We live just around the corner from a beautiful new hospital.
If I blind-folded you and led you into the lobby and then, ta-daaaa, ripped off the blind-fold, you would look at the plush carpet and mahogany-paneled walls and crystal chandeliers and immediately ask what time the free breakfast buffet begins, knowing they would serve a lovely assortment of full-size croissants with fresh strawberries and maybe even custom-made omelets with sprigs of parsley artfully arranged on the top.
That's how fancy this hotel is. I mean hospital. It's a hospital. I forgot.
Anyway, this hospital had a free health fair last weekend. Wasn't that nice of them? They had a huge tent outside, with bounce houses for the kids, free lunch for everybody, free health screenings, and free giveaways.
I realize it's rude to complain about free stuff, but here's why it wasn't quite as festive as it sounds:
1. They served hot dogs for lunch. Do you know what's in those things?
2. Their bone density machine said I am a "negative two" which means my fragile little bones are about to shatter into dust and I really need to see a doctor.
3. Their cholesterol test said I am in danger of solidifying at any moment and I really need to see a doctor.
4. Their glucose test said I have way too much sugar in my system which is probably attributable to the granola bars they were passing out but nevertheless, I really need to see a doctor.
5. Their blood pressure machine said I might as well go lie down and wait for the heart attack to take me. Don't even bother making dinner. It will only go to waste.
I must say, the nurse at the "Results" table was very kind. Her smile faded as my results came in and she shook her head slowly as she wrote the extremely high numbers in red ink, circled them, drew exclamation points next to each one, and passed the death sentence across the table to my shaking hands.
"You really need to see a doctor," she whispered, apparently afraid that loud noises would cause my clotted arteries to burst on the spot.
"Would you like to make an appointment? We have two hundred specialists on staff. Some of them might even be in your insurance network, which means you'll only have to pay for hundreds of dollars of blood work, mysterious office charges, and other miscellaneous bills that will trickle in for several years."
I thought for a moment. I remembered the good old days, when I felt healthy and strong, which was approximately one hour ago. I decided to take my chances.
Let's go have a hot dog.