Ask Dr. Eldritch

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Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!

Dear Dr. Eldritch,
I'm in a hospital, and I'm totally bummed, but not why you think. I'm like, into Xtreme sports and over the weekend I wiped out pretty bad and smacked my head really hard. I said I wasn't krunked, but the doctor said I had to stay for a couple days for observation, and I was really psyched! I was all ready for wheelchair races down the hallways, interns playing practical jokes on each other, and then maybe some hot nurse would come by on the night shift and ask if I wanted some "physical therapy," if you know what I mean. I was, like, totally into it.

It's so not like that! Nobody wants to do anything extreme, and when I try to have some fun, they're all like "no you can't do that here." They never do anything interesting either, they just come into my room, do tests, write stuff on my chart and go. And it's not like there are any hot nurses, they're all old enough to be my Mom. It's completely lame.

I thought this would be really great, but it's so totally not. What's up with that?

-- Zach, in the Boring Ward

Dear Zach,

The answer is so obvious, I'm a trifle embarrassed for you that I have to point it out. You know how all the fun, laid-back summer camps (filled with misfit campers and quirky counselors engaging in hilarious practical jokes and sweaty trysts behind the Crafts Lodge) have a wealthier, highly-disciplined summer camp that is their nemesis? And the fun camp is always the underdog in the end-of-summer competition between the two camps, but the campers and counselors always manage to pull it together and defeat the pretentious camp at the last possible moment? Well, this relationship between awesome and uptight is found everywhere, not just in Summer Camps. (Some claim that primal opposing but complementary forces exist in all things in the Universe, and they've come up with a neat little symbol for it, but I think it's trademarked, so I'm not going to talk about that here.) The point is, for every Fun Hospital, like the one you describe, there's an opposing Serious Hospital, like the one you are in. As you might say, "Bummer, Dude."

The good news is that you're much more likely to get quality treatment, as the staff isn't busy slipping laxatives to the patients in the entire ward to prank the assistant on bedpan duty, or off playing video games on the monitors, or hooking up with a nurse for a sweaty tryst behind Radiology. Sure, everybody loves the Wacky Underdogs With Lots of Heart, but their effectiveness is rather marginal when they aren't Saving the Day At The Last Minute. I'd rather have my health-care providers be the ones who win awards for saving lives, rather than for being fastest at inflating a rubber glove over their head. But to each his own, right?

I can't be much help this time, but the next time you're in an ambulance, ask the paramedics to take you to the hospital where "Everyone's cool and stuff." They'll know what you mean and should take you where you want to go. Unless you're being transported by the No-Nonsense Ambulance Company that's the nemesis of the Fun Ambulance Company. In which case, you're hosed.

Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

-- Dr. Eldritch

(DISCLAIMER: Anyone intelligent enough to be reading this should understand 1) Satire, and 2) That following the advice given may result in physical, mental, or spiritual harm to beings living, dead, or undead. The author does not suggest that anyone other that the originator of any given letter follow his advice, and cannot be held liable if anyone else does.
If you need more, read this Advanced Disclaimer!) All content © 2005 Evan M. Nichols