Gallows Humor: I've Got a Mellow Noma

Written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

As regular readers of The Spoof are aware, I celebrated my 89th birthday last week. But what you don't know is that the highlight of that day was my trip to a Kaiser dermatologist for my regular three-month checkup for skin cancer, which has plagued me for years. Usually, she finds two or three basal cell growths, and, on rare occasions, a squamous cell, which is deeper.

A week or two later, I'm in my favorites surgeon's office for a swift and complete removal of the cells. It's always a pleasure to be with him, and I look forward to each visit.

This time the checkup result was different. The dermatologist took only one biopsy, but when she called on Monday her voice was a little cautious. But her words were clear: "It's a mellow noma."

When I told a friend the diagnosis, she was downcast, and comforted me with hugs and sympathy. If I had known a little mellow noma would get that reaction, I'd have had the dermatologist reclassify some of those mundane basal cells as mellow nomas.

I don't know what a noma is, but usually they aren't good. Mine, however, seems to be a plus. Judged by the synonyms for mellow, I've been blessed. A mellow taste in your mouth is delightful. So is a mellow sound in music. Something that has mellowed by age is considered good. "Going on 90" ought to mellow most anything, even a noma.

So in a week I'll be back at Kaiser for removal of my mellow noma. But will its removal leave me a little empty? What will I be giving up with its excision?

The upside of all this is that, if you have one mellow noma, you'll likely get another, or several more in the coming years. And that's a very comforting thought.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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