An Afternoon at a Doctor’s Office

This past Tuesday I drove a friend to his doctor’s appointment.  He has been ailing lately and is quite weak – the weakness mainly caused by a strong antibiotic he has to take for 30 days.  He should eventually be OK.

I hate sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms so I made sure to bring along my Kindle e-reader to help pass the time.  We arrived 15 minutes early for his 2 o’clock appointment, and as he checked in with the receptionist I picked out a chair, sat down and turned on my Kindle.  I was right in the middle of an interesting novel, and had made sure that morning to get the Kindle fully charged.

Instead of showing the most recent page I had been reading,  the screen displayed large milky-white blobs with a few black worm-like squiggles – and at the bottom of the screen I could barely make out the page indication through a grayish haze.

Although this was very odd I wasn’t too alarmed at first.  My Kindle has occasionally misbehaved, but using the Reset process had always restored it to normal operation.  Reset is initiated by pushing the start button, holding it for approximately 15 seconds, then releasing it.

In a few moments through the haze at the bottom I could make out a bar moving from left to right indicating that the reset procedure was working – it looks like software loading.  Then, it appeared  that the reset process had completed because the faint page indication showed up again.

Grr …..The Reset didn’t work!  Still all blobs and squiggles.  So naturally I tried it again …… and again ……   and again – with the same non-result.  I believe it was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome!   😕  So I stopped.  Apparently my Kindle had suffered the mechanical equivalent of an aneurism.

Now I was in panic mode – facing the prospect of an hour or more of sitting there staring into space, or at my hands, or at the floor, totally bored!  But I noticed a low table across the room with two piles of magazines, and another taller table loaded with pamphlets about different diseases.  I rushed over to the magazine table with high hopes of finding something interesting to read to pass the time – only to discover that there were only two kinds of magazines in the stacks.  There were medical magazines full of articles about horrible diseases, and alumni magazines from Johns Hopkins University Medical School.  The doctor is an alumnus of that fine institution and I’m sure he wanted to make everyone aware of the fact.

Naturally I wanted no part of the former – and I definitely stayed away from the pamphlet table – they all just describe horrible diseases and warn you that if you don’t immediately change your lifestyle you’re gonna die; so I grabbed an issue of the alumni magazine.  I barely read my own university’s alumni magazine except for the obituary page to see how many more of my former classmates have bit the dust.  So it took only ten minutes or so before I was totally bored and returned the magazine to the table and went back to my seat to stare into space.

Shortly, after my friend had been called into the doctor’s office, two more patients arrived, checked in and sat across the room from me.  One was a man who appeared to be in his mid-thirties and the other was a very handsome well dressed middle-aged woman carrying two cloth bags, each about the size of the old-time doctor bags, which she placed in the chair next to her.  She immediately started talking to me and the other gentleman.  Note – “talking to” not “talking with”.

She must have been used to speaking to people who were hard of hearing because I believe she could be heard clearly out in the hall or even downstairs in the entrance-way!  And OMG! — her accent — pure whiny nasal New York City!  Think of the character Fran Drescher played in the TV show “The Nanny” some years ago.  I’m a native of Western New York State.  Our accent is unpleasant enough, but I swear if I spoke like that woman I would seriously consider having my voice box removed – or at least remaining mute for the rest of my life!

She proceeded to tell us her life story – a native of New York (what a surprise!) – lived in South Florida for 13 years and couldn’t stand the oppressive  heat and humidity – seriously considering moving back so she could breathe again – she was scheduled for a flight later that evening to inspect some property she owned in New Hampshire – the state of medicine in South Florida was deplorable – she had malignant cancer cells in her urine –  none of the tests were revealing where the problem was – everyone is incompetent – etc., etc., etc.

Then the gentleman was called in to the office and I was left alone with her.  I sat there and started to stare at the floor, hoping that ignoring her would bring an end to her monolog.  And that actually worked.  She was suddenly quiet – and we remained that way for a while – me staring at the floor and her now thankfully quiet.

Then, suddenly I hear her – – “Oh, my sweet little Snookems!  You’re such a sweetiepie!  Mommie just loves you so! ..  “, on and on as if she were speaking to a small child.  And I’m thinking that not only is this woman loud and obnoxious but she is also a certifiable looney toon!  I couldn’t resist raising my head and looking over at her – just as she was reaching into one of the bags on the adjacent chair and  – she lifted out a tiny little dog!  That little ball of fur had been in that little bag all that time!

Naturally she had to tell me all about the dog.  It was a very expensive show dog that she made a lot of money by breeding it.  She told me the breed but I don’t remember it.  It was cute as a button, about six inches tall and maybe nine inches long and perfectly groomed.  She put it down on the floor and told it to demonstrate its competition strut, and I’ll be damned – the little thing began strutting around the room with head and tail perfectly erect – looking just like it was performing before judges at the Westminster Kennel Club!  She told me that it loved being in a bag – that if anyone  put a bag, even a paper bag, on the floor near her she would jump inside it.  Then she demonstrated it.  She put the cloth bag onto the carpet next to her feet and the little ball of fur rushed right over to it and hopped in!

About that time my friend came out and we left.  He had gotten some fairly good news from the doctor and was feeling much better – so we stopped off at a restaurant for  a snack before I took him home.

It had turned out to be an interesting afternoon!

Later that evening I tried some recommendations for fixing my Kindle that I found on a Google search.  None of them worked.  The Kindle was a goner.  So I tossed it in the trash and on Wednesday I went to the mall and bought a Kindle Fire HD tablet – which I like very much.



Filed under Happenings

2 responses to “An Afternoon at a Doctor’s Office

  1. naturgesetz

    Interesting vignette with the lady.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle or some such device for use on trips. I don’t have any more travel planned, but these things seem to come up. Maybe I could also use it for my restaurant book, although it might not be the conversation starter with waitstaff that a real book is. Chances are, knowing myself, that I’ll never get around to actually buying one.

    But still this has me wondering about the longevity of these readers. Are they designed — intentionally or not — so that they’ll only last for a while? Was the failure of yours unusual? How old was it (and how many miles did it have on it)? Were your e-books transferrable to your new Kindle?

    • Ed

      Thanks for the comment. You ask very good questions about the Kindle, or E-readers in general. My responses would have to be too long for the Comments section, so I’ve decided to make it in my next Blog post. This is great because I am having such a problem coming up with things to write about!

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