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A 50-buck check-up

Agriculture.com Staff 08/18/2008 @ 10:02am

It's been said that we Baby Boomers are spoiled. I am inclined to agree.

You know what I mean if you grew up during the 1960s. By the time we reached young adulthood, we assumed that every generation had witnessed a first moon walk, that awesome rock music was a birthright, and that love was all you needed.

Improvements continued to arise as time marched on. The advent of the Computer Age was a huge boon; I can't wait for the day when you can go to Radio Shack and buy a memory chip that slips right into a slot in your cranium.

Artificial joints were perfected just when we aging Boomers began to need them. A guy really should invest in cobalt-chromium, an essential component of artificial joints.

So when a local hospital began to offer a high-tech cardio test for 50 bucks, I signed up. This despite the fact that I hate any and all tests, especially the medical kind. But the price was right; you can't even walk through a hospital gift shop for less than 50 bucks.

Yet what function do tests serve other than to limit possibilities? "As you can see from his test scores, Mrs. Nelson, it's clear that little Jerry is not in any danger of being mistaken for a mathematical genius."

Even checking the balance of our checking account is a test of sorts. I will see a figure that hopefully isn't negative, but exactly how accurate is that number? We may have checks out there that haven't come in, or maybe some long-lost relative left us a couple of million and those funds are wending their way into our account.

I signed up for the cardio check-up in spite of my many misgivings. This is mainly because there is a long history of mortality in my family tree. In fact, all my ancestors -- without exception, and stretching back for centuries and centuries -- have purchased the proverbial farm.

Given this ominous genetic predisposition for kicking the bucket, it seems the best I can hope for is a good, long life. Perhaps I will live well into my 90s as did my Grandpa Hammer. Or maybe I'll be like my aunt Arlene who, at age 86, only recently quit her job at a local retirement home where she helped care for the old folks.

The nurse who conducted my 50-buck check-up introduced herself as Jerri, which I took as a good omen. This just goes to show that omens aren't all that reliable.

The first thing she did was put me on a scale, which promptly displayed a disturbing number. "Wait a minute!" I said, "I forgot to hold my breath and stand on one foot."

Jerri ignored my objections and wrote down the sum, so I tried another tack. "Precisely measuring my momentum makes my exact position undeterminable. Conversely, precisely fixing my position would render my momentum infinitely uncertain."

She looked at me over the top of her glasses. "Nice try," she said, "But you're not a subatomic particle."

Darn! Just my luck I would get a nurse who is familiar with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle!

Jerri next grilled me about my eating habits. Did I consume a goodly amount of fruits and vegetables? What about whole grains?

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