Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, December 28, 2007

All the Way Home

"Make haste slowly."
-Benjamin Franklin

While reminiscing about the friend who had visited the Rock of Cashel, I was reminded of another of his tales that Spouse and I heard last year.
He needed to have several teeth extracted, a nasty business at the best of times. Post-operation, the dentist was overly concerned that the man should exit the building safely and, assuming that he was parked just outside the surgery on the street, with a waiting driver, asked if he needed accompanying to the car.
After a long and oddly awkward pause, our friend insisted that he would be perfectly fine.
The dentist was quite worried but let him go along all the same.
Our friend, as it turned out, would never have been allowed to go home had he told the dentist the sickening truth.
He did not have a kindly driver in the car waiting to take him home.
He did not have a car.
The poor patient climbed atop his motorbike and rode, dazed, all the way home which amounted to more than fifteen miles. He to this day does not know how he accomplished it and nobody else has an inkling either.

Ah, but at the very least, his sight was present and accounted for.
My mother once visited an optometrist for a routine check-up. The doctor squeezed some drops into her eyes and urged her to remain in the waiting room until the eyes had frozen open. Then, he said, he would call her in and take a look at the back of her eyes.
She sat stoically for three or four minutes, pondering the words.
How on earth would he look at the back of her eyes? Perhaps it meant removing them altogether or inserting an instrument.
Mater waited an impossibly short amount of time. She leaped up from the chair, eyes already glued open and straining from being unable to blink. She hurried to her car as quickly as she could locate it, and drove home like a madwoman in the wind, trembling and utterly relieved that she had avoided an uncomfortable situation.
That is, until she related her story and realised the foolishness of her haste and the true nature of the doctor's methods. When she was able to, she cried, though from laughter or despair it was never made quite clear.
I wonder to this day if the doctor thought she visited him merely for the eye drops.

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