Beatin’ the Beetus

One of my best friends, Brian, has diabetes. Don’t worry, he knows.

A couple weeks before graduation, his car was in the shop, so I offered to take him to his doctor’s appointment at Vanderbilt Medical Center. I never could have imagined it would be the funniest twenty minutes of my entire life. “Only twenty minutes?” you say? Yep, Vanderbilt gets shit done.

Brian and I headed from Chillwood Pointe, our apartment complex, which is not actually named that, but it should be, and of course stopped through the McDonald’s drive-thru. We got our Diet Dicks–which are clearly just Diet Cokes overcompensating, a name Brian, himself, bequeathed upon Diet Coke long before I knew him–and headed toward Vanderbilt. A short ten minute drive with no traffic. We rolled the windows down, since my car’s air conditioning was broken, as is the way of most college stories, blasted music, and sang along. Obviously I took the lower harmony and Brian took the upper harmony–the only logical choice when the two music majors in your car are a female baritone and a boy soprano.

Down the road we go, until we hit the hell that is 21st Avenue in the middle of Vanderbilt in the middle of Nashville (such a specific, specific place). He tells me to turn into the garage just up ahead, but little did I know that Vanderbilt has a fucking valet service. An old man approached my car and asked my last name so he could write it down on the ticket for my keys. I said “Waldkirch”, he wrote down “Walker”. You know, the usual.

So, Brian and I grabbed our giant cups of cancer-water and walked into the elevator. I kid you not, every single person on that elevator was going to the diabetes clinic. It’s like Nashville had all seen the same ad for sugar free lollipops and blood draws. It was unbelievable. Also, not only was everyone headed to the same place, but everyone was headed there very slowly. There were probably six other people on that elevator with us, each of which slower and older than the next. It honestly took thirty seconds to figure out we were all going to the same place.

“What floor, dear?”

“Oh, um, three I believe?”

“What about you, honey?”

“Three please.”

“What can I press for ya, hun?”

“I’m on three, too.”

Good GOD. Reason number a thousand that I hate the South is that not only are people slow, but they’re really nice to you about it which is so fucking annoying.


We file off the elevator. Brian and I are at the tail end of the line. Brian swerved, I followed, we finally managed to get in front of these Oldy McOldertons. The double doors open and I see a sight I’ve never seen before. Every single chair is the size of a love seat. I’m not kidding. Must be really fucking wide to ride these chairs because they are ENORMOUS. Think of the widest chair you can imagine. Yes, that’s probably how big these chairs were. I sat down in one, proudly placed my Diet Coke on the table, and outstretched to my full wingspan before even coming close to comfortably using the arms of this chair.

I don’t think I’ve ever giggled harder. There is something so poetic about chauffeuring your friend to a diabetes appointment when you’re both twenty-two and also you’re both drinking the sugariest drink in the world and also you’re sitting in a chair specifically designed for the 600-pound man.

Brian’s name got called to go back. Brian walked to the back. Brian walked back to me. This all happened in under twenty seconds. I’m not exaggerating. Ask Brian if you want. It’s literally like the whole reason for the appointment was for him to prove physically that he was still alive.

“Still alive?”


“Still got the beetus?”



Well, that’s how I imagine the appointment went anyway.

Brian and I saunter out of the clinic, take the elevator down to the VALET. I REPEAT, THE VALET. I tell the guy my name, Walker, he goes to get my car and we sit down. Not a minute later, a woman slowly approaches us, she is conservatively 176 years old, and asks if we’ve seen her husband. Nope, we definitely haven’t seen her husband. She found him the instant we responded. Mostly because he, like she, was sitting next to us the whole time.

More giggling.

We waited for my car, got in, and decided to get mani/pedis.


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