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Someone here owes me $20

By Bryan Richardson

People owe me $20. It’s not a lot of money, but principles are involved.

It all started Sept. 8 at Pillsbury Crossing. A few of us from the newsroom hung out that Sunday afternoon. In order to serve your need to know, it’s important for a newsroom to have good mojo.

We ate. We swam in water you can’t see through. It reminded me of growing up in Houston when I would visit nearby Galveston, home of the dirtiest beach water in America.

Eventually I stood on a rock and told a story that, if I remember correctly, kept my audience hanging on my every word.

Then, I slipped and fell. My right ring finger bravely took the brunt of the fall on behalf of the rest of my body.

I’ve fractured and jammed enough fingers in my lifetime to know that I probably did something to it at that point. I know how to treat it, so I began taking care of it without the use of a doctor. If only I knew the hassle it would become from people wanting me to have my finger examined.

My lovely girlfriend came to visit me the weekend after the incident occurred. My amateur wrap using a popsicle stick had gotten wet, and I wanted to change it.

“Did the doctor say you could unwrap it?” she asked.

“I never went to the doctor,” I said with a hint of disgust in my voice. Because why would I go to the doctor? I know how to take care of it.

My girlfriend indicated I should probably go to the doctor. Work wasn’t any better because I kept being asked about getting it checked.

I think it’s important to point out that only women bugged me about this. For whatever reason over the years, not going to the doctor has been deemed a masculine issue.

I refuse to be stereotyped unjustly, so I did some research. Apparently, embedded in the Y chromosome is Helpmenotosis, commonly known as I Can Do It.

I Can Do It makes men three times more likely than women to avoid seeking help. I Can Do It sometimes causes a man to blurt out “I Can Do It” in varying tones. Not every man’s I Can Do It occurs with the same intensity level nor over the same subjects.

My I Can Do It burden is not going to the doctor. It’s not that I don’t care about my health. I just don’t like paying for something I can determine myself, which is really the heart of I Can Do It.

A common I Can Do It example is a man attempting to fix something on his own. I Can Do It takes over when the situation reminds the man of the thing that happened that one time that he fixed. Why pay somebody to fix it now?

Tuesday came around, and I still hadn’t gone to a doctor. I did upgrade my popsicle splint to a fancy metal splint I bought at the store.

Despite showing an ability to pick out a good splint, I kept being badgered about my finger. I guess that two weeks of being unable to fully bend my finger is too long to avoid going to the doctor for some people. Finally, I relented and promised to go to urgent care.

As I sat in the waiting room filling out paperwork, I felt the spirit of my father descend upon me to judge this life choice.

“Why are you doing this, son?” my ghost dad asked.

I found it to be especially strange because my dad’s very much alive. He’s healthy and as far as I know he’ll be around for a while.

Before it got too weird, it was time for my X-ray. After the X-ray and the basic examination stuff, the doctor came in.

I told her what happened. She told me that my finger had a fracture, and the only thing I could do was continue doing what I had already been doing.

I should have trusted my I Can Do It instincts, but I allowed myself to be led astray.

I spent $20 of my hard-earned money on a 15-minute visit to make people around me feel better. Now, I need to feel better, and the only way I can do that is to get my money back.

The main culprits behind my financial loss were my girlfriend, news editor Megan Moser, HR director Mary Phelps and city reporter Corene Brisendine. They can designate a person to pay me $20. They can split the bill.

All that matters is that this great injustice is righted.

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