Letters from the road: Encounter with Professor Stoolsworth

Hey Reid! Good morning! I am in Santa Rosa, California — again. Santa Rosa is to me what Lodi was to John Fogerty. I have an appointment this morning to get the staples taken out of my legs. Will they still be able to call me zipperlegs after the staples come out? (They = the two people who have used that nickname at my behest.) Only time will tell.

Anyway, I’m at a coffee place. I needed to pee this morning, but a dude was hogging the bathroom. When he came out after about 15 minutes it smelled terrible and he looked like an aging extra from the movies Swingers. In fact I think he’d been in there for the last sixteen years since the movie’s theatrical release. You can find an extremely accurate rendition of him above.

It’s a busy day here in the doctor’s office. My 9:30 appointment has had me sitting here for almost an hour and a half, and I have yet to — never mind. It’s 11:44 now, and halfway through that last sentence the nurse came in and removed my staples. If I’d known how easy it was I would have gone down to Sears, bought the medical plier tool (I assume you can get it there), and saved myself a heapin’ helpin’ of trouble and money by removing the staples myself.

The dogs were supposed to visit the vet earlier today, but I had to reschedule because the doctor appointment thing ran long. So now I’m hanging out at another coffee place where I think they roast the beans over burning motor oil. Three older women at the table next to me are comparing designs for a cartoon character — for a kid’s book? — saying things like “Now I know big eyes are ‘in’ right now, but they won’t always be.” I feel too judgmental; I need to stop listening in on their conversation.

Recently Flink was telling me how he overheard a couple people working on a screenplay for a cop thriller, and one guy was describing the protagonist: “He’s like, he’s just like — he’s getting too old for this shit is how he feels!” And the other was like “Yes! Exactly!” And it was apparently a major breakthrough for them. And at first Flink spoke critically of them, but then his dining partner observed how much fun these two were clearly having, and Flink felt bad for his criticality. And I feel similarly. These people are clearly having a lot of fun.

And also this morning one of the people you can meet in downtown Santa Rosa was the dude with stitched-up and pig-scarred legs prancing around in front of a locked bathroom door. I worry that my cynicism comes from the narcissism of small differences.

Click to embiggen.

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