After teeth started falling out of my face at dinner last month, I thought it prudent to have my eyes checked. You may wonder what getting your eyes checked has to do with loose fake teeth. Well maybe it was the 18 minutes of digging though my dinner plate before finally excavating my fallen crown, buried deep below the gravy pond atop the mashed potatoes. Either/or, thus began a whirlwind of appointments with my economical, insurance-approved Eye Guy at the
Happy Eyeblawl and Hibachi Buffet Crinic…
Who is, incildentrary, waiting for me show up for much valrued applointment rlight now. But I am busy writing this post and can not be sure when I will become available for my appointment. My scheduled appointment.
You see, there is an unwritten, universal understanding amongst we patients that Doctors are not allowed to get sick. Ever. Thusly they are never allowed to ‘call in’ sick. They do not get to have a ‘family emergency’. Their grandmothers never die. Such excuses are our domain. They are doctors, for godsakes, and as such are held to the reasonable expectation that their superior physiology excludes them from weakness or illness of any stripe. And should tragedy strike, well – buck up, Doc. You can handle it. We’re counting on you! This deal with our Doctors is guaranteed never to be broken.
Until yesterday, that is.
I got THE Guy who bucked the system. The whole system. An Optometrical Anarchist. Just my ruck.
I show up for my 4th Eye Guy appt/meal at my local Happy Eye & Lucky Hibachi Crinic & Grill place. I wash my eyeballs extra carefully for the exam. One shouldn’t like to be embarrassed with a dirty eyeball under close scrutiny by an Eye Ball Professional. (This concern is second only to getting in a car crash with dirty underwear)
There was a hellacious ice/rain/snow storm here on Wednesday. Naturally I wanted to stay inside and play with my new toys. It was the day after Christmas, after all, and it was a blustery freeze out there and the roads were icy. But I risked those sub-arctic conditions to keep my day-after-Christmas eye doctor appointment. I fight my way across the parking lot while gale force winds slap me back into my vehicle 5 or 6 times. My hair is blown straight upwards and freezes solid into a vertical condition. The cold draws the warm moisture out from my nose into a pair of fang-like snotsicles. But I persist.
Once inside (after the wind-possessed door also bitchslaps me in the face a few times) the cute technician with the fuscia pink hair looks up at me with her pretty 20/20 vision-corrected eyes and lets out a tiny gasp. “Oh, my…” she searches for her story… “I, uh…tried to contact you earlier today.”
“Really?” says I, “I didn’t hear my phone ring.” And I’m wondering if she tried to contact me telepathically or through the much quicker Snowman Express.
“Yes, but I couldn’t get in touch with you. You were the only one we were unable to contact.” She shuffles her scheduling papers about and in a flustered voice confesses, “The Doctor isn’t in. He had a…um…a uh. A Family Emergency.”
A Family Emergency? What kind of Family Emergency did my Eyeball Guy conveniently have – the day after Christmas – during an ice storm that I couldn’t have conjured up myself when calling in to cancel my appointment so I could stay home on my warm sofa playing with my new waffle iron instead of getting my eyes probed?
Did he get into a drunken brawl with that fat guy who crawled in through his chimney on Christmas Eve?
Did his wife stab him in the eye with the cheap zirconium ‘diamond’ ring he got her at Wal-Mart?
Did his daughter cook the new family kitten in her Easy Bake oven?
Did his son shoot himself in the eye with his new Acme Brand sub-assault rifle?
Did he get an especially cruel bout of really bad diarrhea, so bad that the hot melty chocolaty stuff ran down his leg and ruined his only work shoes?
Or maybe faulty Christmas Tree wiring burnt half his house to the ground? Couldn’t he have showered in the other half, and come to work anyways? I mean, we had an appointment. I showed up. Where were you?
REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD
I have no idea what that means. But I have always liked the idea of revenge. So, beginning at about midnight, I began calling the crinic. Each hour upon the hour, I began leaving excited messages until the doors opened at 8:00 a.m.
Midnight: Hello. It’s me. I’m just calling to check if the Doctor will be in tomorrow for our scheduled appointment at 4 O’clock. If not, could you have him drive by my place first and let me know why he can’t make it? You have my address.
1:00 AM : Hi. It’s me again. Say. Could you have the Doctor pick me up a pizza when he swings by? There’s a joint over in Philly I like…shouldn’t be more than like, an hour or so out of his way.
1:15 AM: I forgot to mention, I like Hawaiian Pizza. Get that.
1:17 AM: Hey, while he’s at it, have the Doctor pick me up some of them cheese-filled bread sticks too.
1:21 AM: Oops. I’m out of Tampons. Tell him to get me the Playtex ones.
1:23 AM: They’re the Pink ones.
1:27 AM: Oh. I almost forgot. Menopause. Cancel the Tampons and bring me some Zanax instead. He is a real doctor, ain’t he? I mean, he can write prescriptions, right?
1:42 AM: Hey, listen. I was thinking. If he can’t write prescriptions he can just grab some Zanax from his own medicine cabinet. His wife won’t mind. She’s probably just been using it to put his toddlers to sleep anyway.
1:59 AM: God. I’m bored.
2:03 AM: This is for the pretty technician with the pink hair. The one who forgot to call me yesterday to let me know the Doc had a “Family Emergency”. And then I got dressed and drove out into the middle of a dangerous blizzard to keep my eye appointment and my cars bald tires almost made me crash into a Mack truck… I might be a little late for my appointment later on today. Could you move some things around and keep things open for me to show up sometime between 4 and 8 PM? Thanks.
3:14 AM: Also, when he picks up my pizza, tell him to grab me a bottle of Root Beer, too. Thanks.
3:42 AM: I might be late for my Appointment. I can’t seem to get any sleep tonight. So just call me in the morning when you get these messages and we’ll see how I feel, and if I’m gonna make it in or whatever. It’s all up in the air at this point.
3:49 AM: But I still want my Hawaiian Pizza.
4:03 AM: ((sigh))
4:19 AM: Do you ever watch ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’? It was really funny tonight. The Gang found a baby in a dumpster. Then they tried to get it into showbiz. But they only wanted Hispanic babies so they took it to a tanning salon and tried to get it baked for a few minutes. Ya know, to darken it. LOL. So funny. You should really check it out sometime.
4:28 AM: Say, I was wondering, have you heard from the Doctor yet? Is he going to be in on time? I mean, he’s not having another one of those unfortunate Family Emergencies again, is he? I’ll just wait on the line until you pick up. I don’t want to set my alarm if he’s not going to show.
8:00 AM: Hi. I’m still holding on the other line, since 4:30 this morning. Can you pick up that line and answer my question, please? I don’t want to ask it twice.
8:01 AM: Yeh, hi. Did you know you kept me on hold for 3 ½ hours? I was calling from my cell phone and that used up a lot of my minutes. I’m going to have to send you a bill for that.
8:34 AM: Is the Doctor in yet?….whaddya mean he’s not in ’till 1:00 today? Say, can I have his personal cell phone number? I’d like to keep calling him, every hour on the hour, until he shows up for work….whaddya mean I can’t get his private number? You guys got mine! C’mon, man – fair is fair!… Oh, I see. I see….well, I have his name on this Appointment card, I’ll just phone him at home. Thanks.
8:47 AM: Hello, Doctor? Sorry to have to call you at home. This is that one patient nobody remembered to call yesterday. Did you get my messages about the pizza? What time will you be swinging by? Whaddya mean you ‘don’t do that’? But why not?…..well, I tell ya what. I’ll check back in a few minutes, and see if you’ve changed your mind. In fact, I’ll just keep calling you, about every ten minutes. Until you change your mind. And remember, it’s Hawaiian Pizza from Reggies Pizza Box on 5th and Vine…yes, that is in Philadelphia. …OK then, I’ll check back in ten minutes and see how you’re coming along in your decision-making process.
9:00 AM: Hiya, Doc! It’s me again. Guess what? I found your home address in the phone book. How abouts I swing on by and spend some quality time with you and your family today? Listen, I am really good at helping people work through their problems. I specialize in “Emergencies”. My psychiatrist has told me this personally. He says, in a couple more years, I won’t even be experiencing homicidal tendencies any longer. So. See ya for lunch, eh?
* * * * *
And so you see, my friends, Doctors are, like us, mere mortals. And if they should let you down, you should reach out to them, show them you care, and maybe show up at their front door, possibly in military fatigues and wearing an aluminum foil safety helmet while reciting your Manifesto on the upcoming Medical Armageddon. This will remind them to treat you, and all patients, with a deep, abiding respect.
Happy New Year Everyone!