Text STEVE to 484848 (USA) or 393939 (Canada) to get show updates
The Column

Checking Out a Check Up

The good news is I'm not sick. The bad news is, it cost me $40 to find out.

During a routine checkup, which has only become routine now that I can afford health insurance, a doctor saw I had a small mole on my upper back. She asked me how long I had it. I couldn't tell her, since I don't typically hold a mirror to my upper back. And my neck doesn't stretch that way, since I'm not a member of the Fantastic Four.

I also couldn't tell her because freckled people don't notice moles. It's easier to count how many places I have without freckles than with. Maybe I could be in the Fantastic Four. I'd be The Human Pointillist.

I went to a dermatologist this week to see if the mole was anything to worry about. Very thankfully, it was not. But it took them longer to run my credit card than it did for the doctor to tell me I was fine. The doctor checked to see if the mole was discolored or misshapen - nope. I could have told her that from my original checkup, where I actually did hold a mirror to my upper back. The dermatologist assured me I was fine, told me to come back in a year, and gave me a pamphlet with icky pictures to make sure I couldn't eat lunch.

The first doctor was just being careful; it is better to get a second opinion than leave something undiagnosed. And I don't regret getting the mole checked just in case. But that first doctor would have saved us all a lot of time if she had just read the pamphlet with the icky pictures.

My favorite part of the day was the form I had to fill out once I arrived at the office. There was a questionnaire that included of every symptom of every illness ever. If I was supposed to fill out what I currently had, that'd make sense. But the form asked me to fill out what I'd ever had.

Stuffy Nose?





After looking at that brochure? Chee-eeck.



Why ask me if I've ever coughed? I've coughed BECAUSE doctors have told me to. Show me someone who has yet to cough and I'll show you someone choked by their own umbilical cord.

I thought about not checking "cough." Then the doctor could come out and diagnose me.

"The good news is that the mole is just a mole. The bad news is you're a robot. Here's a brochure with pictures of rust."

I asked the woman at the desk if I'd filled out the form correctly, since I wasn't currently experiencing any of those symptoms. The only symptom I was experiencing was worrying if I'd get a parking ticket, which is a symptom of only having an hour on the meter and realizing how long this may take. She said that my form was fine, and they just wanted my medical history. Which I can understand, but anything curable by a nap and a pack of Halls shouldn't qualify as medical history.

I got more good news - I got back to my car in time to avoid the parking ticket so I wouldn't be out another $70. The drive home was easy - I felt good, I was happy about being healthy. I turned on my music, opened my window, and took in a giant breath of fresh air.

And then, suddenly, I coughed. Sweet - my robotism was cured, too.

*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?