Doctor, I Need To Buy A Thermometer



Because I think I may have a fever.

Have you checked your temperature?


Well, check your temperature and if you have a fever, we'll make an appointment.

I can't check my temperature.  I don't have a thermometer.

Well, go to your drugstore and buy one.

I am at the drugstore.  They told me to call you.

Oh, you wanted to buy a thermometer.  Sorry, you'll need a prescription for that.  Would you like to make an appointment?

Yes I would.

Please tell us about your symptoms.  Do you have a fever?

This short play was brought to you by Governor Jim Doyle, and the legislature of Wisconsin.

Via Doug Mataconis.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White



  1. Dirk D  •  Oct 8, 2009 @1:18 pm

    Why would anybody use a mercury thermometer for taking a person's temperature? It's not like you need research level accuracy. Most are either alcohol based or digital these days anyway.

  2. James  •  Oct 8, 2009 @1:58 pm

    You leave out the important part where the thermometer has to contain mercury. I don't even know where you'd find a mercury thermometer to buy.

  3. Patrick  •  Oct 8, 2009 @2:08 pm

    Then why pass a law mandating a prescription for it at all? Why not outlaw it? Mustn't we do everything in our power to protect children from mercury?

  4. Dirk D  •  Oct 8, 2009 @2:18 pm


    It makes the governor look like he is protecting the children without actually doing anything at all.

    Very shrewd pandering.

  5. Patrick  •  Oct 8, 2009 @2:20 pm

    Well DUH Dirk! It was a rhetorical question.

  6. Ken  •  Oct 8, 2009 @3:30 pm

    When I was but a wee lad, I bit into a mercury thermometer when my mother was out of the room. I could not state with reliability whether or not I had swallowed said mercury (I was watching, if memory serves, Bert and/or Ernie), so a trip to the ER was called for.

  7. David Schwartz  •  Oct 8, 2009 @4:32 pm

    I think this is effectively equivalent to outlawing the sale of mercury thermometers. I can't think of any scenario in which a doctor would write such a prescription. If anyone ever got poisoned by the mercury, the doctor would have to defend his prescription, which is essentially impossible since a digital thermometer is just as good for any conceivable medical situation.

  8. matthew  •  Oct 8, 2009 @9:15 pm

    I think there are much better reasons to pick on Gov. Doyle.

    Frankenstein Veto anyone?

  9. Doug  •  Oct 9, 2009 @2:50 pm

    As I live in the Glorious Worker's Paradise of Wisconsin, AKA the nanny state, I had not heard of this piece of stupid legislation. Nobody uses those thermometers anymore. The kindergarten thing is stupid also. It will affect about 100 kids, and there is exception if you are home schooling your kid of kindergarten age. Also, the drunk driving legislation here is a joke. Lets tax hard liquor and that will pay for the costs of greater enforcement. It will just go into a rat hole, and how about taxing beer or just criminalize 1st offense DWI? Rant over. Thank you.

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