A while back, a couple phone messages - one from my mechanic, one from my doctor - reminded me of soon-due annual inspections.

As to which particular parts needing inspection on us two Tin Lizzies, let's just say an old "New Yorker" cartoon will help visualize these delicate areas better than a verbal description. (But, to put it simply: they're beneath the hood on my car's body, the undercarriage on my own.)

Making the car's appointment was easy; making mine wasn't. While backing out the driveway, heading for my dreaded doctor appointment, my husband Lawrence didn't help by grinning and shouting loud enough for neighbors to hear, "Good luck on your muffler exam!"

After entering Dr. Smith's office, a bright little thing - too young to be viewing what I was about to reveal - led me into an inner sanctum and brightly announced, "Hi, I'm Bambi. And how are we today?"

She looked in tip-top shape. Me? I lied, "Fine."

Next Bambi said, "Let's check our weight, shall we?" Don't you just hate that "we" stuff? I stepped on the scale; she didn't. She weighed me with my clothes on and then made me wait with my clothes off.

Bambi handed me two 12-inch squares of folded paper along with another "we" comment. "We take everything off, then we put on this gown."

She zipped out the door, tossing a "The doctor will be with you shortly."

Now, regardless of what type of exam you, too, might face, here's some advice: open folded-paper before you disrobe.

If you don't, you'll stand there shivering and naked as a jaybird because one side of square No. 1 - "the gown" - is stapled to all the other sides; ditto for square No. 2 - "the napkin" - which allegedly covers your lap.

Eventually I succeeded in donning the so-called top which wasn't long enough to cover my navel. Yes, I know belly buttons are "in," but this senior citizen is not about to flaunt hers.

Soon Bambi returned and asked, "How are we doing?" When I told her, "This top is too skimpy," she shrugged and said, "Cher has one just like it."

I'll just bet Cher does.

While I wait, I meditate on Psalm 139:14, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." It's comforting; God really has made our bodies mechanical masterpieces.

But even with my elementary knowledge of anatomy, I was aware my annual frame-inspection involved my gyne. Gyne, as you might know, is the Greek prefix for "female reproductive organs." (Gyne is my prefix for "inside plumbing.") Hence, a gynecologist is a woman's "inside plumber."

Now, I usually supply photo-illustrations with my writings. Not this time! Believe me, I'm not about to include a picture taken of me down where the sun don't shine.

Even so, Dr. Smith's wall sported a larger-than-life, full-color photograph of the particular body area that is her specialty.

The poster strongly advised women to have such annual exams, adding: "By exercising foresight, you give your doctor hindsight."

Finally Dr. Smith - maybe a hair older than Bambi - appeared. "Put your heels in the stirrups and scoot down." She spread the paper sheet, tent-like, over my grasshoppered legs which, by then, were spread like a frog's.

While lying there, I suddenly recalled a Victor Borge personal appearance years ago when he pointed to his shoulders and said, "Mozart was only from here on up." I saw myself the same - except I was "from here on down."

"Doctor," I asked, "Would you recognize me if you saw me on the street?" Her startled face appeared around the edge of the sheet. After hesitating - a little too long, it seemed - she answered, "Yes, of course."

I'll just bet she would.

"I have another question. 'Why did you choose this branch of medicine?'" She shuddered, answered, "I couldn't deal with people's feet! Or their teeth!"

Well, to each his own. If I were a doctor, I'd take teeth, or feet, over what's under a sheet anytime. Teeth and feet aren't so… well, revealing.

Before finally telling me, "You can get dressed now," Dr. Smith kneaded my abdomen and breasts. I say "kneaded" because I know what bread dough looks like; it looks like my stomach.

And the rest of me. I'm not happy about that - especially when it's all laid bare on my gynecologist's table.

Know what I was thankful for at Thanksgiving? The next annual body exams for us two Tin Lizzies aren't due 'til late 2013.

© Copyright 2012 by Isabel Torrey, a King City resident now in her 41st year as a columnist.

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