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by Eric Miller

"And how 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.

"Oh my, that bad," his wife replied. "I'd better open a bottle of wine for dinner."

"Yes. 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'."

"What did you do for him?"

"I told 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 he was relieved to hear that?"

"Well, 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."

"And did that nonsense alleviate his concern?"

"Long 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."

"Any other patient patience challenges?"

"Dee 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."

"Was she?"

"No, she 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."

"Well, I guess you could say you had a trifecta day?"

"No, just things happening in groups of three."

"Isn't that what I just said?, his wife inquired, quizzically.