Russian Nesting Doll: So, doctor? Am I…am I, you know?
Doctor: (looks upset) Yes. Yes, you’re pregnant.
Doll: Oh, that’s just wonderful! That’s just the most wonderful news. What’s wrong?
Doctor: (glances at his chart) Well, there’s more. Would you like to have a seat?
Doll: I can’t. I can’t sit down.
Doctor: Oh, right. Well, I want you to brace yourself.
Doll: Oh God.
Doctor: I don’t quite know how to say this.
Doll: Oh God.
Doctor: So I’ll just say it. Your baby is pregnant, too.
Doll: Excuse me?
Doctor: It’s mind-boggling.
Doll: Doctor, what are you saying? I’ve heard of teen pregnancy, but…
Doctor: There’s more. Dear Lord, there’s more.
Doll: Oh goodness.
Doctor: Your baby’s baby is…well, pregnant, too.
Doll: If it could, my jaw would drop.
Doctor: It’s truly mind-boggling!
Doll: <Russian expletive>!
Doctor: Exactly. Before we can know anything for certain, we must unscrew your waist and empty everyone out until you are completely hollow.
Doll: (small voice) Will there be pain?
Doctor: Of course.
Doll: Will there be side effects?
Doctor: (nodding) Absolutely.
Doll: Will there be drugs?
Doctor: There is always vodka.
Doll: My husband is in the waiting room. He needs to know about his child, and his child’s child, and his child’s child’s…
Doctor: Yes, I think he should come sit down and talk with us about the situation.
Doll: But he can’t…
Doctor: (opens door to waiting room, takes a good look at husband) Oh no!
Doll: Sit down.
Doctor: Okay. I’ll sit down for the both of us (collapses on exam table).
Doll: And my three sisters are parked outside with their kids, waiting for the good news.
Doctor: Good God — it must be a clown car!
Doll: Actually, it’s a hybrid. They’re all very compact. My mother fits in the trunk. Should we write that down?
Doctor: I think you need to consult a specialist.
Hilary Leichter teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.