Greetings, readers of The Clyde Fitch Report!
How are you? No, really. How are you? Because without your health, what is the point of all this razzle-dazzle showbiz stuff, anyway?
Jason Trachtenburg here. I’m a Brooklyn-based musician, comedian and male vocalist And, most notably, I’m the husband of Mother Pigeon. Yes, the famous pigeon lady in the park with the flocks of realistic-looking felt pigeons and rats.
I have written a musical comedy about our flailing healthcare system entitled Dr. Glassheart. The kind of title that says “break in case of emergency.”
Dr. Glassheart features 10 original, fully orchestrated big-band-style songs in the mode of Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie and Nelson Riddle orchestras. Every line is a laugh.
I also want you to know that Dr. Glassheart himself — live, in the flesh — has taken time out of his very busy schedule to share some of his latest thoughts with you, readers of the CFR! It’s written in the form of a memo…
From the Offices of Dr. Glassheart:
I live on an island, and I surround myself with myself. But then again, who doesn’t? Don’t we all?
Hello. My name is Dr. Glassheart. Dr. Jim Glassheart. Dr. James J. Glassheart, Medical Doctor. I work out of my office. I don’t do house-calls, but if I did, stairs would be extra, and I certainly wouldn’t go below 14th St. Of course, I do perform house calls on Saturday nights, when I’m needed most. Anything goes Saturday night when different rules apply, especially in this town.
In this town, everyone is “in it” for themselves, but is that what makes our community complete? Complete selfishness, that is. Selfishness surrounding itself with a heavy dose of isolationism. A heavy dose of isolationism compounded with complete conformity. Complete conformity leading to my diagnosis and recommendations, which I will outline into words and actions now. But first, a little bit about me and my background.
As noted, my title is that of Doctor, and it precedes me. I am a Hartford-trained medical doctor — Hartford Community College, Hartford, Connecticut, class of 1979. A lot has changed since I first got my degree, though I generally keep such thoughts to myself, as I am a general practitioner, in general.
I also have a nurse. Her name is Nadine. She is the utmost professional professional and she therefore doesn’t have to mask herself with medical mumbo-jumbo and a pack of secret cigarettes. What are these pockets for in my medical jacket, anyway?
I’ve come to the conclusion that my white medical jacket is not “all knowing,” nor is it “all powerful.” It is not even “all sanitary.” Every now and then — in this case, now — I question my entire indoctrinated doctrinaire belief system. What if everything that I’ve been taught in my training is in truth, and in proof, without foundation? Foundationlessness! Everything I know is wrong! It would be a pretty heavy pill to swallow, so to speak. Where is that baby aspirin when you really need it?
But I digress.
I’ve been investigating investigations and trendy trends that some of my client’s clients have been mentioning. Why is everyone talking about kombucha? What’s with these people and their acai bowls? What’s wrong with a plain old bowl? I’m really not sure where these trendy trends are taking us. Down some dark hole to somewhere, I suppose. I suppose I could prescribe a pill for that, I suppose. Where were we?
Ah, yes! My office. My Midtown Manhattan medical metier. Please, come by anytime. Just make an appointment with Ronna, my secretary-receptionist. She’ll set you straight, all right. Ronna knows all the best dance routines, including the “Ol’ 12 Step” (my favorite).
Step 1: Make an appointment.
Step 2: Acknowledge your powerlessness concerning your appointment. (I honor all insurance plans, even Cuomo-care.)
Step. 3. I forget.
I am your doctor! Your medical doctor. I am your doctor. I’ve lived a thousand lives, but I’m starting to lose count. Yes, I took the Hippocratic Oath and to renege on it would make me a Hippocratic hypocrite. “First, do no harm to the insurance card.” “Patient, heal thyself.” Wait, hold off on that, please. Thanks.
I get asked all kinds of questions during all hours of the day and night. But the one I will leave you with is — oh, and please let this serve as the diagnosis I’d promised earlier, too. “How is it possible to ‘get in your own way’ when we live within the three scientifically acceptable so-called Three Dimensions of Reality?” Riddle me that!
Even I can be an alternative practitioner when it serves my purposes.
At your service,
Dr. Jim Glassheart
Jason Trachtenburg is a Brooklyn-based musician, playwright, comedian, singer and President of the 4th St. Food Co-op in NYC’s East Village. He is not an actual doctor but is understudy to an Off-Off-Broadway doctor in the modern-day medical musical Dr. Glassheart, performed at The Tank (312 W. 36th St.) on Nov. 10 and 11, 7pm.