Jean Therapy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A doctor treats patients with genomic modification. Not everyone is curable, though.

Submitted: October 15, 2018

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Submitted: October 15, 2018

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JEAN THERAPY

Doctor Morris Wetherton hustled into his office, a dozen glazed donuts cradled in one arm, a briefcase stuffed with patient records in one hand and his cell phone wedged between his ear and shoulder.

“Mr. Barditch is in Lab 2,” said his receptionist as he breezed past.

Already fifteen minutes late for his first appointment, he tossed the box of donuts onto the table in the break room and hurried into his office. He uttered a series of “Uh huh” and “Yes, dear”, “No, dear,” while unpacking the briefcase and searching for his first case.

“Jean, darling, I really must hang up now.  I have a patient waiting.”  More “mmm mmm,” and “I sees” followed while he found the records he sought. “Yes. I’ll call you at lunch and we can discuss it further. Bye, my love.”

The good doctor trotted out of his office and down the hall to Lab 2 where Mr. Barditch, in regulation hospital gown sat on the edge of a bed, being prepared by an RN.

“How are you this morning, Mr. Barditch,” asked Dr. Wetherton.

“How the hell do you think I am?  You’re late and this stupid twat couldn’t find my damn vein for the IV.  She stuck me half a dozen times before she hit it.”

The nurse rolled her eyes at the doctor, who nodded with compassion, both for the patient and his long-suffering nurse.

Doctor Wetherton said, “Yes, well I think I can make it all better with just a little injection and some bedrest.”

“You, condescending prick,” said Barditch. “If the judge hadn’t made me get this treatment as condition of my probation, you can bet your ass I wouldn’t be here.”

“I take it that was your probation officer I passed in the reception area? The bruiser with the black eye and bandage across his nose?”

The nurse said, “We cleaned up the blood and treated him before you got here. Mr. Barditch broke the man’s nose on their way up the elevator.”

“He called me an asshole.”

“In layman’s terms, yes. But, you are not just an asshole, you’re a tremendous asshole,” said Dr. Wetherton. He opened the case file to the patient’s symptoms. “Narcissism, arrogance, judgmental, callous, spiteful, intolerant, selfish. That’s you. A monumental asshole. The medical term, which is a bit more politically correct is, ‘acute, multi-phasic assholism.’ Fortunately, it is treatable through genome modification.” He indicated to the nurse to begin the treatment.

“Fuck you.” He swung his legs off the side of the bed and lurched toward the doctor.

The nurse, with much less TLC than is expected from healthcare professionals, jammed a needle into the catheter and fully opened the valve to the IV containing Mr. Barditch genetic modification vectors and a general anesthetic.

“Hey, that stings. Be careful, fat assed who…” started Mr. Barditch before collapsing.

When the nurse and an orderly had Mr. Barditch tucked in and the orderly pushed the gurney out into the hall, she said, “He’ll be in recovery room one until he wakes up and you’re ready to assess his progress.”

“Thanks. I wish we had scheduled him later. I hate to start the day with an asshole. Who’s next?”

The cell phone in his pocket tootled the opening bars of David Bowie’s Blue Jean. Wetherton silenced the phone and stashed in a drawer under a pile of gauze.

“Ms. Isabelle Howdy is in room four. Agoraphobia. Referred by her GP.”

On his way to Ms. Howdy, the receptionist hollered, “Dr. Wetherton. Your wife is on line two.”

“Later,” answered Wetherton, striding down the hall.

After a preliminary diagnosis and explanation of the treatment to Ms. Howdy, Wetherton escorted her to the front desk to make an appointment for her initial treatment and sign waiver forms. The receptionist handed the doctor a handful of messages from his wife.

“Did you add the exclamation points to these, Denise?” asked Wetherton.

“Your wife insisted. She sounded pretty distraught and angry.”

“I’m sure. I’ll call her at lunch. Mr. Podunk is waiting, and he doesn’t have a sense of humor. Literally. Fortunately, there’s a cure for that.”

Elmo Podunk gaped at Dr. Wetherton. “I don’t get it. A twelve-inch pianist?”

“Yes, Elmo. It’s the punchline to a very funny joke. You’ve never heard it before?”

Elmo shrugged.

“No problem. Abcomedic sensation is treatable by replacing a dysfunctional protein string with benign elements.”

“Then I would have a sense of humor?”

“You’ll laugh your ass off the next time I tell that joke.”

More messages awaited Dr. Wetherton when he checked the front desk before lunch. He stuffed them into the pocket of his jacket, slogged to his office and dialed his wife.

She answered before the first ring completed.

“It’s about damn time!” she screamed. “Our marriage is in crisis and all you can think about is your fucking patients.”

Wetherton placed the receiver on the desk, took a packaged chef salad and a bottle of sweet tea from the mini-fridge and returned to his desk. The receiver buzzed like a swarm of blue bottle flies. He chewed his salad, leaned close and mumbled, “uh huh. Yes, dear.” Then washed it down with tea. After finishing his lunch, he put the receiver next to his ear. “You’re absolutely right, my love. I’ll take care of it when I get home.” He didn’t know what needed taking care of this time but was confident his wife would remind him.

Exiting his office, the nurse met him outside the door.

“There’s a Mr. Benny Steerman to see you,” said his assistant. “He says it’s a matter of life and death. “He’s in room two.”

Dr. Wetherton opened the door to find a mousy, unkempt man pacing around the examination table wringing his hands.

“What’s your problem, Mr. Steerman?”

“It’s my wife. She’s a straight running bitch.”

“I see.” Wetherton cocked an eyebrow.

“Is there a cure for that?” asked the man.

“Oh, God, I wish,” said Doctor Wetherton.


© Copyright 2019 Rob Witherspoon. All rights reserved.

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