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Come Sail Away with Us to Where Beautiful  Words Flow Like Wine​​

             Scar (For the First Saturday Writers of Worcester County    9/3/11)

        “George. There's a woman out here who wants to see you.” She waited thirty seconds. She knew he was going to ignore her. “She says it personal.”
        George waited another thirty seconds before he turned over on the sofa. “What does she want? Tell her I'm busy reading an important document.” He opened his eyes. He knew his wife, Mary would not let him rest.
        “George, she says it's personal. She has to see you today.” Mary turned to the woman. “He's always like this. A real bear to get up. What did you say your name was?”
         “Sarah Jones. I am a lawyer working for the law firm of Screw & Loose. We are investigating ---”
         Mary jumped up from the deck chair and ran into the living room. “George, wake up, dammit. It's a woman lawyer. What have you done?” She shook her husband's shoulder even though his eyes and mouth were wide open. “Did you get in a fight at the local saloon. Do you have an unpaid parking ticket?” She pulled on his shirt.
         George sat up quickly. Then he eased back against the cushion to give his mind time to collect its thoughts. “Who is she? You say she works for some crooked lawyer. What in the hell does she want in the middle of the afternoon?”
         Mary shook her head sadly. “She wants you. I told her I could answer all her questions but she said Screw & Loose were adamant in her speaking directly to you.” She leaned over and whispered. “What have you done? It must be serious.”
         George shook his head, his eyes shifting wildly. “Why is it serious?”
         Mary straightened up and put her hand on her heart. “I've heard of the Screw & Loose lawyers. They only take high profile cases. They handle a lot of death penalty cases.”
         “My God woman, what ails you? Death penalty cases. If you are trying to scare me, you've succeeded.” He stood quickly and swayed back and forth a few inches. “Holy smoke, you've scared me so bad I can't even stand straight. But I am innocent as a new born babe. Hell, I haven't done anything.” He stopped and managed a weak grin. I haven't done much of anything and done nothing wrong.” He walked to the door and peeped around the edge at the woman. “She doesn't look too dangerous. I think I can handle her. Come on out and back me up on everything I say.”
         “No, no,” Mary hissed as George opened the door. “I'm not lying to save your sorry ass. What have you done?”
         George was already on the deck walking toward the woman. His hand outstretched for an innocent handshake. “George Pine. What can I do for you? My wife said you work for Screw & Loose. Nice law firm. I really admire them.”
         Sarah Jones stood. She transferred the ruler to her left hand. She shook George's hand firmly. She stood there and began slapping her right hand lightly with the ruler. “Our law firm of Screw & Loose are representing a few people who have suffered grievous bodily harm and mental anguish.”
         “Whoa, back up a minute. You got the wrong man. I was just an innocent bystander at the fight. I didn't even pick up a bottle of whiskey from the broken display window. All the looters were from another part of town.
         Mary frowned. “I didn't know you were at that melee at the Third Street Liquor Store. You said you were at a peaceful quiet bar having a sociable beer.”
         “I was, dear. The bar was just around the corner.” He waved his hand at his wife. “Enough about that.” He smiled widely at the woman. “As you can see, you have the wrong man.”
         Sarah increased the strength behind the ruler. “Thanks for all the information about the Third Street fight, but I am here on a different matter.”
         George backed up a step and eyed the ruler. “Whatever it is, I had nothing to do with it. My wife will vouch for me two hundred percent.” He glanced at his wife. “Isn't that right, Sweetheart?”
         Mary was watching a squirrel high up in the hickory tree.
         Sarah laid the ruler on the table. “Let's all sit down. You are in the clear. I have nothing on you to warrant an arrest. I work for Screw & Loose, not the police.” She paused and extracted a few typewritten pages from her briefcase. She quickly scanned the pages and placed them on the table. She picked up the ruler.
Actually, I'm here to measure you. Screw & Loose have this case ----”
         Mary was leaning over the table grinning. “Did I hear you correctly? You want to measure George.”
         George pushed away from the table shaking his head. “What are you? Some kind of nut? Why don't you just hit the road. I haven't done anything wrong.”
          Mary grabbed George’s arm and pulled him back to the table. “Just hold your horses. I want to hear the rest of this tale from the nice lady.” She giggled a bit. “Keep on with the measuring. I wouldn't miss this for all the tea in China.”
         Sarah wiped at her red face and tried to smile. “I can see I worded that incorrectly. And you guys, rightfully so, interpreted it completely wrong. My apologies.  Let me start over with the whole story and what I want to measure.”      
          She picked up one sheet of paper and pointed at George.
         “Screw & Loose are representing a few people in a class action suit against Doctor William Barkley, a surgeon at the local hospital. The doctor is in the middle of two law suits from another law firm charging gross malpractice, incompetence and inappropriate touching.”
         George pulled his chair closer to the table. “Keep on. I never liked him. He had these little beady eyes.”
         Mary put her hand on George's arm and pulled. “Stop talking.” She kept her eyes on the woman. “Does this mean that George may be included in the suit and to be blunt, actually get a few malpractice dollars.”
         Sarah nodded very slowly. “Your husband has to meet all the criteria of an injured and ill-treated patient. I assume the Doctor Barkley is the one who performed your hernia operation three years ago”
          She paused as George and Mary nodded vigorously
         “Poor George was in the hospital for a week in terrible pain. The staff at the hospital were inconsiderate and uncaring.”
         The lawyer was shaking her head. “No, no. We are not suing the hospital. Only Dr. Barkley at this point in time. Did he examine you in a timely and professional way? Was a nurse present? What sex was the nurse? Were you satisfied with the examination?” She paused a moment. “The information given today is not binding. If I  decide we want your testimony, we would like you to come to our office and give your testimony under oath.”
         “Not so fast.” George tried to read the typewritten page upside down. “How do I get in this class action suit and get some malpractice dough.”
         The lawyer stared at George and finally nodded. “OK. I want to measure your scar from the hernia operation.”
         “Do what!” George rubbed his lower abdomen. “What will that prove?”
         “Dr. Barkley should have done the operation laparoscopically. His report to the hospital describing the operation states that it was done laparoscopically. If what the report says is true you will have a small scar.”
         George kept rubbing his abdomen. “I don't know about that. It doesn't seem right.”
         Mary grabbed his arm. “What is wrong with you? Don't you want any malpractice money. Some of these pay off in the millions.” She frowned at George, then smiled at the lawyer. “Now stand up and drop those pants. Lawyer Jones is going to measure you.”
          George looked around the yard. “Right here on the deck? It doesn't seem quite right to be doing it out here in the broad daylight.”
         “George, don't be so dumb.” Mary watched Miss Jones put on rubber gloves. “Just drop your damn pants. It'll be over in a minute or two. Here's your chance to make a little cash for a minute's work.”
         George reluctantly struggled to his feet. He surveyed the yard again and looked down at the grinning Mary. He thought the lawyer also was trying not to grin. He unbuckled his belt and eased his pants to the deck.
         Mary flicked open her cell phone. “Keep on. She can't measure anything through your underwear. They got to go to the floor, too. Let'em fall.”
         “What in the hell are you going to do with that?” George nodded toward the phone and tugged up on his under shorts.
         Mary aimed her cell phone at George's abdomen and clicked. “That is a before shot.” She reached up and yanked his shorts down and clicked the camera again. “Here he is, now measure away.”
         Miss Jones held the ruler close to George's lower abdomen. “Look at that. It's too small. I'm sorry. We can't use you in the malpractice suit.”
         His wife slapped his bare rear-end. “It's too little, dammit.”
         George reached down for his clothing. “Smart-ass women.”
1575          9/1/11