Greek-American Stories: Injecting Good Health

Kipreos entered Dixon’s looking a little pale. Dimos was first to notice.”Not feeling well, Kipreos?” Seating himself, Kipreos responded, “My throat hurts. It’s been two days now. I tried gargling, drinking tea with lemon. Nothing.” Setting down his coffee, John advised, “Then, you should see a doctor. I know you don’t like seeing doctors but, sometimes, it’s necessary, Kipreos.” Kipreos shrugged. “I don’t have a doctor I can see regularly. Maybe, it’ll go away.” Yiannis said, “John is right! Go see my doctor. He’s a little difficult but he’ll see anyone. I intend to make an appointment for tomorrow. Let’s go together.” George asked, “What’s wrong with you – that a doctor can take care of?” Ignoring him, Yiannis announced that yesterday he fell down the stairs taking out the garbage. “Now, my hip hurts.”  John advised that he was sure Dr. Arostakis would, easily, take care of both of them.  “That’s what doctors are for!”

After a phone call an appointment was set up for both Kipreos and Yiannis for the next day. In the office, Kipreos had a set of papers he had to fill out as new patient while Yiannis went into the examining room. “So!” Began Dr. Arostakis, dryly, observing his perennial patient with little enthusiasm. “What’s wrong with you – that I can do anything about?” Yiannis explained about falling down the stairs in his apartment building. The doctor shook his head, examined his hip and said that the pain can be alleviated with a shot of pain killer. “There’s a dark blue bruise there. But, there’s one of two things you can do. One, don’t do any dancing for a while. And, two, what I, sincerely, recommend, is a shot of pain killer that will solve the problem.” Pulling a face, that analysis didn’t sit too well with Yiannis. “How much?” Having long experiences with Yiannis’ difficult nature and his non-payment habits, he looked at Yiannis with forced patience, processing the situation and then deciding not to get perturbed. “Depends! I have an injection that’ll take the pain away in a few days. Doesn’t cost much. And, I have an injection that will take the pain away, immediately. But, it’s expensive. It’s up to you!”  Yiannis fell into deep thought. It was a tough decision.

 “Take the expensive shot and feel better soon, I promise. I know that it’ll hurt your hip a little and your pocket a lot. But, it’ll cure what ails you, immediately. Then see my receptionist and pay your bill – just one of them. And, we’ll both be happy.” Yiannis, sweating and still trying to decide what to do, watched as the doctor held up the needle that to Yiannis looked like a harpoon. Preparing the injection, the doctor stood beside his patient with a smile seen only on a vampire. “Now, which side do you want the injection? Right or left? ” Yiannis pulled up his pants. “YOURS!”

Waiting outside, in the reception room while Kipreos was being treated, Dimos asked Yiannis how it went. Waving his hands, and with a look of dissatisfaction, he replied, “I’m all cured.” Smiling, John said, “See that? Aren’t you glad you came to see Dr. Arostakis?” Yiannis mumbled a reply, seating himself far from the receptionist. Dimos said, “I’m sure the doctor took care of your problem but I hope you learned a lesson, Yiannis, about going down the stairs with a load of garbage.” Yiannis nodded. “Yeah! I did! Next time I’ll send Areti.’

Kipreos finally appeared, a brief smile on his face. “Ready to go, Kipreos?” He nodded. At the reception desk, John paused, noticing that KIpreos wasn’t expected to pay anything. “I guess your bill will be sent by mail, right?” To which Kipreos replied, “Oh, as soon as I told the receptionist that Yiannis recommended Doctor Arostakis to me, she made me pay in advance.”


The guys around the table at Dixon’s that Sunday were anxious to see Yiannis.

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