Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Lenny lays an egg.
“Yes, doctor,” replied Nurse Betty-Ann Genomi, a tall, brown-haired woman in her mid-forties with large, cone-shaped breasts.
Saint Athelstan’s was only a stones-throw from the police station, so they got all kinds of winners in here.
"He’s complaining about abdominal pain and the x-rays…well,” she said.
“Is he prepped?” asked Doctor Rolf Ludwig, duty intern on the night shift in this busy “Yeah. It’s real, all right,” he agreed, hands up in the air as he stared at the shots clipped into the light box.
“Wow,” he said.
The patient was face down, sedated but conscious. His frizzy red hair, rheumy, bloodshot blue eyes and swollen red nose bespoke a life-long love affair with the sauce. The bedclothes, steamy warm after coming out of the cubby, were pulled back to reveal the patient’s pale and globular gluteus maximae.
A nurse reached up and adjusted the light, and the rays of brilliant white reflected back up from the patient’s heinie.
“What’s your name, buddy?” asked Doctor Rolf.
“Lenny,” said the Caucasian male, who was about five-foot seven and approximately a hundred and forty-five pounds.
“How are you doing?” asked Betty-Ann, right there at his side.
She held onto Lenny’s hand with an open and sympathetic look.
“Am I going to die, doctor?” asked Lenny in a slurred manner.
“Nah,” assured the doctor. “We’ll have that nasty old thing out of there in a jiffy.”
“All righty then,” he noted. “Put a little petroleum jelly on there for me? We’re going in, ladies and gentlemen.”
A small titter went through the assembled class. This was a teaching hospital, and no opportunity was too small to pass up.
"Okay. We’re going to be doing a manual dis-impaction of what looks like a hard and compacted stool. Whether it is from compression during anal intercourse, or some other cause is no concern right now.”
The doctor heard a few more gasps and giggles and he looked up for a moment.
“Pay attention,” he said. “The odds are you will have to do this sooner or later. I’m just grateful, but it doesn’t look like a light bulb, which I have also done.”
He patted the patient on the shoulder, but Lenny was pretty much out of it.
“Give me the retractor,” he muttered, and then the doctor got on with the job at hand.
“That’s strange,” he said. “Lenny?”
“Uh…yeah…?” said the patient and everyone laughed, even the doctor. “Whaddya want?”
“Well, I would kind of like to know what this is, if you have any idea,” said Doctor Rolf.
Lenny stared wild-eyed and desperate at the floor.
“You mean you don’t know?” he gasped, and tears sprung into his eyes.
“Do you feel any pain, Lenny?” asked the Senior Nurse, Betty-Ann.
“No…?” said Lenny.
The room was silent.
“It’s not a stool,” said the doctor.
He watched on the screen as the forceps slid gently alongside the foreign object.
“It’s hard,” said Rolf. “But not too hard. It’s not metal or glass.”
Relief was apparent in his voice and what little they could see of his demeanor behind the cap and mask.
“Well, what have we got here?” he mused, pulling what looked like an ostrich egg from the long-suffering patient, one Lenny Bonsalvo.
“Was he drunk when he was brought in?” asked the doctor.
“No,” Betty-Ann shook her head. “But he admits to having problems with alcohol.”
“It’s hard to believe he could swallow that, drunk or sober. I find it hard to believe he could do that, I mean like shove it so far up there,” he muttered.
“He must have had help, Doctor,” she murmured neutrally and in a non-committed tone.
“I tend to agree,” said Rolf. “Well, I guess you can’t blame the man for not wanting to talk about it too much. Do me a favour, nurse?”
“Of course, what is it?” she replied.
“Clean that thing up for me. I want to show it to George. You know what! I think I’m going to show it to poor old Lenny, too.”
Lenny stared up from the bed in dismay.
“That thing—that thing was inside me?” he gaped.
“Yeah,” agreed Doctor Rolf. “I have to be completely honest with you, Lenny. I was sort of wondering if someone put it there. Did you have help? I am a doctor, and I’m not judging you, Lenny, but…”
“What! But what?” bellowed Lenny.
“Hey, hey, hey, calm down,” said the doctor. “I was just asking! It’s my job, you know? But I was kind of wondering if somebody did this to you? You know, like maybe as a joke, or even some kind of abusive situation—”
But Lenny clambered up and out of the bed, staying on the far side from Doctor Rolf.
“Lenny, Lenny!” the doctor tried reassurance. “No one is judging you, Lenny. Honestly, I’m more curious than anything. I sort of wondered if you were in some kind of trouble.”
Lenny’s arm shot out and he pointed an accusing finger, seemingly at a loss for words.
"What’s the matter, Lenny, why are you so upset? I’m just trying to help you,” soothed Doctor Rolf.
“Ah! Ah! Ah,” screeched Lenny.
“Whoa! Simmer down,” said the doctor.
“It’s hatching! It’s hatching, that thing is hatching, doctor!” shouted Lenny, then he fell over backwards, hitting the adjacent bed and the patient in that one began screaming too.
Rolf took a quick look at the thing in the jar and his eyes almost bugged out of his head.
Doctors Rolf and George Malassori stared at the apparition in the jar.
They had it in a workroom off to one side of the internal medicine lab.
"What the hell?” muttered the normally soft-spoken George.
He straightened up, shaking his head in disbelief.
“It’s like a gecko, all covered in ketchup,” he marveled. “Let me get a sample of the fluid.”
“Yeah,” breathed Rolf. “It’s like a baby alligator or something. This is amazing…just nuts.”
"I won’t contradict an expert,” noted Doctor Malassori. “You’ve just made medical history, incidentally.”
“Huh,” said Rolf. “Lenny did. Not me.”
Malassori laughed in agreement.
“Can’t say as I blame you,” he said.
Rolf had other emergencies, and the usual rounds, and he was asleep behind his computer when screams and thumps awoke him with a distinct nervous shock. You could read about adrenalin, and you could dissect the human body, and you could listen to witnesses. But this was real adrenalin and he had no objectivity.
The doctor ran sliding out into the hallway, to be confronted by a small wave of green-clad nurses and screaming people.
They almost bowled him over as he hurriedly stepped back into the room. He reached out and tried to grab an arm as they sped past.
“Nurse!” he yelled but she gave him a frightened glance and just kept going, looking back nervously and sobbing.
“What’s going on?” he asked, but she was clearly hysterical.
She spurted off again, shaking her head and moaning incoherently. Rolf thought about declaring a lockdown. His heart pounded in a moment of indecision. He needed more information.
As Doctor Rolf rounded the corner at a dead run, he ran smack into a hellish scene, the likes of which he would never forget for the rest of his life. Their floor security, Mister Nicholby, lay dead on the floor with his chest torn open and a black cavity exposed, and a thick trail of blood smeared in a path along the floor.
Nurse Betty-Ann had the gun up and was drawing a careful bead.
The sound of a shot, quickly followed by another, was shockingly loud in the now-quiet corridor.
The doctor flinched and covered his head, as a little fall of dust came down from the ceiling tiles.
Rolf stood there, open-mouthed, taking in the bizarre scene.
“Got the little bastard,” she said, looking calmly into Rolf’s eyes and blowing smoke from the end of the barrel.
Doctor Rolf swallowed. His unbelieving eyes found a huddled, dirty dishrag-like form up the hallway.
“What the hell is going on around here?” he asked in shock. “What—”
The strident call of the overhead speakers broke into his state of mental inertia.
“Doctor Ludwig to emergency, Doctor Ludwig to emergency,” he heard, in a kind of relief.
Finally, something he could understand. Something that made sense. He was tempted to give his head a shake, or pinch himself or something.
He stepped over to the nursing station, reached over and grabbed a phone. Awkwardly, he put in the number, making sure to get it right first time. His hands were shaking.
“Yes? Doctor Ludwig here,” he reported. “What have you got for me?”
“Please get down here right away, Doctor Ludwig,” came the breathless voice of Nurse Helga Slovodnik. “We have another Lenny. Doctor George thinks we may have another one of those things.”
Note: This story originally appeared in 'Wonderwaan.' (Netherlands.)