by Pettus Read
Embarrassment would be an understated word when it comes to a recent trip I made to the eye doctor. The only thing that saved my already questionable reputation was that most of the folks in the waiting room had dilated eyes and couldn't see my life changing predicament. Let me explain.
For over four months I had waited to make a visit to my eye doctor due to trying to work his schedule around mine. My schedule was the easy part. It was his that left very little wiggle room due to the fact that he is one of the best in the business. And, when it comes to MY eyes, I want the best. Doctor appointments can often be hard to get and when you lock one in, you certainly do not want anything to happen to cause you to have to miss your opportunity.
On this particular visit I had planned for a long wait in the waiting room. I have never understood why people get so upset because they have to wait. They have put you in a "waiting" room have they not? If they had intended for you not to wait, they would have put you in the "just a minute" room. But, because I knew I would have to wait, I brought along a magazine to read during my wait. I also made a stop at the restroom before I registered to help with my wait for the doctor.
Upon preparing to leave the restroom I dropped my waiting room magazine on the floor. While bending over to pick it up I heard a terrible ripping noise coming from the seat of my dark brown pants. Immediately, I uttered some words of disbelief, as well as a few of down right anguish.
Picking up the magazine and turning in somewhat of a semi-circle I took my first look at the seat of my pants in the restroom mirror. I could not believe my eyes at the damage my pants had received from just bending over in a yellow tiled restroom. They had torn from top to bottom and being of a dark brown color, my white undergarments helped give me the look of a white-tailed deer getting ready to clear a country fence.
Of course, my first instinct was to remain the rest of my life in this now safe area called a restroom. It was warm, had running water and could sustain life at least until everyone would go home and I could slip out.
When my common sense returned, after only a matter of seconds, I realized I had to get to the registration desk somehow so I could at least reschedule my appointment or call my wife for help.
The waiting room now seemed two miles long and had every chair filled
with little old ladies I knew or at least someone whom my family knew personally. How would I ever slip by so many staring eyes?
Then I came up with a plan. I eased out of the restroom door, remaining turned close to the waiting room wall, as I walked to the registration window with the magazine placed strategically over my backside in a casual manner. My walk had somewhat of a unusual gait to it, but I avoided eye contact with patients waiting to see the doctor. I didn't have to look at them. I could feel their beady eyes looking straight at my rear end.
I made it to the window and sort of turned with my back to the counter wall and talked to the receptionist over my shoulder. Of course, there was no way to get my appointment changed and I almost "blew my cover" when she asked me for my health card. When she looked at my health card she told me that my records would need updating and that I would have to go back upstairs to the main lobby and have those changes made.
At that point I did what any red-blooded, extremely embarrassed country boy would do. I begged for mercy.
I told you I had one of the best doctors earlier and so is his staff. The lady at the desk understood my problem and saw to it that I was
moved rapidly to the exam room and she even took care of my health card changes for me without having me go back upstairs. I guess she was also concerned about a man imitating a white-tailed deer in the waiting room and wanted that scene "behind" closed doors.
The visit went well from then on and I found a short cut to my car to make my exit. I did have to walk sort of close legged across the parking lot to avoid any unwanted attention and I'm sure the doctor's staff are still having amusing thoughts about the patient with a "northern exposure" in the waiting room one day.
I'm just thankful that most of the folks sitting in the waiting room that day had dilated eyes and they were not really sure if what they saw was really what they saw. Believe me, I had rather be a deer in the headlights any day than a white-tailed buck clearing a tall fence.