In a word, no.

If the major question to be answered today had been "Well, do you, in fact, have colon cancer?" the answer is, well, no, I don't. It was not, incidentally, easy to get this particular answer, or indeed any answer at all — apparently the attending physician was on a postcard-villages tour of Wales or something and his office hadn't forwarded the lab results to my doctor. Not that anyone had any trouble sending me the bill for the procedure, of course.

Be that as it may, the upshot of all this is that I'm going to have to go through this wondrous process again some time in the next three to five years, just to ward off the Evil Metastasizing Fairy, or whatever is responsible for these tedious little growths. You can't imagine how thrilled I am at this prospect.

Getting older, I am starting to think, is more trouble than it's worth. For most of my life, while I would never have characterized myself as being in excellent health, I was seldom ill — at least, seldom ill enough to miss my daily encounters with the ingrates who sign the checks. It's almost as though the warranty were up and suddenly whole bucketsful of parts need replacing. And while I don't ever envision having replacements as extensive as, say, George Washington's ax — it's had three blades and five handles over the years, yet somehow it remains George Washington's ax — there's always the concern about whether aftermarket parts can compete with, uh, original equipment.

And if the secondary question had been "If you did have cancer, what would you do?" the answer is "Probably nothing." And until such time as I have some reason to want to extend my stay on this planet, Regis, that is my final answer.

The Vent

15 August 2000

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