Mr. Cockenbells, a sweaty, nervous wreck of a man, paced about a hospital waiting room, and Dr. Nibblepleaser watched from the door.
“Mr. Cockenbells?” the suspiciously named doctor asked.
“Yes?” replied the equally suspiciously named man. “Is it about my wife?”
“No. I’m afraid it’s about your wife.”
Mr. Cockenbells struck the doctor in such a way that, more or less, resembled a slap. “Out with it, man!”
“We’ve lost her, Mr. Cockenbells.”
“Mr. Cockenbells, are you slow or just stupid?”
Mr. Cockenbells considered this, and then continued on as if he hadn’t. “How is this possible? I did everything exactly like they told me!”
“Mr. Cockenbells – may I call you “Mister?”
“I’d rather you not.”
“Too late,” Dr. Nibblepleaser dismissed. “Mister, I know that I’m only a well-educated, and even more well-endowed doctor of medicine. But in my least humble opinion, sometimes these things just happen.”
“Just happen?” Mister spat back at the doctor. “These things don’t just happen!”
“Please stop hitting me.”
Mister stormed about the room, pulling out his phone and waving it about like an absolute ass. “I posted her photo all over social media! I got eleven-and-a-half thoughts and prayers!
Mister shrugged. “Brennifer’s ex-wife was still on the fence, last I checked. I thought it better to round up.”
“Oh, that’s too bad.”
“No, no,” Mister said. “Brennifer could be a bit of a–“
Just then, the doctor’s pager buzzed a little buzz.
“What the Hell was that?” Mister asked.
“Good news, Mister,” Dr. Nibblepleaser said, reading the teeny, tiny screen on his teeny, tiny relic of the past.
“Good news? What could possibly be good news at a time like this?”
“It seems we just found your wife.”
“What do you mean?”
“Turns out she was in the cafeteria this entire time.”
“I thought you said she was dead?”
Dr. Nibblepleaser looked at Mister as if Mister were the stupidest, stupidest, good Lord, how stupid can you possibly be man he’d ever met, and, in fact, even considered letting Mister know just as much, but then didn’t. “I never said that.”
“You said she was gone!”
Dr. Nibblepleaser struck the doctor in such a way that most certainly resembled a slap.
“I’m sorry,” Mr. Apologized. “You’re right. I suppose I am being a little over-emotional.”
“We all make mistakes, Mr. Cockenballs.”
“I’m just happy to know Brennifer is alive and well.”
Dr. Nibbepleaser looked at Mister once more. “You “stupid, stupid, good Lord, how stupid can you possible be” man I’ve ever met. I never said she was alive.”
“No,” he chuckled. “It appears she choked to death on a chicken salad sandwich.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Deadly, I’m afraid,” Dr. Nibblepleaser replied, failing to stifle his snickering and chortling. “It’s a little known fact that the chicken salad sandwich is the third-deadliest sandwich on the planet, just ahead of peanut butter, and right behind knuckle.”
“Is that true?”
“In a sense.”
“In what sense is that possibly true?”
“It’s true in the sense that I made it up.”
“What kind of hospital is this?” Mr. Cockenbells winged.
“Not a very good one, obviously,” Dr. Nibblepleaser said, this time very serious-faced and such. “But it’s hardly our fault you two were born too poor to afford proper insurance, now is it?”
Mr. Cockenbells hung his head and nodded. “No, I suppose not.”
“Good,” the doctor stomped, and turned to leave. “And if you could please pick up your wife’s corpse before we have her towed, that would be wonderful.