Ask, and then answer, an important question you would have liked us to ask.

"Relate a clever anecdote from your life in which you make veiled references to your academic abilities, talents, and personality in the fashion of a college admissions essay. Be neat."

Last summer, I was accepted to attend Brown University for a four-week creative writing program. However, there were a few more bureaucratic hoops I had to jump through before I could get on a plane to Providence. For starters, I needed to provide evidence of immunization.

I went straight to the source on this one: my parents. "Mom, have I been immunized?"


"May I have the records to this? Preferably notarized. And mailed to this address by four p.m. today. Oh, and here's 37 cents. Thanks in advance."

Unfortunately, my mother had no such records. But perhaps my doctor did.

So, I called up the only clinic in the Sunbelt covered by my HMO and asked for my records. They informed me that only a doctor could access my records, because they apparently require Level 50 Pentagon clearance.

Unluckily for me, my HMO doesn't cover medical expenses incurred as a result of "injury" or "disease." Furthermore, the operations that they do cover (currently limited to animalist rituals and blood...

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