Saturday, April 26, 2014


Hospitals are like cheap European hotels: the bed is uncomfortable, you share a bathroom, people are yelling outside your door, and occasionally someone comes by offering drugs or trying to stick you with sharp object.

Hospitals are also great for people who can't even touch a bathroom door handle without gagging, because every surface, including elevator buttons, the cafe items, and the counters, have been touched by people with horrific communicable diseases that are only read about in places like the New England Journal of Painful Ways to Die.

My dad, a cardiologist, likes hospitals because everywhere he goes people bow down and throw money at him.1 I like hospitals for the opposite reason: everywhere I go I am asked to bow down and throw money at people.

I especially like this because I like rewarding efficiency. For instance, when we show up at a hospital at the prompting of a nurse, I think it is especially efficient to wait for three hours in a room with blood stains on the ceiling and a bed that was designed by Stalin for the Gulag before they do any work.2

It's also nice because I like rewarding places that have good customer service, places where the people attending to you interrupt blood drawing in order to have a conversation on the size of the cake from the last party they went to.3

Of course, I love everyone who works in hospitals because they are literally surrounded by people who could infect them at any time with ebola, but I'll admit that sometimes I find myself siding with hospital-avoiding fundamentalists when the nurse sees me eating a fun-size bag of potato chips that cost three bucks and was caked with a substance whose last stop was an abscess and proclaims to my wife, "well he's eating enough for the two of you!" Because a granola bar and ten disease chips really fill you up when the last thing to enter your body was consumed 16 hours ago and you've been up since two.

Let me end by stating that medical professionals are totally underrated and underappreciated, and do wonderful amazing things so please do not send me hate mail, especially the half of my family that are doctors: you already make more money than me so you can let this slide. Also, Britt is doing much better after getting two liters pumped into her via IV. And she was still dehydrated. Yikes.

1. This is a lie. He does not like hospitals. Especially given that he died in one. He came back a couple minutes later just to prove I will never equal him in toughness, but still, the death thing stings.
2. Could we just be on hold while my wife is in bed, and then you call us in when the afternoon A-team who does amazing work shows up?
3. This reminds me of my dentist who, in my last appointment with her, drilled my teeth while on the phone with her son. I am not lying. She was drilling, filling a cavity, prodding, ALL WHILE PROPPING A PHONE ON HER SHOULDER AND LAUGHING. I have complained about this here before, and I will again. Sorry.