Yes, It Really Is Brain Surgery

Be nice to the man with the holes in his head

Like NASA before the first moon landing, I have been soliciting advice about what to say when I wake up from brain surgery. That's right, brain surgery--it's a real conversation stopper, isn't it? There aren't many things you can say these days that retain their shock value, but that is one of them. "So, Mike--got any summer plans?" "Why, yes, next Tuesday I'm having brain surgery. How about you?" In the age of angioplasty and Lipitor, even the heart has lost much of its metaphorical power, at least in the medical context. People are willing to accept it as a collection...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!