On Saturday I called Bob and Cathie, who always seem to answer every phone call together and on speaker phone.
Cathie: Hello, so--
Eli: I HAVE CANCER!
Cathie: I'm sorry. You have the wrong number.
Eli: MOM! THIS IS SERIOUS! SKIN CANCER! I HAVE IT! I'M SO YOUNG!
Bob: Where is your "skin cancer?"
Eli: First of all, father, I can tell you used finger quotes when you said "skin cancer" and I very much resent that.
Cathie: It's not that we don't care about you. It's that we don't trust you.
Eli: I have done absolutely NOTHING to violate your trust!
Bob: Remember when you had "leukemia" for five years?
Eli: As a matter of fact, I do! And I also remember how my family didn't even want to celebrate with me when I beat it on my own and without any special treatments.
Bob: We feel confident you can overcome "skin cancer" the same way. Wherever it is.
Eli: It's on my arm. There's a spot the size of a dime and it looks EXACTLY like all of the pictures of skin cancer on the Internets.
Cathie: Son. Everything on the Internet looks familiar when you're trying to identify diseases.
Bob: It sounds like a fungus.
Eli: I haven't even told you what it looks like yet.
Cathie: Yes. Definitely a fungus.
Bob: You probably got it at some bathhouse in China.
Cathie: Or Korea.
Bob: You probably have fungus all over your body.
Cathie: I wouldn't be surprised. Your personal hygiene has never been one of your strengths. We have some cream. Come over tomorrow and we'll put some cream on it.
Eli: Is nobody else concerned about the cancer?
Bob & Cathie in Unison: YOU DON'T HAVE CANCER.
Bob & Cathie in Unison: NO.
A little later I got a text from Cathie.
She was referring to this, of course:
I swear. If that cat gave me cancer . . .
~It Just Gets Stranger