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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: And to Think It Happened at the Optometrist's
By Debbie Roppolo


What time is it?” my son, Cameron, hissed, a look of impatience stamped on his face.

“One minute since the last time you asked,” I replied, calmly thumbing through a magazine.

“The doctor will never see you, and, I’m hungry. I can’t believe I had to come along; I’m not a baby you know. ”

“Pleased to meet you, I’m Hungry. Are you related to I’m Tired or I’m Bored?”

“Not funny,” Cameron retorted, crossing his arms and slumping in the hard plastic chair.

In the ten minutes we’d been at the optometrist’s, I’d spent most of the time chasing my squealing toddler, Andy, around the office, rescuing expensive eyewear from his grimy hands while listening to Cameron “sing” what seemed like a hundred verses of the “teenager blues.” I was beginning to understand how my mother got her gray hair.

“This is the most boring place on earth,” Cameron complained, kicking at a pattern in the carpet.

“That’s not true. You can find excitement anywhere, just depends on how you look at things.” I remarked. I was unaware of how true that would soon be.

A short time later, a smiling nurse emerged in the lobby, pausing just long enough to call out my name before scampering like a rabbit back down the hallway. I wished, as I dragged my preschooler and sulky teen too the exam room, that businesses would have a service where children could be checked in like coats, leaving the parent to sit in the lobby in peace. I giggled to myself as I climbed in the padded exam chair, imagining my children sitting on a shelf, numbered doorknob type hangers dangling off their ears.

Seconds later, my silly fantasy was interrupted when the doctor, an older dapper man, entered the room. “Let’s have a look at those peepers,” he said jovially.

I don’t like people invading my “personal space,” and watched uncomfortably as he scooted closer on the stool until we were knee to knee. I’d brushed my teeth that morning, but--for his sake--wished I had a peppermint in my mouth.

“Don’t look down,” he commanded, putting the eye testing equipment in front of my eyes. “Tell me—is it better here, or better there?” the doctor asked softly, changing the lenses over each eye.

Horrified, I felt a hand sliding up my leg, caressing my knee. I’d read about patients being sexually assaulted by doctors, and doubted the validity of the stories, but this was real and happening to me! Angrily, I clenched and unclenched my hands. How dare he violate me—and in front of my children!

Just as I was about to give the doc a blow to the face they would feel in the next country, Cameron said sternly, "Andy, get over here and stop rubbing Mommy's knee." Had Cameron not intervened at that moment, the doctor would have had a broken nose, and I would have found myself sitting in a county jail cell, booked on assault charges.

I was right; you can find excitement anywhere, even at the eye doctor’s. My days are filled with occurrences similar, in some aspects, to this one. If “excitement is the spice of life,” then my existence—thanks to my children--is blessed and fully seasoned.

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This article has been read 761 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler04/19/07
This was very funny! There's never a dull moment with kids around. Good story!
julie wood04/20/07
I loved this story! All the characters came alive with the colorful dialogue and the longsuffering mom's thoughts. I could totally relate to it, having had to deal both with bored teenagers and with lively toddlers--especially in airports.

I began to wonder when she felt the hand on her knee whether it might be her toddler doing that--but if I were in her place, I know I would have thought what she did. Great job!
Rita Garcia04/20/07
This is sooo funny! Leave it to the kids to keep us smiling!
Julie Arduini04/20/07
Great!!! This could totally happen except during my exam I left my kids at home to avoid that, ha ha. You captured the heart and hands of a preschooler well, as well as the pre teen sulk. Really nice work!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/20/07
You certainly succeeded at making me laugh. This is an excellent account of life with kids.
Lynda Schultz 04/20/07
You had me going there - almost forgot this was humour category, not drama. Great stuff.
Joyce Samuel04/21/07
I'm still laughing! Having been molested by a dentist once as a teenager, I really identify with this. My goodness...what if she had hit the optometrist?!? Well he sort of sounded guilty with his, 'Don't look down,' statement. I liked this from the beginning to the end. Bravo.
Jacquelyn Horne04/23/07
Good story. Children can really make your day.
terri tiffany04/23/07
Nice real images - good dialogue - Very honest and real portrayal of what many moms go through:)
Sara Harricharan 04/24/07
Love the dialouge between the mom and kids. Cameron was a very good character. I did notice that you used a lot of commas in the very first couple of sentences. I'm not a grammar expert, but maybe a few too many? I loved the twist at the end where it was the kid and not the eye doctor. Good job(and cute title)!