So there I am at the doctor’s office, sittin’ on the table with the puffy black top and the crinkly white sheet of paper, waitin’ for the doctor to come in. I gotta say, I was feelin’ pretty cocky, like a kid with all the answers written on his arm, waitin’ for the test to come.
I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but at some point Minnie decided to become an amature dietician/doctor/drill seargent, and spend most of her time yellin’ at me not to eat stuff. And I don’t even know where she gets some of her loopy ideas. She’s forever watchin’ them health shows on TV, and she’s forever readin’ them women’s magazines and the tabloids from the checkouts, so god knows.
And just to prove she really knows what she’s talkin’ about, she snaps her fingers now. I’m not sure if she thinks the world’s top doctor’s are wicked finger-snappers, but that’s what I’ve been gettin’ lately.
I was sittin’ down watchin’ a hockey game, drinkin’ a big glass of pop and eatin’ a bag of chips. She walks in and says – D’ya know how much sugar is in that pop? *SNAP* Diabetes, just like that. And d’ya know how much salt is in them chips? *SNAP* Stroke, just like that.
When she started this finger-snappin’ business, I’d fight right back and tell her a little of this and that won’t kill ya. But then she started with the really loopy ones.
There was one day I popped out to the kitchen to see if supper was ready. And it wasn’t ready, but I’m not stupid – Do I say somethin’ like – When’s supper gonna be ready? Or complain that I’m starvin’? No, I don’t, because I’ve been married long enough to know sleepin’ in my bed is a lot more comfortable than sleepin’ on the couch. So all I did was, I took a banana off the counter and started eatin’ it.
Is that a banana you’re eatin’? Minnie says, all wild-eyed. Now here’s where I really had to bite my tongue. I’m standin’ there with curvy yellow fruit in my hand, peeled from the top, with a bite out of the white stuff inside. Ya don’t need to call in Sherlock Holmes to figure out this is a banana. Now the younger Billy, especially if he was starvin’, mighta said somethin’ smart, like – No, it’s a T-bone steak, they grow on trees now.
But the older, wiser Billy figured I’d try to get on Minnie’s good side. Sure is, I said. .I’m gettin’ my fruit into me.
Now that’s what Minnie’s always sayin’ to me – Get yer fruit into ya. Or, get your vegetables into ya. So I figured, how could I go wrong with this answer?
Bananas are full of potassium, Minnie says, and if you overdose on potassium *SNAP* instant heart failure.
Well that was just about the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.
Oh, I never even thought of that, I said, playin’ along. I seen that in the paper. In the obituaries today alone, there was four people died of banana overdoses.
Oh, you think you’re funny, she said.
It said donations can be made to Banana Addicts Anonymous, I said.
That started a big row, and Minnie said with all the sweets I eat and the pop I drink there’s no way I’m not diabetic. So she got on the horn the next day and made me a doctor’s appointment before I even got out of bed.
The first time I went, he just gave me a sheet to take to bloodwork. Now before I actually went, I figured I know how to play this, and I didn’t have no sugar of any kind for three days before I went. So I was pretty confident I was gonna beat the test.
Now I don’t know if you’ve had blood work taken lately, but what happened was, this young girl in her early 20s sits you in this chair, then she basically puts your arm on her legs so your hand kind of ends up in her crotch while she’s wipin’ your arm and puttin’ the rig in and that. Holy cripes, I thought was gonna get arrested or somethin’.
So anyways, here I am, sittin’ on the paper sheet in the doctor’s office, waitin’ for the results. And of course, there’s all kinds of things to do in there while you wait. Like read the poster about how to wash your hands, or read the poster about asthma, or read the poster that shows what good posture is supposed to look like.
The doctor comes in, puts the blood pressure cuff on my arm and starts pumping while he’s lookin’ in the file.
“Well, your blood sugar levels look good,” he says. Which is I guess is how you say , “You’re not diabetic” if you’re filthy rich.
I knew it! I said.
Tut-tut-tut, he said, tryin’ to take my blood pressure. He kept that damn cuff clamped around my arm forever, then it sssssed back to normal and he wrote somethin’ on his prescription pad and handed it to me.
“You’re blood pressure is dangerously high. Take these pills, once a day, avoid salt, and try to exercise and lose weight.”
Oh yes now! Nothin’ to it!
Hang on a minute, now, I said. My wife’s been after me for a long time to come in and get checked out for this stuff, and if I go out there and tell her she was right and I was wrong, she’s gonna be impossible to live with. She basically thinks she’s a doctor now.
“Sounds like you’re a lucky man to have such a caring wife, Billy,” the doctor said.
Yeah, yeah. But I need somethin’ to be right about, too, I said. So tell me this – in all your years of doctorin’, is it possible to overdose on bananas?