Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Break (if you don't mind)

The news out of the Middle East is more unpleasant than not; the news out of Washington isn't much better.

How about a moment away from the sturm und drang (that's a phrase I learned from theatre history--it describes a time in German dramaturgy--no charge) and try for a bit of, well, if not levity, at least an amused befuddlement.

A few days ago, the Decider underwent a colonoscopy. It's a procedure most people over a certain age undergo. Another procedure which is regular for gentlemen of a certain age is the digital prostate exam. We (oops! Now you know!) should have one every year.

This year I went in for a physical, fully expecting the old finger (that's a delightful message in one of the posters for Michael Moore's Sicko--you know, where he's pulling on a rubber glove and smiling a tad evilly); but, by the end of the session, it became clear the digital exam would not be happening. Conversation ensued.

Me, "Um. Aren't you going to do a prostate exam?"

Him, "No. I don't do those. If the PSA [blood test] seems abnormal, I just refer patients to a proctologist."

Me, "Huh?"

Him, "My fingers are too short to reach the prostate. So I don't even bother. I know I won't be able to feel it anyway."

Me. " guess."

(Well, it's less depressing than focusing on Iraq or the Bush administration!)

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