Bob pulled open the door and stepped to the side. Woodruff cupped his ears with his hands.
“Why are you holding both ears?”
“Why are you covering your ears?”
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU. I’M COVERING MY EARS.”
Woodruff walked through the doorway and stepped into the cozy waiting room. There was a counter at the far side of the room with a clipboard, next to a jar of pens, and a silver bell. Bob leaned over the counter to look for a receptionist. Hands still over his ears, Woodruff rang the bell with his forehead.
A short frizzy haired woman with a bright smile stepped out from behind a filing cabinet.
“May I help you?” the frizzy hair woman said.
“Yes, we called ahead about a removal.”
“Oh, yeah,” she said. “Woodrow, right?”
“Woodruff,” Bob corrected.
“MY NAME IS WOODRUFF.”
Bob reached up and pulled Woodruff’s hands down to his side.
“Stop shouting,” Bob said. “You sound like a crazy person.”
“I couldn’t exactly make out what the problem was on the phone through all the hysteria,” the frizzy haired woman said.
“First of all, Alice,” Bob said, reading her name tag. “I wasn’t hysterical, that’s my emergency voice. And second, my friend here has a coin stuck in his ear.”
“I HAVE A COIN STUCK IN MY EAR.”
“Why are you still yelling?” Bob said. “Can you not hear us?”
“WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
“How many coins does he have in there?”
“Just one I think.”
“Fill out this form and I’ll be right back.”
Bob pulled a pen from the jar, took the clipboard from Alice, and found a seat next to an end table overflowing with magazines. Woodruff stared at a stereogram picture on the wall and rubbed gently at his ears.
“Woodruff, do you have any allergies besides faux leather?”
Woodruff continued to stare at the picture.
“I SEE A SAILBOAT.”
“Okay,” Bob said, and continued to write. “Allergies, none. Reason for visit…”
“AND A DOLPHIN.”
“Coin in the ear.”
Bob completed the form and reported back to the counter. With a great big smile, Alice accepted the clipboard and took a moment to look it over.
“All right, bring him on back,” Alice said. “I’ll go get Doctor Professor.”
“Yes, Doctor Daniel Professor.”
Alice opened the door to the right of the counter and Bob escorted Woodruff down the hallway, following the receptionist. She gestured to an open door and swapped a green flag for a red one. Woodruff sat on the elevated table at the center of the room and Bob took a seat on a round stood with wheels.
“Doctor Professor will be in to see you shortly.”
She closed the door behind her, leaving Woodruff and Bob alone.
“DID SHE SAY DOCTOR BLOOD PRESSURE?”
“No, Doctor Professor.”
The door opened and a tall slender man in a white coat entered. He removed his glasses and squinted down at the clipboard. A grin broke across his face and he put his glasses back on.
“I see we have a classic coin in the ear situation,” Doctor Professor said. “Usually this only happens with small children.”
“DOCTOR PROPELLER, I HAVE A COIN IN MY EAR.”
“Forgive him,” Bob said. “He can’t hear.”
“I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING.”
“Okay, well, let’s see what we’re dealing with.”
The doctor pulled out a pen light and shined it in Woodruff’s ear.
“What kind of coin are we looking at?”
“Yeah, it’s a beautiful coin,” Bob said. “Mint condition. You know, before it was embedded in his ear canal.”
“How did he get two pence stuck in his ear?”
“The usual way. A pretty girl, a magician, a volunteer from the audience, a random coin, it happens.”
“I LIKE YOUR DOLPHIN PICTURE IN THE LOBBY.”
“So he was the volunteer from the audience?”
“No, he’s the magician.”
The paper crinkled beneath Woodruff as he squirmed from side to side and watched Bob and the doctor.
“You know the old coin behind the ear trick?”
“Well that’s old news. We wanted to do something different, something fresh.”
“In our act the volunteer pulls the coin from behind the magician’s ear.”
“So how did the coin get in his ear then?”
“A magician never tells his secrets.”
“I’M A MAGICIAN.”
The doctor shook his head and walked over to the workstation behind Bob. He rooted around in a drawer for a moment and produced a long pair of tweezers.
“We’ll have that out in a jiffy.”
Ignoring his extra loud patient, Doctor Professor shined his pen light down Woodruff’s ear canal and carefully lined up the tweezers. He reached in on pulled out a wax coated coin and showed it to Woodruff and Bob.
“Voila!” Doctor Professor said.
“IS THAT THE COIN FROM MY EAR?”
“Why are you still talking so loud?” Bob asked.
“BECAUSE IF IT IS, I STILL CANNOT HEAR.”
With a grimace, the doctor shined his handy pen light in Woodruff’s ear again.
“There’s something else in there.”
Bob failed to conceal a wry smile. Doctor Professor eyed him skeptically before he turned his attention back to Woodruff, who was also smiling.
“What’s going on?” the doctor asked.
“What do you mean?”
“IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE IN THERE?”
Doctor Professor pursed his lips and shot a squinty-eyed look at the grinning companions. He turned his attention, and his pen light, back on the blockage. With precision, he grasped hold of the obstruction and pulled out a blue handkerchief. The backend of the cloth diamond was still in Woodruff’s ear so he pulled again and out popped a yellow handkerchief, attached to the blue one. This was repeated over and over as red, orange, green, and purple followed. Finally, a pair of polka dot underpants slipped out of the previously obstructed duct and dangled from the end of the handkerchief rainbow rope.
“VOILA!” Woodruff said.
He hopped off the exam table and clasped hands with Bob. They raised their arms in the air and took a deep bow.
“AND THAT’S MAGIC.”
“Why are you still shouting?”
“I DON’T KNOW, I THINK I GOT USED TO TALKING LIKE THIS.”
“Are you telling me that you came here to do a magic trick?” the doctor asked.
“Sure did,” Bob said. “We’re going to revolutionize the craft.”
“By doing unsolicited tricks for free to an audience of one?”
“Actually there’s a $40 copay,” Doctor Professor said. “So this act is going to cost you.”
“BUT DID YOU ENJOY THE SHOW.”
“It’s a neat trick, but how did you fit all that stuff in there?”
Woodruff raised his hands to the sides of his face and twinkled his fingers.
“All right, well, you can pay Alice on your way out.”
“About that,” Bob said. “Would you accept coupons for half off admission to our next show?”
“OKAY. WELL, YOU’VE BEEN A GREAT AUDIENCE. BE SURE TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS.”
Doctor Professor shook his head and pulled open the office door. Woodruff and Bob stepped out into the hallway and headed for the lobby.
“I think you were right, Woodruff. Gorilla Magicianing is probably one of those ‘ahead of its time’ ideas.”
“I TOLD YOU SO.”