Doctors and Pricks

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What began with a sneeze ended with statutory rape. No, I’m not referring to my college dating career. All of those beauties were of age, I promise. At least their AARP cards said so. Instead, I’m referring to . . . my childhood doctor.

When I wasn’t old enough to remove my pants before dumping, Mom would drop me off at various hell holes she called “Mother’s Day Out.” Located in the dreary damp basement of local churches and sewage treatment plants, these MDO’s represented a dying breed – young mothers, unafraid to leave their infant or toddler in the care of another woman with only two pieces of information: the kid’s name and the time mommy would (theoretically) return to pick him up. There were no background checks, no ID scans, no references. Only trust kept your child safe. That and a healthy fear of a brutal and public death at the hands of a criminally passionate mother whose child was misplaced or left atop the monkey bars.
I found Mom’s journal chronicling my overt dissatisfaction with those bailment proceedings.

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1978.
Went to MDO today – William does real well there –eats and takes his juice from them but not his milk! He’s so happy to see me when I arrive at the door to pick him up!

Well no hairy shit, Mom. Of course I was thrilled to see you. Those hags were trying to make me drink milk . . . from a carton. Maybe had they tried breast feeding me, things wouldn’t have gone down the way they did. But whatever. Please continue.

. . . Switched to junior foods – some of them taste awful – but William will eat anything! 

This is true – I will eat anything. Well, almost anything. Some of the girls I dated in college…

. . . Dumped one of my plants on himself and rug in bathroom – what a mess, what a surprise – he loved it!

Obviously Mom mistook my potting outrage for playful curiosity. I broke that ceramic pot in protest of MDO. This would be the beginning of a long series of misunderstood behavior.

Thursday, Nov. 9, 1978.
Went to MDO. Had a good time playing with other babies.
Came home, took good nap.
Loves to have company at all times – doesn’t like being walked out on!

Finally caught on, eh Mom? Isn’t that something you should know instinctually? That your seven month-old child abhors being “walked out on!”? But do you, Reader, think she picked up on my subtle rage cues and stopped leaving me at the Oliver Twist factory?

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1978.
Went to MDO. Wore his red velveteen suit – looked so cute.

And so it went. For the next three fucking years! Every Tuesday and Thursday, Mom would slow the car down below 20 mph, open the passenger door and throw my stuffed bunny out so I would chase it. Then, after checking her rear view for side traffic, she pedaled the accelerator to freedom. Sometimes I think I heard her cackle with delight as loose pieces of asphalt pelted my cherub cheeks.

Once inside those germ brothels, alone and dressed like Liberace, I did what many children do: collect disease. Earaches, fevers, coughs, runny nose, bleeding tear ducts. You name it, I had it. From Mom’s diary it appears I was sick for the first five years of my life. Which meant I spent the first five years of my life getting molested by a pedophilic pediatrician. Here’s how that went.

I won’t give his real name, but let’s call him Dr. Fackler. Imagine a creepy Henry Fonda in a white lab coat and wispy ear hair and you’ve got a complete picture of this cock bag. Fackler ran a private clinic in Dallas during the early 80’s. I don’t know what became of him; I checked the local paper for years hoping to see his obit or at best a headline reading “Children’s Doctor Accidentally Falls into Thresher.” But much to my dissatisfaction I never found the closure I’d hoped for. I guess my mail order from John Deere never made it to Fackler’s house. I should check in to that. There are a few people in my life worthy of an “accidental fall” into a combine, but that’s another issue.

Mom picked me up from MDO one afternoon reeking of neroli, apricot blossom, and freedom, the likely aural remnants of a blissful day spent childless. But I blasted any residual feelings of liberty from her mind when I hopped into our shit-brown conversion van with an ear ache. And I didn’t have to tell her I had an ear ache. Oh no. The white cotton balls crammed into my ear canals gave it away.

“I’m taking you to the doctor.” She said. And she did take me, right then and there. No time to question the diagnosis of those unlicensed mole harpies at MDO, her son’s hearing was at stake.

The doctor’s office resided on the second floor of a strip mall. The front door, on the ground level, stood wedged between a jewelry store and Hallmark gift shop. Great location – while your toddler’s nibblets are upstairs getting hand jived, you can peruse diamonds at the jewelry store, then buy your brat a “Get Well Soon” or “Sorry for the Future Therapy” card. As soon as Mom swung the tinted glass door open I could smell streptococcus and Dr. Fackler’s Drakar cologne – both equally repugnant. And the faded mauve wallpaper coating the stairwell, divided at a child’s head level by an outdated border of a repetitive fox hunt scene. I remember the fox being chased – he looked terrified, only feet ahead of a pack of saber-toothed basset hounds and a grouping of abnormally thin men in red coats riding horses. Of course, had I understood metaphors at this age, I might have picked up on Fackler’s subtle warning: We children are like the poor fox, piss-frightened and unable to escape. And Fackler, well, he’d be those fucking hounds – they look so sweet and gentle until a small, defenseless creature passes within range. Then they (the doctor) grow vicious and pedophilic, or something. I’m not sure basset hounds can be guilty of statutory rape, might want to check Wikipedia on that. But Chihuahuas most definitely are.

While Mom filled out paperwork at the counter, I soaked in the view. The hideous mauve managed to seep its way up into the waiting room, only instead of fox death we had a shrine to Winnie the Poo and Tigger. Everywhere I looked that chubby, passively gay bear dilly dallied around with a balloon in one hand and a jar of honey in the other. Meanwhile, the lisping cat performed aerials Cirque du Soliel would find challenging. On the floor – an array of cheap colored plastic and unfinished wood shapes masqueraded as toys. To willingly touch one practically guaranteed you’d be back “on your back” in Fackler’s office next week.

No thanks. I clung to Mom’s hip like a 3-foot tall fanny pack.

“Let go of me, William. Go sit down over there and play while I do this.”

I looked back over my shoulder to “the pit” where a slobbering excuse for a human child squirmed his way next to a bucket containing the only thing capable of stealing my attention in Dante’s office – Matchbox cars. The last bastion of hope, they remained the only toys not dumped onto the mosh pit of communicable disease.
I hurried over, quick to snatch the bucket before Lenny could—


Accompanied by stringy, mustard yellow snot.

That sneeze had some force behind it. No way Lenny’s body returned to static pressure unless he backfired, too. Which he did. The stench of his defecated jumper expanded like a mushroom cloud, pushing victims away in horror.

“Let’s go, William. It’s our—Oh my. That’s horrible.” Mom covered her nose.

I stared back up at her pitifully, a rescue from the city pound. Save me, my eyes plead. And she did. We were whisked behind a large brown door, down a confusing hallway lined with similar wooden doors. As we passed each, I heard voices, some were women, mothers possibly, plying information from the doctor. Other rooms were silent, likely empty. One door, towards the end of this never ending pale linoleum mile, had not been shut tightly. A two-inch gap between door and frame exposed my innocent eyes to a horror I’d not been capable of imagining – needles.

I slowed, feet dragging.

“William, stop that. You’re pulling my arm.”

No shit, woman. That’s kind of the idea. I looked back to the opening . . . no one left in view. I let myself believe for a moment that I probably didn’t see what I think I saw. Perhaps it was not a needle, but a clear pen with an abnormally sharp tip. But the shriek, followed by an audible inhalation of breath, ending with a paint-peeling scream indicated I had, in fact, been correct. Needles are present and they are being used. On children.


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4 Responses to Doctors and Pricks

  1. Charles Jones says:

    Still have the red velveteen suit?

  2. Wife says:

    I agree that Winnie is more “poo” than “Pooh.” That cartoon only creates pu$$ies.

  3. natdog says:

    I have often dreamt that that bastard died slowly.

  4. Dax says:

    “Stringy, mustard yellow snot” — nice.

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