Wednesday, December 5

Take your shirt off and lay on the couch

I had a medical today for life insurance. The nurse came to our house bright and early. Her name was Luba and she was in her seventies and spoke with a thick Russian accent.

She ran through the usual stuff of weight, blood pressure and pulse. Around this time Anne left the house for her first cat-sit.

Coincidentally, as Anne left, Luba announced I needed to take off my shirt for an EKG.

I lay down on the sofa and she pulled out the sticky circular tabs.

"Relax", she said, sensing my discomfort at an elderly Russian lady attaching electrodes to my torso.

Attempting another track she asked if I liked 'Masterpiece Theatre' on PBS.

"Sure, I like Downton Abbey", I replied.

She then went on an elaborate monologue detailing how she illegally downloads Russian copies of the show. Turns out she likes Lord Grantham and his mother, but finds Matthews a 'cold, wet fish'.

Inevitably, conversation moved to 'Upstairs, Downstairs', the 1970s version of Downton Abbey.

All the while the EKG machine is scribbling away like a Dollar Store lie detector.

I was about to mention Gosford Park when she began to pull up the sticky circles, so instead I cried as clumps of chest and leg hair were removed.

After that bout of awkwardness pissing into a cup was a breeze. But to help me along we discussed the architectural beauty of Leningrad and the environmental worries of China.

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