Legends of the Call

hunting knifeThis is my call weekend.

Call weekends–where you cover for a host of other physicians, so that the fortunate many may enjoy some time off at the expense of the unfortunate SOB on call–are akin to ritual self-flagellation: long days, longer nights, countless phone calls from emergency rooms and ailing patients, most of whom you know nothing about beyond what they tell you over the phone. If your Karma is good, you may be spared the worst, perhaps even get some sleep. If not, the punishment is severe, and survival until Monday becomes your sole goal in life.

On occasion, however, there are a few lessons to be learned. Such was the case this weekend, my instructor being a most unfortunate gentleman who, alas, had plans far different from being my teacher. This weekend I learned:

  1. Don’t drink to excess.
  2. If you do, don’t try to sober up using crack cocaine.
  3. Don’t visit prostitutes, whether or not you adhere to lessons 1 and 2.
  4. If you do visit prostitutes (and I’m not suggesting that you do–see lesson 3), pay them for their services.
  5. If you refuse to pay them (and I’m not suggesting that you do–see 3 and 4), don’t inform them of this fact while standing around in your birthday suit.
  6. If you decline payment for the services of a lady of the evening, while still in your birthday suit, be sure she doesn’t have rapid access to sharp knives.

I encountered a man, at 2 AM Saturday morning, who embodied the Proverbial addage: “Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs, than a fool in his folly”–and who managed to make all of the above mistakes, in perfect sequence. The fair maiden, her purity despoiled and robbed of her just desserts, did repayeth said gentleman with the “unkindest cut of all”–a deadly underhand stroke designed to rob him of his manhood. It was, sadly, not a Burma Shave moment, although a close shave nevertheless: while sparing the rod, she spoiled the child–or the children, more accurately–laying them quite naked to the world, neatly bivalving the scrotum while miraculously sparing the jewels.

For those of you with very strong stomachs–or the steely detachment borne of depersonalizing professional training in medicine–here are the operative photographs, before and after the repair.

I warned you not to look unless you had a strong stomach … couldn’t resist, could you?

When asked how such a sequence of events might have taken place, our unfortunate teacher responded: “I don’t know–all I did was start down the stairs…”

I, for one, am going to be staying on the first floor for a while, avoiding the stairs at all costs

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