(to be read in that infuriatingly serene and unapproachable voice)
If you have brain cancer, please press 1.
If you are having a seizure, please press 2 and then throw your phone across the room.
(from a distance) Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line for further options.
If your hair is falling out and your scalp is pink and you’re thinking about having your head shaved, today, please press 3.
If you are starting to collect scarves and crocheted hats, please press 4.
If you ask the radiation therapists to play Jimi singing “There must be some kinda way out of here…,” while you’re lying pinned under a custom-made face mask while the radiation machine zooms around your head making your brain see explosions of blue stars, please press 5.
If you wake up at 4 am to touch the baby-butt soft skin of your husband’s inner arm, and then stifle a sob that leaps out of nightmare depths, please press 6.
If some part of you thinks that this whole thing can’t possibly be happening—that in fact you’re on the weirdest vacation you’ve ever been on—please press 7.
If you are faking having brain cancer, and are willing to admit that this whole thing is a pitiable attention-getting ruse to satisfy your insatiable ego, please press 8.
We’re sorry, that option is not recognized. Your call is important to us. Please press zero to return to the main menu.
If you have brain cancer, please press 1. If you have glioblastoma multiforme, please press 2. If you have GBM in your right parietal lobe, please press 3. If your GBM is grade 4, please press 4. If your GBM is methylated, please press 5. If your GBM is unmethylated, please press 6. If you have no idea what these questions mean, please press 7. If your craniotomy successfully removed most of the tumor, please press 8. If you have fired one doctor already, please press 9. If you are willing to fire another doctor, simply out of principle and especially if they are soulless hope-crushers, you are no longer welcome on this brain cancer phone tree.
Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line to take a brief survey. A score of 4 means we have done an excellent job.