Fifty Dollars

Fifty-dollars. Phone calls and tinny voice mails every weekday from a different number and an ominous letter each Thursday over fifty-dollars. Payment for the two separate splints I’d gotten for my broken pinky is what they were after. I was a month late on the bill and Revenue Services Canada had sicced the outsourced hounds on me. When I finally answered the phone you seemed completely nonplussed. “Sir, why have you not payed your bill?” Seeing this as a great opportunity to exercise a budding interest in improv, I proceeded to spin a tale of woe:

A botched job putting the pin in my finger had led to a nasty infection. Days later I’d woken up to no feeling in my arm and found it discoloured to a horrid shade of porkchop-left-on-a-hot-tin-roof-for-three-days. A nurse fainted and hit his head on the admitting counter when he saw my mess of a limb. The doctor told me what I’d feared: they’d have to amputate.

After four hours of excruciating pain due to my unfortunate allergy to anesthetics, I laid in a pool of sweat and blood on the operating table. The good part of the whole ordeal, I told you, was that the doctor said I needn’t worry about the fifty-dollars for the splints. This was his bad and he’d cover it. And he even let me keep my arm!

There was a long pause that I took as my cue to hang up.

Portrait by Karston Smith for #POBEshow 2014