The Eye Care Specialists

Their dads were practical people and that why the Juniors were, from the start, given a plan B. Assad Junior was deposed and Paul Junior never became president. But, in a way, they were still visionaries. The strong willed Syrian and the industrious American dusted off their ophthalmology degrees, joined forces and started an eye care practice.

But oh the poor receptionist. Julie was under a lot of pressure. If something didn’t go right, Paul would lecture her for hours about not working hard enough and not appreciating her “Freedom”. Or Assad would lock her in the basement for awhile with nothing to do but stare at the concrete walls. But, “hey”, she thought. “It’s a living.”

Assad and Paul (she called them Ass and Paulie) thought they were geniuses, but Julie did all the hard work and tried to make the ill-conceived venture hold together. For one thing, they weren’t very good ophthalmologists.

Ass liked to blind patients he didn’t like and when one of Paulie’s procedures went wrong, he blamed big government, and told the patient to take his complaint to Washington. Assad and Rand Associates didn’t pay taxes (that’s tyranny, something Assad knew a little about), and provided rather questionable eye care. But due to their notoriety, they got lots of business, mostly from college students going through hazing.

“Hey, Mr. Freedom” said Assad. “I want a giant poster of my glorious self on the longest wall in the waiting room.

“Sure,” said Paul. “Just pay for it yourself.”

“What the hell!” said Assad. Then he began raving in Arabic.

“What’s your problem?” said Paul. “It’s a free market. Do what you want?”

“Half this business is mine. The poster is a business expense. It comes from the till, not me.” Assad pouted.

“Behave, you two!” Said Julie. “We’ve got customers in the waiting room. Incredibly.”

But despite her best efforts, the customers began to thin out over the following months. It wasn’t cool anymore. The college kids found new “dares.” The doors closed and the prickly pair had an ugly break up.

Their dads were not proud.

Meanwhile, Julie was weighing some new opportunities that had recently opened up. Would she prefer to be President of the United States or dictator of Syria?