Adventures in the Hospital: Context is…EVERYTHING.

My non-Mormon Sister Wife Ophelia always mentioned “Anime” in our conversations. One day, I could no longer take it, because the context was so odd, it prompted me to finally ask, “What does Japanese animation have to do with your father, anyway?” It was then that I learned her mother’s name was “Anna Mae.” A cacophony of Sister Wife howls of laughter erupted around the breakfast table as the realization slowly sank in. For the last 5 years, I’d been in a perpetual state of confusion whenever she mentioned her mother’s name.

So this story, which happened to me last Friday in the hospital, post-surgery, should come as no surprise to you. (Yes, I am totally fine. Thanks for wondering. The three separate celebratory parties by the Sister Wives were well worth the pain of the surgery!)

As you read this, you must take into context, I am ensconced in the world of comics, illustration, and autograph signings. I can’t even blame the pain killers, because I wasn’t on any.

So…this medical technician was in my hospital room performing an ultrasound on me Friday afternoon. In walked a man dressed like a 1950s Culligan Man with what looked like a Coleman Cooler chest:

The Sharpie Container!

The Sharpie Container!

“Here to get the Sharpies,” he announced, abruptly breaking the silence. He walked over to the area where my dry erase board was, removed something, and briskly exited my room. (This dry erase board is any hospital’s “communication” system, telling you the name & phone # of your nurse, technician, and “hospitalist” on any given shift. I never once glanced at that board, as it was placed well behind my hospital bed’s sight line where I never could see it.)

The typical Sharpie I see on a daily basis.

The typical Sharpie I see everywhere in my house, daily.

So I let this information soak in for a moment, and naturally, my journalist’s curiosity overtook me.

Me to Ultrasound Technician: “So…you have a guy whose job it is to remove the Sharpies? How often does he do that?”

Ultrasound Tech, sounding bored: “Every couple of days.”

Me: “And he has to put them in a special cooler?”

Ultrasound Tech: “Yep.”

Me: “So what kind of qualifications do you need to be a Sharpie removal technician? Perhaps I should apply for one of these easy jobs. Does it pay well? Is there a pension?”

Ultrasound Tech: “Uh, I’m not really sure.”

Me: “So there’s a truck full of Sharpies parked outside of this hospital right now?”

What I imagine a Sharpie delivery truck looks like--a blank canvas, begging to be drawn upon.

What I imagine a Sharpie delivery truck looks like–a blank canvas, begging to be drawn upon by a Sharpie illustrator.

Ultrasound Tech: “Yep.”

Me: “And they change out the Sharpies every couple of days? That seems rather wasteful.”

Ultrasound Tech: “Yep.”

Me: “So where do they take the Sharpies from here?”

Ultrasound Tech: “Well, they’re bio-hazardous material, so they dispose of them in some special way.”

Me: “Hmmm…well, I guess the Sharpies could get coated in the germs floating in the air of a hospital room, but isn’t the ‘bio-hazardous’ characterization a bit overly dramatic? And isn’t it better to use Dry Erase Markers on a Dry Erase board? Do the Sharpies even wipe off as easily?”

Ultrasound Tech: “Wait a minute…you thought I meant…markers…!?? (Starts laughing.) I’m talking about needles and razors. We call them ‘Sharpies.’ ”

Me: “It hurts to laugh. Make it stop!”

Ultrasound Tech: (Laughing uncontrollably).

Dave Dorman in the background: (Shaking his head slowly in disgust, non-plussed by my ridiculousness.)

My world has expanded.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Adventures in the Hospital: Context is…EVERYTHING.

  1. I don’t know how many damn times I’ve been to the hospital and heard them used that word as reference for pointy sharp things and I never remembered while reading this! You are killing me today for sure! I feel Dave’s pain LOL! See you on the flip side. I’m Texas bound for the next 3-4 weeks! 🙂

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