Bob is an older man whom I meet in a bar near Lake Ogalalla in Nebraska. When I first see him, he'stelling someone else at the bar, "You know what I hear about Obama? If he gets into the White House, he's going to tear up the Rose Garden and put in watermelons."
Guffawing laughter all around.
When John, whom I've been chatting with for an hour over beer and a sandwich, introduces me to Bob, Bob begins by asking me if I know Dr Sheel in town. The local Indian doctor. (At least he didn't ask me if I was Dr Sheel, or if I was myself a doctor -- apart from that, this is the 5th or 6th time on this trip I've crossed an unwitting path with an unseen Indian doc). Bob speaks glowingly of Dr Sheel. He and his wife, says Bob, have the cutest baby in the whole world.
Bob went to him recently when he (Bob) cut his hand. Dr Sheel said it was pretty bad, and would need several stitches. About now, as he's holding out his hand to show me, I notice that his fingers are big and thick, and even at 71, he has a muscular forearm and a firm grip. I've never seen such thick, stubby fingers.
Anyway, Sheel said he'd have to give Bob an injection, and that might hurt a bit. Bob asked him, "Am I allowed to cuss in here?" Sheel said, "OK, as long as you're not too loud." So Sheel poked, and Bob screamed "Son ... of a bitch!" and it was over. No more pain.
Then Sheel stitched up the cut, and there was some thread left over, attached to his needle. So Bob said to him, "I've got a big old tear in the front seat of my pickup, think you can come out and fix it for me with that?
And Sheel said, "Sorry, I don't do upholstery."
August 28, 2008
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