Saturday night, my husband and I were at our neighborhood restaurant/bar enjoying a cocktail and an appetizer.
A large group of regulars came in and made it a party. As the evening progressed, the drinks flowed and the room became loud and electric. I noticed that one of the men in this group was sitting by himself at the bar not engaging anyone in conversation.
I've met him before. He's a well known neurosurgeon in our city. His personality is dry and boring, however, I pride myself on being able to chat it up with anyone at anytime about anything.
Having just spent the past week listening to the talking heads debating health care reform, I decided to approach Dr. Neurosurgeon and get his take on things.
The conversation started out well. I stroked his ego first by asking him about his new Cessna Plane that he recently purchased. (He was wearing a stylish polo shirt, with a Cessna logo smartly adorning his right shoulder.) Then I delicately asked him his views on the health care debate.
I felt confident and was up for a lively discussion. I was freshly schooled by listening to Jon Stewart and Bill Maher debate the issue.
There were no surprises here. Dr. Neurosurgeon adamantly defended the right wing point of view. He cited the Canadian "failures". He repeated the tired mantra that the medicaid and medicare programs are going broke. He addressed the issue of the uninsured like you would expect someone who just bought his own plane would.
I responded with counter points and actual facts, and our conversation flourished. I was thoroughly enjoying this civilized and intelligent dialogue.
Our discussion evolved and I casually asked the good doctor what he thought about the "birther" issue. His answer stunned me. He stated that he has not seen definitive proof that our President is a US born citizen.
After a brief exchange, I said to him, "If that's what you believe, then you've just lost total credibility in my view" .
At that point, Dr. Neurosurgeon stood up in a huff and stated, "If I lost total credibility with you, then there is no point in us continuing this discussion." He then stormed out like a spurned teenager.
I was still taken aback when I returned to my husband who was perched at the bar enjoying the evenings revelry. I relayed the exchange that I just had, and he smiled and said, "I don't know if you accomplished anything tonight with your discussion, but I do know that Dr. Brain Surgeon left here with a very bruised ego."
That's good enough for me. What an a-hole.