Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Smiling Dogs

He was a carpenter who was finishing up the installation of a custom-made door. He had been bending down with his eye to the level of the new doorknob, when a coworker opened the door from the other side.

The doorknob slammed him in the eye straight on like a hard jab, and he developed the classic black eye. Just as if he'd been punched, only he hadn't.

Similarly, this patient, a prisoner from a small low to medium security unit, had the typical bruising and fracture of his left occipital. He had apparently "fallen out of his wheelchair" at the place he had called home since Johnson was president.

I didn't buy it. Somebody tee'd-off on the old bastard. And he was a bit of one. The previous shift nurses had haldol-ed him and four-pointed him too, due to his wild and dangerous behavior.

See, that's all we do in a hospital.

You get way out of line and physically threaten people, and it causes us no anger. We just restrain you, for the safety of all, and load you up on drugs that might help you take that nasty psychopathological edge off for a little while.

If you do the same thing in other enviroments, like say your local meth lab... well, they shoot you to death. Or you do this in prison, they sock you in the eye and push you down three steps of stairs while you're in your wheelchair.

Or you do the same kind of garbage only magnified on a scale that affects hundreds of thousands of people and you are a member of the Bush cabinet, you get a medal hung around your neck live on Fox Television.

When I was in college one of the local bars we hung out in was called "The Smiling Dog." The walls were covered with full book cases, the jazz was fine, the couches old and comfortable, the other students open and accomodating, and prices were student-friendly.

The Smiling Dog. Well, my dogs are smiling now. Perhaps they know that the earth will soon be all theirs, after the humans have sufficiently destroyed one another.

My dogs love me and my family, but I suspect they would suffice quite well under freedom.

Postscript on edit:

The patient was a family annihilator. Four decades ago he slit his wife's throat and then killed his pre-teen son and daughter. He even killed the dog. Several of his subsequent attempts to end his own life have been unsuccessful.


Sid Schwab said...

Wow. Cool post: had no idea where it was going at first. Being a hospital type, I was recalling some memorable prisoners I cared for at San Francisco General Hospital. Then suddenly I was saying "yeah" and thinking of the spectacle of Bush hanging medals of freedom around the necks of Franks, Bremer, and Tenant. I studied Russian a long time ago; travelled to the Soviet Union in the 60s. Bush's "hanging" reminded me of nothing so much as Kruschev pinning medals on the chests of a bunch of old failed generals rather than admitting their failures. It's deja voodoo.

may said...

even the dogs?