Dear Nick ...

A letter from Sally Druthers

A patient query:

Where are the celebrities?

October 24, 2016

Dear Nick —

Gosh it's been a long time.

You'll remember how thrilled I was about Barack Obama's ideas for improving health care in this country, and I took immediate advantage of all the benefits it provided. There were a few I wasn't expecting.

For one thing, I haven't been getting out much since I've been at the particular facility I was checked into. It's a great place, with expensive doctors who take the time to really get to know me twice a week. We have just the greatest talks.

And they aren't stingy with the pharmaceuticals that the doctors (and nurses, who are the sweetest guys — and some guy I don't really know what he is, but he's pretty compassionate) have all figured out I need.

Anyway, because of my improved health — on account of taking my meds, eating the right foods, getting the right exercise, and the twice-a-week talks — I get to use a computer maybe once a week, and the other day I was thinking just how long it has been since I last wrote you. I think it was just before I came here.

Anyway, I've been watching TV, and there's this commercial that really has me upset. I haven't had a chance to talk to my twice-a-week doctor about it yet, but you can be sure I'm bringing it up the next time I see her. It turns out there are these celebrities I used to watch on TV who are confessing that they really aren't doctors after all.

Nick, I used to trust these people! And now I find out Noah Wyle and Alan Alda, even Melina Kanakaredes aren't real doctors. I mean, I know her real name was Sydney Hansen and all, and that she just used that hard name (I had to look it up to get it spelled right) because she ... well, I'm not sure. But anyway, Melina Kanak ... Kanakaredes! Can you believe it?

I'm afraid to do much more research in this. What if it turns out that Dr. Quinn wasn't a real doctor? Or Marcus Welby? Or — omg, I can't believe I'm going to say this — George Clooney. I mean, I know he got involved in that casino scam in Las Vegas, but that was only because he'd lost his medical license, wasn't it?

Anyway, what has really upset me is the implication of all this, and I'll bet that even you or that guy who works for you who thinks he's so smart but isn't (I guess I shouldn't talk about him that way. I get the impression that he might be your nephew or something). I'll bet even you guys haven't thought of this.

I've been reading a lot lately in some of the magazines they subscribe to here. They're not really very good, but every now and then they take up some real issues. And I'm all about issues, as you know. And one of them was talking about the underrepresentation of minorities in businesses and stuff, and it got me thinking.

If Alan Alda and Melina Kan ... Kana ... Kanadarokos or whatever aren't real doctors ... oh, I forgot to mention that I had to get some dental work done here because I broke a tooth when I bit into some fake fruit. Really, Nick! why would anyone play such a nasty trick? I used to think that people in hospitals were more compassionate, but I guess you get a few bad eggs wherever you go.

Anyway, I was waiting to see my dentist — well, she's not really mine because I didn't pick her or anything, she's just the dentist for the whole place. I was waiting to see her, and I got to thinking about Melina Kan ... Alan Alda and George Clooney and it suddenly dawned on me:

There aren't many celebrities who are dentists at all. Or even real doctors. Maybe not even veterinarians. Celebrities are underrepresented in the medical professions.

That's just not fair. Why are celebrities being discriminated against? You know, there's not even one celebrity here who's a doctor or administrator or even in security. Not one. Maybe one of the other patients, but no one else.

Why is that, Nick? Do you have any ideas?

Well, I think we need to do something about it. I'm all about doing something, you know. And I know when it comes to being against discrimination, I can always count on you to join me at the barricades.

Not that there are any real barricades. Not even up on the fifth floor, where you've got to have a special elevator key to get to. The doctor I see twice a week told me that. And I guess it upsets people when I talk about barricades, but you know what I mean, and it's so cool that I can always talk to you and you understand me.

My computer time is almost up, Nick, so I'll have to stop soon. I wish you could come visit me sometime; I'm not able to get out much, but I can have a visitor once a month.

Oh! I haven't told you where I am. I'm at the Fai

Strakon replies, as constructively as he knows how.

Dear Sally —

You may consider it unfortunate that your latest eloquent dispatch to The Ditch was truncated just before we could discover where you are. But don't be frustrated. Or in any special hurry to let us know. Though you do have access to TV and magazines, you may be too modest to realize what I see and read every day: the spirit of Sally is already alive and well and pretty darn ubiquitous across our great land! You should start thinking of every show, every article, as a special message to you, in support of you, telling you profound and intimate truths about yourself. I'll bet your caregivers would be delighted by that development.

As for the underrepresentation of celebrities you have so shrewdly identified, I recommend that, when you're given some more computer time, you contact the smart people in the Obama regime or, for that matter, in the Mrs. Clinton regime-to-come. They are very knowledgeable about Hollywood celebrities and very favorably disposed toward them. And the celebrities return the favor!

Other Programs, Imperatives, and Urgent Needs may have unduly dominated our awesome public servants' attention so far, but there's a powerful cultural phenomenon that is on your side, and its influence is only going to grow. I refer to the newly malleable and protean nature of identity! (You understand protean, don't you, Sally? If not, you should look it up. It's a good word to know, especially these days.) If I can up and decide, anytime I want, that I'm a teenage girl, or a transgendered squirrel, or whatever, surely the authorities can instantly transform any celebrity into a medical specialist — not just on TV and in the movies, but in reality! And at your very hosp– ah, place of compassionate refuge.

I need to make a final point, but you must not take it as any sort of chastisement. For the record, I employ no nephews or other relatives here at TLD, smarty-pants or otherwise. This is an anarcho-anti-nepotist website.

Be well, dear friend! And please guard your teeth. Ω

October 24, 2016

Published in 2016 by WTM Enterprises.

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