February 16, 1978 Sense and Nonsense
Hospitals intimidate me. I have a superstitious fear of doctors, (especially surgeons) nurses carrying enemas or needles, and cold bedpans. A few years ago I was scheduled to undergo minor surgery. My old irrational fears (and a few new ones) came back to haunt me. I had never had an operation before and my vivid imagination, coupled with an inborn cowardice, caused me to become extremely worried.
The pre-operation procedure made me wonder if I was being prepared to enter an entirely different world. The weird hat, the hospital gown and the huge miss-mated stockings probably were the mode of apparel in this new world. As I bundled up my watch, eyeglasses, and other inorganic but essential parts of me, I felt as the ancients must have before embarking on a journey to the mythical land of their gods. I felt terribly vulnerable, without even a magic sword to protect me from demons and evil spirits.
The needle they gave me made me feel a little drunk. I no longer feared my journey, but now felt happily curious about it. The funny little people who wheeled me away were clothed appropriately enough, all in green. They reminded me of masked leprechauns. They whisked me down endless corridors and through countless sets of double doors. Gradually I realized my captors were not leprechauns but actually secret agents, furtively transporting me to the boss man, who presided in an office deep within the bowels of the building. As they wheeled me through the last set of double doors, I knew that I, Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, would soon learn of my next assignment!
I was placed on a cold table under a large glaring light. I found myself all alone in the otherwise darkened room. The light was piercing my very soul! I knew that any disloyalties I had would soon be filtered from me. I would confess all double dealings under that light! A large leprechaun, or as I now realized secret agent, appeared magically at my side. His eyes smiled at me above his green mask. I knew I had passed the test! They were sure of my loyalties…. They knew l had not been corrupted by the forces of evil!
A second agent now approached me. He placed a needle in my arm and asked me to repeat the secret code… 99. 98, 97. 96… His voice, a vaguely familiar voice, gradually faded away. Almost immediately, I found myself in my own bed, far from the cold table and the glaring light. My captors were nowhere in sight. A friendly nurse was enquiring of my comfort. Thank goodness she was wearing the traditional white hospital garment and not the green that identified “them”.
My last thought before drifting off to sleep was: “Would the nurse believe me if I told her what really went on in this hospital?”