ER in the OR in Omaha

13 09 2008

I spent a couple of weeks in the surgery waiting room at Methodist Hospital last Thursday, which offered the opportunity for fascinating people watching and at least two gallons of weak coffee. Not to mention my first ever episode of ER, albeit sans sound, which was oddly fascinating and frustrating. Because I haven’t watched much TV in the last few years, I find that I’m drawn to it to the point that I can’t even carry on a conversation if there is a TV on in the room.


So, I had an entire roomful of people to watch, all either awaiting their own terrifying surgical mutilation or someone else’s, and I was instead glued to a TV screen fifteen feet away. It occurred to me that although I really wanted the sound, it would probably be much more interesting if one could mix and match TV images and sound. For example, what if you could watch ER while listening to an early Friends soundtrack? I’m not familiar with current sitcoms, but just imagine being able to plug in the sound from a Monty Python episode. It seems to offer much of the entertainment of pot smoking with no detectible chemical residue in case of random urine testing in the workplace. It’s just a thought.


I’ve noticed that older people, and maybe that’s because I’ve been around older people lately, seem to often watch TV without the sound. I’ve always thought it was because they couldn’t hear well enough to make sense of it anyway, but it has gotten me to thinking that maybe their imaginations simply come up with better dialogues than the sitcom writers.


But this leads me to Ag (short for Agnes), the volunteer running the surgery waiting room show. She was probably in her 80s and was either an ROTC drill sergeant in her youth or raised a family of 14. I liked her immediately and it got me to thinking about my future careers. Since I’ll almost certainly be smoking cigars and drinking hard liquor if I reach Ag’s age, I’m going to have to find some sort of outdoor employment. I’m sure I will have long since been laid off from the blacksmithing gig, but I might make a darned good golf caddy. I’d be a good gas station attendant as well, but I foresee a conflict with the cigar.




2 responses

13 09 2008

your tenure will be longer without the cigars

16 09 2008

Maybe you could replace the ‘gars with chew. Less combustible probably.

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