“CALLING DR. HOWARD, DR. FINE, DR. HOWARD…”

I had to go to the doctor today.

I hate going to the doctor.

I hate going to the doctor (squared).

A lot.

A number of years ago, maybe 12-13 or so, I discovered a small lump on the back of my head, just behind and a little above my left ear…it was a tiny little thing, much like other parts of my anatomy that I would prefer not to discuss in mixed company (I’ll bet there’s some Republicans reading this right now), but discernible to my probing fingers, which was how I found it in the first place.

It was about the size of the eraser end of a pencil around, and maybe a 1/16” deep…when I held a mirror up behind my head and looked into another mirror, even with my head shaved you could barely see it. (Yes, I used to shave my head…I thought the stimulation might encourage a growth spurt. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Hair, or anything else for that matter. Except the “lump”.)

It wasn’t tender, it didn’t hurt, it wasn’t discolored, it made no ridiculous promises to build a wall along the Mexican/American border, it didn’t do anything but sit there, much like my ex-wife.

So I ignored it.

Over the years it “grew like Topsy” and after careful cultivation, periodic watering and fertilization, it’s gotten quite a bit bigger; it’s now about the size of a ’57 Edsel and weighs approximately 6268 pounds. Okay, I exaggerated a little…it’s about the size of a quarter around and maybe 3/16” deep.

But it’s ugly…and yeah, I know, another wart on the warthog doesn’t make him any uglier, just wartier, but still.

Back around the first of this year, I was at a friend’s place, sitting on a dining room chair, close to a wall. At one point I leaned back to stretch and smacked my “lump” against the wall…not real hard, but hard enough for me to wish that I hadn’t. I said several bad words that I wouldn’t say in that same mixed company I spoke of above (see above, above), and decided it was time to go see someone about removing it. The lump, not the mixed company. (“Mixed Company” would be a great name for a CW band.)

My first thought was a tree service, figuring they could use a chain-saw on it…I called a couple of places but didn’t get any bids. (One guy asked me if I had considered using a small shaped explosive…I hadn’t, but it was a thought.) Then I tried the Roto-Rooter guy, but he was WAY too expensive.

One of my friends suggested a doctor, which seemed like a novel concept, so I called my PCP (that’s the physician, not the drug) and made an appointment.

Did I mention I hate going to doctors? But I went, reluctantly, dragging “lump” along with me, and presented myself for inspection.

The ladies at Doc Johnson’s office think I’m a character (you know the way I write…I’m like that in person too) and they always take good care of me, and the Doc is a good guy, for a doctor. (At least he’s not a lawyer…I wouldn’t want him examining my nether areas with nothing more than a Juris Doctor degree hanging on the wall.) He checked out the “lump”, said that in the entire history of medical science, nothing like this had ever been seen or recorded, and that he was stumped as to its composition or nature.

And then gave me a referral to a specialist. (Does Doctor A get a kickback from Doctor B when Doctor A refers someone to Doctor B? Probably, unless you elect to take the sinter exemption, then you must deduct two-thirds of your base annual melotron ratio retroactively and then apply the 43% capacitor reduction to the blender column.)

Dr. B, to be known here as Doctor B, was happy to examine the “lump” for me, pleased at the notion of being able to see, firsthand, a medical first, as well as have the opportunity to bill the shit outta’ Medicare for the consultation, exam, x-rays, spinal tap (volume at 11, please), root-canal, blood work, transfusion, re-grouting, sonogram, oil-change, cauterizations, several MRIs and a wheel alignment. Dr. B left his office to consider the problem, post-exam, after assuring me he would return in the foreseeable future.

I waited. (Ha-ha, waiting in a doctor’s office, another novel concept.) Quite a while.

After lengthy deliberation (he bills by the hour apparently), he returned, sat down behind his desk and looked me straight in the eye.

“Well, Cap’n John, I have good news and bad news.” (Donald Trump quit and Mike Pence took over.) “I’ve looked at your “lump” and checked it out and examined it in every conceivable way, consulted with experts in the field, pored over all the pertinent literature, checked with CDC in Atlanta, all of which is being billed to Medicare, and, well, here’s the bad news…”

“All indicators point to the fact that you appear to be growing another head. That’s the bad news.”

“The good news is that, those same indicators lead us to believe that this one will be much better looking than the one you currently have, WAY smarter and, due to the increased brain activity, will cause other parts of your anatomy to be enhanced as well.” He raised his eyebrows suggestively when he told that last thing.

Okay, I was just hit with this momentous news…Holy Cranium, Batman, ANOTHER head! Shit, I barely use the one I have now. This was incredible, it was shocking, it was cataclysmic, it was double-secret probation weird. I was incredulous, shocked, I was almost catatonic and my probation was completed years ago.

So what was the first thing out of my mouth, in response to this devastating news?

“So, Doc, just how “enhanced” (I used the two fingers on each hand “air quotation-marks” sign here) are we talking?”

The ultimate “guy” moment.

The day before I went to my appointment with Dr. B, one of the customers at the Publix where I work part-time as a Front Service Clerk (and don’t think it isn’t hard work dragging a title that grandiose around), after I mentioned I was going to see a surgeon the next day, asked me who I was seeing. So I told him.

“Oh,” he says,” is that the blind guy?”

Insert rim-shot here.

Love and scalpels,

Cap’n John

 

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