We are a society of wimps. The practice of medicine is based exclusively on the fear of litigation.
My dermatologist has treated a small cancer on my temple three times in the last twelve months. So he now refers me to a "specialist" after the 4th visit.
It takes two weeks to make an appointment to see the "specialist". We drive 60 miles and wait an hour in the waiting room to be admitted to an examining room where I read a book and wait another hour. He comes in and spends maybe a minute looking at the site. He has thick glasses and appears to be a young doctor, about 30. I doubt that he has ever seen a sucking chest wound. We agree to schedule an appointment for surgery two months out.
On the long drive back I realize that none of this is a big deal. I get the big soldering iron from my tool kit. After the tip turns bright red, I press it to my temple, inhaling the stink of burning hair and flesh. I think about G. Gordon Liddy and what weaklings most Americans have become.
Mrs. Phred looks at me oddly after I unplug the soldering iron. "WHAT?", I ask.
I love the smell of burning flesh in the evening...it's the scent of freedom. One more day here and then we head to the Keys for diving, margaritas and coconut shrimp.