A beautiful old mansion on Franklin Roosevelt avenue.
Unaware still of the surreal experience that is coming my way, I push the door. I’m right on time, though a bit out of breath. I left in a hurry, and didn’t even have time to eat. Got a hazy feeling this first ever effort test might not go that brilliantly after all.
A pretty blond receptionist obnoxiously greets me and —wilfully, I’m sure— points me in the wrong direction. So it’s ten minutes late that I arrive in the Tall Man’s office.
And so it begins. The Tall Man is affable, and gently welcomes me to his neat office. He is polite and professional beyond reason. We have a short chit-chat and he explains the game: there are three rooms to go through, for about ten minutes each. Three ten minutes encounters, a feasible ordeal.
Ten minutes pass and the talk is over so I move to step two: the cardiologist. As I move towards the second room of the three, a very Tiny Old Woman with her stethoscope opens the door. Fragile-looking with her shy smile, she looks so grandmotherly that I am surprised she doesn’t offer me a cuppa and a homemade biscuit.
She doesn’t say a word. She clearly has been there for longer than one can remember. She looks so old I wonder if she’s just haunting the place. Very quietly, she checks my heart while I contemplate the idea of these two opposites, the Tall man and the Tiny woman, working together on an everyday basis. Do they even realise the comedy career they are bypassing?
Ten minutes pass. And I’m sent to the final room. The man who works there must be a doctor of some sort. But he does not look like any one I’ve met before. In a slightly over-energetic tone he tells me in his high-pitched voice to “get ready to run!”
I’m scared as he places all sorts of captors on me, I look like an alien in a low-budget amateur film. I run for 10 minutes, breathing like Dark Vador through the machine he positioned on my head. He drinks his coke while shouting the speeds I reach, and I can’t help wondering whether a doctor should be drinking coke in front of his patients, and why he looks so excited about this. His gaze is intense, too intense. I run faster and faster, and I wonder how this crazy man fits in the picture. I try to imagine the meetings these three have, the way they interact in their own peculiar way, and I’m elated to find another wonderful proof that real life is indeed full of larger-than-life characters.
Then the tests stops and I get back to reality. The Tall man meets me again and tells me the results, and I’m left to go home, bemused but jolly.
I’ll probably never know how this strange clown-like team did meet
But I very much enjoyed discovering the unlikely combination
Of the Tall the Old and the Fool, in that pretty mansion