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Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard


It began with soreness in the back of my throat on the right side. “Drainage, again” I thought to myself. As a perpetual sinus sufferer, this was nothing new to me. So I did what I always do at the first sign of any nasal activities. I took over the counter medication and didn't think any more of it. Usually it'll take a day or two then whatever it is that's invaded my nose will go away, but not this time. What I thought was just sinus turned into a full blown cold, and there was no sign it was getting better. The day after I went through four boxes of tissues in one day, I knew it was time to break down and see the doctor.

Early on a Saturday morning I went to the urgent care clinic. I walked in, went to the check in window, told them why I had arrived, and was given paperwork to fill out. Many people wanted to get in and get out early, so the place was full of about six or seven other people in various states of misery. I scanned the room and looked for a seat that was near the least populated area, then claimed it as my own. I began going over the paperwork, praying that I could remember all the various details of my medical data. It'd be a shame if I forgot I was allergic to something, then ended up running around town forcing people to listen to me sing “Heart of Glass” because I took the wrong meds.

As I sat there working on the paperwork, I heard the door open, and I looked up to see an interesting couple walk in. They were older people, she had one of those odd haircuts that makes you question who told her that it was a good idea. He, well, he looked like an overly tan, sleazy version of Marvel comics impresario Stan Lee. His hair was thinning on the top, so he had grown it out on the sides to compensate. He wore dark sunglasses, with a button up shirt on with the upper three buttons undone. This was not the Stan Lee type you'd expect to see cameo in an Avengers movie. This was the Stan Lee that drove a windowless van and handed out Spider-Man comics laced with narcotics.

Creepy Stan Lee had the cadence of Jack Nicholson, but not the voice. It was an accent of a distinctly northern origin, but deep and husky. He'd sometimes let the ends of his words linger as he talked to the nurse at the reception desk. “Heyyyyy” he'd begin, “I was here last week and-uhhhhhhh, I'm still not over this, thinggggggg, whatever it is.” He'd try to joke as he got more paperwork to fill out “Ohhhhhh, I love paperwork. Guess I get a car at the end of thisssssssss?” Sleazy Lee then began to find his seat in the waiting room, he was walking in my direction, and I began praying with all my might that he wouldn't sit next to me. Thankfully, at the last moment, he turned left, and sat four seats down from me.

Just four seats down, his presence was still un-nerving. “Heyyyyyy, what is it with this co-payyyyyy?” I could hear him say, while his lady friend spoke in a thick, southern accent, and did her best to explain the world of medicine to him. After turning my own paperwork in, I was thankful that I was quickly called back to see the doctor. Turns out it wasn't so much a cold as much as it was a sinus infection, I was given a regiment of steroids and antibiotics to take, which means I am now qualified to run for Governor of California (whooo! I'll be here all week, folks!). Slowly, but surely, I began to return to normal, and quickly forgot of creepy Stan Lee.

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