Dr. Paul appears to be in his mid forties. He has a nice round face, usually covered with a light beard, but not today. Having not seen him for six months he appears to have lost weight and looks younger and more jovial. He greats Grumpy with a, “What can I do for you today?” just as cordially as if he asked, “Do you want fries with that?”
Grumpy answers, “My annual physical, Doc!” knowing well that these appointments are booked well in advance and duly noted on his chart. Grumpy will go with the flow considering he’s sitting half-naked on the edge of the examination table with a towel draped across his lap.
The door clicks behind Doctor Paul, but to Grumps, the sound is as foreboding as a squeaking door from Tales from the Crypt.
Dr. Paul quickly slides into a chair and begins pecking at the keyboard that rests in front of his computer monitor.
“Let’s begin by updating your file,” he says.
Grumpy quickly recognizes that the “Dreaded 50 Questions”, otherwise known as the grand inquisition, is about to begin. His private life is about to be exposed like an open wound. The question is whether he tells the whole truth or nothing but the truth. Everything will depend on the question, he suspects!
Most of these questions have been asked before and require either a “yes” or “no” response until, of course, the Doctor delves to the “iffy” grey areas.
For example, “How many alcoholic drinks do you have in a week?”
“Oh, five or six,” Grumpy says, in a manner that is so well rehearsed he suspects even the Pope would believe him. After all, there were several weeks in the year where five or six drinks would be the appropriate response. Grumpy can’t remember if this would be one of them. No matter.
“Any trouble getting or maintaining an erection?”
“Only when I have more than six drinks,” Grumpy offers.
Peering over his spectacles, Dr Paul gives that look only first grade teachers are licensed to express.
“Ah, no problems there,” the chastised patient whispers.
“Have you ever had a bowel movement that looks like coffee grounds?”
Grumpy has the feeling that Ashton Krushner is somewhere in the wings about to leap into the room, just as Old Grumps is about to hammer the good Doc with a roundhouse right.
“No!” is his more appropriate and less violent response. Just the same, his eyes scan the room looking for Ashton’s hiding place, or at very least, a hidden camera.
Rising from the chair with a slow turn Doctor Paul says, “Swing your legs over the end of the table”, indicating that this examination is about to become hands on. The touchy feely part is about to begin.
Grumpy tears the paper sheet that covers the table when he twists around on his fat ass. He scrambles to tuck the shredded paper bits under his butt, hoping the Doctor doesn’t notice.
A light tap with a rubber mallet and Grump’s right leg jumps as if zapped with an electric shock. Three hits on the left knee and his leg dangles there like a side of beef in a slaughter house. Grump’s is thinking, “My God, I’ve had a stroke and wasn’t even aware of it!” The fourth hit, taken with an extended back swing, finally gets that old leg to twitch.
When the Doc shines his light into Grumpy’s ears he remarks, “You can tell your mother that your ears are clean!”
It seems as if the Doc’s bedside manner includes lame attempts at humor. Grumpy knows better. He’s just setting the stage for further indignities.
The Doctor’s, “You can lie on your back now”, sets Grumpy’s heart to racing. There is no turning back now, except, of course, in a literal sense.
The Doc pushes and probes the abdomen like he’s kneading bread dough. Grumpy knows he has sufficient quantities to feed the throngs who came to hear the Sermon on the Mount. Then, as Dr. Paul probes the liver area, Grumpy awaits the Doc’s surprised expression when he discovers the organ is bigger than the six drink minimum suggested by his patient. When there is no obvious reaction, Grumps resolves that a few more drinks a week probably won’t hurt him.
Doctor Paul’s hand slides to the towel and pulls it down slightly. His warm hand rests on the lower abdomen in a precariously intimate position. Grumpy hopes the man-scaping he performed has left the area in a pristine condition.
Before he can say, “EEEK!”, the Doctor says cough, and the hernia examination is done for another year. It goes without saying that our Grumps turned away in order that there was no hope of eye contact.
“Now for your favorite part of the examination,” the Doctor jokes.
Grumpy has heard the speech before and, before the Doctor can say it again, he rolls on his side to face the wall, pulls down his boxers and draws his knees up to his chest. He remembers when “mooning” someone used to be fun and the “pressed ham” was one of his specialties. He sees no humor in his current situation. In fact, he gets that icy feeling in his sphincter, the one you get when you witness someone like Johnny Knoxville push a needle through his scrotum.
The snap of the rubber gloves has Grumpy shutting his eyes and counting backward from one hundred. You see, he once had a dentist who used this hypnotic technique in lieu of Novocain. No matter that the same Dentist was charged with molesting female patients. Jim is confident Doctor Paul is heterosexual.
“Ok, Mr. Grumpy, this may cause some discomfort,” Doctor Paul suggests. Grumpy remembers that Doctor Paul talks to him throughout this entire procedure. It’s as if the good Doc himself must yammer away to avoid his own nervousness.
“Ok, I’ going to sweep the colon,” he says matter-of-factly. Sweeping away, he decides to add, “Feels good there!”
Well, that depends on your perspective. It feels as if he stretched Grumpy’s anus to the diameter of a birth canal. He wants to shout, “You didn’t tell me you were going to reach up to touch my tonsils, you pervert!”
The Doctor’s rap doesn’t skip a beat. “Now, I’ll just feel for the prostrate. Good size, very supple. Feels as if everything is in good condition!”
Grumpy wants to proudly tell him that he tries to use that gland whenever possible, often taking matters into his own hand. Problem is, his eyes and mouth are shut so tight the only thing that emanates from his mouth is a highly inappropriate,
And just like that, Bing-bodda-boo-bodda bing, the digital exam is over. The fickle finger of fate has done its job once more.
The next thing Grumpy knows, he’s dressed, sitting in a chair and talking to the Doc as if they were old friends chewing the fat over a cold beer. Thank God the Doc didn’t pull out a cigarette or the whole ambiance of the moment would be lost.
Grumpy is happy he’s passed the annual physical with flying colors. As he waddles to his car, trying to ignore the tingling in his posterior, he wonders why so many men are afraid, or unwilling to get these annual examinations. Maybe he’ll write about it, he’s thinking. There has to be some humor in all of this. In fact, to get his point across in a humorous way, he’ll make himself the “butt” of the joke.