This Is What Happens When You Choose A Carnival Doctor

I consider myself a pretty street-smart chick. I mean, don’t ask me what the square root of anything is, or even what 24 divided by three is. Or really any elementary-level math or above. And I can’t properly use a ruler. But other than that, I can navigate the world pretty confidently using my God-given intuition and good, old fashioned common sense. Really, I can.

So when I was recently offered a  “Free Wellness Exam” at a chiropractic TENT set up at a CARNIVAL, you would think that surely I knew better than to fall for that sideshow nonsense.

I’d like to think that maybe my back pain clouded my judgement that day. Maybe it was the obnoxious clanking of the Calliope music. Maybe it was the food poisoning I had likely contracted from the days-old funnel cake and corn dog I consumed. Or maybe the smell of vomit and hot nacho cheeze sauce in the hot Summer air was enough to convince my senses to step into the tent in an attempt to conserve my lung capacity.

Whatever it was, they got me all right. They got me good. Because before the Ferris Wheel had even made a full rotation I had an appointment booked and paid for. Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m dumb.

Two days later, I drove 30 minutes out of my way after working an 8 hour shift, just in time for their “last appointment of the day.” The moment I walked in the door I knew I had made a foolish, fair-drunk mistake.

I don’t know if it was the Christian music blaring over the speakers, the glittery walls brimming with stock-photo people and their “I’m cured” testimonials, the clients casually scanning their phones to check-in so the receptionists don’t even have to speak anymore, or the 52 other people in the waiting room alongside me. All waiting for ONE doctor, which at this point I was picturing as a Jester.

Maybe it was the fact that there weren’t any doors on any of the adjustment rooms and I could just see bodies sprawled out on beds like I was at some sort of weird HIPAA-violating Christian-Rock hospital ward. They even have a prayer box on the wall that they were sure to point out to me during the “tour” of their hallway. They said they pray every morning. “Please God don’t let the customers read our Yelp reviews.”

Or maybe it was that they didn’t have WiFi!

Note to all businesses with a waiting room- It’s 2018. Why do you not have WiFi? Get with the program, people. When I inquired about it, they replied that they are “new,” as if being open for 13 months still qualifies? Listen, If I have to sit here for the next two hours listening to “God is My Wing Man;” at the very least, you better not make me use my own data. For the love.

This place was like a factory. And after about 30 minutes, I told them that, too. Which is probably why a few minutes after ushering me to the overflow waiting room (which was situated conveniently outside one of their multiple sales offices), they complimented my hair and presented me with a gift.

First of all, my hair looked like absolute [censored] and if a logo’d coffee mug filled with candy was supposed to make me overlook the fact that 15 more people had filed into the fun house and that I had now been there 45 minutes past my appointment time, it did not work.

Jesus, take the wheel because it’s about to go down up in this house of (smoke and) mirrors.

I considered scrawling a note and dropping in into the prayer box. “Please God let this not be a scam.” I even sent my husband a few colorful SOS texts while I was in the holding cell. “Help me. This place is [Censored. Censored censored, censored].” At the rate that these people were pouring in the door, it was almost as if they had found all their customers at a fair or something. Oh, wait.

I could see that the ladies at the front desk were getting a little nervous when they realized I might be onto them. And that their gift didn’t work. Candy is not my love language, y’all. It’s bread.

So when I went back up to the lobby, parting through the crowd on a mission to tell them I was leaving, and maybe even cuss a little; I was pleasantly surprised when they profusely apologized for overbooking and let me know that I would be getting my money back. Praise the Lord!

Maybe they were scared to anger us carnie folk. Maybe it was the combination of rage in my eyes and the lingering scent of corn dog on my breath. Or maybe, it was because I told her that I was a big-time blogger and that if they didn’t return my money I would write about it.

Either way, I kept the mug. I’m calling it a carnival prize.


Lindsay is a wife, mom, and comedy blogger, apparently. Because her life is a big joke. If any physical therapists out there are willing to trade their services for laughter or dog hair, hit her up.


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