2010 – the Year of the Beeps – Part Five

Fast forward to January 7. It is about 8am. Before she tied me up, the young lady who is ordering me about gave me a very silly hat, one that I would not be caught dead in on the street, and told me to put it on. When I didn’t put it on quite right, she adjusted it just the way she wanted. By now, however, I can’t defend myself: I am tied down in an uncomfortable chair – it would probably be much more comfortable for someone about three inches shorter – all trussed up like a gourmet bird about to be roasted. Food is on my mind, as is coffee: I have not been allowed any food or water since last night.

I cannot escape. My left arm is tied to my right leg; my body is held onto the chair by a series of thick straps. A clamp grips my right index finger. Every so often a painful contraption chokes off the circulation in my left arm. People pay good money for this sort of treatment. Indeed, I was forced to pay in advance. And it wasn’t at all cheap.

The chair to which I am tied is in the center of a large room. There is a lot of ominous-looking stuff just out of reach, including a series of large plastic articulated arms which might be movable lights, although they are angled so one could imagine them to be all sorts of things. All but one of the lights are turned off. Earlier, before they all left me here all alone and went off somewhere where I can neither see nor hear them, there was a young woman in here, dressed in a sort of uniform, pointing one of the objects right in my face – it is a bright light – explaining that in a few minutes they were going to stab me with something sharp, and make me bleed. Along the wall to my left is a nozzle a bit like what one would use to plug a garden hose to the outside of the house, but this one is inside and nothing is plugged into it. (Do they use it to sluice down the blood?)

There is a loud beeping noise, like the sound of my own heart, coming from behind me, but I can’t move my head to see what is making it. The woman explains that after they have taken all the blood they will want will feed me my own blood – inject it, actually. After that they have done that, she says, a man (for she is just an assistant, I am going to attended to by a veritable team) is going to take a series of very sharp and nasty-looking implements casually displayed at eye level for my viewing pleasure – and their easy reach – and cut a nice hole into me. Foreign substances will be introduced. The metal bits look nasty. There are a lot of shiny implements with sharp bits, in all different sizes, all laid out in rows. (I asked for this. I am paying for this. It is probably not too late. I could ask them to let me go and they surely would.)

As all this is explained to me in an incongruously cheerful manner, the beeps matching my heart rate go up a bit. Eventually the man comes. To add insult to imminent injury he is wearing a big Florida Gator’s hat that covers all his hair. He asks disapprovingly if I am nervous. He attacks my arm. Blood goes everywhere – “a gusher,” he says. I don’t find it as funny as he does. “We’re going to feed you a little cocktail now,” he says.

I want to protest that I don’t drink before lunch, but they inject it intravenously and very soon I am unconscious. Two hours later I’m awake again and my dental surgery is pronounced a success.

Now I can only eat mush for a week, which really puts me a good mood. Then again, they did prescribe some strong stuff.

Is this the right frame of mind for grading, or an excuse to put it off?

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