Isn't it funny how our brains work? Last night I was thinking about my friend Kathy in Utah (and no, this donkey does not in any way remind me of Kathy) - we worked together many years ago. I sent her an e-mail, read for a while and then I went to sleep. Well, while I was sleeping I guess my brain continued to shuffle through the memories from that time in my life and I woke up this morning having remembered the most hilarious thing that happened back then. If you're easily offended, stop reading now. But if you like a good laugh, go to the bathroom if you have to and for heaven's sake, don't drink anything while you're reading.
My first job after college was at a doctor's office - a large ear, nose and throat group. They also had a hearing and speech center where they conducted audiological testing. That was my job - assisting the audiologist. He wasn't a bad guy, I guess, but he'd worked with this gang of MDs for so long that he wanted to be a doctor, too. So he got an EdD degree from some correspondence school and insisted upon being called Doctor BlahBlah in the most pompous and annoying way. He also had a very pompous and annoying wife who fancied herself our office manager. She was one of those people that just made you wish God would come along and thunk her on the head to put her back in her place. Just a little wake-up call. I know I've thought that about a lot of people and I'm sure a lot of people have thought that about me from time to time. We all need the thunk from the Hand of Heaven now and again. Well, this woman was on everyone's last nerve right about that time and seriously in need of a little thunk.
Suffice it to say, we had some interesting patients. You know the kind: a lady who complained that she'd lost her hearing overnight (turned out to be a roach in her ear), kids with beans or macaroni in their noses or ears - you get the picture. One interesting patient in particular was an older woman named Jeannette Wright. She was a gnarled, wiry and perpetually frazzled sort of a woman with tightly-curled grey hair that went in every direction. Some people are just odd, I guess and Jeannette was certainly that. We never knew much of her story until the day she brought her son Steven along with her to an appointment. Steven was about 40 and developmentally disabled. Suddenly, Jeannette's frazzled, stressed-out behavior made a little more sense - here she was nearing retirement age and was unfortunately one of those people who had spent all of her life caring for someone with no end in sight. Steven was a quiet sort, but when he did speak, he had an alarming tendency to make inappropriate comments. To our receptionist, Trudy: "Does your husband like that you're so skinny?" He once announced to me: "You have big boobs." Inappropriate, yes - but a statement of fact. We just let these comments go, understood Jeannette's strangeness a little better and tried our best to be nice to Steven and make him feel welcome.
On the day that Doctor BlahBlah's wife was so very desperately in need of her much-deserved comeuppance (as my Grandma would say), Jeannette arrived with Steven in tow. I was asked to escort them into the testing room and the doctor said to his wife, "Come on in on this one, Blah, this should be interesting." I followed them back into the room and leaned against the closed door. I didn't want to miss whatever interesting comment that Steven surely had in store for Blah. The audiologist took Jeannette into the booth, adjusted the headphones and then proceeded to give her yet another hearing test. It was a routine patient visit until Steven leaned toward Blah and said, "Psst." She ignored him. He leaned closer and said, "Psst!" That got her attention. "Yes?" Blah asked, innocently enough. At that, Steven said, "You suck." Blah's mouth fell open and she responded with an aghast, "What did you say?" Steven repeated, very calmly, "You suck." Blah began sputtering, obviously unsure of how to respond. Even more calmly, Steven said, "You suck donkey dickies." I was having a hard time controlling myself at that point, having actually witnessed the Cosmic Breeze finally blow some crap in Blah's direction, but Dr. Blah was completely oblivious to his wife's shock and dismay at Steven's pronouncement. And finally, in a finish I will never forget, Steven leaned in again and said, "It's okay. All my friends do." I don't know what happened after that because I was out the door and dashing down the hall to my office where my shrieks of glee couldn't be heard by Dr. BlahBlah or his wife. All I knew was, the Hand had delivered its Thunk. Big time.
I owe Steven for that; we all had a good laugh (well, except for Doctor and Mrs. BlahBlah) and I learned that we are all instruments of God's work, whether we are aware of it or not. Thank you, Steven, wherever you are!