Tuesday, October 21, 2008



I've just left the government center, having been told that their website is totally misleading and what I want is in another castle, and decide to try walking to the Board of Elections building where I can vote early. Four blocks later I realize this isn't going to work, and I start heading back. As I'm walking, a brown car pulls alongside me, then climbs halfway up the sidewalk and paces me.

I think I see a female passenger (Eric asked me later why this was important) and it's plain daylight and there are people around, so I'm not terribly concerned; I just move out of easy reach and keep walking. The brown car gets stuck behind another car, and the light turns red, and I cross and start walking back towards my car.

I stop to read the Constitutional Amendments statue-type thing by the sidewalk. Someone hollers behind me, "I love you!!" I'm not sure whether he's talking to me or not, because I don't look back, but I turn the wrong way up a one-way street and the brown car doesn't follow.


"I want to know if the cystic fibrosis test covers a particular mutation," I tell the woman who answered the hospital's telephone.

"Okay, well, I can see if the system will tell me," she says dubiously. She looks. She finds nothing. "Sorry. But I can give you the number of the lab that does it, MLabs. --Wait. Where are you calling from?"

"My cell phone," I say, cautiously.

"I mean, are you a patient or what?"

I explain my situation. She says, "Okay. Because I'm not supposed to give you medical information if you're not a physician. Like, I can't give you this information because I'm not a physician either. There's a law that says I can't give this to you."

"But I'm not asking for advice," I say. "I just want to know a detail about the procedure."

"I'm sorry, but I can't tell you that. I can't even give you the number. It's my job, I have to obey this law."

I realize there's no use arguing, so I get her to repeat the name of the lab and tell me the city they're located in. I say sweetly, "Then I'll call them myself. Thanks for your help." I call the lab and they're perfectly helpful. I hope that the woman worries all night about whether or not she should have given me the lab's name and city.

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