Here I leave you with the fourth and final installment of the Adventures of Dr. Combat, an enigma wrapped in camouflage. To give you some quick background for this episode, at the time of this particular appointment with the good doctor I had given the Husband the "Band of Brothers" TV series as an Easter gift. He got it as an Easter gift because I couldn't wait until the next applicable gift-giving holiday to see it. Since then we had been watching the series like crazy as they are quite addictive. I came to be obsessed with "Band of Brothers." What an excellent production in every sense of the word. End background.
I was convinced that Dr. Combat was in an uncharacteristically bad mood (despite what I've let on previously, he was usually in a good humor around me--usually) the moment he walked in. I thought myself very "hip" on the current language that the young whippersnappers are using these days, and I amused myself with the greeting, "What up, doc?" He did not find that clever or funny as he looked up only long enough to glare at me before proceeding to his chair with my medical chart. He made with the doctoring, and as he moved to his desk to write out his notes at the end of it all, I began talking. Now, recall that Dr. Combat was not one for talking, or at least not to me. Everyone else, absolutely and please. Me, no. As I rambled on, he would occasionally look up at me with a most unpleasant look that mostly said to me, "SHUT. UP." He even let out an irritated "Hphf," that sounded not unlike a dog when it's been annoyed one too many times. As a kindness I quieted down long enough to let him jot some more notes before asking, since he was not officially my doctor, if I was allowed to switch to him since I was essentially now his patient anyway. Without looking up from his notes he said that while I was certainly welcome to see him anytime, switching to him officially would be pointless as he was transferring soon to the 101st Airborne. I marvelled excitedly, "Like Band of Brothers??"
What happened next requires its own paragraph. Now, as a child I became infamous for my glare. People dubbed it The Abby Look. I reserved it for those advertising the very stupidest of behavior or comments. I know how to glare. But it was in that instant in his office that I came to realize I was but an amateur sitting at the feet of The Master. His head didn't even move; only his eyes flashed upwards and targeted their unholy wrath upon me. I'm convinced that they alone could have stopped the Earth from spinning on its axis, extinguishing all life as we know it. Instead, he focused their incensed and hateful power squarely upon me. I was too terrified to cry out and therefore opted instead to quietly evacuate my bowels into my pants. Satisfied that I had been effectively silenced, he went back to writing. Fearing dismemberment, I stayed completely silent until he finished scribbling notes and finally stood to usher me out the door.
As we both stood, he suddenly brightened and declared, "It's so great to see you again, Mrs. [Abby]! I've been looking forward to this all day. I saw your name on my list of patients this morning and I got so excited! It really was good to see you!"
I said, "Oh. Thank you. You're very kind. It was nice to see you also."
I thought: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??"
I will go to my grave wondering how many different kinds of crazy made Dr. Combat tick. But It can also be supposed that if he were completely sane, would I have been as entertained by him? I contend not.
And so it is with a fond fairwell that we say our goodbyes to Dr. Combat, who may or may not still be alive today. I naturally hope he is; how else will scientists be able to unlock his powers and direct them for good? Innocent bystanders may be glared to death in the process, but I think we're just going to have to take that risk. For Science's sake.
[Author's notes: my sincerest thanks go to Mr. Howie Long for managing to appear straight long enough for the NFL to take the photograph seen above. It helped immensely in recreating Dr. Combat's physical features.
In addition, through my adventures with healthgrades.com I have confirmed (if indeed the information in his available profile is current) that Dr. Combat is still alive, still an Army doctor, and I assume, just the same as he always was.]