There’s no denying it. I’m intensely homesick. Yeah, yeah France is magnifique, blah, blah, le blah, but still. I miss the sea and my people and I’m counting the sleeps (28) until I touch down in the homeland. Of course after 18 solid months of French bureaucrazy, it’s easy to romanticize the land I left behind. That place where I can competently communicate, where I know what the hell I’m eating at all times. But I imagine that after 36 hours of mini-malls and high-rises, I’ll be longing for stone walls, scrolly iron balconies and decent wine for 3 euros a bottle.
At any rate, the phrase that’s floating around my melon today is this: be careful what you wish for. I was successfully tracked down recently. I received an email from a lawyer representing a former patient of mine and how did she find me? I’m plastered all over the internet, that’s how. Anyway, it turns out that I’m being called as the key witness in a trial to take place in Canada towards the end of the year.
Ah yes, the career that never goes away. I’ll have to carefully review an enormous medical file, prepare myself for the grilling of a lifetime and drag myself back across the ocean, usually a 20 hour journey. Plus, I’ll probably have to get dressed. Let the record reflect that I object.
No doctor ever wants to hear from any lawyer unless it’s to advise of an unexpected inheritance. But the bottom line is my patient needs my help. And it doesn’t matter how long ago or how far away it all was. She needs me and I’ll be there with bells on, or at least without sweatpants on.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been a psychiatric expert, so I hope I’ve still got it. I’ve been watching back to back episodes of Frasier so that ought to help. Next I’ll download a bunch of Perry Mason and by the end of that there’ll be no stopping me. I just hope the lawyers for the other side don’t ask me what I’ve been doing for the past two years. And we’re sunk if they’ve read that book.
Some shark in a $1000 dollar suit will wave the book in my face and haughtily exclaim, “So Dr. French, are we to understand that you spend your time writing about the perils of living without sour cream? And you call yourself an expert! This woman is making a mockery of these proceedings!” Disgusted, she’ll triumphantly toss my beloved blook in my lap as if it were an issue of Manure and Droppings Monthly.
I’ll leap out of the witness chair, full of righteous indignation (I’ve practiced this) and turn to the judge, “Your Majesty, permission to treat the lawyer as hostile! I bloody well am an expert. Farmer’s Thick and Tangy Restaurant Style is the very best sour cream ever made. I rest my case. Now do you want me to sign that book or not?”