People who meet Norman Ormandy for the first time are impressed. Norm is six-two, has thick dark hair and a stony-looking countenance. But friends and relatives know Norm’s stony face hides a 10-year-old kid’s mischievous imagination.
This story begins with Norm and his wife sitting in a waiting room—an occurrence all adults are familiar with.
Leafing through one of the magazines he noted that it bore a very recent date. Ding! Norm’s mischievous imagination kicked in. He took the magazine to the counter
“Excuse me,” said Norman. “May I see the person in charge?”
“May I help you, Sir?”
“This magazine is out of compliance. You need to tell the office manager.”
“What do you mean?”
“I represent the Waiting Room Magazine Compliance Association and this magazine is out of compliance.
“What’s wrong with it?” .
“It’s too new. Compliance regulations require waiting room magazines to be at least two months old.”
Norm put on his most formidable, “I’m not kidding,” face.
“Young woman, this violation could get your office shut down.”
The young woman pressed a button..
“Sir, we have a problem.”
“What’s the trouble, Megan?”
“A man says our magazines are too new and he’s going to shut down the office.”
“Take this magazine and show it to him,” said Norm.
The young woman looked perturbed, then resolute.
“Sir, I need to show you something.”
“Okay. Come on back.”
The young woman took the magazine and walked to a door marked “ Private.”
As the door closed behind her, Norm waved to the other waitees, and left. The look on the young woman’s face made Norm’s mischievous streak bloom and he wanted to tell his friends about it.
The next day Norm ordered 100 cards titled “Magazine Waiting Room Association Compliance Regulations.” The card listed a dozen rules of compliance. Then he ordered a batch of “This office is in violation of the Waiting Room Compliance Association Regulations. Please comply or we will be forced to take action.”
For the next month Norm visited waiting rooms around the country. Every time he found a non-compliant magazine he gave a compliance card to the admitting desk.
“Please give this card to the person in charge,” he said. “We’ll call on you again in a couple of weeks.”
Within a couple of weeks there was chatter on the Internet.
“What is the Waiting Room Magazine Association?”
“Who is the guy who goes around telling doctors and dentists and financial planners that they are out of compliance with his outfit?”
Norm knew it was time for him to lie low. He quit visiting waiting rooms. He shredded his regulation and compliance cards. After a week the Internet dropped the magazine topic.
Months later Norm decided to check on a few waiting rooms.
Since Internet chatter had spread his waiting room noncompliance activities all over, Norm did his research a long way from Letongaloosa.
He wore a fake mustache, glasses, a blue suit and white shirt. He looked very different.
Norm’s first stop was at a dentist’s office in New Jersey. He walked in and picked up a magazine. The date was old
Norm visited a few offices in other states and found old magazines in all of them. As he walked out he whispered, “Gotcha.”
A month later Norm was feeling relaxed. Then the bell rang. Norm went to the door. Three tall men in dark suits were on his stoop. Idling at the curb were two big black SUVs.
“Norman Ormandy?” said one of the men.
“Secret Service, Sir. You’ll need to come with us.”
They hustled him down the sidewalk to the curb.
“Please step into the vehicle. I’m sorry, but we have to blindfold you.”
The car drove around for 15 minutes then pulled to the curb
The men hustled Norm out of the SUV and up the steps of a residence. They knocked at the door. Someone removed the blindfold.
“Gotcha!” shouted his friends and family. Norm was standing at his own front door.
Dr. Larry Day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co