Thursday, May 31, 2007


Last Friday I went to the opthamologist. The waiting room was hilarious. I sat down amidst a bunch of old folks with dark sunglasses on (to help with the pupil dilation part) waiting for their name to be called. I'm hardly ever the youngest person in a crowd anymore, but I certainly wasn't in the majority there.

The beauty about the elderly is that they don't have to sit around fiddling with their gizmos and talking on phones all the time. They don't mind sitting and chatting with each other or looking around, looking out the window, sitting in the waiting room listening to the repeated slow pounding of the pile driver breaking ground on a new wing of the hospital next door. Besides, there was a brown placard on the desk that said NO CELL PHONES with a picture of a cell phone and the international NO symbol (circle with a slash through it) on top.

The waiting room became sort of lively when a 70s-ish couple came in to drop some records off. The husband wore a tan jacket and matching fedora/safari hat and he held a stack of his files in his hand. His wife hobbled in on a cane and told him to drop them off on the counter. The man held them above the counter like he was about drop them off, but the staff were running around not noticing him. The wife told him again to drop them off . He looked around and told his wife nobody would see the records. She assured him they would be seen at some point. He turned away from her and stood patiently waiting for the staff to notice him.

A blond boy who was probably 9 years old wearing glasses with coke-bottle lenses came running into the room followed by his mother and father. She was decked out in brown camouflage pants or shorts (I couldn't tell because they seemed too long for shorts and too short for pants) and brown Chuck Taylors, and she had a hairstyle like Bon Jovi from the early Bon Jovi days. She yapped on her pink cell phone while her son jumped around her asking for money. The kid wore a t-shirt that said I'M ONLY PRETENDING TO LISTEN. His dad's t-shirt read OLD GUYS RULE.

Kid: "Can I have a dollar? Can I have a quarter?"
Mom: "What happened to your cell phone?"

The father had a cane that looked like one a blind person would use (he definitely wasn't blind), but the cane wasn't as long and it had a rounded end that the dad repeatedly prodded the back of the kid's knees with.

The kid ran out and back into the waiting room.
Kid: "Can I have a quarter?"

The old man in the fedora handed him a quarter and said "Here's a quarter."
Mom: "He just gave you a quarter, what do you say?"
Kid: "Thank you"

The kid ran off again.

After many minutes, the waiting room cleared one by one until I was the last one there. The woman working behind the counter finally asked me for my health insurance card. I handed it to her and noticed that she looked like she could be a superhero in her green jumpsuit and ridiculously long black boots. She told me she'd see what was taking so long. I took my seat again, 60 minutes after I had first taken my seat.

20 minutes later I would experience what it probably feels like to have a searing cattle prod burnt into the back of my eyeballs as they took photographs. Pupil dilation is only good when you're on drugs. Thankfully I had remembered to bring my sunglasses.