Tuesday, June 02, 2009

An Appointment with Fate (or, A Good Doctor is Hard to Find)

Cross-posted from One Year In Texas

By Bub

The good Doctor had fallen on hard times. His scalpels weren’t as sharp as they used to be. His tongue-depressors now came from the fifth best merchant of depressors tongue and the like, instead of the third. That little shelf that you pull out on the Doctor’s examination bed wont push back in. He had recently seen a man with dropsy of the liver, and all he could do was sigh and brush the patient’s cheek with a cottonseed tail. He tried so very hard to lobby his way out of this funk. He took out advertisements on shop walls. He carved etchings into lavatory stalls. He wrote newspaper editorials for the Sunday Times. He dispatched several middle-sized marsupial creatures with violence. To no avail. That is, until one blustery summer’s eve.

After he got out of his funk that one blustery summer’s eve, the good Doctor took up the sport of pigeon-calling. He spent all of his mornings at the Royal Pigeon-Calling Yards in Northton. He became so entangled in his pigeon-calling pursuits that, on more than one occasion, he forgot to remove his pigeon-calling gloves when he greeted his first patient of the day. Now, at the time this was perfectly acceptable especially if the patient’s family was of higher moral stature than the good Doctor’s, but years later it became a popular insult and the good Doctor felt retroactively mortified. At present however, the good Doctor just forced a smile through the aching loneliness he felt in his throat

Before going to bed each night the good Doctor would swallow a tablespoon of corn flour. This served no medical purpose; he was simply taken with the taste. But as it turns out, once word of this sort of thing gets around, it can make a man many political enemies. And one St. Vincent’s Day at market, the good Doctor let it slip as to why a simple Welsh Doctor made regular purchase of barrel quantity corn flour. He did not know it, but it was the beginning of the end; the end of his days of buying corn flour discreetly and without others knowing the purpose for which the flour was being bought.

The day IT happened, the good Doctor stood in front of a restaurant vent in the Polish Quarter. He came down here in the evenings to enjoy the scent of pierogies and the feeling of racial superiority. A Pole ship-crewman approached. Saying nothing, he reached inside his satchel and retrieved a copy of Le Monde. The Pole held the news straight in front of the good Doctor’s face so that he was sure to get a good look. “Qu'ils Mangent de la Brioche” read the banner headline – Let them eat egg bread! The Pole tore the paper in two down the middle and threw the newspaper refuse with disdain into the air. The two men stared at each other with a sense of knowing and purpose as newspaper confetti rained down upon them. They were comrades now. The war had begun...

No comments:

Post a Comment