By Some Guy:
Several years ago I moved back to my hometown of Hicksville Iowa. I left Hicksville shortly after graduation from high school to attend college. My work then took me to stints in eastern Iowa, southern Kansas and various parts of Nebraska. Nothing ever quite felt as right as my old home town. Don’t we all kind of have the same conception that the place we grew up is the best place on earth? A career change made it possible for me to return to Hicksville. The change was good. As the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home”.
Shortly after my move back I re-secured hunting and fishing permission on some of my old stomping grounds. Some of the hunting areas had changed a bit, but the ponds hadn’t. They were still there and provided good local fishing opportunities. That first winter I was ice fishing for bluegills on one of my favorite ponds with an old friend Bubba Greasly. Bubba was always a card carrying red neck. He never did much with his life except hunt and fish. Lucky guy! The ice was good, the fishing was great. We were pulling out good sized bluegills one after another! The conservation was even better. It’s always good to catch up with old times. Seemed like the perfect little trip. Hmm . . . by now I should know better.
The tiny tear drop I was using had gotten caught on the edge of my ice hole. While distracted by Bubba’s “stimulating” conversation I attempted to just jerk it free, I felt something hit my nose. “What was that?” I thought. “Where’s my jig?” “Why is this line hanging out of my nostril?” I asked Bubba, “Hey, where’s my jig?” Bubba, who was always the master of stating the obvious, took a quick look at me and said, “Well if it’s still tied to your line, it’s probably up in your nose!” “Great”, I said sarcastically. “Can you see it?” Bubba made a thorough examination of my situation and determined that the jig was too far up for him to pick it out for me. By the way, this sort of personal examination should only be performed by close friends or relatives. No others should be present. This is the sort of thing, if seen, will no doubt be misinterpreted and will follow two guys for the rest of their lives. Bubba said, “I think you will need to go to the doctor for this one, I can’t even see the jig it’s so far up there.”
“O.K.” I said. “Let’s go.” “What, why do I have to go?” Bubba asked. “The fish are still biting!” Good ol’ Bubba always has the “big picture” in mind. Some things never change. Bubba said, “Oh you know Ol’ doc Payne will have that thing out in a jiffy and you can be back on the ice before the fish quit biting.” “Besides, your truck is an automatic.” “You can just drive with one hand and hold the rod with the other.” “You’re right Bubba.” “Good plan.” “I’ll see you in a little bit.” I’m not sure why neither of us thought of just clipping the line a foot or so outside of my nose. I believe it has something to do with mans inherent ability to make unwise decisions during times of trauma.
On the way to the doctor I got to thinking about Dr. Payne. That man sure patched me up a lot growing up. Great doctor! Very old school though, an old country doctor. But he didn’t run up the bill a lot with a bunch of unnecessary stuff like Novocain. I think he even once performed major surgery in trade for a cow. Or was it a horse? It will be good to see Dr. Payne again anyway. Just outside of town my truck went “clunka-thunk”. “Dang that hurt” I thought. “The county really should fix that pot hole.” “Is that blood running down my fishing line now?”
Nothing much changed at the doctor’s office in the past years. Nurse Hagtree was still there. She must have been really glad to see me, because when I walked in she had a big smile on her face and she yelled, “Hey Johnny!” “Is that you?” “Yep”, I said. “I’m surprised you recognized me.” “It’s been awhile since you saw me last.” She said, “Well you have changed a bit, but the fishing rod hanging from your nose tipped me off!” O.K., she’s still a comedian. Some things never change.
Dr. Payne entered the examination room with a big smile on his face. “Johnny, it’s good to see you again!” “How have you been?” We spent the next several minutes chatting and getting caught up with each other while he was propping the depths of my nasal cavity looking for my jig. As hard as it was for two people to carry on a conversation when one of the party had a flashlight and three forceps jammed up the other person’s nose, we made due.
Dr. Payne asked, “Didn’t we go through this once before?” He was referring to the one other time in my life I had a jig go up my nose. What are the odds of this happening twice? “Yeah”, I laughed half heartedly. “Those things should come with a warning label.” “Didn’t I also take a crank bait out of the back of your scalp one time?” he asked. “And remember the time you had the hook embedded in your scrotum?” I winced as the phantom pain of that ordeal raced through my mind. “Hold still!” he said as he pinched my head between his elbow and chest with enough force to squash a pumpkin. “How about that time you had that hook buried clear up to the eye in your thumb?” “Yeah, I remember that too”, I said. “Wasn’t that the same thumb you tried to sever while field dressing a deer?” O.K., sometimes reminiscing isn’t so good after all. Dr. Payne said, “You know this wouldn’t have been so bad if you had just clipped off the line before you left the pond.” “Really” I said sarcastically. In a short time the jig was out, and my nose with a half bag of cotton balls jammed up it, was no worse for the wear.
While I was at the receptionist desk paying Nurse Hagtree for the office call, I could overhear Dr. Payne in his side office. He was on the phone to his wife. He said, “Guess who I just treated?” “It was Johnny, he has moved back to town!” I had a really warm feeling come over me. Doc was so excited to see me again he couldn’t wait to tell Mrs. Payne about it. He had to call her right then. He couldn’t even wait to get home. Wow! It felt good to be home again.
I could hear Dr. Payne continue, “No, he plans on staying a while, he bought a house in Hicksville!” “Yes, he still hunts and fishes.” “I think he does it more than ever now!” “Seems he has this writing gig where he takes those types of trips just for article material!” I was very much overwhelmed by Doc’s excitement now. Our visit must have left quite an impression on him. “You know what this means don’t you dear?” “That’s right!” “You can call the realtor this afternoon and make the offer on that cabin at the lake you always wanted!” Boy . . . it’s good to go home again.