When Dr. von Kraeusen boasted that he was a votary of the cult of pain, all kinds of bells, sirens, and whistles went off in Kickapoo’s head, warning Kickapoo to be suspicious of this physician, So he tried the low key approach.
“I’m not seriously injured, and a couple of aspirins and some fresh air will put me back on my feet in no time,” Kickapoo said with a calculated nonchalance.
Dr. von Kraeusen brushed off Kickapoo’s suggestion as if it were a pesky insect. Then he informed Kickapoo that he would give him a thorough examination. He began by asking Kickapoo to cough.
Then von Kraeusen said, “Cough again.” And Kickapoo did.
The jovial doctor squinted an eye, pressed a hairy ear against Kickapoo’s chest, and said, “Cough again.”
And Kickapoo coughed once more.
“How long have you had that cough?” von Kraeusen said as he gave Kickapoo a gentle slap on the cheek.
When the examination had been completed, von Kraeusen broke out in uncontrolled laughter. When the fit had subsided, he put his arm around Kickapoo and said, “My friend, in 35 years of medical practice I have never seen a worse case of post-nasal drip.”
Kickapoo breathed a sigh of relief and replied, “Oh, thank God. At least I don’t have bad breath, body odor, ring-around-the-collar, the heartbreak of psoriasis, irregularity, erectile dysfunction, dandruff, or nail fungus.”
Dr. von Kraeusen shook his head and said, “You silly goose, you are making the common mistake of confusing Madison Avenue’s Seven Deadly Sins with medical conditions. It’s possible that you are in denial and grasping for any straw that is afloat. Your case is advanced and fatal. You have only three weeks to live.”
“Are you sure about that? I have never heard of anyone dying because of post-nasal drip,” Kickapoo opined.
“That’s because the government is keeping it secret. Can you imagine the panic that would ensue if the general populace knew how fatal post-nasal drip is? I am in this country because I have reduced the practice of medicine to an exact science. Everyone, no matter the symptoms, is suffering from post-nasal drip, which is the sole cause of all human misery. You are fortunate that you are in my hands, young man, because there is only one chance for you,” von Kraeusen said, smiling.
“And what is that?” Kickapoo asked with not a little interest.
“I must perform vivisection on you, the sooner the better.”
“Oh no, I refuse that treatment. I have read ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau,’ and I know what happens when vivisection is performed on a living creature. I’m getting my clothes and leaving right now,” Kickapoo announced.
Before Kickapoo could act on his resolve, von Kraeusen summoned two orderlies whose names were Rogaine and Minoxidil. “Strap him to the gurney and take him to Room 101,” von Kraeusen told the orderlies. Since they looked to be stronger than the world’s strongest drug-free man, Kickapoo realized that resistance was impossible. And his Swiss Army Knife was in the closet with his clothes.
“Oh no, not Room 101!” Kickapoo screamed. “Not Room 101!”
“Yes, Room 101. We are going to Room 101,” chanted Rogaine and Minoxodil in unison as they danced happily around the gurney.
As the two hulking bullies wheeled Kickapoo to Room 101, he had the presence of mind not to panic. Instead, he recalled the day in English 101 he told Prof Markem that he had nothing to write about. Prof Marked had said, “Necessity is the mother of brainstorming.” Kickapoo realized that Markem was right, and he visualized a blank sheet of paper and began to list all of the possibilities he could think of. One by one he crossed them off until only one was left, and it was the perfect answer to his problem.
So when he arrived at Room 101, he said to the cheerful, smiling von Kraeusen, “There is something important you should know: I have no health insurance of any kind.”
Instantly the physician’s smile vanished, He glowered at Kickapoo and said, “That’s a very bad joke, Son.”
“No, it’s true I tell you. You can check my billfold. I have no insurance,” Kickapoo stated with glee.
“I can do better than that,” the determined physician said, and he pulled a cellphone out of his pocket. “I can call the CIA.”
After a brief, muffled conversation, von Kraeusen turned to Rogaine and Minoxodil and said, “Throw him into the street.”
The next thing Kickapoo knew he was flying through the air. He landed ignominiously on his buttocks, rocked back and forth a couple of times, and fell flat on the pavement.
“And don’t you ever come back, you cheapskate, you piker, you deadbeat, you miserable freeloader, you Mickey Mouse de Sade!” Von Kraeusen yelled.
The next thing Kickapoo knew his street clothes hit him squarely in the face. In haste he grabbed his Swiss Army Knife, selected the pepper spray option, aimed it at von Kraeusen, and pulled the trigger. Nothing.
Then he quickly activated the Taser and pulled the trigger. Again nothing.
The evil von Kraeusen had sabotaged Kickapoo’s Swiss Army Knife.
Dr. Logsdon is the much-loved English professor who has inspired students at Western Illinois University and Eureka College for many years. He lives in Eureka with his wife, Mary, and writes a weekly story for the Woodford County News Bulletin.