My ancient dad just had major surgery and the surgeon was the classic personality type of his profession. My elderly mom and the doctor were standing over my dad’s bed and my mom pointed to my dad's low blood pressure numbers on a monitor and asked if it was a problem.  The doctor said, “I fail to see the relevance of that question.” End of conversation. 

The doctor put up side-by-side images on a screen, an x-ray and an MRI. My dad asked, “Which one is the MRI?” My mom said, “The one on the right,” based on her 30 years of seeing these things while volunteering in that hospital. The doctor snapped at Mom, “Are you a nurse?”

After the surgery was declared a success my mom said, “I’m so relieved!” and the surgeon snarled “Are you surprised?” The doctor’s webpage uses the word “compassionate” two times in describing him.

I watched Emperor of the North, an old movie with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine about hoboes riding trains throughout the country in 1933. It had lots of action, grimy-faced men using hammers and axes as weapons, running along the tops of train cars in motion, and clinging to the bottom of train cars, inches from the tracks rushing by below. After the movie I had one last weekend chore and I vacuumed that apartment floor just like Lee Marvin would’ve, with a sneer.