The thing about getting older is that you find yourself going to the doctor more often. Blood tests, mammograms if you're female, colonoscopies.

Can't I just take a pill?

The thing I hate most is referrals. Whatever little complaint I might mention, my doctor is quick to refer me to ANOTHER doctor.

Heck, even I can do that!

Now that I think about it, when I was starting out in the business world, I should have legally changed my first name to "Doctor." That way, I could have just rented out an office and made my living referring patients to real doctors.

You know, the ones who didn't have the intelligence to avoid medical school.

Well, the good news is I'm in good health, but my bad cholesterol levels are high, so, in addition to losing weight, I have to change my diet. More fish, less fried foods, cut out sugar and fast food. You know, the things that make life worth living.

I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs, so I consider this God's cruel joke.

"What did the doctor say?" my father asked me when I walked back into the waiting area where he was waiting for me.

It's funny, but we spent my growing up years avoiding each other. My father was of the Children-Should-Be-Seen-Not-Heard generation. Me? I saw enough police procedurals on TV to know not to incriminate myself.

Having said all that, the funny part I'm referring to (See? I AM good at referrals.) is that we now spend a lot of our time together. I take him to HIS doctor appointments, and he comes with me to mine. We have lunch afterward, or at least we try to have lunch together. After my father vetoes every one of my suggestions, sometimes the only suggestion left is to go home.

"I have to go on a diet," I told him. "My cholesterol's too high."

My father snorted in disgust, enthusiastically rubbing his nose in contempt. He's familiar with such nonsense. Fortunately, my lovely wife is an excellent cook and can accommodate our culinary requirements, AND make it taste delicious as well.

"I guess we can be diet buddies," I continued. "You can be my sponsor, like in AA. Whenever I'm in the mood to go out for some fried chicken, I'll give you a call."

"That's right," he agreed. "And I'll go with you."