It was halfway through his colonoscopy when Mercer St. Stephens came to a realization that was to affect the entire course of his credit rating. Having been administered only a mild, local anesthetic, Mercer was miserably awake -- if not exactly alert -- for the procedure and distractedly watched the monitor as a fiber-optic camera plumbed the cavernous depths of his bowels. At that moment, Dr. Mark Crenshaw was studying the monitor and talking softly into a headset mic as he worked the remote control.
"Uh, excuse me, Doc," said Mercer. "What are you doing? Who are you talking to on that thing?"
"What, this? I'm recording the DVD commentary," replied Dr. Crenshaw, as if the answer were obvious.
"Sure. I got the idea from that Monty Python movie, The Meaning of Life. You seen it?"
"Uh, once maybe, a long time ago," Mercer half-fibbed. He didn't think he'd seen it, but he didn't want to come off as culturally illiterate.