The Hospital: According To The Neapolitan Mastiff

Everyone is dying, but it’s best to die at home. Or on a cruise ship. Or on a city bus. Or at your favorite shoe store. Or in the parking lot of Home Depot. It’s better to die anywhere than the hospital. When and if you do die at home, be sure to ask your son to drag your carrion from the kitchen floor up a flight of stairs to your bed so everyone will be able to say “at least he died in his sleep.” Only your son will have to carry the burden of knowing his father passed while raiding the fridge for half of a leftover Philly cheese steak.

What I learned in “The E.R.”

If you want to wash your hands, you have to use a pedal.[1]

The guy retching in the communal bathroom is in fact a Visitor, not a Patient.

Avoid direct contact with the high-powered sanitary napkins, which have the ability to kill HIV and type 2 herpes. They will burn the skin off of your fingers.

The man who draws your blood loves to talk but is difficult to understand. His name is Jorge.

The girl who needs your credit card for the co-pay isn’t flirting with you, is she? She might be. You’re dying so you can’t be sure. Her name is Yessi.

The EMT who comes around to tell you ‘you’re fine, but legally I’m not allowed to tell you that’ wishes she was vaccinating Somalian orphans instead of talking to you. Her name is Justine, but she doesn’t really care what you call her because you’re not an African baby.

The guy you came to see has biceps that bulge through his lab coat. He also has more important things to do—like bicep curls. And interns. And internists. He’s really into his online dating profiles. Plural. His name is Doctor, MD.

There are no maps just a red line on the floor that leads somewhere presumably scary.

There are no vending machines. While visitors stuff themselves with Sun Chips and Smart Water the patients are on an involuntary hunger strike.

Everyone looks like their dying or should be dead. The staff looks bored. By the time you leave, you’re bored too. Dying is boring.

Parking is expensive[2], unless you’re dying. Then you park for free.

P.S. Megalomania is not particularly popular in the E.R. (will pay the psych ward a visit next time.)

P.S.S. I am happy to be alive. I am proud to be an American. Can I borrow five thousand dollars?

-The Neapolitan Mastiff

[1] Speaking of pedals and petals. There were no flowers or flower vendors in sight. There also weren’t any rabbis (maybe because it was Passover) or priests (it was close to happy hour). I did however spot a Scientologist or a Delta flight attendant. They look so similar—I can never tell one from the other.

[2] Dying can also be expensive. Ways to avoid an expensive death include suicide and police-assisted-suicide (Waving a phone/keys/comb/taco/beard trimmer/Barbie doll/newborn/college transcripts/popsicle/parking ticket/ID/Orangina in front of the L.A.P.D.)

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