“Daddy, can we play doctor?”
“You have to lie down.”
“Alright, let’s go to my bed.” I lay down on the bed by the edge and Matthew stands looking over me. He’s about a foot taller than the height of the mattress, but occasionally he’ll step on the frame that holds the box spring, giving him another foot of height.
“OK. What’s wrong?”
“I dropped something heavy on my toes and they may be broken”
Matthew moves to the foot of the bed. “You’ll have to take off your sock.”
I take my sock off my left foot and wiggle my exposed toes.
“Now let me see.” He clutches a few toes and jiggles them like they’re licorice sticks. “I’m going to have to get something. He runs out of the room and in less than a minute he comes back with a brass tube from who knows what.
“What are you going to do?”
“I gotta take x-rays.” He places the tube across the toes on the underside. “Zap.”
Where did he learn that, I wonder. “Are they broken?”
“I’m not sure yet. I have to use my eye-a scope.” He puts the tube to his right eye and looks through it as if he’s examining my toes under a microscope.
“Are they broken?”
“No. They’re sprained.”
“Oh, thank God. I thought they were broken.”
Matthew then starts examining my knee.
“What are you doing now? There’s nothing wrong with my knee.”
“Oh yes there is.”
“Yes. Now let me check your head.” He puts the tube against my temple.
“What’s wrong there?”
“My head is sprained?”
“Well, with all these sprains, my heart must be going crazy. Can you listen to my heart?”
“OK.” He puts one end of the tube to the center of my chest and the other end to his ear.
“I think you’re dead.”
“No. I hear it. It’s sprained. It must be your elbow.” He picks up my left arm and pressing the tube against the elbow.
“My elbow? What’s my elbow have to do with my heart?”
“Wait right there. I’ll be right back.” He runs out of the room and is back in thirty seconds.
“What did you get?”
“I went to get the Bone-A-Tron?” He makes a hand gesture to signify some large, invisible machine.
“The Bone-A-Tron? What does a Bone-A-Tron do?”
“It takes out the bones from your body.” And he places what one might conceive as a nozzle to my elbow. He makes a vacuum cleaner sound, “Whoosh.”
“Hey, what are you doing?”
“Whoosh. Your arm has no bones now.”
I drop my arm as if it has no functionality. “Oh no. What did you do?”
He jumps on the bed and goes to my right foot. “I got to take your other sock off.” And he peels it off. “I got to use the Bone-A-Tron.”
“Because the bones have to come out. Whoosh. Now your toes have no bones.”
Next he moves up to my face. “I got to take your nose off. Whoosh. And now I got to take your chin out. Whoosh.”
“Hey you’re taking all my bones out!”
Why does this feel like a skit from a Groucho Marx movie?