This week was a big one for Stuckey and Murray. We secured a flat for the month of August for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we are performing with our employer Heavy.com at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in the middle of July. Montreal will hopefully be good preparation for our trip to Scotland, assuming I’m not too distracted in Canada. I hope I meet another person with diabetes on Lantus (insulin glargine) while in Canada so we can compare insulin prices.
A few years ago, when I was working on a TV show in Detroit for seven weeks, you don’t know how tempted I was to drive over the bridge to a pharmacy and buy discounted drugs.
Our plan is to drive up to Montreal for the festival, and we may even stop by the Banting farm, childhood home of insulin-discoverer Frederick Banting, if we have time. If you haven’t read Michael Bliss’s book, The Discovery of Insulin, it’s worth a read if you have diabetes. The story of Elizabeth Hughes, Ted Ryder, and the drama behind the discovery insulin is something every person with diabetes should know a little about.
There is also a made-for-Canadian-TV movie called Glory Enough For All about the discovery of insulin. It was made in 1992, and the scene where Banting and Best go in search of more dogs to test insulin on is perhaps the best scene in any movie ever made. It’s classic overacting and animal abuse combined in to a short scene. (Yes, they killed a lot of dogs when they were trying to discover how the pancreas functioned.) You may want to try to rent this movie or just buy it. It’s painfully long and worth every penny if you enjoy a bad movie.
I hope to write a good, real movie about diabetes one day. It’s often so overexaggerated in film and television: See Steel Magnolias and Panic Room. It will have to include a really serious sex scene where the character with diabetes breaks out the Splenda and sugar-free whip cream. Now that is real life with diabetes.
Honestly, I think that if I did write a movie about diabetes, I wouldn’t reveal that the lead had diabetes until the end. I think if you reveal it early, the character is either given a sort of free pass for a mistake, or it becomes the immediate character flaw. I realize that diabetes has nothing to do with character, but it is associated with plenty of character stereotypes.
There is really only one person right now who is qualified to write a diabetes movie, and that is the living legend and genius Wilford Brimley. His moustache could write a better movie than I could right now. Give me 10 years, Wilford, and I’ll be in prime condition to write a well-thought-out, funny, and moving story about diabetes. Until then, I’ll plan on writing a few short films from the perspective of your ‘stache, entitled Brimley’s Lip Tickler: The Life and Times of a Diabetic Moustache. Hopefully, Liberty Medical will finance it. Until then.
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Andy Stuckey: Andy Stuckey is originally from Alabama and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. He makes money working in television as a producer, writer, and director. His free time is spent playing the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. If you stop him on the street, it is likely that he will refer to himself in the third person, as he is doing here. His pancreas does not work. He has Type 1 diabetes. (Andy Stuckey is not a medical professional.)
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