Everyone knows (or should know) not to heckle the comedian. He’s been doing this forever and he knows how to deal with you. What is less obvious is it’s more about experience than the particular profession involved. I discovered this today while visiting the urologist to check for more kidney stones.
The doctor didn’t waste any time on entering the room. “Your specific gravity is too high.”
“You’ve put on a couple pounds yourself, doc. Stop insulting me and tell me my test results.”
“Huh? No, I mean…wait…you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know what ‘specific gravity is’ by now, right?”
“Yeah, it’s the opposite of specific comedy. And, come to think of it, also the opposite of generic gravity which, I suppose, makes those two the same thing.”
“Are you done? I have other patients to see.”
“Yeah, OK. So what kind of gravity are we talking about? Is this problem to do with my urine concentration or my health outlook? How long have I got to live?”
“When I walked in the problem was just with your urine but at this point I’d say you have less than 15 minutes to live.”
“In that case, can you send the nurse back in?”
“Make it 10 minutes.”
“I’ll have her back to you in 5.”
“Really? Because I can help you with that.”
“No, I mean I could take 10 minutes but if I only had 10 left then…”
“So you only last 10 minutes? Your wife can’t be happy about that.”
“No, wait. I didn’t say…”
“Would you say it’s more a problem maintaining or that you finish too early?”
“Maintaining? Finish? Hold on, Doc. I…”
“Both? I see. Are you seeing someone about the depression?”
“Men with either of these problems are often depressed, but men with both… Well, you must be a basket case.”
“Your immature issue.”
“Don’t you mean premature?”
At this point he pulled his glasses down his nose a notch and peered at me over them. He stared at me for an uncomfortably long moment before replying.
I cleared my throat nervously. “So, ummm, I need to drink more water?”
“Lots.” He wrote something on my chart and handed it to me. “Give this to the front desk and come back in 6 months.”
“What did the X-Rays show? Do I have any new kidney stones?”
“No, but I’m not so sure I’d tell you if you did.”
I winced at the thought.
“If you still have this immaturity problem when I see you next, I’ll have a prescription for you.”
As he left the room I couldn’t help but imagine him working a roomful of drunk hecklers at the Improv.
“Hey Doc,” I called out after him. “You ever consider doing stand-up?”
“No. I get nervous in front of crowds and imagining them in their underwear doesn’t help when you’ve been doing this as long as I have.”
“How about imagining them in face paint and a clown nose?”
“No, that’s how I imagine you.”
Damn, this guy’s good.
Always make sure you can cover the debt when having fun at someone else’s expense.