Willem Dafoe, What’s so Funny? By Octo G. Enario
With the Gym peopled by seniors, there is a lot of talk about surgeries. All kinds of parts wear out in our age group: knees, hips, and shoulders, whatever. The types of medical procedures are almost endless. However, one type does seem most popular to discus, the dreaded colonoscopy. Everyone has an anecdote. Most highlight the pain and discomfort. My story has a slightly different twist on the sensitive topic. It follows.
Dafoe, Willem Dafoe, what’s so funny about the actor Willem Dafoe? What’s so funny…my wife is. Does she know Mr. Dafoe? No. Do I know him? No. What connection does he have to our family? Apparently, it is I.
Mr. Dafoe has had a long career in films, often playing quirky, evil characters. Never a glamorous superstar, but he does not lack for work in popular Hollywood films. When he and I were young, we looked nothing alike. He was gaunt, thin and wiry, while I was always full-faced and a bit chunky. As he aged, the actor remained thin and gaunt and now has short gray hair. As I aged, I became thin and gaunt with a full head of short, gray hair. People who have known me for many years think we look nothing alike, probably because they “see” me as the old Octo. But people who meet me now for the first time have no problem seeing the resemblance. What does all this have to do with being funny? Please read on.
Recently I had a colonoscopy. This procedure is not so funny for the patient, but it usually generates a lot of jokes and wry humor from friends and acquaintances. My supportive wife drove me to the clinic and was in attendance before and after the procedure. As required, I had not eaten solid food for two days prior, and I was in a weakened condition when I was rolled into the procedure room.
The room contained the usual complement of medical support personnel and of course, the doctor performing the operation. Coincidently, they were all women. In comes this old, gaunt, thin, starving gray-haired man on a gurney. I was not quite under from the drugs they had administered and could still converse as all seven looked down at me. One young nurse said to me, “Hey, you look like Willem Dafoe.” Overhearing this, the others in the room start nodding their heads, with several saying, “Yeah, he does.” I was glad to enliven their routine, but light chit chat was the furthest thing from my mind as I anticipated what was about to happen to my little body. Nevertheless I answered with a strained but polite smile, “Oh. I see.” The comments continued unending for a minute or two while I slipped into Never, Never Land as the drugs mercifully kicked in.
Apparently, everything went as planned, and I found myself gaining consciousness in a bed in the recovery area. There was my dear wife holding my hand, along with the recovery nurse doing her post-op duties. The doctor who had just performed the procedure came by to give me the results (which were all good) and to complete some follow-up details. During her visit, she turned to my wife and said, “Did you know that your husband looks like Willem Dafoe?”
My wife, looking the doctor in the eye and cocking her head slightly, impishly responded, “Oh, really? Which end?” Every other patient leaves the recovery room in a somber, vulnerable state. We left them laughing. Boy is my wife funny!