Tuesday, January 20, 2004


I'm not a doctor, but I play one on elevators...apparently.

The other day while I was riding up to see Amy, a man sharing the hospital elevator with me stretched out his hand suddenly and said, "Hey, Doctor Somethinorother!".

I shook his hand; told him I was glad to meet him, but I had to admit I wasn't a doctor. He looked at me strangely as I exited.

It dawned on me later that perhaps he still thought I was Dr. Somethinorother, but that I had decided at that moment to make an admission of fakery presumably mistaking the elevator in a Methodist hospital for a confessional.

I hope Dr. Somethinorother isn't the guy's proctologist.

This afternoon, I got on the same elevator with another man and asked him to push button 5. He said, "You work on the fifth floor?"

I was dressed in my post nap attire: scruffy jeans, WalMart sandals, socks which Amy later mentioned were dirty, a tee shirt, a ball cap and a slightly oversized sweater. Not exactly surgical scrubs. I would hope any doctor outside of the third world dresses better. I'm fairly certain there are standards of cleanliness for even the lowest level hospital employee which I did not meet at the time. I wondered what job he conceivably thought I might do if I did work there.

I suppressed the urge to say, "Yeah, brain surgeon" and instead assured him I was not a hospital employee.

He said, "You visiting someone?"

By now I was double checking to make sure he actually pushed the elevator button while alternately wondering how long it would take to reach the fifth floor and whether this gent's personal elevator ever reached the top, but I answered, "Yes, my wife."

"She a transplant recipient?"

I was mentally kicking myself for not simply pushing the elevator button for myself instead of asking him to since that evidently primed the pump for this exchange, but I answered something along the lines of, "No, she's been in the hospital for a while...surgery."

"Something serious?"

I briefly toyed with the idea of saying, "Not really, but we've watched so many episodes of E.R. and it looked like so much fun...we had to try it ourselves." Instead, as the elevator finally reached my stop, I muttered something about being thankful that it wasn't more serious.

Then I heard the long awaited "Ding" signalling my escape, and I shuffled off saying a prayer of gratitude ....that the hospital is not a high rise.