Arnie’s cell phone rang just as he was settling in for with his first cup of coffee. He tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t quit.
“Don’t you have a voice mail for that thing?” Cap grumped.
“I suppose so, but I haven’t quite figured out how to set it up.”
“Well, I suppose you had better answer it or stomp on it and put it out of its misery,” Morty observed.
Arnie open it and listened for a couple of minutes before saying, “Okay, I’ll find him.”
The boys looked at him expectantly until he announced, “It was Emma. Seymour has gone missing again. She took him in to Doc. Crandall this morning. When they returned home, he disappeared while she was fixing lunch. She’s been searching for him for the last hour.”
“And, now she wants us to find him again,”Cap observed. “This is getting to be a weekly event.”
“I know,” Arnie replied, “but why is it only me she calls when she loses him?”
“Either she’s hot for you, or she’s realized the rest of us are sick of looking for him and won’t answer when she calls” Carlos said.
“You know what tore it for me,” Dan added, “was last spring when he started volunteering at the animal shelter to walk the dogs. We had to go looking for him and the dogs three times that first week.”
“I remember that. The last time, the dog found its way back to the shelter without Seymour.”
“Yeah, It was the only time I’ve ever heard of a volunteer dog-walker being fired,” Carlos observed.
“Well, I guess I’d better go hunt for him. Does anyone want to go with me?”
The room was suddenly silent.
Finally, Dan agreed to join him. “If I go home, the old lady will dump a bunch of yard work in my lap.”
The group broke up for the day with the departure of Arnie and Dan.
“So, where do we look for him?” Dan asked as they got into Arnie's car.
“Well, it has to be within a mile of his house and in a fairly flat area. I can't see him going up any steep, rocky slopes with that bad leg and cane, especially in this rain.”
“Maybe Emma should get one of those tiny transmitters that he could take with him then she could home in on his whereabouts with a GPS.”
“With his memory, that would only work if she had it implanted under his skin.
The boys ran an ever-widening search around Seymour's neighborhood, and finally found him at the State Park, sitting motionless on a bench on the beach, looking out at the ocean. His bare head was being pelted by the rain, while his hat was in his lap with his hands folded over it. As the boys approached, he was so still they thought he was asleep.
“Seymour, why are you sitting here in the pouring rain?? Dan asked. “At least put your hat on. The water is running down your neck.” Slowly, he turned to face them.
“That is part of the problem. I feel so ashamed. I had to get away. I didn't want to embarrass Emma.”
“What happened? What did you do?” Arnie asked.
Seymour was quiet and closed his eyes to the point the boys figured he had gone back to sleep.
Finally he looked up and said, “I'm too embarrassed to tell you.”
“That's silly,” Dan observed. “We've known you too long to be shocked by anything you tell us.”
Seymour started slowly.
“I've had this erection all day. It just won't go away. I don;t know what to do.”
Dan interrupted. “Have you been sitting here all afternoon day-dreaming about Mustang Sally?”
Arnie jabbed Dan in the ribs and said, “Let him finish.”
“This morning when I woke up, my arthritis was so bad I could hardly get out of bed and had to have Emma help me get dressed. She suggested we drive down to see Doc Crandall to get something stronger for the pain than the ibuprofen I've been taking. She dropped me off at his little office at the back of his home. Gertrude said he was busy with another patient but would be out to see me in a few minutes. When he did, I told him what was wrong, and he gave me some pills. The whole visit didn't take more than ten minutes. I got some water from Gertrude and took one of the pills. I had to wait for Emma, but I started feeling less pain, so when we got home I took a couple more. This condition began almost immediately. I decided to go for a walk hoping it would go away.”
Arnie could see where this was going.
“What exactly did you say to the Doc?”
“I don't remember my exact words; I just told him I had trouble getting up this morning, or something like that.”
“Do you have the pills with you?”
“Sure. Doc didn't write me a prescription; he put a few in an envelope.”
Seymour reached into his pocket and pulled out the envelope and emptied the little blue pills into Arnie's hand.
“Those are Viagra,” Dan observed. “When did they start passing those out for arthritis pain?”
“This would happen only in Doc Crandall's world of serious hearing impairment. I can only imagine what he heard when you told him your problem. That man has got to stop doctoring before he kills someone. We've need to get you home before Emma calls the police, and please put your hat on before you catch something worse than arthritis or a four-hour erection.”
The next morning at coffee, Seymour's misadventures were the main topic of conversation before Arnie arrived.
“Maybe I'll go see the Doc and get something for my arthritis,” Carlos observed. “My new lady is wearing me out.”
“Do those pills work on women?” Cap asked.
No one seemed to have an answer for that, so Cap turned to Dan and said, “If so, you could slip some into Margaret's tea and give her a new kind of religious experience.”
About then Arnie appeared without Seymour.
“Where were you for tennis? We thought you'd be bringing our local arthritis survivor.”
“I went to pick him up,” Arnie replied. I knocked on the door for over five minutes. Finally their dog was setting up such a rumpus that Emma came to the door and informed me that Seymour would be skipping tennis today and probably for most mornings for a while.”
“Why? Was she angry?”
“No, not at all. She was grinning from ear to ear and asked me for the rest of the pills Seymour had given me.”