The bathroom scales squealed and groaned in complaint as Mr Red planted his feet firmly on them. He watched in disbelief as the red line shot to an impossibly high number and stayed there. Had he really put on that much weight?
Sure that little jiggle around his middle when he walked had been rather confronting, but he’d tucked it into his pants and pretended it wasn’t there. Until it was let loose at bedtime that is. Then there was no escaping it.
Mrs Red had even dared suggest they purchase separate beds. She complained of almost being catapulted across the room whenever he turned over. And only last night she’d grabbed his “love handles” and pretended he was a teapot. The time had come, he realised. He needed to get back into shape and he needed to do it fast.
So he booked himself, as well his mates Fit, Groovy, and Smarts into a triathlon three months down the track and was up and out the door at 5 am every morning for his daily run. Before he knew it, the jiggle around his middle was gone and he was a lean mean fighting machine. He felt on top of the world.
One morning though, as he was admiring himself in the mirror, Mr Red noticed a lump protruding from the middle of his chest. He touched it tentatively. He froze. It felt evil. Surely not! It couldn’t be could it?
He googled Dr Google. Things were worse than he feared. His days were numbered. His hands shook as he phoned the medical center demanding an appointment that very day. The receptionist laughed at him. An appointment that day! The best she could do was a week from today?
Mr Red insisted there was no time to waste. He had a lump on this chest and Dr Google said it had to go immediately. He would do it himself but he didn’t have a scalpel. He heard her sigh on the other end of the phone. She asked him to hold so she could confer with the doctor.
“It’s another Dr Google self-diagnosis. Lump on the chest this time. Said he would remove it himself but he doesn’t have a scalpel.”
“God almighty! Does he sound stoned? Drunk? Or deranged?”
“I am not stoned, drunk nor deranged,” Mr Red shouted into the phone.
“He says he’s not stoned, dunk nor deranged,” the nurse relayed.
“Get him to come in this afternoon then,” the doctor sighed wearily. Oh how he hated Dr Google.
Taking this as a sign that things were very serious he phoned his mother and told her the dire news. She immediately phoned the church requesting all prayers be directed her son’s way and then wondered what she would wear to the funeral and who would do the catering? She hoped that dreadful Marcello from the café wouldn’t be involved. His swooning over Mrs Red was most disconcerting and at a funeral! She shuddered to think what her friends would say.
Mr Red decided not to worry Mrs Red, she wasn’t home anyway but he had to tell someone else. So he texted a mournful message to his mates and asked them to look after Mrs Red when he was gone.
Shocked, they texted their wives who were having coffee at Marcellos café with, of course, Mrs Red. Mrs Red watched in disbelief as they all started to cry. Mrs Groovy ordered a round of whiskies, even though it was only 8am.
Marcello poured them each a glass of his very best champagne instead and toasted Mrs Red’s good fortune. He hugged her tightly and as he stroked her flaming red hair whispered in her ear that he would take care of the funeral catering. That it would be his gift to her.
Furious at being the last to know, Mrs Red thanked Marcello. She asked him to send her a menu as there was no doubt going to be a funeral, regardless of whether Mr Red was truly ill or not. Then she phoned Mr Red and ordered her to meet her at the doctors ASAP!
Mr Red fidgeted and paced in the waiting room. Mrs Red eyeballed the receptionist until she couldn’t take it anymore and ushered them in to see the doctor.
“Ahh the Dr Google patient,” the doctor said with disdain. “Lump on the chest you said? Let’s take a look shall we?”
Mr Red grimaced as the doctor felt the lump.
“Oh dear,” the doctor said smugly. “How very interesting.”
Mr Red clutched Mrs Red’s hand and braced himself for the worst.
“It would appear, Mr Red, that since I last saw you, you have lost a great deal of weight. Such a great deal of weight that at first I didn’t recognise you,” the doctor said tapping on the lump. “So much weight in fact and you have failed to recognise a long lost part of your body, namely your sternum.” He gave Mr Red’s protruding sternum a hard flick with his finger. “Now if you don’t mind I have another Dr Google patient who thinks he has Guinea Worm Disease of all things.”
Mr Red shouted everyone out to dinner that night. Everyone but Marcello who sat in his cafe all alone with a bottle of whisky. Poor Marcello.
Anyone had any success with Dr Google? More importantly, does anyone have someone for Marcello 😉
Thanks for reading,