It seemed inevitable that I would have to see my doctor after my most recent cycling mishap, so I called to make an urgent appointment with Indian born doctor Pootang Misanthrope, who is actually still training to be a doctor, but because I think he kind of likes me, the appointment was made for yesterday afternoon.
I made my way to Dr. Pootangs office, which is not a good place to visit because it almost always smells like cabbage, curry and sheep sweat, even on a cool fall day. I walked in and his super smart receptionist asked me my name and after I told her my name, she asked if I was a new patient and after I told her I had been there just the week before she asked me why I was there today and I reminded her that is was she who had made the phone appointment for me only hours earlier when I made my urgent request to see Dr. Pootang.
I sat and read a 3 year old Time Magazine and wondered when they gone out of business because they used to be a fine publication. Nurse Smokes-a-lot led me back to the exam room and I asked if she was going to weigh me and take my blood pressure and she looked at me and said, and I swear this is what she said, “will that really be necessary?”
“Well,” I said, kind of exhausted, “I thought that is what usually is done.”
“Yeah, you are overweight and have high blood pressure. So what are you here for today?”
I told Nurse Smokes-a-lot that I had fallen off my bike and injured my neck, so she pretended to show some interest, looked at the reddish blemish on my neck, coughed up some flem and said that Dr. Pootang would be in shortly.
I laid back on the exam table and took a nap. A short time for Dr. Pootang could be hours, especially if the curry is fresh.
Later that day Dr. Pootang walked in and said he had good news and bad news. I immediately said we should focus on the good news and he said, matter of fact-like, “well then, you should restrict you intake of foods for the next three days to ice cream.”
I stood immediately, put my pants back on as I sped out of the clinic, thanking Dr. Pootang and I almost fell at the doorway and he was mumbling something about the bad news, but with good news already clouding my judgment I could not be bothered.
Last night I was sitting naked on the couch, deep into my third pint of Ben and Jerrys double chocolate, mint, sesame, marijuana and cupcake royale when I heard a slight knock at the front door. It was not late and sometimes people knock on the front door, asking for directions, or to use the phone or just which is the new crack house in the neighborhood, such is the glamour of living in a gentrifying ghetto.
I forgot to put on any clothes and walked to the front door and opened it and I was just a little shocked to see my third wife Pocatello Penny standing at the door, a waif of her former self, small, petite and disarmingly cute as a button. “Hello Penny,” I said.
“You have no clothes on,” she said, obviously.
“That is true Penny. I do not have clothes on, but since you were once my lovely wife and have since moved on, as have I, I feel it unnecessary to play games with wardrobe.”
“Fair enough. I’m here for the kid,” she said, in all seriousness.
“Which one,” I answered, equally seriously.
“We only had one child. That would be the one I am here to claim.”
“Care to refresh my memory?” I asked, just a little bewildered, but by then the ice cream was showing signs of melting, my continued nudity was clearly visible to the street denizens and now a small crowd of neighbors was forming on the street, some of them my fellow Block Watch adherents, probably wondering why this stranger has lingered on my doorstep, knowing full well I could easily have directed anyone to the new crack house location in a single sentence.
Pocatello Penny pushed the front door open and looked up the stairs, calling out as she did this, “Elvis, are you up there?”
“Elvis is our child?”
“Are you retarded?” She asked in a rather vulgar sort of way that only an ex-wife seems capable of.
“Possibly, but I see that would not worry to you. What do you want Elvis for? You do know he is in the military?”
“Well, I am supposed to take him for the holidays, and he can’t be in the military, he’s only 13.”
“He looked older and what holidays? It’s October.”
“It’s the holiday visit I am supposed to take him, did you not read the divorce documents?” She asked, seemingly unaware that I remained completely naked, but I had in the meantime, closed the front door.
“I had no idea we were legally divorced.”
“Well we are and every three years in October I get Elvis for 3 days. I am here for those 3 days.”
“Yeah, well, like I said, he’s in the military. Would you like some ice cream?”
“Why don’t you have any clothes on?”
“And the empty ice cream containers?”
She squinted her eyes at that one, but by then she had her hand in the silverware drawer and had pulled out a spoon. We sat on the couch and shared the pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Near the end, when I was on the last tasty bite of cupcake royal, she looked at me again and said, “what branch of the military is Elvis in?”
“Israeli, I think.” Then I took that last big bite and smiled. She smiled back, took both spoons, put them in the dishwasher and showed herself out of the house.