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Wrong number

Agriculture.com Staff 05/13/2009 @ 3:18pm

The other day I was trying to call the clinic for an appointment to have my knee looked at. I've been whining and gimping around for about three months, which apparently some people don't find all that charming, so I agreed to see a doctor. I figured I'd go to the clinic, they'd do a bunch of tests, I'd use up my insurance deductible and they'd tell me it would feel better in a few months. I just tried to think of it as my own little stimulus package.

When our kids were little, I had every emergency-type number memorized, but now a days I go to the doctor about once every two years, unless I'm working with sharp tools or chain saws, so I had to look up the phone number.

I ran my finger down the list in the phone book, found it and dialed.

A voice said, "This is Larry."

I know everyone who answers the phone at the clinic and there is no Larry.

I looked at the phone book again and realized I'd dialed the wrong number. I saw which number I'd dialed and luckily, I had made a fool of myself to someone who knows me, so it would be no great shock.

I said, "Larry, this is Brent Olson and I had absolutely no reason to call you."

"Yeah, I wasn't going to call you, either," he said.

"Nothing personal," I said. "I was trying to call the clinic. You probably can't help me."

""Well," he said helpfully, "I do have some rubber gloves here."

Larry's a pretty smart guy, but I wasn't sure I was willing to transfer my medical issues to him just because he had some rubber gloves. I was hoping for someone with some sort of credentials.

"I hurt my knee," I said.

"Sorry," he said, "I'm not up to the 'Ks' yet."

"Thanks, anyway," I said.

I hung up, laughing. I'm so impressed with people who are quick-witted, who can say just the right thing at the right time. Sometimes just having the right comment at the tip of your tongue can save a lot of trouble down the road -- a little clarity in communication can keep someone from making a very bad mistake.

For instance, one young couple we know was at the house of an elderly couple and they were all having drinks in the kitchen. Sitting around the kitchen table, the old guy drained his glass and set it down. He looked at the empty glass, looked at his wife, and tapped the rim of the glass twice. She leaped to her feet and scurried around the kitchen making him a fresh drink.

Now the young man has been married a while, but perhaps not quite long enough. He drained his own glass and looked across the table at his sweet young wife. He smiled at her and she smiled at him.

Then she leaned forward and said, "Not even in your wildest dreams, Buster."

He got his own drink and while he was up, he made one for her, too.

Copyright 2009 Brent Olson

The other day I was trying to call the clinic for an appointment to have my knee looked at. I've been whining and gimping around for about three months, which apparently some people don't find all that charming, so I agreed to see a doctor. I figured I'd go to the clinic, they'd do a bunch of tests, I'd use up my insurance deductible and they'd tell me it would feel better in a few months. I just tried to think of it as my own little stimulus package.

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