I'm sitting in bed in the cancer ward with my laptop writing a new cancer blog on tumr.com when a man in a suit walks in.
"Hello, I'm with the American Cancer Institute," he says. "I've been assigned to raise cancer awareness in this area."
"I'm pretty aware of my cancer," I say.
"You're aware, but you could be more aware. There's a lot about cancer you probably don't know."
He puts his iPad on the bedside table, on top of the X-rays the doctor took to prepare me for how I'll look as a skeleton, and shows me a PowerPoint presentation.
"That's very interesting," I say. "But I was hoping for more practical knowledge, like how to deal with the existential dread at the fact that I'm going to die."
"The cancer of cancer awareness is cancer overawareness," the man says, "so obviously I can't tell you everything." He picks up his iPad and leaves.
My phone beeps, telling me I have a new message on eHarmony. When I got cancer I started an eHarmony profile in hopes of finding a girl who'd have sex with me out of pity. It took a long time to pick a photo of my tumor that didn't make it look fat. Finally I had my physician do an MRI from the Myspace angle.
"I don't know if I can sleep with a guy who's never had pity sex before," the girl from eHarmony says on our date. "There's a lot you need to know, like when to cry, how often to say 'thank you' and how to feign even the slightest interest in your partner afterwards."
"Well, when I was uninsured I got a doctor to perform pity exploratory surgery on me," I say. "Since the operation was gratis he couldn't use hospital equipment and had to perform it in the backseat of my car, using an ice scraper as a scalpel and a fast-food cup as an IV."
My brain tumor makes me hallucinate that the people in the bar are giant humanoid neoplasms. One starts hitting on my date, so I threaten him with a syringe of chemotherapy drugs.
"Cancers don't die, we metastasize," he says, knocking the syringe from my hand and kissing my date, making her develop a giant breast tumor as a Mortal Kombat announcer voice says "Mammodamage!" Dejected, I go back to the hospital and post a tumr entitled "Life Is an Uncontrolled Proliferation of Disappointments."
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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