When I walked in to the new doctor’s office today, “Stayin’ Alive” was blasting through the lobby speakers. I wondered about their choice of tracklistings as I signed in.

Check In Lady: The billing department says you haven’t met your insurance plan’s deductible, so I’ll need at least a hundred dollars as a deposit.

Me: What if my visit today runs less than a hundred dollars?

CIL: …

Me: Do I get some sort of refund?

CIL: …

Me: No, I guess I wouldn’t get a refund. Would you apply the overpayment towards my next visit?

CIL: The billing department says I have to collect at least a hundred dollars from you before you can be seen.

Me: Sigh.

Nurse: Please step on the scale.

Me: OK.

Nurse: You can set your purse down on this chair and take your coat off, you know.

Me: It won’t make any difference.

Nurse: …

My good deed for the day happened at the lab when I opened up the urine specimen cup for an elderly lady. Her husband had tried to open it first, but couldn’t. After his wife went to the ladies’ room, he asked me why the orange went to the doctor. I told him I didn’t know. He answered that it went to the doctor because it wasn’t peeling well. Then he said that a smile a day should keep the doctor away, because apples are too damn expensive anymore. And we live in California where they grow the damn fruit, so why should it cost so much? And what was with Californians paying more for milk than anyone else in the country and those milk people putting up all those, “Got Milk?” advertisements, well, they should save their public relations money and subsidize the price of milk so it’s more affordable.

I have never been happier to hear a phlebotomist call my name.



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