Mr Pencil is good at many things, he is smart, funny and both interesting and interested in most things. He is intelligent and analytical – and he would probably excel at any vocation he chose. But he could never be a doctor.
Yesterday we had to take Little Pencil to a medical centre. He’d had a temperature for 5 days and it looked like this virus he was sporting might actually have developed into a bacterial infection. Mr Pencil knows this because he’s very smart and he knows all about secondary infections but still, he could never be a doctor.
You see a doctor would need to be comfortable in a medical setting and er, around sick people. Mr Pencil, well he forgets about logic and science and even antibodies and he becomes a neurotic Dettol wielding, germ dodging mess as soon as he sees a medical receptionist.
As we walked into the doctor’s rooms and sat down to wait out turn Mr Pencil stood. He hovered. He started talking frantically about what he could get from the shop across the road. It was clear that he wanted to leave. He needed an excuse to go shopping. But we didn’t need anything and so he continued to stand while we sat. You could actually see the repulsion he felt for the seats that “sick people had sat on”.
When Little Pencil instinctively reached for some play thing off the shelf, Mr Pencil visibly paled. He insisted that nobody was allowed to touch anything - it was bad enough that our bums were touching the seats. We were however allowed to use the communal hand sanitizer which he promptly made Little Pencil slather all over his feverish body.
Eye contact with other patients was strongly discouraged while we sat waiting for our appointment – lest someone’s breath maybe reach us through any form of communication.
It’s not just the doctor’s rooms though, we once went to visit a friend in hospital and stopped off at the ATM in the foyer to draw some money. Mr Pencil stretched his jumper down below his hands to cover his fingers so that they did not make contact with the keys. Apparently the sickest and most contagious patients in the hospital all use the ATM before they seek medical treatment?
He’s just not a germ man. In fact, as well as being unable to be a doctor I am pretty sure he could never be a bathroom attendant. Although to be honest the opportunity has never opened up to him.
Mr Pencil exits public toilets elbow first and then kind of sidles through the door trying to make himself glide through the entrance without so much as the toes of his shoes touching any surface. He will not touch anything close to, in the vicinity of or within a 10 meter radius of a public toilet.
He has taught Little Pencil NEVER to wash his hands in a public bathroom unless they have those fancy sensor taps. It is his firm belief that the taps are touched by a thousand unwashed hands straight after using the toilets – and I kind of have to agree with this one.
But the doctor’s rooms? All I can say is that Little Pencil is already better after two days on an anti-biotic, in fact the visit to the doctor seemed to improve his health. Mr Pencil on the other hand seems to have developed some kind of rash. I think it must be from the sustained and methodical over application of Dettol.