Friday, April 3, 2009

Close Encounters 2

Yesterday I made mention of one of three patient encounters I have had this week while working in John’s practice. This encounter involved the teeth (or lack thereof) of a patient, a situation to which I immediately related, especially considering the vast quantities of items – keys, cell phone, mind – I temporarily leave behind when in a hurry.

The second patient encounter involved a middle-aged, non-violent, non-threatening man who ventured into the office for his appointment packing heat. For those of you who can’t roll gangsta-style, allow me to humbly interpret those words for you. This gentleman was wearing a HOLSTER ON HIS HIP WITH A VERY LOADED GUN TUCKED INSIDE.

I guess he thought that he might have to resort to violence in order to procure the needed amoxicillin for strep throat. ((This is also sometimes referred to as “bust a cap”. You’re welcome)

The patient was not undercover law enforcement or a bounty hunter or the headmaster of the Christian school my children attend. (Oh, you know that’s funny.) He was just a regular guy, a few years into retirement, who simply prefers to run his errands while completely armed.

Because I am well versed in firearms, I made mention of the “funny looking cell phone case” protruding from the side of Gunsmoke’s hip. “I didn’t realize,” I intelligently commented “that a Blackberry was available in the shape of a gun.”


“That’s my gun,” he replied. “I don’t go anywhere without it, not in this day and time, and not with the recession we’re in and the crime that’s gonna happen because the banks stole everybody’s money.”

Quick as lightning, he pulled his gun from under the velcro strap and offered it to me in a way that – in that split second – confused me into thinking that he was handing me a credit card for his insurance co-payment.

Suddenly, I was holding a loaded gun, WITHOUT A SAFETY, and being instructed by the gentleman to kindly not point it at him.

This is a situation I imagine one doesn’t come across much. I bet the checkout folks at Kroger or TJ Maxx or Starbucks never have been offered a firearm when RATIONALLY expecting payment of some sort.

“See how light it is, little lady?” the man inquired.

“Why I SHORE DO PARDNER,” I replied not out loud, but very out loud in my head.

“Yeah, your, um, gun is, um, .......nice. Does it come in pink?” Really I am astounded at the way I have with words in awkward/bizarre situations.

“I noticed that there isn’t a safety on your gun,” said the very wise and knowledgeable girl known as me. “I am surprised that you can carry a gun FOR ALL TO SEE AND RUN AWAY FROM without some safety mechanism in place.”

“Well, my safety is my finger on the trigger. Don’t make me mad and my finger is safely away form the trigger. Make me mad, then you’re not so safe.”


I made a follow-up appointment with Roy Rogers - twelve years from now – and told him to have a great day.

I found my safety in a good amount of distance between the gun-toting man and me.

The joy of encountering real-life phlegm comes tomorrow. It will make you clear your throat manically for days to come.


Anonymous said...

#1: did he really hand you the gun? #2 how do you know what a safety is??? (i am the grammar police)

Joni said...


You're asking me the EXACT questions John asked me:

1. Yes, he really did hand me the gun. I beleive I wet my pants a little when he did so.

2. I was guessing when I inquired about the safety. His eyes bugged out a little when I was pointing the gun at him which led me to correctly to the summary of my situation. I beleive the man wet his pants a little, too. : )