First of all, get your mind out of the gutter. “Lollipop” isn’t a euphemism for anything else. This is serious.
It’s been like this since I was a kid. I’d never thought about telling anyone because I worried people would think I was either nuts or gay; where I live, those two labels carry similar stigmas.
To be honest, I’m only mentioning it now because it’s starting to get really weird.
First, let me just give you an example of how this all normally works. I work at a pediatrician’s office, so, of course, there are lots of lollipops to go around. I was finishing up my shift when I felt my blood sugar tanking a bit, so I grabbed a Dum Dums mystery flavor lollipop, unwrapped it, and popped it in my mouth. I love the mystery flavors. They’re just so….mysterious.
Anyway, I absentmindedly sucked it while cleaning up my desk, when, on cue, the sounds started.
“Oh good heavens, don’t stop.”
I’m the only one who can hear this, mind you. Shay was working right next to me and didn’t notice a thing. Regardless, the voice persisted and grew in enthusiasm as I got closer to finishing it. As always, as the last bit of candy dissolved, I heard a grunt and a muffled “thank you.” Then it was gone.
That’s not normal, right?
It’s possible this is all in my head. I’ll freely admit it. Still, there’s just something too tangible about the whole thing to make me truly think I’m hallucinating.
Then there was what happened yesterday.
I was at work and we were leaving early because there was a snowstorm on the way. Shay was calling patients to reschedule their appointments while I billed the insurance companies for the patients we’d had earlier. The weather man, Chuck Gerrard, aka: “Dewey Doppler,” was doing a live broadcast in front of his maps and showing the predicted snow accumulations.
I watched and grabbed a cherry lollipop. I unwrapped it and put it in my mouth. The weather man paused and his eyebrows arched for a second, but then he continued his forecast. I didn’t think much of it.
I manipulated the candy with my lips and tongue and the familiar “mmmmm” filled my skull. Dewey Doppler started to look bewildered and uncomfortable. He was walking strangely but still going on with the broadcast. It was unusual; Dewey Doppler never messed up. He’s a consummate professional. Something had to have been wrong.
I studied Dewey as I sucked the lollipop. His face was getting red and the HD image of his face showed beads of sweat appearing on his brow. A disturbing pang of realization struck me.
With experimental deliberateness, I pulled the lollipop out of my mouth, then licked all around its circumference as I studied the weather man’s face. The moaning in my mind grew fervid and Dewey stumbled as he walked across to the other side of the map. His hand was down by his waist, as if he were covering something. I was fascinated.
“Don’t stop, please.”
The words in my mind were insistent and Dewey Doppler was standing with a slight hunch, but still soldiered on with the forecast.
The doctor burst into the office, startling me out of my concentration. Without thinking, I bit down on the lollipop. A shrill, hysterical screech came from the television. Shay, the doctor, and I all turned toward the sound of pain and saw a wide patch of dark red blooming across the front of the weather man’s pants. He clutched his crotch and screamed again. The video cut to commercial.
“What the hell was that?,” the doctor asked.
“I…I don’t know,” I stammered.
“Wow, that poor man,” Shay sighed, then went back to her phone calls.
The doctor went about his business and Shay went about hers. I sat in my chair and tried to work, but the flavor of cherry in my mouth didn’t taste so sweet anymore. And in my head, I still heard Dewey Doppler screaming.