It was well-known through out Halloween County. If you became sick, you were going to Dr. D’s hospital and eventually would end up in Dr. F’s mortuary. So the people of the County went on strike and refused to get sick. Unless it was absolutely necessary.
At that point, the EMTs delivered the person to the Emergency Room at Dr. D’s. Before they left home, it was “Goodbye, Uncle Osar” or “It’s been nice knowing you, Aunt Agnes.”
So the people of Halloween County did not get sick. It just wasn’t done. Or if they did, they acted like they were still well.
Before you could say, “I want to bite you on the neck,” Wellness Clinics sprang up around the County. Pretty soon they were like the churches. There was one on every corner.
One of the Clinics advocated exercise. Another gave out herbs. If the acupuncture treatments didn’t work, there was the Pyramid Spa. There you spent a day in the crystal construction. When you left, your pores were cleaned and your eyes saw through walls. At the Om Clinic, you did here an Om, there an Om and everywhere an Om-Om-Om. On every corner, there was an acapella group singing, “Om on the Range.”
Some of the residents didn’t trust the fancy-dancy new treatments. They went home remedy all the way. Maude Hickenbottom’s was the most popular. She recommended that folks drink a thimble of bleach at midnight of a full moon. So every full moon you could hear the howls on the other side of the State.
And mothers were constantly urging their kids to take their vitamins. “But what kind of vitamin is it?” Junior asked. “I don’t know. Take them anyway.” Then mom added a threat that went all the way back to Hansel and Gretel, “Or you end up at Dr. D’s.”
This led to some good news and some bad news. The good news was all the residents of the County were healthy as horses and nobody ever went to the hospital. There was a Halloweeni woman who was a 137 years old and ran three miles a day. “I’m going to run till I drop” was her motto. As everybody knew, she never dropped.
The bad news was that Dr. D’s and Dr. F’s business had run out of customers. Being resourceful, the two of them brought in a team of experts.
For months, the team went through the County, examining each of the residents and studying their lifestyle. During the exam, one of the team would attach a whatchamacallit to a thingamajig and jot down the readings. Then they would ask a series of questions that would drive an advanced degree in physics student up the wall.
Finally the head of the team, Dr. Hypochondriactus, met with Dr. D and Dr. F. “There’s only one conclusion we’ve come up with.”
Dr. D was white as a sheep and had been unable to get a good day’s sleep in his coffin despite drinking a whole cellar full of Transylvania Kola. He leaned forward and demanded, “What?”
Dr. F joined Dr. D in his “What.”
“There is nothing wrong with these folks. They don’t have any special immunities or extra special genes to enable them to fight off sickness. There’s only one thing they all have in common. And it’s the one thing that prevents them from visiting your establishments.”
“And what’s that?”
“That and they drink a lot.”