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Decide the dead-doctor derby

The opportunity to help Americans determine whether their doctor is dead brought forth a dramatic increase in the number of Verse or Worseifiers — as compared to the previous challenge, anyway.

The need to assess whether your doctor is dead developed from the recent news that Medicare has been bilked out of something like $100 million over the past decade by fraudulent claims that used the ID numbers of dead physicians.

Your genial host offered, as his example, that you can tell your doctor is dead if when you call for an appointment you are able to get one only two months away. In that example, you might note, your genial host did not assume that your doctor is a man. Several entrants went the other way on this ticklish topic (particularly ticklish if your doctor uses those fur examination gloves): They explicitly identified the doctor as a woman.

Your genial host had decided in advance that he would ignore whether entries used he/him, she/her or some gender-neutral way to refer to the doctors of dubious diurnal dynamism. But he didn’t expect to find submissions with content that is gender-specific.

He did, however, and in his great wisdom he has decided to make a single matched-pair entry from two that were otherwise very similar. But splitting a T-shirt between the two submitters would be of limited practicality, so if that matched pair of entries turns out to be the top vote-getter, your genial host has decided — without consulting his superiors (and hard as it might be for him to acknowledge, he does have superiors) — to award each of those folks his and her own T-shirt.   

With all of that out of the way, it’s now up to you to vote for which you think is the best way to tell whether your doctor is dead. (Cast your vote down where it says “here.”) The winner gets a MinnPost T-shirt so exquisite that even a dead doctor would look great in it.   

Here are the candidates:

You know your doctor is dead when the janitor tells you it’s OK to get dressed.
—Bill Hampton

You know your doctor is dead if his bedside manner improved.
—Mike Voigt

Your name is Al, you are 78 years old, you live in Bloomington and the Medicare office calls to confirm a claim your doctor filed last week for performing a hysterectomy on you, and the check is to be sent to Tooterville, Ohio.
—Jack Porter

His/her death certificate has been reviewed by Blue Cross and, after rejection and appeal, the listing has been switched from in-network to out-of-network.
—Michael Friedman

And last is the aforementioned matched pair of entries. (Your genial host is reliably informed that the second one, which doesn’t actually include the words “cold hands,” is the women’s version of the cold-hands joke.) Again, your genial host has magically fused the two entries into one. 

You can tell your doctor is dead if his hands are reeeaaally cold during that cough test.
—Michael Norman


I know my doctor isn’t dead when I can tell the difference between her, the stirrups, and the speculum.
—Betsy Hodges

Cast your vote for the winner by clicking here.
Voting ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 24. On Monday, July 28, we’ll announce the winner of that undyingly gorgeous MinnPost T-shirt.

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