Ask Dr. Rob: Animal Magnetism

Tom asks the following question:

I recently had an MRI, this is the third or fourth, any time I go though the anti-theft devices at stores. The alarm sounds when I have nothing on me.  What can I do?

Good question, Tom.

Before I answer the question, however, I need to address the fact that you are in stores with nothing on you.  While I am sure it gives you a "free feeling," it really is generally not acceptable to be in stores without clothing.  But don\’t feel ashamed of your love of public nudity.  It is all a part of growing up.

There was a recent story in the news about a man who is very much like you:

\"oldflower1\"DETROIT — A man who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking his daily run while wearing only a stocking cap, gloves and reflective tape said that the nude jogging made him "feel alive," according to police.

Russell Rotta, 49, told police that he had been running naked since he was a teenager and that he generally woke up each day around 4 a.m. to conceal the activity from his wife.

Rotta reported running in the nude six miles a day every day, weather permitting.

"That is the one wild, crazy thing that I do that makes me feel alive," police quoted him as saying.

Rotta pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent exposure May 22 in Jackson County district court. Judge Joseph Filip sentenced him Tuesday to 24 months probation and $1,500 in fines and court costs.

Rotta was arrested early April 4 after a caller reported seeing a naked man running in the southbound lane of U.S. Highway 127 in Blackman Township, about 70 miles west of Detroit.

In the police report, the responding officer wrote that he recalled several reports over the years of a naked man running in the area. The officer said he spotted Rotta by his shoe reflectors as he attempted to cross a road.

Rotta told police he didn\’t indulge his habit to disturb anyone or receive sexual gratification. He said he generally confined his running to open fields and wooded areas away from roads.

He wore reflective tape around his arms, ankles, waist and thighs to avoid being hit when he crossed roads, the police report said.


\"streaker\"If you are wearing reflective tape like Mr Rotta, then this may be setting off the alarm.

May I also suggest that possibly you are mistaking the alarm for the shouts and screams of the people in the store.  Does the alarm say: "Oh my gosh!  There is a naked man in here!" ?  If it does, then the MRI did not have anything to do with it; you just need to wear clothes.

How an MRI scan Works

OK, so what about the MRI scan?  To understand an MRI scan, you have to first understand the nature of the test.  MRI stands for "Magnetic Resonance Imaging."  What happens when you get in an MRI scan is that you are thrust into a tiny hole in a great big magnet.  Then your body is bombarded with radio waves.  The usual choices for these radio waves include many different styles of music, although some newer MRI scanners use Talk Radio shows.  The magnet causes your red blood cells, which contain iron, to all line up in a neat little row, kind of like children in line at school.  The red blood cell (RBC) in the front of the line is known as the "line leader" red blood cell (LLRBC) and is the key to the MRI scan.


When the LLRBC hears the music, he has a reaction that is specific to the type of music used.  A CWMRI (Country and Western MRI) will generally cause the LLRBC to do the Two-Step, while a DMMRI (Death Metal MRI) causes him to slam dance (this is why this type of MRI is seldom used).  The newer TRMRI (Talk-radio MRI) scanners cause the LLRBC to fall into a trance and have the sudden urge to refinance his mortgage.

The radiologist then uses a real fancy computer to analyze the resonance of the music through your body.  The resonance will depend on the shape and contour of the inside of your body.  Using Bullion logic, Fourier transforms, and a little bit of magic, it figures out what is wrong with you.

Older MRI scanners were large and spacious.  But patients enjoyed these too much and this drove the costs of healthcare through the roof. So the FDA mandated that they make them really small so that only the malnourished can fit comfortably in them.  The technician then stands on the outside of the scanner and hits it repeatedly with a hammer to add to the effect.  This has significantly reduced the overall cost of healthcare.

\"magnet-man\"Effects of Magnets on People

People are not designed to endure strong magnetic fields.  As the old saying goes: If God had meant for man to endure strong magnetic fields, he would have made Wisconsin out of one. 

That pretty much sums it up.  As stated above, magnetic fields cause the RBC\’s to line up and for one to seek out the front of the line.  If the LLRBC does not hear music (or talk radio), he goes in search of some form of entertainment.  As desperation mounts, the movement of the line becomes erratic and causes shearing to happen on the inside of blood vessels.  This can lead to internal hemorrhage, or at least a bad case of hemorrhoids.

There is a subset of people with a condition known as hemochromatosis.    People with this disease store large amounts of extra iron in their body – especially the liver, the pancreas, and the heart.  This can cause significant damage to these organs, leading to diabetes, liver damage, and heart disease.  When people with hemochromatosis are exposed to strong magnetic fields from MRI scanners, it causes them to become polarized, with their head and feet becoming different poles of the magnet. 


You can tell if someone has hemochromatosis by sending them through an MRI scanner and then having them lay down in a swimming pool.  If their head points north or south, then they have hemochromatosis.  Interestingly, if you perform this test on people from Massachusetts, they always turn to the left.

If you find that you have been magnetized, it can lead to some awkward situations.  Do not, for instance, walk into a cutlery store.  Credit cards and floppy disks are not safe around magnetized people.  There are reports of couples who have both been magnetized only to be tragically found in an eternal embrace.  It is truly a sad situation.

There are, however, plusses to the magnetic body; for instance, you can take iron filings and make a very handsome beard or a wacky hairdo.

Owing to the tragic consequences of human magnetization, much research has been done on how to remove the magnetic field from the human body.  Interestingly, some of the most successful therapies come from seemingly outdated modalities.  Leaches can be used to draw the iron out of the human body.  The resultant magnetized leaches then serve quite effectively as refrigerator magnets.  


Anti-Theft Devices

So, you ask, how does this all fit in with the problem our dear friend Tom suffers under?  Clearly there is an alteration of the molecular make-up of the human body after being exposed to magnetic fields and radio waves.  Perhaps it is the RBC\’s lined up that resembles an RFID tag.  Perhaps the anti-theft device thinks he has stolen the magnetism from the MRI scanner.  Perhaps the scanner just doesn\’t like the easy-listening music that is resonating through his body.

Or perhaps it is that box of tic-tacs that I slipped into his back pocket.

Thanks for the question!

I need more!  Please send your questions to


3 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Rob: Animal Magnetism”

  1. I am howling. I hate MRI’s….and I’ve had to endure way too many. (More than zero is way too many!) Thanks for this. I missed it the first time ’round. It made my day! (uh..what’s a floppy disk? )

  2. I am howling. I hate MRI’s….and I’ve had to endure way too many. (More than zero is way too many!) Thanks for this. I missed it the first time ’round. It made my day! (uh..what’s a floppy disk? )

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