute families. With their sole source needs to run CCF annually, but after a

of income picking for anything week, he confesses, he’s always itch-

salable lost, they are even more in ing to get back to Phnom Penh and
need. Neeson visits almost daily, of- what he terms “reality.”
fering food and first aid. He not fond of public speaking
Some people call Neeson a miracle and usually lets the stories of “his
worker. The Harvard School of Pub- kids” speak for themselves. For in-
lic Health honored him in 2007 as stance, there’s 21-year-old Kunthea,

182 readersdigcst.com 9/12

orphaned at three, who had lived wrapped around Sri. “I don’t tear up
most of his life at the dump until often, but that got to me,” he says.
Neeson found him at age 15. Now he’s “Sri’s never alone. And we found
working as a chef at Phnom Penh’s some work for her mother. The great-
trendy Metro Cafe. He’d like to start est thing about this story is that all I
his own restaurant. did was tell our girls about the prob-
Chanry was ten when Neeson found lem. They did the rest themselves,”
her. Now 16, she attends high school by he says. “That’s the light on the hori-
day and teaches English every evening zon I’ve been looking for that these—
at one of the charity’s schools near the amazing kids will start to mend their
garbage dump where she used to live. own broken country.”
She plans to go to medical school.
For more about the Cambodian
Neeson’s hope is that these kids will P Children’s Fund 3? to make a donation,
become tomorrow’s leaders and prob- go to cambodianchildrensfund.org.
lem solvers. He relates the story of a
mother and child he met at the dump:
Both had been horribly disfigured in CAMBODIA
an acid attack, and the mother had lost
both eyes. She and her daughter were
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital
so ashamed to appear in public that (pop. was flooded with
1.5 million),
they rarely left their ramshackle shed. refugees during the Vietnam War—
“The girl, Sri, was so badly disfig- as thousands tried to escape the
ured that no school would take her,” fighting among Cambodian troops,
Neeson says. “I had no idea what I was the armies of North and South
going to do, but I promised I would get Vietnam, and the Communist
her an education.” Khmer Rouge.
That evening, two of CCF’s older In 1975> after the Khmer Rouge

girls, 15 and 16, overheard Neeson tell-

conquered Phnom Penh, the
city’s residents were evacuated
ing a staffer about Sri and her mother.
and forced to work on rural farms.
“It’s not fair,” they told him. “She de-
Many starved; others were tor-
serves an education.”
tured and executed. Nationwide,
Neeson paused, then asked, “Well,
two million people died. In 1979,
what are you going to do about it?”
the Vietnamese ousted the Khmer
“I thought that would be the end of
Rouge and established a ten-year
it,” Neeson says. But the girls took it
upon themselves to visit Sri and her Phnom Penh has enjoyed steady
mother, and they persuaded Sri to try economic and urban growth since
school at CCF. the 1990s —yet an estimated 30 per-
When Neeson visited the school, cent of the population still live below
he saw one of the girls sitting on the the poverty line. Caitlin O’Connell
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Mini Excerpts & Reviews BY DAWN RAFFEL

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can’t at the moment it is

being apprehended— and yet it can profoundly alter how we To read free
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readersdigest.com 9/12 185

A Novel

San Miguel by T. C. Boyle
(The Viking Press, $27.95)
She was out on deck when the
island hove into view ... and she
saw it as a tan lump marbled with
bands of the purest white, as if it
were a well-aged cut of beef laid
out on the broad blue plate of the
ocean for her and nobody else.
Boyle’s 14th novel chronicles two American
families’ lives— one in the 1880s, one in
the 1930s— on an isolated island. The widely
celebrated author used research about
the island’s real inhabitants to create a
Author of Z/te Women ami When (he Killing's Done
richly imagined and meticulously detailed
work offiction.

Telegraph Avenue
by Michael Chabon (Harper, $27.99)

A white boy rode flatfoot on a

skateboard, towed along, hand to
shoulder, by a black boy pedaling
a brakeless fixed-gear bike. Dark
August morning, deep in the Flatlands.
Hiss of tires. Granular unraveling of
skateboard wheels against asphalt.
Summertime Berkeley giving off her
old-lady smell, nine different styles
of jasmine and a squirt of he-cat.
Pulitzer winner Chabon (The Amazing
Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) returns
with trademark high-wattage prose in this
epic about two friends, their wives, the
threat to their livelihood, race relations, and
a secret history.
readersdigest.com 9/12
Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private
Lives of Science’s First Family
by Shelley Emling (Palgrave Macmillan, $26)

Letters ... reveal a mother who was always

apologizing for missing her children’s birthdays
but was also so dead set on developing their
minds that she constantly sent them complicated
math problems to solve.
This intimate look at the physicist and her high-achieving
daughters also illuminates the times in which they lived.

Between Heaven and Here
by Susan Straight (McSweeney’s, $22)

He could hear the conversation he’d have with the

cops when they came “Yeah, I know her, but from

when we were kids No, I ain’t seen her for years.”


In this morally complex fiction, National Book Award finalist

Straight asks us to look into comers of society we often fail to see.
Here she writes about a murder in tough Rio Seco, California.

Fobbit by David Abrams (Grove/Atlantic, $15)

They were Fobbits because, at the core, they

were nothing but marshmallow. Crack open their
chests and in the space where their hearts should fobbit Vf8-b»t\. noun. Definition a U.S Army
employee stationed at a Forward Operating Base,
esp during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-1011).
be beating with a warrior’s courage and selfless Pejorative.

regard, you’d find a pale, gooey center.

“Fobbit” was IraqWar slangfor an Army employee avoiding DAVID ABRAMS

combat. Abrams, who served for 20 years, including deploy- A NOVEL

ment in Iraq, has written a serious, self-skewering comedy.


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Ask Laskas

Family Strides
When I was growing up,
my mother encouraged me to
run, but I started only when
I recently joined my school’s
track team. Running has
become a source of confi-
dence that has changed my
life — that is, until my mother
became my track coach. I
love the freedom and inde-
pendence running gives me.
But with Mom as my coach,
I feel that my social life has
been invaded and my inde-
pendence has been taken
away. How do I resolve this?
Frustrated Daughter
a run, just the two of you. Enjoy
Dear Frustrated, sharing the sport you love with

Please excuse me for a moment her in limited doses for now, but do
while I address your mother: “You’re share it. She’s nowhere near ready
a helicopter mom! Do you realize to let you go, and you still need her.
that? Come in for a landing now if
you ever want your kid to learn to A Stingy Invite?
This calls for a heart-to-heart
fly.” I got an invitation to my friend’s
talkwith your mom. Tell her she’s birthday party, and the husband
crowding your social life and that

wanted everyone to pay his or her

BY you feel smothered. Ask her to hand own way. I didn’t go because it was
her coaching job over to the assis- two hours away, and with travel ex-
tant coach. Then invite her out for penses and a birthday gift, I couldn’t

Jeanne Marie Laskas is not a shrink, but she afford it. I did send a gift and a card.
does have uncommon sense. But I thought that if you invited
readersdigest.com 9/12 189
people to a party, you didn’t make
them pay. Thoughts? Annoyed Guest

Dear Annoyed,
I think it’s not the most welcoming
invitation, but
it’s certainly not

out-of-bounds, especially in a tough

economy. Look, the guy wanted to
do something splashy for his wife
and probably couldn’t afford it, so he
got creative and asked friends to pitch
in. That’s a good husband. You had

the info, you had the option of say-

ing no, and you reached out in your
own way with a gift. I’d say every-
one in this picture did the best with
what he or she had for the birthday
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Walgreens, and on-line at
that concern my adult daughter.
TRP Company. I believe she adds her own twist
1-888-969-6855 to the situation to create less
trpcompany.com concern on my part. It’s as if
she thinks that I won’t have the
right reaction to the truth. Do I
confront my mother or let it go?
Stuck in the Middle

Send questions about manners,

^ parents, partners, or office politics
to adviceCaird.com. Sending gives us
permission to edit and publish.

190 readersdigest.com 9/12

Legal Notice

If You Own or Owned Land Under or Next to Railroad

Rights of Way Where Fiber-Optic Cable Was Installed
You Could Receive Money from a Class Action Settlement
State-by-state Settlements have been reached in What Are Class Member Rights?
class action lawsuits challenging the installation • If you stay in the Class, you will have an
of fiber-optic cable within railroad Rights of Way. opportunity to claim cash benefits. You will
Under the Settlements, Sprint, Qwest, WilTel, be bound by the decisions of the Court. You
or Level 3 Communications (together called the can’t sue Defendants or the railroads in the
“Defendants”) will pay valid claims for persons future for any claims in this lawsuit, and a
in 24 states who own or owned land next to or Telecommunications Easement will be granted
under railroad Rights of Way where fiber-optic on the railroad Right of Way next to or through
cable owned by Sprint, Qwest, WilTel, or Level 3 your property. If you think you are a member
Communications is buried. of the Class, but did not receive a mailed notice,
call 1-800-378-1670.
Who Is Included? • You can exclude yourself from the Class. This
Class Members include current or previous means you cannot file a claim for cash benefits
owners of land next to or under a railroad Right but will keep the right to sue the Defendants in
of Way at any time since the cable was installed in the future.
the 24 states listed below. • If you stay in the Class, you can object to all or
part of the Settlement in a state where you own
To where the Rights of Way included in the
find or owned property.
Settlements are located and when fiber-optic • Exclusions and objections must be filed in
cable was installed in a particular Right of Way, writing by September 14, 2012.
visit www.FiberOpticSettlements.com. If you
still have questions, call 1-800-378-1670. Who Represents Class Members?
Class Counsel have been appointed by the Court
What Are the Proposed Settlement Terms? to represent you. They will request an award of
Class Members who submit a valid claim will attorneys’ fees, which will vary by state, to be
receive cash based on factors that include: paid by Defendants. If you wish, you or your
(a) the length of the Right of Way where the own attorney may ask to appear and speak at the
cable is installed, hearing at your own cost. See the website for
(b) the length of time they owned the property, more information on attorneys’ fees.
(c) whether the Right of Way was created by a Will an Approval Hearing Be Held?
federal land grant. Approval hearings will be held in each
The Settlements provide Defendants with a state for which there is a Settlement. Refer to the
permanent Telecommunications Easement. The chart below for the dates of each hearing. Please
Easement will grant any rights the Defendants visit the website or call the toll-free number to
don’t already have to use the Rights of Way for find out the time and location of the hearing in the
Telecommunications Facilities. state where your property is.

Dates of Final Approval Hearings

Arkansas 12/6/12 Iowa 12/7/12 Missouri 1/15/13 Utah 1/14/13
Colorado 12/19/12 Kansas 11/14/12 Nebraska 11/20/12 Vermont 11/9/12
Delaware 12/7/12 Maryland 11/30/12 New Jersey 11/14/12 Virginia 11/7/12
Florida 11/7/12 Michigan 11/5/12 New York 11/15/12 West Virginia 11/26/12
Georgia 12/5/12 Minnesota 11/9/12 North Carolina 12/13/12 Wisconsin 12/13/12
Indiana 11/16/12 Mississippi 1/16/13 Oklahoma 11/19/12 Wyoming 1/8/13

For More Information: Visit www.FiberOpticSettlements.com or call 1-800-378-1670

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Word P<!>wer

Within Region This year marks the

long-anticipated completion of the five-volume
Dictionary of American Regional English (Harvard
University Press). These tomes feature words
and phrases, both old and new, that vary from
place to place. Here, some of our favorites
(we’ve added the primary regions for each to
help you along). Answers on page 195.

1.pinkletink n., Martha’s 5 silver thaw n.,


Vineyard A: piano. Oregon, Washington —
B: light rain A: brook trout.
C: spring peeper frog, B: freezing rain.
a. king’s ex exclam., C: 50th wedding
Gulf states, west of anniversary.
Mississippi River — 6. on the carpet adj.. 10.givey adj., Mid-
A: get lost! B: good luck! South —A: under and South Atlantic —
C: time out! arrest. B: ready to A: humid or moist.
3 . snail n.,California — marry. C: exhausted. B: too talkative.
A: cinnamon roll. 7. remuda n.. Southwest— C: up for anything.
B: boyfriend. C: sound A: herd of horses. 11. rumpelkammer n.,
made with the sides of B: dry gulch. C: bunk. Wisconsin —
A: thunder-
the hands. 8. punee n., Hawaii — storm. B: storage closet.
4. noodle v., Arkansas, A: loose dress. C: unruly child.
Missouri, Oklahoma — B: couch or sofa. 12. mug-up n„ Alaska—
A: catch fish bare- C: outflow of lava. A: mascara kit. B: coffee
handed. B: drink 9. pungle v., West— break. C: robbery.
from a flask. C: visit A: bollix. B: pay up. berm n„ West
13. Vir-
C: make verbal jokes.
ginia — A: shoulder of

a road. B: tip jar. C: big

poker hand.
SOUND SMARTER 14.hook Jack v„ New
Here’s an idiom you should take care not to bungle, —
England A: come up
regardless of your region or dialect: “If you think X, empty. B: add cheese to
you’ve got another think coming.” It’s not “another a dish. C: skip school.
thing coming,” contrary to popular usage. The 15. all-overs n., South —
reason, as grammarian Bryan Garner puts it: “X is A: one-piece suit.
wrong, so eventually you’re going to think Y.” B: nervous feelings.
C: gossip.

readersdigest.com 9/12 193

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pinkletink— [C] day watching soaps

spring peeper frog. and eating poi chips.
By May, the pinkle-
9. pungle — [B] pay
tinks are in their full-
up. If you don’t
throated glory.
pungle soon, they’re
2. king’s ex [C] going to send Biff to
time out! As soon as visit you.
the dentist reached
10. givey— [A]
for his drill, Bucky humid or moist.

yelled, King’s ex!”
The givey August
3. snail— [A] cinna- weather left us
mon roll. The edge drawn down and
went off my appetite come
when I found a hair midday.
in my favorite bistro’s snail. 11. rumpelkammer — [B] storage closet.
4. noodle —
[A] catch fish bare-handed. When we played hide-and-seek,
For a guy who used to noodle, Jeremy nobody could find little Waldo in the
sure has clumsy mitts. rumpelkammer.
5. silver thaw — [B] freezing rain. 12. mug-up — [B] coffee break. Maria
Hoping to lighten the mood, Audrey gets nothing done, because she yaks
did her best Gene Kelly, singing and through a mug-up every ten minutes.
dancing in the silver thaw. 13. berm— [A] shoulder of a road.
6. on the carpet —[B] ready to marry. Thoroughly exhausted by the drive
Max is on the carpet, but Grace is still from Portland, Alice pulled to the
on the fence. berm for a break.
7. remuda —
[A] herd of horses. My 14. hook Jack — [C] skip school.
brother’s two kids hit the house during Whenever there’s an algebra test,
visits like a galloping remuda. Moe and I hook Jack and head for
8.pun ee—[B] couch or sofa. Lounging the river.
supine on her punee, Clare spends the 15. all-overs— [B] nervous feelings.
I get the all-overs when my brother
lets his pet tarantula loose.

Match the city with the sandwich VOCABULARY RATINGS
name that is common there. • 9 and below: Local hero
• 10-12: State champ
1. New York City A. grinder • 13-15: All-American
2. Philadelphia B. po’boy
3. Boston C. hero
4. New Orleans D. hoagie TABLET BONUS
To play an interactive version
5. Yonkers E. wedge of Word Power on your iPad or
Kindle Fire, download the
3'S :g-fr !y£ :a'i '3 -L Reader’s Digest app.

readersdigest.com 9/12
Legal Notice

A Class Action Settlement About Chinese Drywall

May Affect You
A Settlement has been reached in a class the Settlement Fund to Class Members.
action lawsuit involving drywall imported At that time, Class Members may receive
to the U.S. from China. The lawsuit payments for damages. You can
claims that this Chinese Drywall caused register at the website below to be updated
property damage and personal injuries. if a claims process is available.

The companies being sued are distributors,

Your Other Rights
suppliers, builders, developers, and
installers who were If you do nothing, you remain in the
associated with
Chinese Drywall. Some of these
Class and you may be eligible to receive

companies (“Participating Defendants”) Settlement benefits. You will be bound

and some of their insurance companies by all the Court’s decisions. If you do not
(“Participating Insurers”) have agreed to a
want to be legally bound by the Settlement,
you must exclude yourself from the
Settlement. The Participating Defendants
and the Participating Insurers deny they Settlement. The deadline to exclude
did anything wrong. yourself is September 28, 2012. If you
do not exclude yourself you will not be

Who’s Included? able to sue the Participating Defendants

or the Participating Insurers for any claim
You are likely included in the Class if
you have any claim relating to the lawsuit. If you stay in
for property damage
or personal injuries related to Chinese
the Settlement, you may object to all or
Drywall installed anywhere part of by September 28, 2012. The
in the U.S.,
except for in Virginia.
Court will hold a hearing on November
For the specific
legal definition of the Class, please visit 13, 2012 to consider whether to approve

the website or call the phone number

the Settlement. The Court has appointed
attorneys to represent the Class. If you
wish, you or your own attorney may ask
What Can You Get? to appear and speak at the hearing at your

Under the Settlement,

own cost.
Defendants and Participating Insurers will This notice is only a summary. Use
contribute $80 million into a Settlement the information below to get detailed
Fund. At a later date, after other Chinese information, and to register to receive
Drywall Settlements are resolved, the future notifications about this Settlement
Court will approve a plan to distribute and related Chinese Drywall Settlements.

Call: 1-877-418-8087 orVisitwww.ChineseDrywallClass.com

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A study of economics reveals that the

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