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Friday, 12 March
The (Non-BBC) Office

Tom sat nervously in his chair, facing the kind-faced doctor. He fidgeted a bit, looking gloomy. The doctor leaned forward.

"Please try not to worry," the doctor said consolingly. "We don't know anything yet. Would you like a beer?" He gestured at a row of taps on his desk. "The Mirror Pond is really nice. They're only four dollars."

Tom stared woefully at the taps and declined. "No thank you. I just want the results." HMOs were getting pretty weird in their hopeless battle against their image of utter rapacity and uncaringness towards their patients. Tom had already declined--twice--offers of complimentary peanuts.

"We should know soon. The pathology results will be in any moment." The doctor smiled again, and settled back in his leather chair.

"It's just this fucking lump," moaned Tom, "It's really got me worried."

"In your throat, you said," said the doctor. "It could be a lot of things. For example: have you had a traumatizing event recently? A cause for grief? These often manifest as a 'lump in the throat.' "

"Well . . . Wizzles died. My cat." Tom fought tears.

"Ah . . . a cat. Well, I can probably rule out simple grief, then. Cats are awful pets." The doctor smiled reassuringly as Tom stared at him. The doctor proudly tapped on the diploma framed behind him on the wall. "The Lithuanian Mob doesn't just hand out these medical licenses, you know."

Out the window facing the hallway, a sudden commotion broke out towards the pathology lab. The doctor stood up, while Tom chewed his tongue fearfully. "Here we go," said the doctor. "I think we have something." He moved towards an easel with a number of checkboxes on it. He grabbed a grease pencil.

Out of the path lab burst a number of young women. They looked terribly serious, and soon stopped after spotting the doctor eyeing them. One of them took out a red sweater and began waving it madly at the doctor. The doctor consulted his notes.

"I see! Ah . . . let me look here . . . okay, biopsy results are . . . oh, dear. Red sweater?" He looked again at the woman, and sighed. "Red sweater. I'm sorry, Tom. You apparently have B-cell follicular lymphoma." He checked the appropriate box with the grease pencil. "I'm sorry."

Tom felt like otters were gnawing on his ribs. "Jesus Christ. What? What the fuck are those people doing? Lymphoma?"

"Try to remain calm, Tom. Those are my assistants, just relaying the information as it comes in. Oh, now what is Tracy doing?" Tom glanced down the hall and saw a fetching young woman doing the Mashed Potato.

"Mashed Potato," muttered the doctor, poring over his charts. "Ah, basal cell carcinoma. That's no trouble. You just scrape that crap off. Are you sure you don't want a beer? It might be the last one you enjoy once the chemo starts." The doctor looked genuinely accomodating.

"Chemo?" Tom croaked. This was all going too fast, too badly, like an Adam Sandler movie.

"Oh, yes," cooed the doctor. "So far, you're very treatable. The standard regimen for what you've got is called CHOP. It's an acronym for several chemicals that I have a hard time remembering after my 'lunch.' " Here the doctor chuckled and made the "drinky-drinky" gesture. And depending on your CD20 positivity, we may throw in something kicky like Rituxan, which is really, you know . . . " He trailed off and made vague "big dick" gestures. "It's, like, wow." Tom was totally unnerved.

"CHOP? And . . . rit . . . rit . . . " he stammered.

"Rituxan. Or, using the shorthand, CHOP/R," the doctor said coolly.

"CHOPPER?"

"CHOP plus R," the doctor clarified. "I guess nobody could make a cool-sounding acronym out of C, H, O, P, R."

"How about PORCH?" Tom said helplessly, wondering if he was on some horrible, soulless FOX program.

The doctor shot him a wintry look. "PORCH is a terrible acronym for a chemo regimen. What's wrong with you?" His look of scorn shamed Tom, and he hung his head. "PORCH," spat the doctor with real hatred. "A word of advice: stay out of medicine, young man."

Tom sat miserably. He wished he had had that beer after all. There was another tumult down the hall, and he looked up. So did the doctor.

"Now Amber has something for me." He stared at another young woman. She wore some sort of handkerchief in her back pocket, and was frantically waving her ass at the doctor. His expression hardened. He looked at Tom.

"Did you see that? That handkerchief?" The doctor wore an ugly face on his ugly face. He was upset about something.

"Yes," Tom replied haltingly. "Is it more bad news?"

The doctor said stonily, "It's terrible news." He paused for dramatic effect. "You apparently are a bottom who enjoys fisting."

Tom slumped. Boy, he thought, I hate CNBC's health plan.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

xoxox

Comment number: 004454   Posted by: Rob Drimmie on March 12, 2004 06:29 AM from IP: 65.48.133.67

You are working too much.

Comment number: 004455   Posted by: dayment on March 12, 2004 12:00 PM from IP: 66.167.53.14

I'll be back in a week when I get the punchline.

If I ever get the punchline.

Dangit! Why don't I get the punchline?

Comment number: 004456   Posted by: Miel on March 12, 2004 05:30 PM from IP: 68.160.128.151

I was in a brain-fever. It had to do with the Martha Stewart trial. Lord, let's all pretend this never happened, okay?

I REPENT!

Comment number: 004457   Posted by: Skot on March 13, 2004 12:01 PM from IP: 63.187.233.176

Well ... it made sense to ME.

That's probably not a good sign. Maybe I'm too sober.

Comment number: 004458   Posted by: Kurt Montandon on March 14, 2004 12:42 AM from IP: 63.199.224.125

make amends for this indecipherable blight, skot! post something new! now!
and make it witty!

Comment number: 004459   Posted by: candice on March 14, 2004 06:57 PM from IP: 68.107.12.215

I thought you were an actor, what gives? This is so much more entertaining than most posts I've read that were written by bloggers that call themselves "writers" (I guess I have to include myself). But then I'm a Mark Leyner fan.

I guess you can be a writer AND an actor. (If you don't like money much.)

Comment number: 004460   Posted by: jef on March 15, 2004 07:46 AM from IP: 67.75.10.109

I found it to be quite fantastic myself. Don't let the one's who never experimented with halucingens get you down, Skot. I speak weirdo fluently--along with 1300 other languages (all of them english).

Seriously though, how does one say one post is better than another or cry for rewrites? You're just writing stuff that happens to be very creative. Don't worry, I'm not a stalker or anything, but you got chops (CHOP/R) in the writing department. Please continue to write for you and no one else. It always makes me laugh regardless...

Comment number: 004461   Posted by: Jason on March 15, 2004 10:03 AM from IP: 206.16.5.38

cackle *snork

otters, ribs, ha!

Unforgiving socio-corporational commentary.

Comment number: 004462   Posted by: gribble on March 15, 2004 11:04 AM from IP: 208.244.233.99

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