Autumn

Autumn

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Dress Code

When I arrived there was but one space available at the far side of the parking lot, a convenient slot next to a dumpster. I stepped from my truck into the hundred degree furnace. The odors from the restaurant waste slapped me square in the face. Awful stuff.

My mission was to have a blood test, a doctor ordered waste of my time. I began the long walk to the far side of the tarmac. Halfway across the parking lot I stopped and composed myself, muttered, "Don't limp," and opened the door to the building. The waiting room was packed, stuffed full of democritters; the elderly, children, illegal immigrants, seniors in wheelchairs...all of 'em with a cell phone chattering ninety miles a minute.

I hate crowds.

I felt like a marshmallow in a chocolate factory.

All the seats had been taken. It was either stand or I could sit on the little magazine table. I chose the table. Screw 'em. It was a tight fit. A lady and her girl child held the place directly to my right. I removed my hat and placed it on my knee and began to read.

The room was hot and loud and a woman of twenty or so was deep into a loud conversation in Spanish and an older gentleman tapped a steady rhythm with his cane and my neighbor and her child spread out their snacks and began to shoulder the space between us which forced me shift close to the wall, and I was within seconds of walking the hell out. Yet, I held.

The little girl asked, "What kind of boots are 'dem? They sure are shiny."

Me, "They are called engineers boots."

"What?"

"They're just old boots."

"Why they so shiny?"

"Because I shine them."

Her mother glanced over and told the child to not bother the man, gave me a 'look.' I scooted, some more.

I went back to my book - Private Battles, if you want to know. The child returned, stood and moved in front of me and touched the toe of my boots. "How you say you gots 'dem so shiny?" I closed the book and said, "Hard work." The mother reached and jerked the little girl back to her bag of potato chips.

My name was yelled. I stood and walked back and the woman took my information and agreed I was worthy of their time and soon I was seated on a stool. I read. Thirty minutes later a very large woman entered the room.

I'd removed my hat and placed it on my knee, as is my habit. The woman gave me papers to sign, placed a blue rubber band around my arm. Uncomfortable, to say the least. All the while she kept her eye on the hat. I could tell it bugged her. I liked that it bugged her. Made me smile, it did.

"Something wrong?"

"Huh?"

"Are you uncomfortable?"

"Well, now that you mention it, why the hat?"

Me, big grin.

She readied the horse needle. "Make a fist."  I made a fist.

Me, "This hat bothers you, doesn't it."

"Yes, its awful. Its hate. It tells people you like to shoot people and that you own guns."

Oh, this was good. "Really. This hat sends a message does it."

"Yes."

She slapped the needle deep into my arm...missed. Tried a second time. Missed again. It hurt like hell.

Me, "Are you new to the art of phlebotomy?"

"Huh?" My arm didn't feel good, at all. She reversed course and slipped  the projectile in again...and again. I was ready to punch her.

"Hey, Mister Gunman, did you drink water before coming in here?"

"Yes. Want to try the other arm...this one is about fried."

She was a big woman. She'd voted for Obama, and I'm sure had been tenth in a class of ten. Her, "You shouldn't wear that hat in public. There is a dress code, you know."

The words kiss my ass almost slipped from my lips, and would have, but she still held that needle and the job wasn't completed.

What I did say was, "Lady, what I wear and where I wear it is none of your business. Furthermore you are as safe now as you've been all day."

No response

She finally hit a stream of blood. She finger thumped the first tube and reached for the second. I drew in a deep breath and waited as she slipped the next vile in place. "I take it you don't like firearms."

"No. They kill people."

"How?"

If looks could kill.

Silence. I asked a second time, "How?"

"They just do."  I heard a child scream. We're down to the third sample of blood. My arm feels like its on fire. Me, "So, my handgun jumps from its holster and kills people, all on its own, does it."

"I don't want to talk about it. But don't you wear that hat in here again. You hear me, mister."

I couldn't help myself. I'd had enough...

I stood and walked to the door, turned and told her as nicely as possible...

"Kiss my ass."

Two weeks later my arm is still black and blue. 

Stephen 


  

50 comments:

  1. I believe you showed admirable restraint. I'd have been tempted, myself.

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    Replies
    1. Made my momma proud, I did. Trust me, it wasn't easy. Thanks, my good friend.

      Delete
  2. You forgot the words "lily white", but there is that "admirable restraint" business that Rev. Paul mentioned.....

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    1. Yep, I did...dang it. Thanks, Bro.

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  3. Stephen, I am old and mean. I'm afraid I don't have your "admirable restraint." I think that may have been a "Get off my lawn" moment for me. And I think a change in my wardrobe may be in the near future. Just because.

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    1. I wear that hat, everywhere. Needs a dunk in the wash. My 'upbringing' doesn't allow damage to the fair sex. I am, after all, a Southern born gentleman. Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  4. Stephen, part of me wants to suggest a white sheet as part of your wardrobe for your next appointment, but your admirable restraint dictates an email to corporate HQ reharding the situation is more in order.

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    1. Not a bad idea, thanks, my friend.

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  5. Ha! Loved it! I get funny looks when I wear mine, too! Oh, that evil black cap with the embroidered large gold lettering..... :o) 'Hope the results went well with the blood extrusion.

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    1. Good for you, Sweet Lady. Yes, my results were - well, fair. Doc doesn't like it but there we are....

      Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  6. Stephen didn't mention the race of the medical worker, although he implied it. He simply described her as large, stupid and a probable Obama voter. The aggressor in this encounter was the woman: when Stephen asked her if she had a problem, her answer should have been "No sir, I don't." Anything else is unprofessional.

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  7. "I hate crowds."


    Me too my friend :)

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  8. Wow....you deserve a medal. Happily, where I live, everybody wears an NRA hat (everybody that matters, anyway). I give the vampires 2 chances to get blood, then I am out of there. Next time, wear your NRA tee shirt, too.

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    Replies
    1. Nah, just being me. I will wear a tee shirt...after I first find one. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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  9. Somewhere around here I got a picture of a guy looking through a rifle scope and the words "When all else fails I can still vote from the rooftops" or something like that. If I can find it I should send it to you to wear out next time :)

    I also got one that says "Don't fight, the fakes ones look better anyway" but I won't even wear that one in public....

    At least not anymore.

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    Replies
    1. suppose to be a t-shirt with a picture... bah

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    2. Love it....thanks, my good friend.

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  10. "a very large woman"... so did a spoon make her large?

    hugs my friend! I like the advise to wear your NRA t shirt too. Heck maybe a belt buckle?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and a fork. I shall...and thanks, Sweet Kellie.

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  11. Formal complaint. And wear the hat every time.

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  12. Formal complaint. And wear the hat every time.

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  13. Formal complaint. And wear the hat every time.

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    Replies
    1. I shall, and thanks, my good friend.

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  14. Oh Stephen this story makes me glad I don't EVER go to the doctor and don't need to. Society is a mess.....Everyone is freaking offended by everything.....my middle child is allegedly gay and attracted to black girls and I'm like that"s fine your future "girlfriend" better accept me and everything I feel and say because I'm not changing for no one EVER!!!! People are crazy these days, no one does a good job at their job anymore, and everyone is entitled. It's a scary world we live in. Glad I live in the woods like a hobbit :))))

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    1. You are such a lucky lady, dear Kelly. Wish I lived in the woods to and didn't need a doctor...but, there it is.

      Thanks, my lovely friend. You have a wonderful smile.

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  15. Wonder what she would of said if the hat said BORDER PATROL on it.
    LOL!

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    Replies
    1. She'd ask its meaning....

      Thanks, Bro.

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  16. Stephen. You CAN'T make this stuff up. I haven't read the comments above, but I can imagine the sympathetic rage. What she did to you was assault.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed...and I still have the pain to prove it. Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  17. BTW. I see you've not lost your wonderful ability to relate an event in a way that has your reader hanging on every sentence. Remarkable.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, shucks, thanks...really, thank you.

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  18. That's the amazing thing about a lot of minority folks and liberals. They have no compunction at all about telling you how to live, but try doing the same to them and "you be diss'n dem." I think you did well to hold your temper as long as you did. I've been wearing my ball cap that says "Southern Heritage" and has a Confederate flag on it. All the remarks I've gotten have been positive. One old guy stopped me at the grocery store and said "I like your hat." I told him I liked his too. It said Viet Nam Veteran on it.

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    1. And they're mean too....

      Thanks, Bro.

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  19. I would have given $50 to have been there and secretly filmed it.....

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    1. It was kinda ugly. Her face was tight enough to bounce a ball. Thanks, Bro.

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  20. Stephen, that is OUTSTANDING! You just made my day! Wish I could have been there!

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    Replies
    1. With two of us in the crowd we'd have cleaned the building....thanks, my friend.

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  21. Next time add a Confederate Battle Flag pin and really set her off.

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    Replies
    1. Great idea. Three months from now I'll be back....

      Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  22. Bravo. I do think she missed taking the blood just to inflect pain. My wife and I went to a clinic like that when we lived in Kissimmee. It was a long wait indeed. Many folks here own guns, good hunting. not sure if you read my blog, but we decided it was rime to buy a gun this fall.

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    Replies
    1. Good for you, Rob. Welcome to the gun culture. I now read your blog...thanks, my friend.

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  23. Never insult the lady with a needle in your arm until after they are done. Just saying. Half the battle is knowing when to strike.

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  24. My doc is a gunnie and when his nurse asked me to remove my shirt she commented on the nice grips on the Kimber.
    She asked where I shoot most and I told her a club name and she said "Oh, I belong to that club too."
    Very good with a blood draw too.

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    Replies
    1. My Doc is a pain in the caboose....thanks, my friend.

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  25. Sorry to hear the way you were treated, but they ARE out there...

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  26. Sorry to hear the way you were treated, but they ARE out there...

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