John Boston | Do you Smoke, Drink & Step on People’s Feet?

John Boston

Inept in math as I am, I like to point out I’m approaching middle age. Ergo, it was probably a good idea last week that I show up for my first physical of the 21st century. It’s that time. Every 25 years, I sheepishly stick my head in my doctor’s office door, weigh myself, then, in the privacy of a waiting room, turn my head to the left, cough, pull up my britches, flash the peace sign at the stunned receptionist, grab a double-handful of lollipops and sprint to my car, which I left running.  

Things have changed since my last doctor’s visit. They have forms now. Miles of forms. “For insurance purposes,” staff sheepishly apologizes. Apparently, my insurance company, which is Jiffy Lube, wants to know if I’m suicidal. I crossed out “suicidal” and replaced it with, “…Homicidal. Don’t look at me. Ever.” I probably shouldn’t have clowned around like that. It’s only inviting visits from a weaponized Justice Department, Jiffy Lube and the Manhattan D.A.’s office. 

I’m not making this one up. They have a question about whether I have guns at home. I crossed out “home,” replacing it with, “waistband.” Then, I added, “…plus, ankle holsters, behind toilet No. 4 at the Greyhound bus station and, of course, the AK-47s, AK-48s and AK-49s in my Mad Max SUV and don’t forget the brace of throwing knives in my John Wick black sports coat…” Then, I wrote, “…scary voices talk to me through my dog, who is also heavily armed with special little automatic doggie pistols…” 

Cripes. You know what just hit me? I signed some legal document eons ago, giving an ex-wife (somewhere between Nos. 3 & 14?) the power to not resuscitate me. I remember patiently explaining to my then-beloved Bride/Model that, sometimes, I’m not dead, merely napping, so, please, don’t bury me alive or graffiti flies on my forehead. I don’t think we ever agreed on a definition for “resuscitation.” And, I never closed my eyes nor turned my back on that one. 

At the doctor’s office, one stupid alleged health question followed another. Like: “Is life hopeless?” Well. Duh. Touching pencil tip to tongue I write: “Have you NOT NOTICED there’s a leaking paper bag of chimpanzee poop in the Oval Office? A nutburger anarchist named George Gascón is L.A. County’s district attorney? And, an Old Testament plague of Nazi-Democrat-Devil becostumed cult members are painting red X’s on everyone’s front door? Top that, Jiffy Lube, for depressing thoughts.” 

My insurance company wanted to know if I smoked. “Smoke. Drink. Step on people’s feet. And dance the hoochie coo!” I wrote, followed by “‘Do you smoke after sex?’ asked the psychiatrist. ‘Don’t know,’ answered the patient. Never looked.’ Ba-doomp-boomp…” 

Yes. You’re right. One has to write very small to get all that info inside the tiny boxes provided for one measly “X.” 

The nerve. These people asked if I had trouble in the urine department. I crossed out “urine,” replacing it with “yearn,” then confessed: “I NEVER get what I want in life!!! Someone’s gotta pay.” 

More invasive queries? They wanted to know: “What color are your stools?” I had to answer: “You mean, ‘Bar,’ or, ‘Pigeon?’ Well. Come closer so that you may hear my whisper. NONE. OF YOUR. DAMN. BUSINESS. YOU PERVERT AFTER SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN POLE DANCING UNION TEACHERS’ REP…” 

This endless questionnaire. Eight pages long. Single-spaced, both sides. Two-point type. 

One insinuation asked if I breathed in a labored, phlegmy or hacking manner. “Only in sexual desire when I see your apish wife down by the condo pool in that Sicilian widow swimsuit stitched together from black theater drapes.” 

They asked if I were diabetic.  

“Nope,” sez I. “Live-abetic.” I like to keep a positive outlook on life. 

“Do you speak treason?” 

“Fluently,” I penciled in. 

Actually, I added that last Q&A myself, “…for extra credit.” 

Question: “Do you consider yourself gullible? We mean, if, say, the federal government were to order you to walk around 24/7 with two Brawny paper towel rolls protruding from your nostrils with gauze corn cobs stuck in ears, mouth and naughty regions in the Name Of Dr. Fauci’s Personal National Health Emergency & Stock Portfolio Booster — would you?” 

“Probably.” I print. “But, you’d have to add dinner, a movie, some baby talk, warm hands and an assurance this will end in marriage,” I wrote. 

Another: “Do you have trouble seeing?” 

“Only when I’m sleeping,” I responded. “My eyes are closed, plus, it’s dark.” 

And still more: “Could you give us your credit card numbers, bank routing numbers, Social Security number, pertinent passwords and where you hide the spare key to your house?” they asked. “Also? We’re the prince of an emerging African nation and due to inherit One Gazillion Dollars. If you loan us $600, we’ll pay you right back, swear. AND, appoint you Royal Sergeant At Arms of our country, Africaville, with a hefty signing bonus of — One. Billion. Dollars.” 

I’m a trusting soul. I write that all my security numbers are, coincidentally, just “2” and all my passwords are, “YourMouth-BreathingMotherOwnsNoShoes#383§™¢.”  

There’s more questions, some thought-provoking. Like: “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” And: “Who would win in a fight, Superman or The Beatles?” And, my favorite: “Do you ever shake your writing hand to get the blood flowing again after filling out stupid, unending, Give Useless Human Resources Something To Justify Their Existence questionnaires?” 

I finished the form. Ducked into a small exam room, grabbed my own unmentionables, turned my head left, coughed, then recalled I forgot to fill out Question No. 982: “Do you grab yourself in a place unpure while visiting the front window of Macy’s?” On my way out, I commandeered a double-handful of lollipops, but, not before jumping on the scales for my quarter-century weigh-in. 

Lost a pound. 

Sadly for some, John Boston is hardy enough to write at least one or two more columns. Go to his bookstore at and buy some books. It won’t kill you…

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