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Knock knock, I've come to probe your degree

I had an epiphany the other day.

As happens with these things, I was having them check my prostate, while I was lying prostate (ah, Mzwakhe, I didn't even have to try; these rhymes just come naturally).

Anyway, she is probing deeper, and I say: "I have come."

"What?" she exclaims, and she immediately withdraws her probe.

"No, don't withdraw your probe."

So she goes in again, and continues with the probe.

"But I have come."

"Again?"

"No. The first time you went in I came."

"Mr Khumalo, you are trying my patience."

I don't know why they resort to honorifics when it comes to these probes. When I was sitting with her having coffee the other day, she was not calling me Mister Khumalo. To her I was Fred. Even called me Freddo. And she leaned forward. Forward enough that I could smell her shampoo. And her mouthwash too (Mzwakhe, give it up my brother. These rhymes are my thing, without an effort).

So I say, "I have come. I have come to a conclusion that you have been lying to me all these years."

"What?" She recoils in horror, obviously in the process she withdraws. I ask her gently, to gently go back to what she was doing. I am coming to a point, I tell her.

So, I continue: "I have had an epiphany."

Again, she withdraws, reaches out for her phone, and, of course I know what she is doing. She is googling the word "epiphany". So I tell her what it means.

But when she tries to go in again I say: "No, you've just touched your cellphone. So you can't use that finger again. Get a new pair of gloves." I am not looking, but I can sense the sun of embarrassment shining on her face.

Freshly begloved, she resurfaces, and asks: "Mr. Khumalo, are you high on something."

"Wish I were high. But I am low. Low as you can get. Look at me right now. You've got me pinned down on this sponge, and you are probing me. Can't get lower than that."

"No, what I mean is, did you take some substance before you came here?"

"No. I did not take any substance. Until your probe got me to come. To come to this conclusion."

"It's not funny, Mr Khumalo."

"I know. That probing finger is not funny at all. It's not supposed."

"I haven't prescribed any suppository yet."

You see? She is not even listening. And she is probing me.

So, I say, "What I am saying, is that you are not even a doctor."

Again, she recoils. And withdraws.

"Continue the probe, dammit, you're almost there," I say.

"You are not a doctor. That certificate that is displayed there says: MBChB. You think I don't know things! I might be a product of Bantu Education, but I know some things. I know some Latin. Deus Vobiscum! I know what that means. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. I know what that means. You see, the least articulate you are in a language, the more you want to be bombastic. Just to show off. So I know all the big words in English. I can even tell you that many English words come from Latin."

"Mr Khumalo what is the point."

"The point is, Doctor, you are not a doctor. The abbreviation MBChB stands for Medicinae Baccalaureus. Alternatively, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae. You are not a frigging doctor."

The probe freezes.

"Go back to school," I say. "And get a doctorate. I know even your boss Aaron Motsoaledi says he is a doctor."

So I say: get a proper doctorate. These days PhD degrees are so plentiful and the subjects you can write on are unimaginable.

When I was at Harvard (there's a nice ring to that!), when I was at Harvard I took a semester-long class on "Of Mean Streets and Jungle Fevers: Race, Gender and Ethnicity in Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee". Google that if you want, but I took that class.

So, I could have proceeded and specialised, and would have taken a PhD in "The Jesus Raised That Finger: Religious Symbolism in the Movies of Martin Scorsese - A Postmodern Exercise in Semiotics".

Or, if you wanted to do your PhD in Indigenous Knowledge Systems you could dedicate your study to "Hehehe - The Underlying Meaning Beneath the Laugh of Those Who Find Their Fingers in the Cookie Jar".

You, see, you uneducated people who take aegis behind long Latin honorifics, the possibilities are endless. Go get yourselves educated, maaan!

What I am saying, brothers and sisters with so-called medical degrees, it's not difficult to specialise! Don't tell me you are a medical doctor. You are not!

Anyway, it came to pass that the so-called doctor probing me suddenly cried: "Eureka!"

Of course eureka is not very far from epiphany in the dictionary. She had found what she was looking for. My prostate, as I was lying prostrate.

(I wrote this piece, in my head, while I was being probed.)

lComments: fredkhumalo@post. harvard.edu

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