Richard sat pantless in the doctor’s room at the insurance office. The nurse sat across from him with a clipboard in her hand.
“So you’re a non-smoker,” she said.
“Five years now,” said Richard proudly.
The nurse looked up at him and glared. “So you were a smoker. How long did you smoke?”
Richard felt his face flush. “Nine years I guess.”
Richard cleared his throat. “It was definitely nine years. But I haven’t touched one for the last five.”
“Uh huh,” said the nurse. She wrote a note her clipboard. “Do you eat bacon?”
“Who doesn’t? I love bacon,” said Richard.
“How often do you eat bacon?”
“At least five days a week.”
The nurse sat up straight in her chair. “Recent studies conclude that eating bacon is a carcinogenic as cigarette smoking.”
Richard’s eyes grew wide. “What does that mean?”
“It means you might as well continued to smoke,” said the nurse, writing another not on her clipboard.
Richard swallowed hard. He didn’t figure it would be this difficult to purchase life insurance.
“I sleep. Every night. Lying down with my eyes closed,” joked Richard.
The nurse didn’t even snicker. “How long do you sleep, lying down with your eyes closed?”
“Ten hours a night. I love my beauty rest,” said Richard.
“Hmm,” said the nurse. She flipped through a few pages on her clipboard.
“Don’t tell me sleep causes cancer, too.”
“We’re not sure, although it does lead to diabetes and heart disease and depression. There are new studies that suggest a strong link between hypersomnia and death,” the nurse said with a monotone.
“So is ten hours too long?”
The nurse flipped through her pages. “Absolutely.”
Richard slouched his shoulders. “Does this mean I don’t get my insurance?”
“Probably,” said the nurse, reading through her notes. “You have several high risk indicators that place your application in serious doubt.”
Richard slapped his hands on his knees and stood up. “Well, that settles it.”
“It seems like the surest way to ensure death is to live,” said Richard as he put on his pants. “I think it’s time to start smoking again.”