Subject: Incendiary

From: reverand@mindspring.com (Rev. Random the Other)

Date: 1997/06/14

Message-Id: <33a22fb1.1193568@news.cphl.mindspring.com>

Newsgroups: alt.slack

 

I went to visit a friend at the R----- General Hospital in the small

North Carolina town of the same name, and I still cannot get over the

differences between small town life and the Chicago that is my Home

Town. The R----- General is clean, recently built, and well regarded

by the locals. There is no medical staff, as such - doctors from the

surrounding regions rotate into the Hospital in four or five hour

shifts, once or twice a week. There is also no security whatsoever.

 

I noticed this right away when I entered, finding that the small lobby

check-in desk was unattended. I decided to explore. To my suprise, I

had total access to every room - occupied or not; I decided not to take

advantage of the sedated or the restrained. The drug cabinets were

well stocked. Yes indeed. Not once was I stopped or questioned. I

thought that perhaps this was due to the fact that I had dressed

in white that day, motivated I suspect by the subconscious association

of that color with hospitals. It could also have been my composure, t

he badge that says "I am IN CHARGE." As I later discovered, I wasn't

questioned simply because small town values do not allow for suspicion

in a place whose sole purpose is to help, to heal. A valued addition

to the community, the Hospital opens it doors to the elderly who walk

its air-conditioned halls as if it were an aerobics track. Every

morning, every afternoon, people in jogging shorts and tennis shoes

meet their friends for a customary lap or two around the ward.

 

Still amazed at the fruits of my visit, now stashed securely in the

car, I again sought my friend by means of the reception desk schedule

listing. I walked behind the desk and was reading the clipboard when

the phone rang.

 

I answered on the third ring. The calling party wanted to know if a Mr

Wilson was at the hospital. I looked at the schedule, answered "Yes,

Mr Wilson is seeing Dr Gregson in radiology. Shall I page him?" "No,"

came the response. "I just wanted to know if I should pick him up

at 3:00." As his appointment was for 2:00, I answered "Yes, he

should be ready then."

 

"Thank you."

 

I was replacing the receiver, still holding the clipboard when four

elderly visitors, apparently here for the first time, came into the

lobby. They were talking together, taking note of the delicious aroma

that wafted outside, filling the lobby as well. One said "Oh, and

they must have a cafeteria here, too." Another said " It smells

like they're serving chicken today." The group approached me, and

the third visitor asked me "Do you have a cafeteria here?"

 

I put on my prettiest smile, looked her straight in the eye and said,

"No, ma'am, we don't have a cafeteria here. It's Wednesday. They

incinerate the fetuses on Wednesday."

 

All four left without the benefit of a walk around. One was shaking,

another seemed to be crying, consoled by the other two. My friend

appeared a few minutes later, and seeing me behind the desk, exclaimed

"Really, they shouldn't even let you out in public." Another

appointment was set for next week.

 

I offered to drive.

Rev. RtO