Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Friday Night In

During our orientation stroll around the historical area last week, our orientation leader pointed out the hospital and said a few things about historical surgery, prompting me to note that back then a good doctor could have someone's arm off in under thirty seconds. (I know this because I learned it at the National Maritime Museum, and did I ever mention I saw the tourniquet that may have been used when they amputated Nelson's arm? Yes? Well, not recently, anyway.)

Anyway, the very opposite of that speed and skill would be when an incompetent doctor--say, a doctor who's been out carousing and suddenly needs to perform emergency surgery only the only tool he has to hand is a rusty knife--a rusty butter knife, with the crumbs still on it from that morning's toast. Yes, this incompetent, drunken doctor, rooting around in there, attempting to have your arm off, possibly pausing at times to take another swig, or point out to an observer the intricacies of the human body or (more likely) to stand back and wipe his brow, exclaiming "My God, didn't expect THAT!" as the patient lays there, dazed and praying for death.

The only reason I paint this lovely little picture is because that's what I felt like last night, and if it hadn't been for sweet, sweet Midol I might just have thrown myself in front of the cannon.

Luckily, I'm feeling much better.

But I brought my magic pills with me. Just in case.

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