“We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist.”
~ Joseph Heller
Accustomed as we are to dealing with characters, you’d think we’d be a bunch of cynic old cranks unperturbed by any but the vilest of persons. That we would have long ago reached the impossible to amuse, world weary, emotional wasteland of a DMV employee at 4:55pm on a Friday. That we would have, literally, seen it all.
But let me tell you, pumpkins, when a wizened old man with his pants belted almost up to his ribs marches into your office, slaps his liver spotted hand down on the counter and declares roundly, “Hell, I’m John Smith, and I’m a dentist,” you crack a grin, sit back, and prepare to be entertained.
And Doc Smith did not disappoint. We all sat in rapt attention as he told nearly one dozen jokes in a row (several without a discernible punchline), used racially, sexually, and culturally insensitive language, and told us his life story. He has been an Air Force reserve colonel and “FBI police officer,” owned his own dental practice (his teeth were more metal than organic, please note) and now owns a few apartment complexes. Which, in the end, was what brought us to the purpose of his visitation (calling it a mere visit would simply not be adequate). Apparently some kids who did not live in his buildings were using his parking lot and he wanted it to stop so, enterprising old cook that he was, he took himself to the nearest police station to purchase a car boot.
When we could get a word in between his jokes, we told him we were completely unable to help him, as we could not sell university owned equipment. The best we could do was google some information for him and wish him the best of luck. He stayed another ten minutes telling jokes and his adventures as an airline pilot before disappearing. To parts unknown.
Best customer we’ve had in weeks!