There’s an old joke about a patient who’s concerned about an upcoming procedure. He asks his doctor –
“After this is over will I be able to play the violin?”
The doctor, trying to reassure her patient replies, “Why, yes, of course you’ll be able to play the violin.”
“Great,” the patient replies, “I’ve always wanted to play the violin!”
I actually pulled that joke on a real doctor as I lay on a gurney prepped for an emergency appendectomy. Never miss a chance to be a smart-ass. I always say that.
To the question posed by me, my doctor, whose name is Hatchet by the way (would I kid you about something this serious?), replied –
“Well, that all depends. Do you play the violin now?”
Trapped like a rat I improvised.
“No, I don’t.” I paused for effect then said, “How about the accordion?”
Hatchet stared at me in such a way that I began to regret crossing swords with a man who was soon be wielding a scalpel over my unconscious body.
Finally, he said, “Yes, you’ll be able to play the accordion. As well as anybody.”
I guess old Hatchet wasn’t a Lawrence Welk fan. Good for him!
So, as I was having my crowns fitted today I mused (aloud, apparently) that wouldn’t it be great that after one had a crown fitted one would develop a new talent.
“Like what?” Doc asked.
“Murfff furg aggl arp.”
Why dentists have to ask you an essay question after stuffing your mouth full of stainless steel and cotton I will never know.
“Well, like tap dancing. Wouldn’t it be cool that after you fit the crown, I get out of the chair and can tap dance like Gene Kelly.”
“Or paint like van Gogh? “
“Yeah, now you’re cooking, Doc! Or sing like Pavarotti.”
“Or party like Paris Hilton.”
“Talent, Doc. I said acquire a talent, not a curse.”
“Perhaps there’s not much difference,” Doc mused philosophically.
I decided to take the theme even further. After all, I was being fitted with two crowns.
“Suppose two crowns gave you two talents, but they were at odds. Lumberjack and exotic dancer, for example.”
“Pig farmer and chef.”
“No, Bobby Flay has already done that. Haven’t checked his teeth, though.”
“Here. Bite down on this until I tell you to stop.”
Doc jammed a bale of cotton in my mouth.
“So,” Doc asked, “how ‘bout those Rockets? In 500 words or less I’d like to hear your analysis of the upcoming season.”
Doc folded his arms, sat down on his stool and, arching his eyebrows in anticipation, awaited my reply.
Thoughtfully and with expert knowledge of the NBA I replied –
“Mffph um arpp eff ithh ummmp. Frmrrrre, yoww foomp pfufff ifft luffft fummm.”
“Exactly and well put. I agree completely. Let’s get this bale out of your mouth. Check the fit. Bite down. Good. El perfecto. Youredonepayathefrontdeskseeyoulater.byebye.”
And in a flourish Doc was gone to his next appointment.
As I was walking to the receptionist’s desk to check out I met my hygienist in the hallway. On impulse, I snatched a plastic flower from a nearby display, grasped the hygienist around the waist and with head held high, back straight and knees bent, tangoed towards the front desk.
The hygienist was a good tango dancer. I reckoned she’d had a crown or two. We circled through the waiting room a couple of times, performed some deep dips in the hallway and finally, to thunderous applause, made our finale at the front door.
I bid my partner adieu and headed out to the truck with an overwhelming urge to locate some goats.
Goat herding. I’ve always wanted to do that but never had the talent. Somehow, now I had talent galore. I could herd goats. I felt it in my bones. By Hercules, I could be the greatest goat herder ever!
Not only that, I’ll teach them the tango. Step step dip! Step step dip! The whole flock whirling and dipping down the greeny, grassy hillside.
It will be grand!