In my cab, I will often be called to pick up someone from a medical facility. It happens frequently that when I arrive, the patient/passenger is not ready to leave. Inevitably, the receptionist will tell me, “You can have a seat, sir.”

This bothers me. Do I really need to stand there among all the empty chairs in the waiting room and be told to “have a seat?” As if, without being told to have a seat, I might just stand there forever, not quite knowing what to do? I might start spazzing out like a robot under a sprinkler? I might start speaking in tongues to the air conditioning vent? I might start punching myself in the face? Is she really giving me PERMISSION to sit down? Golly, thanks! Very kind of you. Is there a charge? Where’s the tip jar? You mean I can sit down just like that? What a country! How about a Bloody Mary, babe! And don’t put any of that rabbit food in it, either! How should I sit down? Do I bend my legs first or just kind of flop backwards?

But more than this, what bothers me is the idea the receptionist apparently has that I would really love to just sit down in the doctor’s office and wait for my passenger. So comfy! Do I don’t need insurance to plop down here and rest the poor old dogs? Boy howdy! I wish I could just stay here all day! Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room is so relaxing! My favorite pastime! Cathartic! Pastoral! Can I come here and hang out on my day off? I’ve got a vacation coming up, was thinking of the Yucatan peninsula, but maybe we could just come to Doctor Vihenssevea’s Proctal Care instead. Maybe I can breathe in real deep and catch every disease that’s floating around in here! What’s that smell? Loose urine? Carbolic acid? Wonderful! Somebody just sneezed a snot rope! Perfect! Ooooh, there’s a TV too! Wi-Fi? No way! Wow, just wow. Don’t you dare tell me you have cable! And magazines! Time! Diabetic Weekly! Somebody pinch me!

I always say, “It’s okay, I’ll wait outside.”

Inevitably, the receptionist looks at me like I’ve just put my finger in her coffee cup.


This is an excerpt from Mather Schneider’s new memoir, 6 to 6. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.