Wrinkling my nose against the acrid smell of sweat clinging to his hockey uniform, I carefully probed the teenager's impressively swollen wrist. I sent him off to the radiology department with his grandmother and turned my attention immediately to another patient in the endless emergency queue, completely forgetting to send a digital requisition for the needed X-rays.
The radiology technician, attempting to correct my omission, asked grandma which doctor had attended her grandson. “I can’t remember,” she said, “But it was the short, handsome, Latino man.”
One out of three isn’t bad, I suppose: I’m a card-carrying member of the pocket-doctor set, indisputably small.
Her generous assessment of my wrinkly mug as “handsome” was proof only that she had to be legally blind, surely beset by the densest of cataracts. My vacation-acquired tan penetrated her milky lenses just enough for her to kindly bestow me with Brazilian or Puerto Rican heritage.
Ironically, though my roots are thoroughly Dutch, I'm endowed with the mercurial temper for which Latinos are famous (a most ignorant stereotype, let me hasten to stress, before level-headed Latin Americans launch irritable volleys of protest in my direction). Read the rest of this entry »