04 Dec. 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project

I'm Such a Comfort

George was standing in the doorway between shipping and purchasing while bemoaning his fate.  George was an older guy, and if he had ever heard of "political correctness" it went in one corpuscle and out the other.  The occasion of George's bemoanment was an impending dental adventure.  He apparently had no regular dentist, and one was selected on his behalf by his insurance company or a relative or perhaps a dart in the Yellow Pages.  He was going to attend this dentist soon, and the dentist was of the Indian persuasion.  (I'm talking here of the Asian type of Indian, not the "Native American" kind.  George would have bemoaned his fate in the latter case, too, it just wouldn't have made as good a story, as you will shortly see.)

George, I should probably point out, was as real a person as "Rudolfo."  Even more real, in fact, in that George was his actual name.  I have been beyond his retribution for many years, and he is beyond everyone's, so there's no harm in either telling this story or leaving the names of the guilty undisguised.  Here's what happened, somewhat paraphrased:

Me:  George!  What are you whining about?
George:  I have to go to the dentist.  I've never been to him before. 
Me:  Well, he's almost certainly a real dentist.  What's the dig beal?
George:  He's Indian. 
Me:  So?  There are a lot of Indian doctors and dentists here.  They're just as qualified as anyone else.
George: Blah blah blah Indian blah blah incompetent blah blah 
Me:  <Inspiration>George, you're being silly.  Everything will be fine.  Just as long as your dentist isn't Dr. Patel.</Inspiration>

No, I had no idea that George's doctor was, indeed, Dr. Patel.  But you would be giving me entirely too much credit if you considered that sentence and decided that I was trying to comfort George.  In fact, there are lot of Doctors Patel of the Indian persuasion, and although I don't consider myself a "bad person," sometimes temptation overwhelms the most stout of soul.  I could easily have made up a mock-Indian name, or borrowed one that I considered less likely.  In fact, although the odds were that it wasn't Dr. Patel, I kind of hoped that it was. 

It was.  George was light of complexion already. "White as a ghost" doesn't befit the situation, but there was a noticeable increase in albedo and if he were attached to any medical monitoring instruments at that moment he might well have been advised not to go to any dentist for a while.  I was unprepared to carry the jape much further.  Comes from not being a truly bad person, just a somewhat mischievous one.  After enduring Georgian expostulations and seeing his serious concern, I finally admitted that I had nothing on his Dr. Patel and was simply practicing evil. 

I haven't thought much about George in recent years,  but telling this story has refreshed some memories.  I've mentioned that I personally know the world's worst singer.  Well, George may have been the world's worst driver.  Perhaps someday I'll explain why that did not qualify him as a WMD in the service of the USA.

NP:  "Cathy's Clown" - The Everly Brothers

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