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Laughing Matters: Not the wait but the weight
by Sharon May
Oct 03, 2009 | 384 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’ll do almost anything to avoid going to the doctor’s office. It’s not so much the money and the Rip-Van-Winkle wait. It’s that they insist on weighing me.

I could go to the doctor for a fried chicken leg lodged in my ear and they would start by weighing me. Why on earth are they so obsessive about weighing people!

So the other day when my cold turned into what felt like smoldering tree roots squeezing my throat, I put off seeing the doctor, waiting until I was practically coughing up blood before giving in and making an appointment. I hoped to have lost 20 pounds in sneezed out bodily fluids by then.

At the doctor’s, when the nurse finally stepped into the cobwebbed waiting room and called my name, sure enough, she led me directly to the dreaded, malevolent scale. She waited, clipboard in hand, to record my excessive poundage for all history.

But my doctor’s scale lies! I can weigh 120 at home, and the doctor’s demonic digital scale will scream 192 – in fiery-red foot-tall numbers.

“So let’s see how much you weigh,” the nurse chirped – obviously anticipating a good chuckle.

“You don’t need to weigh my purse,” I grumbled and dropped my overstuffed bag to the floor. “Or my shoes,” I said, stepping out of my flats. “Or my jacket.”

The nurse sighed as I slipped off my denim jacket.

“My glasses are heavy, too,” I said, removing them.

The nurse tapped her foot.

“And these jeans are heavyweight denim,” I said, reaching for the buttonhole.

“Just GET on the scale,” she ordered.

I inhaled like a ballerina before a lift, stepped lightly onto the scale and imagined myself floating upward.

The scale groaned under my weight.

The digital readout flashed 17 pounds higher than on my polite home scale.

“There must be some mistake,” I whined. “Have you had this thing calibrated?”

The nurse ignored me and wrote the readout on my chart, her eyes widening.

I suppose my 5 feet 3 inches and my hundred-and-a-bazillion pounds didn’t match the suggested body-mass-index – for homo sapiens. Maybe a 5-foot 3-inch wildebeest.

Humiliated, I gathered my exfoliated clothing and padded after her.

She led me to the examination room – a walk-in freezer with an array of Prevention and Family Circle magazines, and told me to undress.

“The doctor will be right with you,” she said.

Uh-huh. And I weigh 92.

After I waited 45-minutes, wrapped in a sleeveless paper ensemble in a 50-degree examination room, during which I used the doctor’s Band Aids to tape Family Circle pages around my arms for warmth, the doctor spent a good three minutes peering into my throat and ears and pronouncing his verdict: “You have a cold.”

“And you might want to watch your weight,” he added, scribbling on my chart.

On my way to billing, my shadow flitted over the doctor’s diabolic scale. The red numbers blazed to life: “50” pounds it cackled.

“Aha – I knew it!” I shouted.

Read more of Sharon’s humor in “Laughing Matters: Everyday Adventures of a Dorky Life,” available on and

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