Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

April 19, 2014

I signed what?

When Dr. Sam said, “You’ve got the prostate of a 16-year-old,” it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby.

Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud of my big, fat, beautiful prostate. It was like winning the Oscar. “I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible — Mom and Dad for their genes, Sue for making me take all those antioxidants, and especially all the little supplements ...”

“Yes, it’s like the prostate of a big, fat, out-of-shape 16-year-old — don’t you think so, class?” I heard murmurs of approval, some polite applause. I’m not beaming anymore. Not beaming at all. Here I am, as exposed as a person can possibly be, and there’s an audience? What was going on?

I said, “I didn’t know this was a teaching hospital.”

“It’s not,” said Dr. Sam. “It’s my son’s seventh-grade class from St. Ceclia’s. Say ‘hello’ to Mr. Mullen, kids.”

“Hello, Mr. Mullen,” they said in unison.

“You’re their Show and Tell this week,” he said as he snapped off his rubber gloves.

“Excuse me, but isn’t there a privacy issue here?” I asked Dr. Sam.

“Certainly there is a privacy issue. It would be very inappropriate for you to know the names of the children. We have to respect their privacy at all costs.”

“I was really thinking about my privacy.”

“But you signed the blue form. You should really read these things before you go around signing them. You didn’t sign the green one, did you? Because that means you’ve volunteered to donate a kidney to Justin Bieber.”

“Tell me you’re joking.”

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