[Just what the Doctor Ordered, 665 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Whenever one questions an absurdity or an obscurity in the pretext of any given situation, there is always a tale to be told behind it. Take, for example, a doctor’s signature. Incomprehensible to most, to the vacant mind it appears to be a squiggle, incomprehensible and illegible writing. A doctor, or at least your general practitioner, spends most of his life diagnosing the common man’s ailments and prescribing a set of medication to relieve and sometimes cure suffering. You would think that having so much time to perfect their signature, they would have at least enabled themselves to make it legible. In contradiction to the sentiment, the truth is actually quite the opposite. For the doctors, in their signature, have quite literally lost their shit in dealing with the absurdity of human nature. And wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you if you were a pillar of the health community, educated to uphold the highest standards of health and regulation, when humanity in itself displayed such an appetite for its own destruction? They maintain as best as they can under the circumstances. However the one affliction that remains to be incurable amongst the human race is stupidity. Always has been and always will be.
The story of how one doctor gained his signature may or may not be a common occurrence. However, Doctor Bob, let’s call him, has a completely legitimately absurd reason for his signature. What does it mean to be legitimately absurd? It means absurd circumstances have produced a completely legitimate response.
For Doctor Bob the tale of his signature began with an epidemic of food poisoning. Almost everyone in the local area was suffering from acute diarrhoea, stomach cramps and bouts of anal leakage. With everyone suffering from the same symptoms, the doctor determined that there had to be a source of the epidemic. And sure enough as he made inquiries, he determined that there was, in fact, a source. A local restaurant. As he questioned further, he found out that all of his patients had ordered and eaten the chicken that was being served there. He told some of his patients to give the feedback to the restaurant so that they would cease the service of the chicken.
And still the epidemic continued. It continued and continued. Slowly his signature was becoming less and less legible. Especially when considering some of the patients were repeat offenders. This prompted Doctor Bob to take direct action and approach the restaurant in person.
Upon visiting the restaurant, Doctor Bob told the head chef, “Mate, you have to stop serving the chicken. It’s making everyone sick.”
To which the head chef responded, “We can’t stop serving the chicken. It’s everyone’s favourite meal. And besides, what do you care, it’s providing you plenty of business.”
Doctor Bob continued to practice as a general practitioner as the epidemic continued. He wanted to understand what was going on here. Patients in a continuous cycle of bouts of anal leakage after eating the tainted chicken. He despised the idea that the illnesses of others were making his profession profitable. With each signature, signing off the prescriptions in increasingly erratic behaviour under the pressures of the madness of searching for reason, he could not find the solution.
Two weeks of signing his signature. The epidemic continued. The chicken continued being served and there was nothing he could do about it. The increase in patients and signing off for medication had created the quickest and most incomprehensible signature he could compose.
And then one day he arrived at an answer. “I guess people just like being sick.” It went against everything that he had been educated to believe and with that and a final scribble of his signature, that was no more than a series of incomprehensible loops at this stage, he signed the last prescription in the chicken food poisoning epidemic of ’84. Was it by coincidence that the chicken ceased being served, or did the chicken exist to perfect his illegible signature?