He’ll see you now, damn it!

February 12, 2009

The other day I was railing to one of my daughters about doctors who make appointments that they can’t meet. Why schedule a patient for 8:30 a.m. if you can’t see him until 9 a.m.? Like that. My primary doc and my dentist see patients on schedule. Be careful what you wish for. This morning, in the outer waiting room, I was engrossed in a magazine story about an international movement to grant rights similar to human rights to your great apes, your orangutans and your gibbons. I had at least eight or ten paragraphs to go when I heard the voice: “Charles?” You never get back to a magazine you were reading in a waiting room. That’s a law of nature. I think Darwin first described that phenomenon and, by the way, Happy Birthday! Then there is the wait between the nurse’s initial rituals and the arrival of the doctor himself. Jerry Seinfeld talks about that, and Morty Seinfeld probably has a few things to say about it too. Except that he’s dead. Today I was engrossed in a magazine article about the disappearance of the Pygmy culture in equatorial Africa when in came the doctor, right on time. So I was left mid-gibbon and mid-Pygmy, but – the doctor tells me – everything else was normal.