The lighter side of living with ALS

The lighter side of living with ALS

Michael Gollin at 57
July 3, 2014

When I learned I had ALS in 2012, the only response I could make was, “That sucks.” Then I started looking for silver linings and tried to figure out how best to play the hand I was dealt.   Here is my standup routine, delivered sitting down at my 57th birthday party, with my favorite 12 things about living with ALS.


12. If I get slurring, stumbling drunk, no one can tell the difference.
11. I don’t have to care much about the appearance of what I wear, as long as it passes for clothing.
10. People give me credit just for showing up, like in 1st grade. And I even get to take a nap.
9. If I say something even vaguely humorous, people act like I’m a comic genius.
8. When I drop things, no one tells me “clean up that mess you made.”
7. If I show up at work 1 or 2 days a week, instead of chewing me out, people call me a hero and an inspiration.
6. VIP treatment at concerts, theme parks, sporting events, and airports.
5. I can finally pull off a credible impression of Kurt Cobain in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
4. After decades of trying to keep weight off, it’s weird that I’m trying to gain weight, and I get to eat all the starch, sugar, and fat I avoided for so long. People actually get jealous of me – for about a nanosecond.
3. Pretty ladies hold doors for me and help me sit down, instead of vice versa.
2. Hugs. Hugs. And more hugs.
1. Giving my family and friends a great excuse for partying and hanging out with me and each other!!!