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The office was in a small one-story building across from the Armadillo Lunch Behavior Promulgation Terminal. Inside were two of the best dermatologists in the county. Word was, if you wanted a lump removed from your body or skin tags or warts burnt off, this was the place. I had an unsightly lump on my head. My friend kept after me about it.

“Doug, there’s no reason to keep wearing that damn lump. These dermatologists can just zip that thing off of there and have you on your way in no time. It doesn’t even hurt much. I’m telling you. If your insurance will cover it you have nothing to lose but that damn ugly lump of hideous flesh on your head.”

Finally I had relented, I allowed myself to be convinced. So here I was at the front desk and I filled out the papers and gave my insurance card to be copied and so forth.

“And what are you here for today?” Asked the office-howler behind the desk.

“My head.”

“And what is the procedure you’re having done?”

“Removal. Not of my head. This lump here. This unsightly bump on my head.”

“The doctor will be right with you. Please have a seat.”

I sat for a while reading Epidermal Journal. Then they called me back to the lump-chopping room. The doctor was there. He greeted me.

“Good morning, Mister Cloud, I’m Doctor Hasher D. Dicer. How are you today? Are you nervous?”

“No, actually I feel quite well.”

“Excellent. Have a seat here (he indicated the doctor bench-bed-seat-table) and let me get a closer look at the offending protuberance...” And he donned these magnifying goggles and shone the light on my head and had a good look at my bump.

“This is a benign cow-sick-cattle-omia, probably caused by exposure to the penetrating eyes of docile farm animals who saw you on a daily basis one summer when you rode your bicycle past them on your way to the dime store to buy candy.”

He told me to lay back and relax. I knew he was going to brandish a metal syringe of novocaine. This was the hard part for me. Especially on the forehead. But this was probably the worst part, so all I had to do was relax and concentrate on the spot where the pain was and! Visualize what? He had the needle in there and was turning it, making sure he had the area numb. Then he removed the needle and again pierced the flesh at the base of the lump on the other side. Too late to visualize, just grit your teeth and wiggle your toes. The good doctor talked to me a few minutes to make sure the novocaine had taken hold, then he took up his scalpel, told me to hold still, and with a deft slice he cleaved that sucker right off there. He chopped that old lumpish something off my head with a terrible swiftness.

Then he put a piece of gauze on my head to absorb the blood while he put the lump onto the steel tray and got the cauterizing machinery ready. I sat up and held out my hand. “Can I take it home?” I wanted the lump to dry it out and keep it as a souvenir. But when I sat up the gauze fell off my head and blood poured down my face. The doctor looked at me with alarm.

“Mister Cloud! Please lie back. You have an open wound there, I am not finished!”

“Sorry, doctor.”

“As for the lump, it must be sent away to Lake Michigan and tested for possible industrial materials applications.”

I laid back down. With my sleeve I wiped the blood off my face. I made a mental note to spray spotting soap on that sleeve when I got home. ‘I guess you have a lot of trouble with squirrels of my ilk when we come in for lump-chopping?”

“It’s nothing at all,” he said, and applied the red hot cauterizing machine to seal the wound.

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