September 23, 2004

Where’s the Medicine? Recently, one

Where’s the Medicine?

Recently, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—felt as if he were coming down with a bad case of strep throat. (As opposed, we suppose, to a good case of strep throat.)

Accordingly, “Chip” took a sick day and headed to his local nurse-practitioner. Naturally, just like any other American, “Chip” would have preferred to see a doctor. But somehow, due to the vicissitudes of “Chip’s” HMO, his neighborhood medical establishment was doctorless. In fact, one couldn’t even buy Dr. Pepper at its vending machines.

After a few minutes of being coaxed by the staff, “Chip” agreed to wait for a nurse. And wait he did. He sat in the waiting room for so long that he felt as if he were attempting to secure a private meeting with the Pope. Or Mickey Rourke.

For the first hour of “Chip’s” long stay in medical purgatory, the office staff continually called fellow patients who had arrived far later than he. It was as if “Chip,” like John Kerry, were somehow invisible.

Finally, however, “Chip’s” number was up, and he headed to the nurse with fevered anticipation.

Luckily, “Chip’s” nurse did not speak English, which greatly facilitated communication. After offering some incomprehensible commentary in pidgin Mandarin, the nurse appears to have informed “Chip” that all he needed was…packets of salt.

That’s right, dear reader, packets of salt. Not a strep test, but packets of salt. Naturally, this led “Chip” to believe that his local health center was in sync with all the latest medical breakthroughs—in Papua New Guinea. After all, one can get salt packets—along with sundry other life-saving condiments—at your local fast-food restaurant.

Does this mean that McDonald’s is actually on the cutting edge of medical techonology?

Posted at September 23, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack