“I’m telling you, Cissy, I saw him at Molly’s Gas Station and Bait Shoppe just a few minutes ago.”
“Aw, Bordinea. How do you know he was the new doctor? Just because somebody’s going fishing don’t mean he can take out your appendix.”
Bordinea Dillard thrived on observing newcomers and drawing conclusions and then passing them on as fast as her Olive Oyl toothpick legs could carry her. She generally practiced big news and rumors on her sister first.
“Who else would it be? He looked real smart and his hands was cleaner than any man’s I’ve ever seen.”
“ Bordy girl, it might just be a man who knows how to bathe and do personal hygiene real good.”
“Cicely Dillard, does everything always have to have a logical explanation to you? No wonder you never got married!”
The younger of the two stopped pegging towels to the clothesline long enough to put both fists on her ample hips and glare at her gossipy big sister. “Hey, wait just a second Miss Smarty. I don’t see no gold band on your left hand neither!”
Bordinea ignored the obvious and plowed on.” Josie, over at the Curl-a-Rama, said he ain’t married and she heard the Sheriff calling him Doc and welcoming him to town. Why don’t we go get some lunch at Do Drop’s? We might even see him.”
The single sisters fluffed and powdered before leaving for the diner. Competition ran rampant in each one’s desperate blood.
“There he is Cissy. I can see him through the window. He’s sitting at a big booth near the back.”
“Hello ladies.” The hostess grabbed two menus and looked around for a place to put the two town characters. “Y’all may have to sit up to the counter.”
She might as well have been talking to the air. The old maids were already halfway to the back booth to introduce themselves to fresh husband material.
Dr. Joe was about to take a big swig of iced tea when two of the most cartoonish looking women he had ever seen rushed up to his table. The tall skinny one peered at him over the top of her harlequin shaped glasses.
“Excuse me. You’re the new doctor in town?”
Joe set his glass down to get a better look at this intrusive pair. “Uh, I am Dr. Huggins…”
Bordenia was the first to plop her angular self in the seat across from him and unceremoniously begin. “Doc, I have a big pain right here over my liver.”
Joe nearly choked on his tea as she swept her hand over the side where her liver was not. Before he could point that out, the chubby one squeezed in beside him and said, “Howdy, I’m Cicely Dillard, but my friends call me Cissy, and that is my older sister, Bordenia.”
He tried to say something bland and dismissive but she barreled on at breakneck speed in a peculiar nasal twang peppered with question marks.
“ I need to get tested for that goose-flu, or whatever it is that has something to do with fowl of some kind, and this stuff on my arm is infant-zema, although Grandpa always said you could catch the mange from your dog, which comes from that flea-bitus, but we don’t have one so it must be what my daddy called the Epi-zoodics.”
Joe was amazed at how fast she could talk without breathing.
“… and I told Bordy if she didn’t quit that tonic stuff she takes every night she would get thorosis in her liver and then she’ll turn yellow; what do you think Doc?”
Joe made a quick diagnostic decision. He told them both to come for appointments in an hour. The new sign was up so they would have no trouble finding him.
The ditzy duo huffed and puffed up the street toward the new doctor’s office. When they reached his door, the proverbial light bulb suddenly snapped on over Cissy’s head. Her eyes got so big she looked like a stroke about to happen. With one swift punch, she knocked her skinny sibling down on the sidewalk, stepped over her, and marched off.
Bordenia’s view was a little blurred. From her unique position on the ground she straightened her cracked glasses to be sure she was reading the new sign correctly: Dr. Joseph Huggins, Veterinarian.
Joe was peeking out the window but pretended he didn’t see a thing. He was glad they didn’t have a dog.
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