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Stick Out Your Tongue

Doctor Whatsit…

My insurance changed and I needed a new physician and came upon an adroit little fellow with a silvery blue, thin tie. He was inspecting me for my ear infection, making all the gestures and noises I expected from him, but he did not look at my throat. I asked him why, and he said it wasn’t necessary this time. In fact, he added as an afterthought, it’s not necessary in most cases.

This had my curiosity up. I pressed further and he explained. “You see,” he said, “being a doctor requires a great deal of rigor and professionalism, a decorum, if you will. While we cannot go around sticking out our tongues, yawning like bears, or dressing in skimpy gowns flashing our bums at the nurses, we can take a certain reserved pleasure in making our patients do it at will. It’s a great stress reliever really.”

I blinked. All at once I was worried that he wasn’t joking, but also that he was. What did it mean? Was he flirting? After an agonizing three seconds of eye contact, he broke off, waved dismissively and turned back to his tablet. So, I stuck out my tongue and said, “Ahhhhhhhgggggh…” The slightest wave seemed to wash over his shoulders, smoothing them out a bit, while at the same time he pursed his lips to stifle a laugh. The truth was out.