Going to the doctor isn’t fun. You wait for hours. You answer lots of personal questions. You get poked and prodded. And that’s just the waiting room . . .
Once in the examination room you wait again. Only this time you’re doing it from a cold steel table, and you’re dressed like a paper doll.
You count ceiling tiles to help pass the time.
2,983 . . .
The doctor enters. He looks at things like your blood pressure, your age, and the number of missed messages on his cell phone. He finishes the exam in less time than Lindsay Lohan spent doing community service.
Then he promises you the test results in two to 67 business days.
You go home and wait some more because, despite living in an age of instant messaging, instant voting, and instant pudding, there are still places where you can’t receive immediate feedback about things that are most important to you, such as whether or not you’re going to LIVE.
Your new dishwasher? It will arrive tomorrow. Your dry cleaning? It will be ready in an hour. Your lo mein? Twenty minutes. Your test results? Maybe Thursday, maybe Friday, maybe by the next lunar eclipse . . .
When you finally get the call, you pray the doctor gives you the results over the phone and doesn’t ask you to come in. You don’t want to sit in his office on his leather sofa staring at photos of his kids while he tells you he’s discovered something, because you know he won’t be talking about his missing car keys.
Take the follow up call after my recent mammogram:
Dr. Gray: Hello Mrs. Tognola, this is Dr. Doug Gray. (Dr. Gray is dressed in a white lab coat, holding the phone in one hand, and a pen in the other).
Me: (What I hear) Hello Mrs. Tognola, this is Dr. Doug Grave. (Dr. Grave is a skeletal figure clothed in a hooded black cloak, holding a phone in one hand, and a scythe in the other).
Dr. Gray: Your test results are in but unfortunately they were inconclusive. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but you will need another mammogram.
Me: (What I hear) . . . test results . . . sorry . . . you need a will . . .
Dr. Gray: You don’t need to make another appointment, just ask for Cassie.
Me: (What I hear) You don’t need to make another appointment, just ask for a casket.
Dr. Gray: Goodbye. See you later.
Me: (What I hear) Goodbye. Forever. Click.
Fast forward one week
Dr. Gray calls with second mammogram results.
Dr. Gray: Everything looks good. I’ll put the receptionist on so you can make next year’s appointment. We wouldn’t want you to wait . . .
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