I’d been feeling poorly and decided it was time to go to the doctor. I hated going to the doctor, the people in the waiting rooms were always sick. But I went anyway and after the receptionist had me sit in the waiting room for the customary 90 minutes, I was led into the examining room.
“How are you today?” asked my physician jovially.
“I feel sick. My head is stuffed up, I have a fever, and quite frankly, my stomach has been upset a lot as well.” I replied.
“Great Gods!” he stormed. “Get out! You can’t come in here sick!”
“What?” I asked, shocked. “Why else would I come here if not sick and needing healing?”
“It’s my job to affirm the wellness of people in needless appointments. My nurse sends out appointment cards and healthy people take time off work and come in to assuage their fears of some possible medical catastrophe. It’s how I make my living!” He snatched up a tissue and held it over his nose and mouth and then spoke again. ”Mmmf mm mfmph!”
“What did you say?”
He removed the tissue. “Oh, sorry,” he apologized, “I said I don’t want to catch anything from you. Go away.”
“Wait a minute. What are people supposed to do when they’re sick?” I whined.
“Don’t you watch commercials? They have one for almost every malady known to man. Just match up an ad with your symptoms, call and speak with the nurse and I’ll write a prescription if it’s needed.”
“But all of the drugs have lists of side effects and risks of bodily harm much worse than the illness the drugs are devised for. No one in their right mind would use the stuff they advertise. Not without their doctor approving it.”
“That’s true,” he admitted. “But that’s still no excuse for coming in here and risking the lives of everyone in the building. You could be contagious you know.”
“Well, as long as I’m here, can you give me something to make me feel better?”
“I suppose so. Wait here while I call the surgeon.”
“Yes, for the amputation.”
“Good Lord. What am I suffering from?”
“A cold I’d suspect, given the complaint you presented. Perhaps a flu.”
“Then what need have I for a surgeon?”
“For payment of course. I’ll be needing an arm and a leg.”
“Perhaps I’m not as ill as I thought. Why don’t I just go home, take some aspirin and have my wife make me some chicken soup.” I said.
“That’s the ticket! Good thinking.” He returned the tissue to his face and fanned the air with his hand. I thanked him and skulked to the door.
Two days later I got his bill in the mail and thanked my lucky stars I had health insurance. I was able to keep my appendages, but needed to pay $2,322,451.03 Sadly, my insurance refused to pay it on the basis of preexisting condition –because I was ill before my doctor submitted the billing.