The Hypochondriac’s Catalog

By Howard J. Bennett, MD

News item—In an effort to compete with and other Internet companies, LL Bean is launching a new catalog aimed at the aging baby boomer generation. 

Toaster/Home Defibrillator

There’s no denying that it’s embarrassing if a guest or loved one keels over with a heart attack during a dinner party. In the past, all you could do to thwart this possibility was to invite your family doctor to all of your parties. Now, however, with the combination Toaster/Home Defibrillator™ these anxious moments will be a thing of the past. With the push of a button, the side of your toaster opens up and hospital-grade defibrillator paddles pop out so you can shock your victim back to life.

Operation is simple—just use the darkness selector to adjust the power setting. In no time at all, your guest will be back on his feet and ready for dessert.

•Toaster/Home Defibrillator™

#CODEBLU $279.00

•Battery Pack

#POWERUP $18.00

Culture Kit

Are you tired of worrying whether the next meal you eat will be your last? With all the Salmonella and E. Coli out there, it’s a wonder that any of us can ever leave the bathroom to go to work.

One way to deal with this microbial invasion is to cook your food until it’s as hard as a hockey puck. Now, however, thanks to the revolutionary Culture Kit™ you can find out in minutes whether any malevolent bugs inhabit your steak tartare.

The Culture Kit™ is easy to use and anyone with an undergraduate degree in microbiology will find it a snap to operate. In a convenient, 18-step process that relies on monoclonal antibodies, gel electrophoresis and pulse densitometry, you will know the status of your meal within 30 minutes. If the readout shows a smiley face () at the end of the testing period, go ahead and chow down on your food. But if it shows a sad face (), toss your dinner and have a beer instead.

•Culture Kit™

#THERUNS $78.00

•Extra Reagents

#POOPKIT $24.95

Mole Check

Remember the last time you went to the beach? The sky was blue, the sand was warm, and the ocean was perfect. It was so relaxing—until you glanced at your abdomen and noticed that ugly, brown mole you keep forgetting to get checked. It just ruined your day at the beach. With Mole Check™ you’ll never have to worry about unsightly or pre-cancerous moles again. And it’s so easy to use!

First you take a picture of your lesion with Mole Check’s™ built-in camera. After the image is processed digitally, Mole Check™ compares your mole to its database of over 124,000 melanomas and other skin malignancies. In sixty seconds, Mole Check™ lets you know if your mole looks worrisome or not.

For example, if the lesion is mildly suspicious, Mole Check™ will tell you to enjoy the rest of your vacation and get the mole examined in the next few weeks. If the lesion looks more suspicious, you will be counseled to see a doctor within the next few days. If things look really grim, Mole Check™ might suggest that you proposition the next gorgeous person you see on the beach. After all, what have you got to loose?

Remember, there is no such thing as just a mole!

•Mole Check™

#SKNBIOPSY $490.00

Organ Trophies

When you were a child, remember how you wanted to make your baby teeth into a necklace? Capture the spirit of your youth by having your internal organs preserved for all time.

Normally after surgery your body parts are sent to the Pathology Department where they end up in a jar of formaldehyde on someone’s dusty shelf. With Organ Trophies™ your tissues end up where they belong—with you!

After purchasing Organ Trophies™ you will receive a registration card that can be sent to the doctor, surgeon, or medical center of your choice. Then, at the time of surgery, you fill out a Trophy Card specifying how you want your organ preserved. Tissues are plated in bronze or silver, and they can be mounted in a style to suit everyone’s needs (double the price if you prefer silver).

Please allow six weeks for delivery, slightly longer for hearts and brains.

•Organ Trophies™

#BOOKENDS $82.00

#EARRINGS $129.00



Do you remember how your mother always told you to wear clean underwear in case you needed to see a doctor on short notice? With TushGuards™ you’ll always be prepared for that unexpected medical visit.

TushGuards™ are made from an ultra-thin synthetic that’s so sheer, it can be compressed into an area the size of a bean. As a result, you can carry TushGuards™ with you wherever you go. And as long as you’re conscious, you’ll be able to change into your TushGuards™ in a flash.

To guarantee your peace of mind and privacy, TushGuards™ are packaged in three handy items that feature specially designed “hide-away” compartments.

Order TushGuards™ today—you’ll never look so good in a hospital gown!


#WATCH $48.95

#RING $65.00

#LOCKET $54.00

• Replacement TushGuards™

#BRIEFS $15.00


Research has shown that doctors spend more time with patients if they’re accompanied by a spouse. Doctors do this because they not only have to address the patient’s concerns, but husbands and wives always bring their own list of questions to ask. Granted, most of these questions are about Aunt Edna and the neighbor’s cat, but a few of them relate to their spouse. So what are patients to do when their mate is working, out of town, or having an affair with the local tennis pro? The answer is simple: Rent-A-Spouse™.

When you order Rent-A-Spouse™ you select a spouse from our extensive catalog of models and out of work actors. You specify the age, background, physical characteristics, and other attributes necessary to make the charade effective.

Then, when circumstances require a spouse on short notice, you dial 1-800-HENPECK and the spouse of your dreams will be sent to your office within the hour. (Spouse’s can also meet you at the Emergency Room or hospital for an additional transportation fee).

All of our spouses are fully versed on your medical background so crafty doctors won’t notice the switch.

Thanks to Rent-A-Spouse™ you’ll never again have to face the doctor alone!


#TALKMORE $125.00 (per hour)


Thanks to improved microchip technology, we just acquired the first portable CT scanner for our catalog. Weighing in at a little over four pounds, the HeadScan™ is about the size and shape of a professional football helmet. The HeadScan™ plugs into any standard wall outlet and is very easy to use.

Once the patient is “strapped in,” the scanner is activated by pressing a small switch that’s positioned behind the right ear. The scan takes minutes to complete and can be interpreted in two ways. For those of you who always wanted to be doctors, HeadScan™ comes with software that catalogues all known neurosurgical diseases and lesions. The manual includes step-by-step instructions on how to read the scan and a list of board-certified neurosurgeons in your area.

For those patients who are not interested in self-diagnosis, we recommend the optional University Affiliation Contract. After you finish the scan, the image is downloaded to our website where a neuroradiologist is standing by 24 hours a day. Results are available immediately, and you can be contacted by phone,

e-mail, or the nearest medical examiner.

The next time you get a headache, don’t lie awake all night wondering if you’ll be alive to read Michael Crichton’s latest novel. Turn on your HeadScan™ and sleep like a baby!


#TUMOR $2,600.00

•Radiology Contract

#XRAYS-R-US $750.00

Your Own Medical Center

Imagine that you could see a specialist the same day you needed one or that you could get an elective procedure scheduled at your convenience instead of the doctor’s. Now you can, by owning your own medical center.

In the past, contributing large sums of money to a hospital didn’t get you much—perhaps they’d name a wing after you or have a little ceremony so you got your picture in the paper. Now that academic medical centers are desperate for improved cash flow, the time is right to get a bigger bang for your buck.

Once you purchase your medical center, you can change the name, rehire the board of directors, and do whatever’s necessary to get the type of care you’ve always wanted. So call now and put yourself in the driver’s seat.

Remember, you can’t take it with you!

•Your Own Medical Center™

#YOUMADEIT $100,000,000.00

© 2012 Howard J. Bennett. All Rights Reserved.

(First published in Stitches, The Journal of Medical Humor December 1999.)

For more articles and other information,
please visit Dr. B’s website at