As if going to the medical clinic / doctor’s office / hospital on a routine basis isn’t already bad enough in and of itself, I find myself constantly challenged by the oblivious insensitivities of my fellow patients in waiting.
Though the only direct feedback on my last physical malady-related post was from none other than Daughter herself, I received a number of informal responses commiserating right there along with me. That would be reassuring if the subject weren’t so depressing in the first place. However, what I gamely failed to mention in “No Shame” was that the entire “streaming episode” was preceded by one of the most basic pass patterns out of “The Old Codgerdom Playbook.”
Picture this if you will — three or four of us Codgers gamely woke up a bit earlier than usual, gave up breakfast, and quite possibly did not visit the bathroom so that we could arrive at the specimen clinic before the window opened for business. Such was the scene when I walked in a week ago. There were three old guys already seated and waiting, in varying degrees of bodily distress. God knows what they were holding inside of themselves, and I didn’t want to know either.
At precisely 30 seconds before 7:00 a.m., another Old Codger came shuffling along, dressed in “comfort clothes” he very well might have slept in, and plopped into one of the seats right up front. To be completely honest, he looked a bit out of it, and none of us gave him a second look.
That is, until the window opened for business, when he sprung to his feet and shot straight away to sign in!
Since I was fourth in priority, I was more amazed than distressed at the gumption this guy displayed.
What were the rest of us? Invisible? Idiotic? Lambs?
Yes. Yes, we were. All three, apparently. But the other Codgers there who just got jumped simply took it in stride. They silently lined up behind him.
I was incredulous, but then got to thinking that, by the looks of most of them, they weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere else that day. Hell, maybe getting specimens taken was the highlight of their Friday, for all I knew.
Anyway, they were all pretty much nonplussed about the egregious breach in Waiting Room Etiquette. Perhaps they’d seen this play before. Perhaps one of them even invented it.
I don’t know, but my old friend, Karma, was well at work last week, because it turned out that the Line Jumper didn’t have an appointment in the system and was quickly sent on his way by the staff. By the time he left, he had reverted into his Space Cowboy Demeanor and was, no doubt, headed for another destination where fellow Muggles would become susceptible to his ruse.
Zen-me was whispering in my ear the entire time, and I managed to stay cool and not worry about it.
But that was last week, and today was another round of appointments for me.
The first one out of the chute was with the Eye Doctor. Just for reference, all the Eye Doctors in this particular office appear to be between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, and many of them could pass for Dog Scientists in another life.
It is an eerie environment in the Eye Doctor’s Office, made more claustrophobic because the damn Waiting Room is so small. Three or four of us Muggle Patients (there was another Old Codger there, too), sat in very close proximity to one another while pretending to read three-year-old US Entertainment Weekly magazines (Abs of the Stars — Exclusive Photos!).
Then the cell phones started going off, with their cute, but annoying, ring tones; which were then following by the even more annoying and mindless conversations.
“Yeah, I’m still sitting here. Where are you? In the car? Okay. No, I don’t know what Tammy is doing. Where is she? In the car? Oh.”
Crap like that.
Over and over.
Thankfully, the Waiting Room eventually emptied out, and I was left with another Muggle who wore one glove on his right hand, for some reason.
It was peacefully quiet.
Until he started playing Call to Honor 3 or Wreck It Ralph on his phone.
Bleep-bleep. Parp-parp. Tootle-tootle. Ta-La.
And so on.
I decided I had endured enough of this for one day, and while my eyes were slowly dilating and the world around me became a fuzzy blur, I walked out into the hallway and told the receptionist to come and get me when the doctor was ready.
Well, eventually she did, and I told her about being annoyed in the Waiting Room because of this other guy. I also told her that I seriously; in fact, very seriously, considered beginning to sing in a tit-for-tat attempt to annoy him, since he was doing such a good job with me.
“Well, that depends on how well you sing. It might not be annoying at all.”
And with that, she darkened the lights and proceeded to give me a clean bill of ocular health.