Chuck in Belpre Special: A Trip to the Doctor

2010 March 15
by mockers

While metten continues his annual walkabout/bender/suicide attempt, please enjoy this excellent offering from Chuck in Belpre.

Being self-employed is a wonderful thing. I set my own hours and if I feel like having a slob day and sleep until the crack of noon I can. On the other hand I have a strict set of rules I hold myself to. One of those rules pertains to appointments. If I make an appointment with a client for 10:45 a.m. I am there at that time, or maybe even a few minutes early. Apparently showing up on time and ready to work is something that has gone the way of the steamship. Clients seem to be impressed with punctuality.

I have been feeling my age recently and that just will not do. Oh, I know that after more than five decades of living and abuse the body will start to break down a little. And not giving it the utmost in care doesn’t help much either. There was that period that passed in a George Dickel and Black Beauty haze. But it was fortunately short-lived. But, I am carrying more poundage than I should. Think large Chrismas goose. And the Winstons are not exactly contributing to my general well being. Most mornings find me horking up a gelatinous mass in colors of caramel or desert khaki.

So I bit the bullet and made an appointment with my doctor…better known as the Angel of Death.

My appointment was for 2:10 p.m. and I showed up at two o’clock on the dot. As I approached the receptionists desk I was once again amazed at how much she resembled Bernadette Peters in The Longest Yard, right down to the beehive hair-do. Well, if Peters was carrying an extra fifty pounds or so. I have had the same doctor for over a decade and yet she can never remember my name. I told her who I was and that I had a 2:10 appointment. She looked at her appointment calendar for way too long and then told me that the doctor was running a little late and I would have to wait. No big deal, that happens sometimes and it’s usually not a long wait. But I had to ask how long and she informed me that the doctor was behind on his rounds at the hospital and it would be an hour wait…or possibly longer. I am not easliy excitable and usually keep calm in most situations but I could hear the sound of rushing wind building inside my head as I thought of sitting in the waiting room for an hour or more. I mean how many times can you watch that educational tape that all doctors seem to have on a loop telling you in that condescending voice which cruciferous vegetables are the most healthy or how to lift heavy objects without throwing your lower back into spasms?

I figured if I had that much time I could put it to good use and get some errands done while the doctor made his way across town. I told Bernadette I would be back in about an hour and this is where Rod Serling entered the office.

She told me that if I left I would be charged for a missed appointment and would have to re-schedule. I said, ‘But the doctor isn’t here.’ She said, ‘Yes, but you have a 2:10 appointment and if you leave then you will have missed your appointment. That’s office policy’. The wind in my head became tornadic.

I said, ‘So if I leave while the doctor isn’t here and come back when he is here I will still be charged and not get to see him even then? That makes no sense.’

‘It’s office policy.’ she said. ‘And you are holding up the line.’

I turned around and tried not to flinch but I think I made a noise like someone had stepped on a baby chick. Standing there was the largest human being I had ever seen. It was if someone had stretched a t-shirt down over a small haystack. I had no idea you could get Billy Idol shirts in that size. It had a mop of greasy hair and a beard that would have made Jerry Garcia weep. And it was wearing red sweat pants and flip-flops made from recycled tires. It spoke. ‘I have a 2:15.’

I told him the doctor wasn’t here and he said that was ok with him. ‘I seen a new People magazine over there I haven’t read yet.’

I guess there are plenty of pictures in People. I would have bet anything that he moved his lips as he read.

So I sighed heavily and did what any red blooded tough guy would do. I sat down and waited.

Remember…bend your knees and eat your Brussels sprouts.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 March 15
    Brown Walker permalink

    I have to assume that you had a discussion with your doctor about the office policy when he finally showed up, right?

  2. 2010 March 15
    Stephanie permalink

    This reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George goes to see his chiropractor who is not there for a scheduled appointment with him. He tells the receptionist he will be charging HER for his lost and wasted time…classic.

  3. 2010 March 16
    WB in OH permalink

    I admire your restraint Chuck. That would have been tough not telling the receptionist to go to hell.

  4. 2010 June 22

    I have to assume that you had a discussion with your doctor about the office policy when he finally showed up, right?

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