Dad was working on the car as Health Nut Hal pulled up on his bike. “Ahhh…maintained,” he thought.
“Hi, Dad,” Hal said as he slid his back tire around with a tiny squeal. His dad was a startled by the sudden squeal which was just inches from where his head lay under the engine block. He bumped his head against the car’s frame, muttered “D’oh”, and greeted Hal with a grin. (Hal’s dad never seemed to get shook; he was on of those take-it-all-in-stride kind of guys.)
“Hi, Hal,” replied his dad as he rolled out from under the car on his makeshift creeper, made from old furniture casters and scrape wood pieces. “What’re you up to today?” he asked as rubbed the new bump forming on his forehead.
“Notta alotta,” replied Hal as he pulled off his bike helmet. “Been over at Jimmy John’s. He just got a new video game.”
Hal’s dad said, “Another wham, bam, shoot ‘em up, I suppose.”
“You’d think, right? But, no,” started Hal. “He got this kinda cool new game about asthma.”
His dad looked both puzzled and amused. “What? No rocket launchers or explosions or zombies or aliens?” he questioned.
“Nope, not a one. This one’s all about helping him understand asthma and how to deal with it,” answered Hal. “And, it’s actually pretty fun. It’s a new app. It has some education stuff in it, but it’s pretty much wrapped in fun. There’s quizzes and videos and cool 3D stuff, but also games. One’s a pretty challanging game about how and when to use asthma medicines. Helps him understand about asthma — what it is, how the fast-acting and maintenance meds work, and a buncha other stuff — but it’s fun. It doesn’t seem like learning…you know, like what I call ‘yawn learning.’ His doctor recommended it to him.”
“His doctor recommended it to him?” Hal’s dad said, looking curious. “And he played it?”
“Hey, Doc Yan is cool!” replied Hal with emphasis. “He’s one of the most connected guys I know. Uses all that social media and digital stuff for, and in, his office. He even has a pretty fun web site. He told Jimmy John that this would help him understand how to maintain his asthma, sorta like you maintain that old Mustang.” Hal pointed to the gorgeous, white, ’64-1/2 Mustang convertible with perfect red upholstery next his dad.
Hal’s dad looked impressed. “Wow, doctors doing digital, cool doctor web sites, health education hidden within ‘cool” games.” (He made the little quotation wiggles with his fingers as he said “cool.”) “Healthcare sure has come a long way since I was a kid.”
“Weeell…” dragged out Hal, “…lotsa stuff has changed since the when you were a kid, Dad. Like ‘the wheel’, sliced bread, electricity, telephones…”
Hal ducked just in time as his dad’s greasy rag flew past his left ear.
Posted – August 7, 2012