Dear Dr. Boli: As my esteemed doctor, I would like to ask you your opinion on the subject of illness. What is its purpose? I philosophically muse. Oh Dr. Boli, tell me, is its purpose to make me feel like a blob or give me a hearty dose of “Briggishness?” Please let me know, so I can decide to succumb solely to blobishness or Briggishness or neither. I hang on your lips! —Sincerely, Miss J. Austen.

Dear Madam: First of all, it should be remembered that Dr. Boli is not a practicing medical doctor, although he does hold a doctorate in chiropractic that he found at a garage sale. Nevertheless, since your question appears to be more philosophical than medical in nature, he will attempt to answer it as a philosopher. It seems to him that you approach the problem of illness from a rather narrow and self-centered perspective. It is a truth universally acknowledged that what you call illness is what countless millions of bacteria call a swell time. You should be glad that you, who are only one woman, can, at the cost of a little inconvenience to yourself, create happiness for millions.

If, however, you desire to evade that responsibility in the future, you may wish to be a little more cautious than you have been. It seems to Dr. Boli that your habit of hanging indiscriminately on the lips of strangers may have something to do with your susceptibility to illness. There is of course no danger from Dr. Boli, who has his lips professionally sterilized every morning; but he cannot vouch for anyone else whose lips you might be dangling from.