Before There Was Spam…

I can't decide whether I blurred his name and contact info to protect his privacy or because I didn't want to give him any free advertising.

Before there was spam, there were advertising circulars. My front door is a magnet for these things — every day, I find flyers for real estate agents, restaurants, dry cleaners, and home improvement services. Occasionally, I’ll see one for an optometrist or a dental clinic — so I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I got one from a gynecologist.

I could tell right away that this guy is better than my regular doctor, because his flyer offers a menu of “Specialties and Procedures” including several that my doctor has never mentioned (for example, she’s never once asked me if I’d like to have “Major Surgery”). So of course I decided to make an appointment.

I did have some misgivings, though. The silhouette of a pregnant woman on the left side of the flyer didn’t fill me with confidence. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that having skin that particular shade of green is not a sign of a healthy pregnancy. Also, her hands look kind of ghostly and skeletal, although I may be biased because my own hands are freakishly small.

So I did extensive research (okay, five minutes of googling) on this physician and found a detail he’d forgotten to mention: he’s currently on probation in California for a “misdemeanor count of sexual exploitation of a patient” (his defense to the criminal charge was that no one ever told him he wasn’t supposed to have sex with his patients). This raised a question about the “Specialties and Procedures” listed on the flyer: at first, I’d thought that “STD’s” meant that treating STDs was one of his specialties, but now I think he may have meant that transmitting STDs is one of his more common procedures. I should probably ask for clarification when I call for my appointment.

48 thoughts on “Before There Was Spam…

  1. Haha! Like the naive fool I am, I figured most medical professionals would write prescriptions to cure gonorrhea. It never crossed my mind that some of them provided Rx’s to contract it, too! I learn something new every day! :)

    1. Do you get ads for prescription medications there? If not, you’re really missing out. One of life’s great mysteries is why the couple in the Viagra ad spend a romantic evening in separate bathtubs.

  2. That’s the wierdest junk mail! The green pregnant lady looks quite alien, uterine fibroids sound like something an alien would need doing too. Maybe he’s just preparing himself for our imminent takeover and wants to get onside with them straight away, it’s quite sensible really.

    It’s making me wonder if I should offer our outerspace overlords my administrative services, they’ll probably need to do a lot of cataloging of human specimins and I can help with the database upkeep. I’ll prepare my flyer later.

  3. I can’t tell you how many times I turned completely green when I was pregnant. And how many times my husband would proposition me with the ol’ line, “Hey, honey…want me to reconstruct your pelvis tonight or do you have another headache?”

  4. All I can say is… holy shit.

    Oh, and when you call, be sure to double check on which “insurace” plans he accepts.

    1. Good point. I was too wrapped up in my own internal debate about whether the apostrophe in “STD’s” was acceptable to notice that.

  5. I, personally, always choose doctors based on their brochures and whether they are slipped into the mailbox (actually a federal crime) or onto my doorknob.

    Very funny post!

  6. I’m leery of doctor direct mail that reads kind of like a grocery list. Red light special on Aisle 3 – Uterine ablation!

  7. Just be sure to check with your insurance company to see what your copay will be on the “contracting an STD” procedure. You don’t want to be surprised with a big bill afterwards.

      1. You know, now and for the next few days at least, you could put that as a reply to any and all posts and comments. Would be kinda funny, actually.

  8. Thanks to your advice in this blog, I googled the new pizza place that left a flyer. Turns out they have a history of STD’s too. Whew!

  9. Haha!

    I don’t know whether to be glad that I never get advertising like this, or disappointed because I could be missing out on so many amusing leaflets.

    And also, no, we don’t get ads for prescriptions meds in Australia. We only get the spam.

  10. I got handed a flyer once that was hysterically funny. I wish I still had it. It was a Chinese man promising to enlarge penises etc with his special herbs. The mispellings and incorrect word use had us rolling around on the floor in tears.

    1. I get penis-enlargement spam in my email all the time, but I’d feel pretty insulted if I were walking down the street and someone handed me a flyer for that stuff.

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