Dr. Jack Kevorkian invited me to come along with him recently to visit some of his patients. His misunderstood me and mistook me for ‘Ted’ Kennedy. (This embarrassment happens frequently to me).
Kevorkian was delighted to have a senator come along with him on his calls. Kevorkian realizes he’s a celebrity and likes to capitalize on it. He thought that in the presidential election year that I was just another prominent politician trying to suck a little publicity out of him. I didn’t try to hard to persuade him that I wasn’t ‘Ted’ Kennedy. Besides no other doctor in the country could match Jack Kevorkian’s success record – one visit is all he needs.
Kevorkian is the pathologist who is doing his best to eliminate suffering in this world by eliminating the sufferers. It’s the exact role reversal of Mother Teresa’s. She encourages the suffering to live and have hope – Kevorkian encourages them to give up and die – with his help. (The redemptive power of the cross has never crossed Kevorkian’s mind).
Jack suggested that we should call on his aging mother fist. He claimed that he hadn’t seen her for quite a while. So we did.
It was a modest frame house is a working-class district in Chicago. He knocked noisily on the front door.
“Is that you Jack?”
“How can you be ‘out’ mother, when I hear you talking?”
“This is a recorded message, Jack. Haven’t you ever heard of them? Now get out of here before I set my pit bull terrier on you!” I heard the snarling and barking of a vicious sounding dog and I suggested that we leave in a hurry.
“Mother hasn’t got a dog. That’s just a tape she’s bought of a vicious watch dog.” He turned back to the door.
“Mother, I’ve just dropped in to see how you are?”
“Fine. Now get outta here! Last time you ‘dropped’ in on Aunt Esmeralda – I had to buy a funeral plot for her”
“A pure co-incidence, mother, she died of natural causes.”
“Yeah, well that’s what I want to die from. Now get outta here before I call the police!”
“Mother, is that any way for you to talk to you son, the doctor?”
“Doctor’ – my foot! All you ever were was a pathologist – you ever saw a patient that wasn’t dead. Mother Teresa you ain’t. Now get outta here and take that short baldheaded guy with you!”
“That’s no way to talk about Senator Ted Kennedy.”
“If he’s ‘Ted Kennedy’ – I’m Pope John XXIII.”
Kevorkian turned to me and asked. “You are Ted Kennedy – aren’t you?” I looked up at him with childlike innocence and asked, “Have I ever lied to you before?” (Even though we had never met before that seem to reassure him.
“mother, let me in – or I’m going to have you committed.”
“You’re the one who should be committed. And I know where to. If we didn’t have a country with the likes of Bill Clinton running it – you would be too.”
“I can see, mother, that he’s not going to have you write his obit.”
“You’re darn right! Why did Clinton veto the partial birth abortion bill? Why?!”
“Oh you pro-lifers are all the same. Get a life!”
“No, I want to keep the one I’ve got. I’ve named my lawyer as the chief beneficiary of my estate to make sure that you don’t get a red cent!”
“Mother, how cruel can you be?! Your only son – cutting me off without a cent?! I insisted that I get in to see if you’re all right.”
His mother opened the door and in barged Kevorkian dragging me with him. It was only then that I saw what must have been the biggest, ugliest-looking, most vicious pit bull terrier in the whole world! He was snarling and frothing at the mouth! He wasn’t tied up. He was pawing the floor – rocking back and forward on his haunches – his red rimmed eyes staring crazily at me. I took off and I’m sure I ad no trouble breaking the recent record for the 100 year dash at the Olympics. Kevorkian followed.
I stopped to catch my breath and looked back and saw Kevorkian being chased around a tree on the front lawn by the put bull terrier and the neighbors who had gathered were taking bets on who was going to win.