When my mother got skin cancer (one free lesion with every Australian citizenship!), she told her doctor she was excited about the, “Free boob lift. Well, on one side, anyway."
When my dad had a massive heart attack in a Kaiser Permanente lobby, he got so sick of the doctors arguing over who was in charge he selected a doctor at random. “Tag! You’re it!”
All of this brings me to my phone conversation with Dad the other night.
Dad: So, they’re doing some sort of experimental surgery on me.
Me: Cool! Like what?
Dad: They’re putting something artificial in my aorta.
Me: So you’re gonna be a cyborg? Will it make you evil?
Dad: I hope so. I asked the doctor for a lifetime guarantee.
Me: Did she get the joke?
Dad: No. She just stared at me. Then she said it was a five-year program. I told her she was being optimistic. (Note: Dad does. Not. Die. He was given six months to live. In 1994.)
Me: I wonder if there’s a penalty for early withdrawal, like with a 401(k). By the way, did I ever tell you about the time I completely freaked a doctor out?
Me: I was in high school, and went to the pediatrician with Mom. The doctor asked, with her right there in the room, whether I was sexually active.
Dad: I’m glad I never took you to doctor’s appointments.
Me: (singing) The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the Man in the Moon…Well, anyhow, I told the doctor, “No, I just lie there, usually.” Mom cracked up. That may be why the priest at the baptism I went to Sunday stared right at me whenever he said the word, "Satan."
Dad: No, that's because of the time you got in trouble at church camp. You traded your Bible for an ice cream sandwich.
Ladies and gentlemen, my family.
PS – yes, I know it’s lazy to reconstruct a 10-minute phone call, move some stuff around for comic effect, and call it a post, but I’m not exactly quaking with bloggy ambition these days.