7% solution

Two facts about my father:
1. He rarely (as in never) goes to the doctor. Once when I was seven, during a family meeting with his 10 siblings, he turned grey and blood started squirting out of his nose from his high blood pressure. And then? I'm not sure he did more than grab a towel and tilt his head back.

2. He doesn't buy new vehicles, preferring instead to trade used trucks with his brothers when they're drinking. He did buy a Chevy Citation in 1980 that had no air conditioning, power steering, or brakes (well, it might have had brakes, but he taught me how to drive with it, and I'm quite sure I never used them).

If it's possible to have a complete personality overhaul at age 60, he has.

He recently told me he was having surgery on his neck because of a nonspecific lump that didn't cause any pain. I expressed surprise, asking if he thought of getting a second opinion. "I did. The second doctor said, 'sure enough, you have a lump on your neck. That'll be $100.' He is also taking medication for his high blood pressure and has been to the dentist twice this month.

A chronic, lifetime procrastinator, he finished several courses he needed to continue teaching - and the deadline isn't until NEXT SUMMER! He's also put up a few entries in his blog, which is a few more than ever before.

He bought a new fully loaded SUV. A bit too much for him, with it's fancy features and leather interior, but he went a little more upscale for his wife.

When I asked him if he discovered a new vitamin, he told me that he estimated marriage has made him 7% more productive because now there is a witness whenever he feels like slacking. It's quite obvious by the piles of clothes, books stuffed in every crevice and assorted mounds of potting soil that I haven't had a witness in years.

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