Hick received a call from his doctor's office this evening. He only picked it up because he happened to be walking by the phone at the time, to awaken a napping Genius and goad him into helping Hick unload his truck so he had room to haul more junk. More about that another day. I couldn't help overhear the confidential medical record conversation. Seems Hick had dropped in to the doctor's office to give some blood for a lab test while he was on vacation. The results were not good. They were SO not good, in fact, that Hick came home telling me that the staff could not even give him a result. The measurement was off the charts. That's when he confessed to not taking one of his medications on a regular basis. The doctor sent him down to the hospital lab a couple towns over for further testing.
Tonight's call was to alert Hick to the fact that his lab results were in, and everything was JUST FINE. He questioned the messenger. "So I'm going to live? Huh." How come the office results showed that he was whistling past the graveyard, knocking on Death's door, and barging right in while Death was still slipping into his Grim Reaper uniform? Of course they had no explanation. But Hick and his informant made plans for him to drop in and discuss renewing prescriptions at the end of the week. You'd have thought he was planning the Invasion of Normandy, or that my mom and I were planning a rendezvous to exchange leftovers, such was the intricate dance of details bandied about over the land lines.
It's not that I wanted to eavesdrop on Hick's health details. I couldn't avoid them. Not with a pillow pressed firmly over my head (no doubt a long-running fantasy of Hick's), not with jet-engine headphone ear-protectors, not with my ear canals hermetically sealed with soundproof cement. Hick is a telephone loud-talker. I'm sure you all know one. A person who has not yet entered the golden age of information.
A telephone lets a person miles away from you hear your voice. It's magical. You don't have to shout so they can hear you through the compression waves that sound uses to travel through air. There's a talky thing that converts your voice so it goes through a wire and comes out a heary thing on the other end! You'd think Hick would be aware of this newfangled technology. But he's not. He's like that neighbor...of Doolittle Lynn, when Doo took Loretty out of Butcher Holler and moved her clear across the country to Washington state, where she sat on the front porch of their shack with her two toddlers, kicking the washing machine, writing songs on that guitar Doo bought her instead of a wedding ring...who had to walk to the edge of the field and yell that Loretty's mommy had called to say her daddy died. That's because Loretty didn't have a phone. Thus the hollering. It's not necessary with a phone. Not even with a tin-can-and-twine phone like we made as kids.
I won't go on about the mechanisms and physics involved with cell phones. But I WILL tell you that you do not want to be closed up in a Tahoe with Hick when he talks on one.