A Date With WebMD

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  Janie was nervous. WebMD was so cute, and he seemed really, really smart. She was expecting some sort of web page, but he was, like, 30,000 web pages. She’d been looking at him for years, but she never thought he’d notice her. Until, one day, a message popped up on her screen. At first, she thought she was going to die, obviously, but it was just the website asking for a date. How charming – no one was direct anymore!

            “So what do you do for fun?” WebMD asked.

            “I…uh…I like to ski,” she said.

            “Skiing?! Did you know 10% of ski trips result in an injury that could have you off your feet for months?”

            “Uh, no, I didn’t realize. I mean, I know it’s dangerous, but I don’t mind if I sprain my ankle or something, plus, skiing is the only exercise I get,“ Janie tried to defend herself, embarrassed.

            “Skiing is the only exercise you get?” WebMD looked horrified. Then his eyes started to glaze over. He opened his mouth. Janie couldn’t quite tell if she had shocked him into a brain injury — it’s the kind of thing that would happen, according to him. Wait – his tongue was out – was he making a move? It was early in the date, but she knew WebMD was a player. Several of her girlfriends had told her he made them crazy, sometimes keeping them up all night. She wanted in on the excitement! She leaned in to kiss him, but pieces of paper started appearing on his tongue. He motioned for her to take one off the top.

            “Oh, this one’s about heart disease,” Janie muttered softly. She flipped the page, “and the next one is about diabetes.”

            WebMD closed his printer-mouth. “Janie, I just printed out all the diseases you’re at risk for if you don’t get enough exercise. You can’t just ski once a year.” 

            “Well, I tried running, but I have a little toe pain-“

            “Do you have a little toe pain, or do you have plantar fasciitis? You know plantar can turn into osteoporosis if you’re not careful,” WebMD warned her.

            “I mean, I went to the doctor for my physical, but I wasn’t planning on going again this year.” Janie couldn’t believe he was so judgmental – this was their first date! She hadn’t brought up all the horrible things doctors said about him. She doubted WebMD was going to offer to pay. He probably thought chivalry was dead because it had cancer or something. Besides, she couldn’t date a man with a printer for a mouth — printers break 80% of the time, and she needed his mouth to function, if you know what I mean. 

            “Don’t go the doctor. I’m all you need,” WebMD said as he leaned across the table and took her hand. “I do get visited 1,424,426,033 times/day. But usually, people have a bad experience, I wouldn’t say I’m a source of joy for most women. ” He started to choke up.

            Wow. Maybe she’d misunderstood him. I mean, sure, he came off kinda gruff, and he told her she was going to die several times before the waiter had even come to take their order. Still, she’d always been drawn to guys she could ‘fix’, particularly if fixing them just required a few lines of JavaScript. And he was very cute. Like a Paul Rudd-type, but a website instead of a man. Same ageless homepage, though. Maybe all WebMD needed was a woman to hold his hand and listen to him. And for the American Medical Association to track him more carefully, just to make sure he was presenting deathly scenarios with some level of accuracy. And yeah, he was a little dark, but some coughs will kill your baby! 

            “This is the best first date I’ve been on in a while,” WebMD admitted, “Actually, I haven’t gotten out of my house much recently, following a bad break up. I mean, I know I’m exhibiting classic signs of depression, but did you know 78% of psychiatrists will just start medicating a patient immediately without taking into account other warning signs? And those antidepressants – they can cause dependence.”

            “Well, you don’t need to depend on Prozac when you can depend on me,” Janie told WebMD. 

            The waiter came by. “Can I get you started with some drinks?” 

            “Sure, I’ll take a glass of red wine,” Janie said.

            “Red wine ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!” WebMD exclaimed. He leaned his head back again, opened his mouth, and again started printing pages rapidly. Janie sighed and picked them up. “Alcoholism, acute pancreatitis, liver cancer, kidney failure, stained teeth, ok, ok, I get it.”

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