When Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, felt a kink in his neck, he went to his favorite laboratory technician, Mary Weather, for an adjustment.
"I have to sleep on my side these days," said the bionic wonder, "and my hearing doesn't seem to be as clear and far reaching as it once was." Austin told Weather, who was performing a routine examination on him.
"Are you having trouble in the…ah…hem…you know, git'r'up department, Steve?" she asked.
"As a matter of fact," Austin replied, "the bionic woman was just complaining about that the other day. Up until recently," he told the doctor "we were both pretty much convinced that that part of me had been replaced after the accident as well."
The news Austin got next was a complete shock. Weather told him that in order to give him bionic hearing as well as making him bionic in the bedroom, he would be looking at close to two million dollars in parts.
"Where am I gonna come up with that kind of money?" Austin asked. "With all the budget cuts on science programs the past couple of years, I can't rely on getting anything from the government, even if a Republican is elected into office next year."
Dr. Weather explained to Austin that with inflation the way it is, the price of specialty electronics is through the roof. She told him that he could use an ordinary Miracle Ear, but with all the wiring in his body, that would only make his hearing worse. In all likelihood, he was going to need bionic implants in both ears.
In addition, Dr. Weather said the bulk of the expense would be the erectile upgrade. "Seriously," she said, "we can't just strap something on you, Steve. We'd have to special order it, and the price of latex is astronomical now with the oil shortage and all."
Austin claims he makes a pretty good living traveling the science fair circuit and peeling back part of the skin on his face and legs to show folks who pay to see it and what not, but by the time he pays the mortgage on his undervalued home and gets his monthly lube job, he barely has enough left to enjoy life let alone spring for a bionic overhaul. "Do you know how much batteries are going for these days?" he asked to no one in particular.
Dr. Weather told Austin that there was one possibility to bring the price of the overhaul within the Six Million Dollar Man's Budget.
"We can order the parts from China," she said. "That should cut the price overall down to around a half million tops."