Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.

It was right before I crossed over that I began to get skull cracking headaches and a general feeling of depression.

“I can see that Mr. Oates,” Dr. Yothers said. A child’s toy oven had been moved into the dim office and was humming lightly. Who could figure on any of it?

“It has a syrupy look, this malaise you speak of. It’s like syrup. Visible syrup. Or non-visible syrup intended to convey a metaphor.”

“I got it Doc. Can you give me something for it?”

“Well CERTAINLY!” he announced loudly. It was then that a light went off on the oven and a ding was heard.

“That will be my little cakes,” he said excitedly. “Why, you came at the perfect time Mr. Oakes.”

“Skip it. Let’s have a look at them pills.”

He yanked the old drawer out of the desk. “Oh yes, there are several. These were prescribed for an old patient of mine, a Mr. Fosdick. My Lord, he was crazy. I believe he committed suicide.”

“Yes, it’s sad,” Yothers added. He bowed his head but tilted it in such a way that he could observe the little oven.

“Anyway, Mr. Fosdicks never picked these up so his tragic death is a boon to you, Mr. Oates!”

I took the little orange bottles in my hands. There were four of them– all different sizes and names.

“Which should I take, doc?”

“Why, all of them, of course! Four are better than one!”

He suddenly darted over to the oven and greedily removed the cakes.

“Stay where you are, Mr. Oakes.”

It was the last time I had seen him.

And now I was lying in bed at the Murray, my head afflicted with hundreds of little bolts of pain. The pill bottles lay empty on the unmade bed. Somehow, I managed to reach the service phone. As usual, Tibbs snapped it up with uncanny speed.

“MR. OATES! WHY, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?”

“Listen, Tibbs. You know a good doctor? Somebody who doesn’t nose around with a lot of questions?”

Tibbs quieted. “I believe I do, Mr. Oakes. I believe I know exactly the type of man you are looking for.”

He hung up. I started to call back but collapsed back into the pillows. I thought about Yothers and them little cakes. There was no merit to any of it.

About fifteen minutes passed before I heard a little knock at the door. I staggered over to it and threw the chain.

He was a little balding man in a lab coat carrying some sort of strange oversized suitcase with a mysterious apparatus that extended out of the side. He seemed to have a habit of staring directly at the floor.

“I’m Dr. Cannons,” he said in a barely audible voice. “My fee for this is $100.”

“Jesus H. Christ,” I said. “If you can cure this then I guess I got no choice.”

“Go over to the bed.”

Dr. Cannons

Dr. Cannons

I did as I was told. He put the weird suitcase on the end table. There was a knob there and he turned it. A whooshing sound filled the room.

He started fooling with the apparatus. It had some kind of a mask at the end made of clear plastic. He still had never looked up.

“You have the $100?”

I drew out a couple of fifties and threw them on the end table.

“Good. Now, I will place this mask on your face and within about ten minutes, you will be dead.”

I sat up.

“I don’t know what the hell Tibbs told you but that ain’t what I’m looking for.”

He still didn’t look up.

“I’m just looking for something to cure these headaches and these blues, Doc. I’ve felt like hell for months now.”

“I…I’m not that kind of doctor,” he said. “I can recommend someone else…”

“Nah, let’s go ahead and skip that.”

He turned off the suitcase and was gone in less than a minute.

About twenty minutes later, Tibbs let himself into the room. He was pushing a cart full of sheets and towels and had a huge black canvas bag draped across one shoulder.

“OH MY! MR. OATES, YOU SURPRISED ME!”

“What the hell kind of thing was that, Tibbs?”

Tibbs looked befuddled. “MR. OAKES, YOU MUSTN’T THINK! WELL…I…”

“Skip it. Bring me up a sixer of FUN BEER would you? Tallboys?”

I figured on drinking it away.

“YES, MR. OAKES, OF COURSE.”

He pushed the cart back out.

Just a little off the head, it’ll help just a little.

The day passed that way.

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