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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dear Doctor Bean

Dear Doctor Bean,

It was with great sadness that I read about the loss of your beloved Cross Morph Pen when you were making hospital rounds. We all have our "special pens," and to lose one in the line of duty was all the more poignant. I expressed my deepest condolences on your blog at the time.

Imagine my surprise when, a scant month later, I received the same pen in the mail, a present from you, my dear friend and colleague. I was touched. I don't know what prompted this spontaneous act of kindness and generosity. Perhaps, you took pity on me, forced as I was to rely on drug reps to supply their often inferior writing implements. I fear I may never know your true motivations, but I thank you none-the-less.

However, I'm afraid there have been some...unforeseen consequences of this bequeathal. Perhaps you did not really know my nature when you decided, out of the pure goodness of your heart, to spend an ungodly amount of money (plus shipping) on this gift. You may not have been aware, for example, of the inverse relationship between the value of a pen, and the time it takes for me to lose it.

You may also not have been aware of the intense jealousy that my wife has of any possession of mine that is both valuable and capable of being used for writing. Nor that even as I was unwrapping the pen from the enormous box in which it was shipped (and which she had originally assumed contained another one of those science fiction DVD's that I usually hide from her in the basement where she will never find them), she was already hatching a plan for pinching the pen and claiming it as her very own.

You were not aware of these things, but I surely was. And so I thought, "How can I hold on to this pen, and not lose it, or forget it somewhere on a desk, or leave it in the pocket of my pants, or the seat of my car?" And at the same time, I had to make sure that it was never visible in plain sight at home, lest my nefarious spouse have the opportunity to confiscate it.

My Lab Coat! Of course! I could put it in the pocket of my Lab Coat. But again, this was not as simple as it seemed. For the sad truth, that you could not have guessed, was that I never wore my Lab Coat. How could you know this? All you see of me is my Yahoo! Messenger icon, which looks like this:

So of course, you would assume that I wore a lab coat. But I don't. I prefer simple shirt-sleeves and a tie. And sadly, no, it is not because I try to make the patients feel more comfortable. I do it for my comfort alone. I get too shvitzy in the lab coat.

But I needed the Lab Coat in order to keep the pen safe! And so I dug it out from it's place of hiding behind some old shirts, a pair of pants with frayed cuffs, and a sweater that makes me look fat. I didn't know when I had last worn it. But it still had several drug pens, some old patient lists, and the wrapper from a Kit Kat bar in the pockets. And I put it on, and gingerly placed the new Cross Morph Electric Blue pen with the adjustable rubber grip into the front breast pocket. And I wore the coat for the next several days.

Oh, it was hard. I had to watch myself every second of the day. I would take the pen out, that was no problem. But putting it back! I would sometimes forget and put it in my shirt pocket anyway! And sometimes I would take the coat off, to go to the bathroom, for instance, and forget to put it back on! And then I would have nothing in my pocket to write with! It was beyond stressful. And let us not forget, coming home, I would have to quickly hang up the Coat on the hook behind the door, and then quickly cover it with my overcoat, before my wife could see it. I was living a double life! Praying that she would not find out what I was doing! The shame of it all!

Well, one day, I noticed that the coat was looking...grayer than usual. It had the air of having traveled too much. It needed to be cleaned. I decided that if the deed were to be done, it would best be done quickly, and by none but myself. I emptied out the pockets, took out the old parking permits and the St. Francis dictation instruction card, and put them carefully in a basket. I took out, too, 6 pens from various pockets, including the delicate Cross Morph Electric Blue Pen with its velvety smooth black ink.

I surreptitiously snuck down the stairs and into the laundry room. I put the now empty coat into the washing machine, and threw in a few pairs of underpants for good measure, and started the wash cycle.

Woe unto me! For in my haste I had erred gravely! There were not six pens in my pockets on that fateful day! There were SEVEN! And that seventh pen wreaked a mighty havoc on my coat and the few pairs of underpants!

Ruined! Ruined! In my selfish need to keep the pen all to myself, I had ruined the one innocent thing that should have meant so much more to me! And it will cost about $30 to replace.

So if you'd just, uh, fork it over...


Psycho Toddler


Ayelet said...

Man! You may be, um, eccentric but you sure as hell can write! Oh, and make me laugh the kind of laugh one does while shaking his head. I love that laugh.

Doctor Bean said...

I've ruined everything.

I should tell you at this point that I didn't buy the pen directly from Cross. It was given to me by a man who'd lost his whole family in a horrible thumb-tack accident. He was rambling about "the morph curse" and that it writes just fine though he hadn't ever refilled it and that he has nightmares whenever he sleeps with it in the same room. I thought he was nuts, so I took the pen and soon thereafter drove my car into a tree.

Good luck.

Stacey said...

I am LMAO! (This was the most hilarious thing you have ever written)!!

And dammit, I am also craving a Kit Kat right now. Thanks.

Gunny Walker said...

"How can I hold on to this pen, and not lose it, or forget it somewhere on a desk, or leave it in the pocket of my pants, or the seat of my car?"

Two words: Super Glue, buddy, Super Glue.

wanderer said...

Don't lose sight of the most important issue.

You still have the pen, and Mrs. Balabusta doesn't.

All is not ruined!

queeniesmom said...

Thank you!! My sides hurt from laughing. It was just what I needed as I gear up for a very stressful 2 weeks.

PsychoToddler said...

Thank you all for your gracious words of support. I shall endeavor to hold my head up--high.

Gunny Walker, I am already using super glue.

Essie said...


Ralphie said...

Sounds like there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Ralphie said...

You might need to talk to this guy.

Tzipster91 said...

I started the school year with a couple of black pens and about six blue ones. The blue ones tended to get moved/lost/misplaced/put into my backpack instead of the shoulder bag I use to carry stuff from classroom to classroom/thrown into time warps/eaten by suicidical monkeys, but I have one black pen that has stayed with me for several months now. I take it out of the pocket of my bag when I need it, and, at the end of class, I PUT IT BACK!!! Maybe you should try to do that with your blue pen too. You could check before you leave whatever room you are in/enter a different room to make sure you still have it with you. Then, if you realize that you don't, you will know where the last place you had it was. Or, you could bronze it and hang it above your mantlepiece.

Eli said...

My precious, thiving hobitses took it!

Mrs. Balabusta said...

Let us first of all set the record straight once again:

1. I know about those DVD's in the basement, because I pay the credit card bills. Why don't you tell your friends that you own the entire boxed set of Space 1999 on VHS! Don't look so hot now, do you?

2. I have my own pens. You know how I get them. I pick them up after you drop them in a chair, in the bathroom, and IN THE LAUNDRY. Recently, I acquired my own perfect pen which I got from an office supply vendor who for some reason, when he found out I was a nurse, gave me an arthritis pen. (I don't get it either, but the pen is good).

3. If you practice more at doing the laundry, you might get good at it. I bought some more Spring Fresh Bleach ($1.98).

4. I mentioned that when you graduated medical school I bought you an engraved Cross pen, which you promptly lost. When I pulled it out of your shirt in the laundry chute, I put it in my desk "for safekeeping" as I tell my kids, "until you're old enough to take nice care of nice things". Still waiting, there it sits. You, on the other hand, forgot all about it.

5. Lastly, try not to be too smart. If there was something in your pocket I really wanted - how long do you think it would take me? The last gift he got me was a pill box with an alarm clock built right in, I think there is a blog about that somewhere. I also have a coffee cup from AndroGel but I digress.

PsychoToddler said...

Why don't you tell your friends that you own the entire boxed set of Space 1999 on VHS! Don't look so hot now, do you?

Just the first season. Season 2 SUCKED. Everyone knows that.