Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There's a Hacker, Darn Every Minute

Yesterday I waited for The Pony in the dentist's waiting room while he had his twice-a-year cleaning and inspection. Or, as The Pony might call it, torture. Yes, I waited in the waiting room. It's pretty obvious that's what one is supposed to do in such an area. It's not called the all-you-can-eat buffet room, or the auction-every-Monday room, or the extreme-log-rolling-championship room. A waiting room is for waiting.

The parking lot was full of cars, but only one person sat between me and The Pony and privacy. A woman sat near the restroom and inner sanctum door. The Pony and I chose seats in the opposite corner of the room. That's what normal people do. Perhaps you can sense the direction this tale is taking. If not, feel free to jump to the bottom and read about the point in my new feature: Val's Blog Post For the Reluctant Reader.

The Pony was called back within five minutes. The Waiter was joined by a man and tweenage boy. Apparently, they were all waiting for a similar boy who was already being polished and readied for release. The tweenager inquired as to why he and one adult couldn't just go home. So the Waiter got up and left with him. The man was summoned to the inside counter to grow a long white beard while the anemic appointment-scheduler caught twenty winks. That left me, myself, and Val to rule the room. Revel in solitude for the first time since 5:00 a.m. But not for long.

A new gal came, on decidedly not-little, not-cat feet. She quickly surveyed my kingdom, said, "This looks good," and plopped down in the only cushiony armchair in the place. Which was right beside me, at a 90-degree angle. For those of you who are not friends of Euclid, that means the sitter of that chair faced my side. Were I a football player, and she pursuing me, she would have been the perfect candidate for stiff-arming. I was simply a waiter, though. A waiter in a wait land. A captive with an audience.

Armchairy brought nothing to read. Nothing to pass the time during her wait. She was too involved with sniffling. And hacking out phlegm. And breathing. All within reach of Val's throttling hand. I would not have dared touch her, of course. I could only imagine psychedelic swarms of bacteria and viruses swirling down her shirtfront, sliding over her knees like a waterfall, and beginning a surge towards me. I turned my head as far to the left as I could get it, facing the open door to the entrance hall, and tried to suck in untainted oxygen from that side. It was all I could do to keep from jumping out of my chair and charging across the vast waitland to stop stewing in her juices.

What the not-heaven is wrong with people?


Val's Blog Post For the Reluctant Reader

A coughing woman sat way too close to me in the dentist's waiting room.


  1. That would happen to me from time to time on my daily commute by train. At some point I finally decided that if this person was so rude as to ignore the unwritten rule of not invading ones personal space then I could be equally rude and simply get up and move away.

  2. I've gotten up and moved to another chair in situations like that. Jeezle. Can't they respect other people's "space"?

  3. The nose rot got to her brain. They are everywhere, the hackers and spewers.

  4. That's why they call it hacking: someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a system or network. You might have appeared to be lacking the power to perform physically demanding tasks; lacking physical strength and energy. Next time pull out your mean mom look or your "sit down and pay attention" teacher face when someone tries to invade your invisible boundaries.

  5. I agree with joeh... I'd had gotten up and moved.

  6. joeh,
    It's a different world there. Why, I daresay folks don't even tolerate a strange man ramming his forearm between their butt cheeks in a post office line! You are warriors.

    I thought she might get the hint when I turned my head away and inhaled deeper than not-Bill-Clinton in not-England on a not-pot cigarette.

    She wasn't even there for an appointment! She didn't sign in. Maybe she just wandered in off the street to spread her sickness.

    That explains it. I am definitely weak. You could tie me to a chair with overcooked spaghetti noodles, angel hair, even, and I could not escape. But I DO possess a good stink-eye. It's raising one eyebrow that gets their attention.

    I see. The consensus seems to be that I should run away from my problem people. Or cut through them with my laser-like glare. If I move, the hackers win. If I meet their gaze, they might attack like rabid canines. If I do nothing, I catch the grippe. I, like my options, am exhausted.

  7. I'm not a reluctant reader and prefer the longer version of the story.

  8. Stephen,
    That, sir, is a wise selection. Few words and no play make Val a dull gal.