“The Toll Booth Blues” and the LA Comic con

Ed Park, MD depression, dr ed park, maximum lifespan graphic novel, slice of life, stem cell theory of aging 1 Comment

img_6455Last weekend, I spent three days at the LA Convention center. I was there to promote my graphic novel, Maximum Lifespan, my book, Telomere Timebombs: Defusing the terror of aging, and to share my Telomere Stem Cell theory of Aging. Not everyone was a fan and I crossed swords with a few attendees.

Over those three days, as many as 80,000 people walked past my booth, averted eye contact, looked confused then a bit angry, and moved on. 99.9% of them looked at the display, down at me (the guy on the display) and made the snap judgement that I was a wack job or a con man. Only a few people stopped so we could talk to them about the raffle or to have some candy or pretzels. The ones who wanted to talk about stem cells were just interested in telling me what they knew and had no great interest in what I was presenting.

I came to understand why toll booth operators have high rates of depression and suicide. In that job, you are a prisoner, breathing fumes- and to make matters worse, all day long, people bring you bad energy because they had to slow down, probably after waiting, and then begrudgingly give you money that you can’t even keep!  They barely look at you and the majority probably don’t smile, let alone stop and chat or wish you a nice day.

We are all intuitive, heart-centered, and mirroring social creatures. Although the mind can understand why the people are acting that way, the subconscious emotional person thinks: “So many people  look unhappy when then see me. There must be something wrong with me!”

I tried to maintain a positive energy, smile at everyone, and relate my truth with each person that was kind enough to stop. Hopefully, there was some impact and that we may have even planted a seed for when my Telomere book is published in Fall of 2017 for Hay House.


I am pleased we were able to connect with about 200 people by offering free iPod shuffles, Clippers tickets, and books. Hopefully one or two will read more once they are subscribed to this newsletter. If we only reach a handful of people, it will have been worthwhile to me.

It ain’t easy being an original thinker. But I’m grateful for all of you who read the newsletter, order the supplements, and send a kind word now and again. Make sure to smile at your toll booth operator next time you pass! It makes a big difference. In fact, if you’re worried about the world going to “hell in a hand basket”, why don’t we all just try to have good eye contact, open body language, a smile, and a kind touch for everyone we encounter, all the time? Just saying…


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