Death of a Briefcase
Now I realize you might find it a bit strange a Doc could be nostalgic for a briefcase, but I was. I had the same one for twenty-five years.
Besides nostalgic it is practical, and I am a practical man. One time I left my car headlights on in the Walmarks parking lot. The Harvey County patrol man didn’t have to run a tag. He saw the stethoscope on the dash, but also spotted my briefcase in the front seat and called to let me know. “Hell, I knew it had to be Tommy Bibey,” he said. “The ‘I Love my Martin Guitar’ decal and the ‘Bluegrass- Finger-Picking Good’ stickers were a dead give-away.”
When the last latch broke and the contents spilled in the floor, I knew the end was here. There was an array of expired Chik-Fil-A coupons and a certificate for a free Auto Bell car wash a patient gave me last year that I hadn’t cashed in yet. It might have been a blessing; there was my hemacult test I’d forgotten to do. Thank goodness it was negative. (One year I found mine on the golf course. My buddy said only a doctor would carry a dookey test in his golf bag.)
However, I also carry a lot of important papers. I was afraid the band set list could get lost if I wasn’t careful, and I knew something had to be done. I don’t like to show up unprepared. My other guys aren’t obsessive enough to be concerned about such, so it is up to me to worry.
Marfar saw it coming. When I showed her the busted briefcase, she just smiled and handed me another one.
“Hey, isn’t this the one you used in grad school?”
I noticed a lock on it. “What’s the combination?”
She whispered in my ear.
“Dang, honey. The CIA couldn’t unencrypt that, not that they care.”
My first one was black, but this one is brown. Marfar put on the ceremonial first bumper sticker. It was one of the Elvis home-place from our visit to Tupelo. True to form, it was color co-ordinated with taupes and tans that matched up with the case to perfection. I didn’t even mind the little yellow daises from her school days. Even a dumb man could see they were a fit.
Heck, I am not much of one to change, but I like this one even better than the old one. It reminds me of my Marfar every day, and she is better than bluegrass.
Now all I gotta do is repopulate it with new case stickers. I might forget and leave my lights on, and I want folks to know it is me when I do.
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