I went to the Health Fair at work a couple weeks ago, where all the medical plan insurance companies get together and fight over me. They are so friendly when I am healthy, I just don’t have the heart to tell them that even though I seem like a mess on the exterior, the interior is probably worse. But we both seem to enjoy this game nevertheless. They offer me free pens and keychains to get me interested in their brochures, and I pretend to be interested in their brochures because I love free pens and keychains. One vendor had small blankets with their logo, and I had to pretend to be REALLY interested and REALLY cold at the same time, but it turns out I am a great actor: “Best Performance in a Vendor-Related Situation.” If the reviews are a little frosty, what do I care, I have my blanket.

Another company was giving away thermometers, and I had to have one of those because I broke our meat thermometer by putting it in my fish tank. I had no idea fish hate thermometers so much, but now I can see why they sometimes contain mercury. My wife has been looking all over for the meat thermometer, I guess she doesn’t want to eat a chicken that was running a temperature. Another table had some sandwiches, so I grabbed one, although later I heard someone say, “Did anyone see who took my lunch?”

Also at the Health Fair they have some tests to help gauge your general wellness, and I always participate because at the medical group, my doctor is backed up two years for my yearly physical. It’s crazy over there, so this time I’m going to do two years at once. Back at the Health Fair I have to sign a liability disclosure form. I couldn’t read the first question, but when I put on my glasses, it asked if I needed glasses. I said ‘no,’ I already have them. Do I have diabetes? Nope, not even one diabete. Do I have a history of heart disease? No, but if I had to guess I would say it started back in the stone age, when fire was first invented and people inhaled second hand smoke because they couldn’t afford to buy it new. But I ran out of space. How about some easier questions, like did I watch the season premiere of “Dr. Pimple Popper?”

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The questions got harder. It asked if I was pregnant, and I must say that I was pretty insulted by that. Sure, I might have gained five or six pounds over the holidays, but who doesn’t overeat on Guy Fawkes Day? Did I get a vaccination for influenza? Not yet, but I’m not one of those anti-vaccination knuckleheads who are nostalgic about how much fun it was when we had polio. I’ve heard people say that they caught the flu from the vaccine, which is not true, they caught it in SPITE of the vaccine, because it is not 100 percent effective. Even medical experts like Donald J. Trump have come out against vaccinations. Who knows, maybe he’s more brilliant than he sounds, but I’m not going to get too close to him, just the same. After all, the guy IS orange.
Do you drink? The form wanted to know. Only on social occasions, such as when I’m by myself. Have I ever taken a HbA1c test? No, but if it’s multiple choice I’ll wing it. I’m in perfect health when I’m sitting down and when I’m standing up, but in between I’m a hot mess. To combat old age I have embraced a careful regimen of physical fitness- you certainly don’t want your J-lo to turn to Jell-o.

I stood on the stadiometer- did you know that the thing that measures your height has a name? I used to just rely on the marker next to the roller coaster that said, “You have to be THIS tall to ride this ride!” I was tall at a pretty early age, but there was no measurement next to the roller coaster to measure how sick I was going to get riding it. The nurse at the Health Fair wrote down my height and weight. She told me I was six-foot-one and a half, 192 pounds.But I know for a fact that I am six-foot-two and a quarter, 185 pounds. I said, “Look, I know you’re just trying to do your job, but we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. I can hit myself over the head with a ball peen hammer, and with the bump I’m going to be six-foot-two and a quarter, or you can write down 6-2 and you won’t have to test out that nursing degree on my head bump. And by the way, this watch weighs five pounds, so it’s 187 and that’s my final offer.” She said, “I guess so, but I need to take a waist measurement.” “If it’s a waste, then why bother,” I said, and I grabbed the clipboard and stalked off, although I had to creep back and snatch my shoes when her back was turned.

They gave me a PSA test for prostate health- just a tiny prick in my finger, the nurse said. She turned me over to the flu shot nurse- “You’ll feel a tiny prick,” she said. Then it was off to the cholesterol table, and, you guessed it, another tiny prick. How many tiny pricks must one man endure? Now, I know you were expecting more from this next sentence, but I just couldn’t narrow down the possibilities. Besides, I don’t want to say something that will set a bad example for my good cholesterol. They needed my address to send me the results of my PSA test, but I lost my pen already. Now I had to go back into the other room and suck up to the guy from Aetna again. 

Please join Rick and the No Options band, Saturday evening, 12-8-18, 9:00PM at Back Nine, 2050 East Main St. (Route 6) Cortlandt Manor

Say hello at: rlife8@hotmail.com