Saturday, May 22, 2010

Case Study #26

Dear Dr. Brian:

Mike Rowe (that guy on the truck commercials and on “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel) somehow reminds me of you. Are you guys related?

Curious in Kendrick

Dear Curious,

What an astonishingly interesting query, although I daresay I shouldn’t be surprised, based on our previous correspondence, wherein you’ve proven quite insightful. As I’ve noted in the past, you have an amazing ability to toss aside most of the overwhelming chuff on the Internet, focus on the few things of actual discourse value, and then demand detailed explanations that will satisfy you both scholastically and emotionally.

And yes, I do indeed have a relationship with Mr. Rowe, albeit our association is not one you could deem traditional, and is certainly not based on us sharing relatives who may have procreated in the distant past. And although we were quite close at one time, we have since drifted, and we no longer communicate with any regularity. We have different interests. In addition, there are certain legal restraints which may have led to the dissolution of our once-tight bond.

You see, Mr. Rowe was a critical witness in the lengthy Parisian trial wherein I was accused of certain crimes involving nudity, cooking ingredients, and livestock. (For the more important details of this clearly politically-motivated misuse of power, you can read my original account by clicking Here.) Of course, Dearest Curious, I’m sure that YOU personally will not need to utilize this link. I’m only including it for the newer patients who have not yet surmised how essential it is that every comma I type be emblazoned in their memories.

In any case, Mr. Rowe’s involvement came about thusly:

We were in the first few days of the trial, the bit where it’s still boring while humorless people go over all of the tedious matters. My lawyer, Olivier de Quelque-Chose-Francais, was fiddling with his storyboards, mapping out the spacing of dramatic moments in his upcoming oral presentations. Suddenly, just as I was finishing an exquisite pomegranate tart, I had an inspiration.

I turned to my lawyer. “Olivier, we MUST find the goat.”

He paused in his shuffling, removed his spectacles, folded them, placed them to the side, and adjusted both of his shirt sleeves so that exactly one-quarter inch of material was displayed at the end of his jacket. Then he turned to me. “What is this with the goat?”

I sighed. “The GOAT, Olivier. The one I was chasing? It is imperative that we find it. I feel it would make an excellent character witness.”

He made a small noise signifying that perhaps he should have gone to medical school after all. “We talk of a goat, Dr. Brian, an animal that does not speak. How will it witness for your character?”

“It won’t have to SPEAK. It just has to BE. Once the jury sees what a vicious, filthy little animal it is, they surely can’t blame me for wanting to get it off the streets and away from the children.”

Olivier put his spectacles back on, apparently no longer interested in my proposal. “You led the goat TO the children, are you forgetting this?”

I snorted in frustration. “I most certainly did nothing of the kind. I was trying to CATCH the goat, not prompt it to invade the nursery school. Really, Olivier, how much am I paying you anyway?”

I suddenly had his full attention again. Subtle financial threats can be quite useful at times. “Very well. We will find the goat.”

At the next recess, when cell phone usage was once again temporarily allowed, Olivier whipped out his designer unit and began making calls. The ensuing conversations mostly consisted of him saying “oui” an irritating number of times, interspersed with bursts of that rapid-fire French where you can’t catch a word of it. Eventually, he snapped the phone shut a final time.

“The goat is no longer in the correctional facility.”

This startles me. “They goat was in JAIL? Why on earth would they do that?”

“It’s France, mon ami. These things happen.”

Perplexed, I try to learn more. “Then where is the goat now?”

“I do not know, Dr. Brian. I am not intimate with the goat. Perhaps it is with its owner?”

Ah. That would be my friend Henri, he of the Cucumber Lady whose vegetable gift led to my current misery. I must speak with him immediately. “May I borrow your phone, Olivier?”

He appeared to take offense at this request. “Have you not one of your own? It is my understanding that Americans are born with them.”

Very amusing. “There was a recent incident involving a nice Merlot and some exuberance. Please speak of it no further. Your phone, Olivier?”

He slid it toward me with measured exasperation. “I will charge you double for the minutes.”

“I expect nothing less.” I punched in Henri’s number.


“Henri, my friend! How are things?”

“Ah, the good doctor is calling. Have they convicted you yet?” Then he cackled in a boisterous way that indicated there had been copious beverages at lunch.

“You’re such a clever fellow, Henri. Have any of your clients paid you with actual money lately?”

The laughter stopped, followed by the sounds of a wine bottle being re-corked and some brie being re-covered. “I am deserving of that. You know that I would do anything in this world for you.”

“Music to my ears, as I have a favor to ask. Can you loan me the goat?”

“That I cannot do.”

These French people, they turn on you in an instant. First they have a king, then they don’t, then they have a king again. It’s preposterous. “Really, Henri? Why would that be, pray tell?”

“There was a misunderstanding, and the goat has been reclaimed.” A pause. “It seems my client did not own the goat he gave to me.”

“So your client used a stolen goat to pay for services rendered. The shame, Henri. The utter shame.”

He sighed. “I die the little death when I think of it.”

“How unfortunate, Henri, very troubling. Now, I’m sure you need time to heal, but I must press a bit further. Where is the goat now?”

“He is with his rightful owner, the American who does the dirty jobs.”

I am completely mystified. Who could this person be? “Henri, I don’t understand. Are you drinking the wine again?”

“Non, mon ami. The man on the American TV show. He travels and does dirty things. Michel… something.”

I am stunned. “Mike Rowe has my goat?”

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

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