Saturday, September 20, 2014

Scapegoat 2268

One of the perks of being Hick's wife is that I am also his social secretary.

Oh, don't go thinking that Hick is in demand for speaking engagements, award ceremonies, or state dinners. Nope. But he HAS been a subject for every medical procedure known to man. I suppose the highlights were that time he had a titanium plate screwed to his cervical vertebrae, just before which the surgeon informed him that he had a really fat neck. And the time he was flipped upside down on a tilt table and vibrated, in an effort to solve a problem with his inner ear. I swear. Those doctors would have had an easier time solving a problem with Maria, the flibbertigibbet, the will-o'-the-wisp, the clown.

Every evening when I get home, I bump down the thermostat, put my feet up in Hick's La-Z-Boy, and listen to the phone messages. I'm not obsessed or anything. But if I don't, there's a light on that phone that, unlike little Cindy Lou Who's Christmas tree light, has no problem lighting on one side. It flashes until the message is listened to. That means the phone beside New Delly in my dark basement lair also flashes. It's enough to give me a seizure to rival that of Kramer every time he heard Mary Hart's voice on Entertainment Tonight.

Thursday there was a call from Hick's regular doctor's office, reminding him of his appointment Friday afternoon. He goes every month for a B12 shot, due to his pernicious anemia. So the girl says the appointment time, and then says, "You have a balance of twenty-two dollars and sixty-eight cents, so be sure you bring money with you." Like a person in this day and age runs around like a celebrity, no cash, no checks, no credit cards.

Ain't THAT a fine how-do-you-do? I found it rather odd. Almost as off-putting as a Casey's clerk running out to accuse a matronly woman waiting for her son to pay for her gas of being a drive-off.

When he got home, I reminded Hick of his appointment. "Oh, and they said you owe twenty-something dollars, so bring money. It seems like I just sent them a check. I don't know how your have a balance due."

"Huh. That's stupid! You can bet I'm going to let them know about it!" Hick was displeased a few years ago when the office staff done him wrong in some facet or another. He complained to the Doc himself, who said that was not going to happen anymore. I suppose Hick is lucky that nobody has shot an air bubble into an artery yet. Snitches get medical glitches is the word on the street.

This morning I asked Hick if he paid his balance at the doctor. "Yes. I told the gal about that message, too. I said, 'And boy was my wife PISSED!'"

"What? You blamed that on ME? I wasn't even mad. I just told you that I thought I'd paid it. It was an odd amount, a few dollars and change for that part of your shot that's not covered, not twenty dollars. I just don't see how you can owe that much when you pay for an office visit every time."

"Last time, I didn't pay the twenty dollar copay because their card scanner didn't work. So it was their fault I had a balance. They couldn't take my payment." Never mind that Hick always has walking-around money that he skims from his weekly gas allowance, and uses for flea markets, Goodwill, and the auction. Guess his health wasn't a good enough reason to cough up a twenty and ask me for it thirty minutes later.

Sooo...Big Bad Hick didn't want to show his butt (so to speak) while he was there getting a shot, so he blamed the outrage on ME. At no time had he mentioned the unscanned debit card over the last 30 days.

I think he was setting me up to look like a crazy woman, lest I decide to call and report him for eating donuts.


  1. Am I the only one dying to see a picture of Hick? I'm curious how it would match the image in my head.

  2. What's the significance of the number 2268?

  3. Val, be careful, be very careful when you go to the doctor for your flu shot. They may jack the charges or your arm.

  4. If I were you, I watch out for that air bubble next time you have a doctor appointment.

  5. Catalyst,
    Hick doesn't need to hear that. He will want his own reality show like that Mick Dodge guy on the National Geographic channel. Who looks faker than fake to me. At least Hick is the real deal.

    We try to keep Hick under wraps. Maybe I can give a teaser, just to whet your appetite for more. Kind of like Wilson on Home Improvement.

    Some might assume it's the 2268th time I've been Hick's scapegoat. Others who take pride in their Olympic-level reading comprehension would say it refers to the balance of $22.68 on Hick's doctor account.

    Ho ho ho! The joke's on them. I don't even go to Hick's doctor. They'll have to find another way to eliminate Val.

    My doctor and I are on good terms. Even though he strong-armed me into what I feel was some unnecessary surgery at the end of the summer. And after I gave him two books with my stories last year! HE is the one who needs to watch out.

    Clearly, you have never heard Val pissed. When it actually happens, there will be no doubt. You will hear it all the way in New Jersey, even under the influence of several dirty-water cocktails.