May 10, 2012: One Day, in a Waiting Room

      I took my parents to see their orthopedist today. I wanted to know if there’s anything that can be done about the soreness in my father’s hip, which has plagued him for months. The steroid injections did nothing; neither did the prescription pain medications nor the newest round of in-home physical therapy.

            So my parents and I were sitting in the waiting room and this little old lady came in, signed in for her appointment (using a pen with a fake flower glued to the end of it—insert shrieks of horror here), and then sat down next to me. She reached into her purse, pulled out a stick of chewing gum, popped it into her mouth, and started talking.

            “I was out getting my mail this morning and Marcie Johns saw me and came over. You know her Carol is coming home for the summer, right? Anyway, Marcie was telling me about how Johnny Johnson is moving back to Phoenix to be closer to his doctors. I said to her, ‘Bullcrap. If we lived in a righteous world, the doctors would come to us!’ You know how Marcie is, though. Always something.”

            Oh, no. I thought. One of those old ladies who thinks I know everyone she’s talking about. Dad used to call them People from Wisconsin. Get me out of here.

            While I waited for my father to be called in to see the doctor, my new friend told me all about Cheryl Sigety, whose sister has a lesion the size of a grapefruit on her lung, and Tom Spence, who I probably already knew has taken up gambling and “running around with young things.” I pretended to listen, nodding occasionally.

            “Oh, and I guess you heard about Lucy Munroe, used to live over next to Bill Bennett?”

            I was bored, so I played along.

            “Bill Bennett, the former superintendent of schools for Glendale Union High School District?” I asked.

            My pal rolled her eyes. “Of course that’s who I mean. Who’d you think?”

            “Big, silver-haired guy?” I asked, incredulously. “Mormon guy with bad teeth?”

            This was greeted with a big frown. “Now, listen,” she said. “If you’re going to be a smarty, I’ll go sit somewhere else.”

            She didn’t, though. She kept talking about Mr. Bennett, a guy I actually did know—or used to, anyway, when he was the principal of my high school in the 70s.

It got me to thinking: Maybe these people from Wisconsin are onto something.

 Thing I Hate Today: People abusing their kids in public

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2 Responses

  1. I am amusing the hell out of myself imagining that the lady is now telling someone, “You know Robrt Pela? I saw him in a doctor’s waiting room the other day and he acted like he had no idea who I was!”

  2. That is funny Petey…

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