The Return of the Ugly Fish

“I have good news for you, Mr. Miller.”

This came from Dr. Templar, my retinal specialist yesterday.  For those of you who have been following my latest health concerns and issues, you know that I am currently suffering from massive hemorrhages in the blood vessels in my eyes, and to reduce the swelling in those tiny capillaries, I must undergo several medicinal injections straight into my eyeballs.

Yeah, I know you just winced at me.  Trust me, I winced when I read that paragraph out loud.

“After your initial injections, the swelling inside your eyes has reduced significantly.”

Well, that is good news, Doctor.

“You’ll still need some more injections, the medicine is definitely working, but you’re on the road to recovery.”

Drops of an antibiotic in my eye.  My left eye stings, my vision is a filtered amber.  Another injection.  Ungh.  They don’t get any easier.  Or less painful.  Or less complicated.

“You can sit in the waiting room now,” Dr. Templar said.  “We’ll schedule you for another few weeks for your right eye.”

Okay, okay… at least there was no black bubble in my eyeball after the injection this time.  Dr. Templar’s assistant guided me to the waiting room.

Dr. Templar’s office has a big aquarium in the lobby, and among all the beautiful, glistening, peaceful fish in the tank…

There he was again.

Mr. Ugly Fish.

And he was staring at me – well, staring sideways at me with that jowl that looked as if he was delivered from birth with forceps and a fish hook.

You’re an ugly fish, I thought.

“Look who’s talking.”

Huh?  Who said that?

I looked in the tank again.

Did that fish just say something to me?

“Yeah, you.  Yeah, I was talkin’ to you.  What, you don’t know ugly when you see it?  Your face probably broke so many mirrors, you’ve given your family enough bad luck to last centuries.”

Nah.  Fish can’t talk.  All they can do is swim around.  I’m just going to rest for a few more moments, then I’ll drive home.

Meanwhile, Ugly Fish continued staring at me.

“What?  You got a problem?  I’ll jump out of this tank and slap you with my tail, and don’t think I won’t.”

All right, enough.  Chuck, your imagination is running wild.  Deep breath.  Just rest.

“Hey mister – you got a paper bag nearby?”

I do not need to deal with this.

“Hey mister – if you’ve got a paper bag … do me a favor … put it over your head, you’re scaring everybody with your ugly face!  A ha ha ha ha!!!”

Keep it up, dude… you wouldn’t talk so fresh if you were in a skillet.  I wonder how you would taste with some butter and a little tartar sauce…

“Hey mister-  you’re so ugly, your face could stop a sundial.  A sundial!! HA HA HA!!!.”

I wonder if anybody would notice if I reached into the aquarium and did a little hand fishing…

“Hey mister – you’re so ugly, when your mommy dropped you off for school, she got a ticket for littering!  A HA HA HA HA!!!”

You’re pushing it, you teeny trout…

“Hey mister – I’m sorry, I shouldn’t insult you like that.  Listen, I’ll do you a favor.”

What’s that?

“I can tell you how to lose ten pounds of body fat.  Want to know how?  Come closer to the tank.”

I stood up and walked to the fish tank.

“So, listen … the best way for you to lose ten pounds of body fat … is to cut off your ugly face!  HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!”

Why, you dirty little – I’m gonna reach in this tank and –

At that moment, my daydream ended.  In the ten minutes in the reception area, my imagination had pulled that insult-laden fish out of the aquarium, tossed him onto a frying pan, and went all Gordon Ramsay on his scaly, sorry self.  Thankfully, this man-versus-fish battle was restricted to my medicine-infused imagination, and I instead took care of more mature, adult concerns – meaning, I walked over to the front desk and paid for my surgical procedure.

One last glance back at the aquarium.  Mr. Ugly Fish swam away.  He wouldn’t have known me from Mrs. Paul’s or the Gorton’s Fisherman.  And as far as he was concerned, the only time he ever had to deal with humans was when someone dropped fish food flakes into the tank.

It’s just as well, I thought to myself.  No matter how many insults I imagined him throwing at me in the hospital room …

He probably wouldn’t have been worth two bites in a meal anyway.  😀