Alex found a seat in the corner of the waiting room and hobbled over on his crutches, turned and eased himself into the chair. After gauging the time he may have to wait by the crowded room, he leaned over and grabbed a magazine from the rack next to him.
“Hey mister, what happened to your nose?” Johnny’s loud voice broke through Alex’s concentration on the article he had found while waiting in the office for his turn to see the doctor. All eyes turned to Alex expectantly as Johnny’s mom rushed to suppress her overtly curious son, her face showing obvious embarrassment, “I’m so sorry sir,” she said, then to Johnny, “Leave the gentleman alone, Johnny. It’s none of your business,” as she ushered him back to their seat in the waiting room.
Peering over the bandage on his nose, Alex chuckled “It’s all right, I don’t mind if I tell him what happened. It’s really quite funny when you think about it. I sprained my ankle and broke my nose when God was teaching me a lesson last week about allowing the telephone to control my life.”
“God beat you up?” Johnny asked, not sure if he should be mad or glad God taught this man a lesson.
The entire office burst into laughter as they listened in on this conversation. “Not quite,” Alex was laughing along with everyone else. “Here’s what happened,” he paused to find the right words. “My wife and I were sitting down with our five children for dinner, when the phone rang. We jumped from our seats and raced for the receiver in the other room tripping over each other and the dog in order to be the one to answer. You see, we were all expecting a call from someone. I was winning too, until I tripped on my shoelace and everyone fell on top of me. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the emergency room with my wife looking over me with a silly smirk on her face. I could see that she thought the situation was funny. ‘Just what were you trying to prove?’ She asked me.”
“What did you tell her?” Johnny asked as though this were a type of adventure right out of a Huckleberry Finn novel.
“I couldn’t think of a thing to tell her,” Alex frowned, “I am not sure I ever answered her, in fact.”
The nurse called, “Alex Jacobs, the doctor will see you now,” interrupting the story. “Come with me please.”
Alex followed the nurse to a room just outside the waiting area where she took his blood pressure and temperature. “I couldn’t help overhearing your story, it was fascinating,” she said, “Did you ever find out who it was that was calling?”
Redness crept up Alex’s neck to his face, “Actually, my wife told me it was a telemarketer.”
“So, did you learn your lesson?” The nurse was now laughing.
“I sure hope so. I couldn’t let that thing ring without answering its call, no matter who was on the other end. From now on, I am letting Lois pick up.”
“Who is Lois?”
“Lois is the name the kids and I affectionately call our new receptionist, the answering machine.”
They laughed as he hobbled down the hall to where his doctor was waiting to see him.
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