by Eric Miller
was your day, dear?," Dr. Shurr's wife asked
as he walked through the door.
"It was a
day that would test the patience of any doctor
and try the soul of any saint," he replied,
a little too dramatically.
that bad," his wife replied. "I'd
better open a bottle of wine for dinner."
First I had Groneur Moneur. He wanted me to feel
his clavicle. He was concerned that it felt 'funny',
no 'different'. He thought it should be 'more
curved, or maybe less curved'."
you do for him?"
him that the median length of the right clavicle,
in a right handed man his age and weight,
discounting any previous traumatic injury prior
to puberty, would be 200 millimeters, with a
bipodal curvature of 71 degrees. Marking an
envelope laid across the clavicle, I punched the
keys on my calculator with a flourish, and then
announced that his clavicle was normal."
was relieved to hear that?"
yes at first. But then he asked me if I thought
he suffered from hypochondria. I told him that he
needed to stop worrying about worrying, and to
only worry about not being happy."
that nonsense alleviate his concern?"
enough for me to get out of the examining room,
but then I walked into the next room to find
Scratch Chance. His body was covered with welts,
because he couldn't stop scratching himself. I
couldn't help but notice that his clothes were
covered with tiny pieces of sparkling, colored
paper. I asked if he ever bought scratch off
lottery. tickets. Not only did he say yes, but he
confessed to spending many hours a day scratching
them in search of his fortune. I told him his
brain was confusing the sound of the scratching
on the tickets with the sound of scratching on
his skin, thus causing a psycho-neurogenic
response of itching, which caused him to scratch
his skin. I told him that if he stopped
scratching those tickets, his itching would most
likely go away in just a few days."
other patient patience challenges?"
Luzon, the waitress at the diner. You know, the
one who always looks like she's about to cry when
she looks at you? She told me that she thinks
everyone is giving her the finger. Yes, the
finger, that age old sign of disrespect. She
actually thought I was giving it to her, also,
but she was smart enough to realize that it
couldn't be true, so she feared that she was
suffering from paranoia."
actually had an opacity in the shape of a raised
middle finger in each eye. I referred her to Dr.
Litticus Lenz, the ophthalmologist in my building.
After some ocular surgery, she should be fine."
guess you could say you had a trifecta day?"
things happening in groups of three."
that what I just said?, his wife inquired,