Composthaste’s Weblog

Just another weblog


leave a comment »


Saturday… America’s errand day.  Today I was excited because, like a regular person, I was going to take my little person and run errands.  Where to? Well, Target of course.  Now, most of the time I feel like I live in a biggish town instead of a small city.  It’s called a city but when you visit a real city, you realize it’s a town…until you go to Target.  We have the ultimate “urban Target”.  Why do I say this?  It’s because it’s on the second floor of a building.  That’s right.  That’s all it takes to make a Target feel urban.  If it’s not on the ground surrounded by a sprawling parking lot, space must be at a premium and you must live in a city.  We will just ignore the fact that there is nothing on the first floor of the building.  Apparently we don’t have enough urban populace to support a Target and a Home Depot in the same building.

Regardless, my urban, millennium, enviro-conscious baby and I packed up our reusable shopping bags and our Baby Bjorn to make a splash at the urban Tar-jay.  Learning from some past mistakes, we boobed up before we left the house to allow for maximum shopping time.  She was sporting a very cute outfit from KissyKissy.  I’m pretty sure we were the hit of the store.  Cute and quiet, as we walked in we heard the oohs and aahs.  “How old is your baby?”, “That’s a little one”, “Look honey, you used to be that small”.  We were feeling pretty full of ourselves.  We stroll in and are about to grab a cart when I spy the Starbucks.  Oh really?  There’s a Starbucks in Target?  I completely forgot! That’s not at all why I wanted to do my shopping here today but, since it’s here, I should probably just grab a little something to sip on while we shop.  I’ll just have to be careful not to drip piping hot coffee on my daughter’s head as it bobs beneath me in the BB.

After taking the first sip of my Decaf Venti Non-fat, No whip Mocha (the beauty in life is in the simplicity), we are ready to shop.  What’s on the list today?  Pants, as the child is drowning in onesies with nothing to wear beneath them, and toys.  Apparently, as both her nanny and my mom informed me, my child’s brain will not develop if I don’t get her toys.  She will be a dull, grey person content sitting and staring at a wall for the rest of her life working at a menial job that she hates.

First, to the clothes.  Let me just say that in the summertime, your little girl is not allowed to wear pants.  Only cute pink dresses and hotpants…yes those tight little shorts specifically designed to accentuate the sexiness of the diaper.  Is Carter not aware that most little girls live in air-conditioned homes and have nannies who already feel like we are freezing our child???  I found two lousy pairs of pants and, of course, I had to get the denim shorts because they were too cute…and they were only $5.  They were also made in Bangladesh, likely by a child not much older than my daughter.  I did bring my own shopping bags though, doesn’t that count for something?

Next, to the toys.  Here I went from enthusiastic neuron-developing-mom to stressed out uber-consumer in 30 seconds.  Did we need the tummy time mat with 85 danglies to play with, or the door jumper.  They only had the Johhny Jumper and not the Jane Jumper.  Is the gender difference solely in the design of the harness or are there different support structures to accommodate different pelvic structures?  Does she need the jungle tummy mat or the pink one?  Which one will give her fewer gender identity issues?  Do we shoot ahead and get her items designed for a 3 month old or is that like teaching calculus to a fourth grader?    We settled on two tropical birds that hang from the carrier and a Baby Einstein fishy mobile…now that will make her smarter.  A quick scoop of hair ties and cat food and a few adoring comments about our babe snoozing away in the carrier and we are back at the car with our petroleum laden toys, our child-labor clothing and not a single plastic bag.  Virtuously, we leave our items in the car and walk, that’s right, walk across the street to the Best Buy and Trader Joes.

As we made our way across the street, I started to feel a wiggle…uh oh.  Best Buy was going to have to be a quickie.   I went right over to the universal remote area and began my comparison-shopping.  At this point she had had it.  She started to complain more loudly and as I scanned the area in vain hoping to find a nice Geek to help me, I started the sssshhh-ing, the swaying, and the bouncing.  I can’t imagine why no one wanted to help, I’m sure I’d be able hear them over the screaming as I danced around like an idiot.  I made my remote decision like I pick out wine in a restaurant by choosing the one in the middle price point (which I’m sure means that I pay the highest premium for the lowest added value).

I noticed through the deafening howls that we weren’t getting any little questions now, just looks of pity mixed with varying degrees of annoyance.  After paying, I left my purchase at the counter and ran to the restroom for a quick boobing.  One thing I have to say Best Buy, you keep a spotless restroom.  I’m sure there are many mothers out there who take nursing very seriously and stare meaningfully into their child’s eyes while offering them sustenance.  I take the opportunity while standing in the handicap stall to check email, read a book on my Kindle app, type this entry and even pee (not all at the same time mind you).

About midway through nursing, as often happens, I felt a rumbling down below and suddenly her diaper became a lot warmer.  Wouldn’t it have been great if I had brought my diaper bag along?  I wonder how my carbon footprint of the day will be affected by having to wash her outfit twice to get the fecal stains out of it.  Nothing I can do about that now.  I squish her damp little butt back into the BB and we run out of the store leaving a trail of a faint aroma of poo.  We trot across the building to the Trader Joes, buy our frozen, individually wrapped in plastic, crushed garlic cloves, throw them into our reusable shopping bag and head for home.

As I unload the packages from the big-box store, the electronics store and the grocery, I send a quick text to my wife.  “On your way home, can you stop and buy some C volt batteries for the mobile?”.  I hope she has a reusable bag with her…


Written by composthaste

June 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with one comment

I’m going to write a group of blog entries that are based on the same idea.  I am a planner.  As such, I like to know what is going to happen in my life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m flexible and can go with the flow as well as anyone…as long as it doesn’t interfere with my schedule.  Planners are annoying people in many regards.  On a day to day basis, as my wife will tell you, the first thing out of my mouth in the mornings (or when I’m ahead of myself, the night before) is “So.  What is your plan for the day?”.  This allows me to appear interested in my wife’s life and it allows me to start filling in my day.  I can start slotting in the things I want to do…..she wants to do a few hours of work in the afternoon?  That’s when I’ll slip in a quick run or do something around the house (laundry, or dishes, or watching “In Plain Sight”).  Don’t confuse this need for schedule with organization.  I actually get very little done in a single day BUT, I know the order in which I do very little from the time I get out of bed.

Unfortunately, I apply this principle to all aspects of life. I want to know what things are going to be like and I spend a fair amount of time thinking about them.  Before pregnancy, I imagined what it would be like to be pregnant (I was very, very wrong).  During my pregnancy, I was already thinking about what labor would be like (wrong), what having a child in the house would be like (very wrong indeed), and what the second pregnancy would be like (likely completely wrong).  This, as you might imagine, means I’m a bit of a worrier.  Before you tell me about all the things I could do to improve this state of being for myself, I’ve tried them.  I’ve read dozens of books on Buddhism, tried meditation, yoga, and read “The Worry Cure” (great book by the way).  I totally agree with the concept of being in the moment and try very hard to do so, but I’m not very good at it.  As such, to avoid adding constant self-correction to my litany of neuroses, I’ve decided to embrace this aspect of myself.  I will continue to study ways to be more in the moment, and work on it.  I will also enjoy the humor in trying to anticipate the un-anticipatable.  I will appreciate the humility that being constantly wrong brings me.  I will write about it so that others can giggle with me (notice I do NOT say, “at me”).

Getting back to the blog, I am entitling this section “What I expected/what I did not expect”.



What I Expected:

…to fall in love with my child


What I Did Not Expect:

…it would take a few days


It may surprise the reader to know that pregnancy was not what I expected, for some reason, I thought it was going to be a wonderful experience and that I would love it.  I wondered why everyone laughed at that.  While puking my way through weeks 13-39 of pregnancy, my friends and colleagues all assured me that it would all be worth it the moment she was born because I would be instantly in love.  So, being the anticipator that I am, I eagerly awaited her birth.  After many hours of labor, which I will not discuss, she emerged and I looked with great excitement at the blue creature that was placed on my belly, awaiting the euphoric feeling of unbelievable love to wash over me.  I thought to myself, “she’s cute…and blue.  Somebody get this child to the warmer and make her cry”.  I can’t help it.  I trained in pediatrics and at all the deliveries I went to, the focus was on getting the baby to me quickly.  We didn’t let the anoxic infant roll around on mom’s newly deflated abdomen while everyone is offered a pair of scissors to cut the cord.

I am not totally unfeeling but I the feelings I had were more those of amazement that I built this creature.  That first night, they wheeled me into my little room with Rosalie and I sent everyone home.  Okay, that’s not true.  My mother sent everyone home to get a good night’s sleep.  Smart woman.  Somebody needed to stay sane because it wasn’t going to be me.  My nurse came in and explained that she would be stopping by every two hours to remind me to feed her (the baby not the nurse) and that she would be taken to the nursery briefly for her hearing test and then she would be back (again, the baby, not the nurse).  Hold on a second.  I thought that the purpose of staying in the hospital was to get some rest.  Why was she going to be spending the night in my room??  Wasn’t she going to line up in the parking lot of the nursery next to all of the other babes on wheels?  Who were passersby’s supposed to ogle if all of the babies were in the rooms with their mothers?  And how, pray tell, was I supposed to maneuver her in and out of the bassinet when my legs weren’t working?  We survived the first night.  My nurse was wonderful and she awakened me every few hours to feed the little milk dud.  She spent the night going from bassinet to boob to bassinet.  This is not bad, I thought.  I can do this!

The next night was a slightly different story.  Apparently, the baby is a little worn out the first day after the whole labor thing and has a quiet night.  After a good night’s and day’s sleep, she was ready to go.  What I had not expected was that she, with her slightly improved exhaustion and increased awareness, would find the great big world a little intimidating and would want to be near her mother.  This was cute for the first 4 hours of the night but by two o’clock in the morning, I couldn’t put her in the bassinet without an impressive display of crying (hers, not mine…then, hers and mine).  Feeling like total failure, I plopped her little swaddled self on my chest, kept the head of my bed up and cuddled her.  I had been awake for the past three nights now thanks to labor which, as promised, will not be discussed and I was having a bit of trouble staying conscious.   In my mind, all of medical training was yelling at me, “Don’t sleep with your baby in the bed! Don’t sleep with your baby in the bed!”

These were the last thoughts I had as I drifted asleep.

About an hour later, I half awakened to this strange sensation in my arms.  Always rational, I was worried that I had a complication from the epidural that was going to slowly cause arm paralysis. Then I realized that the sensation was the feeling of a swaddled infant slipping slowly from my arms.  The little dumpling had wriggled her head from a 12 o’clock position to a 7 o’clock position and she was heading, like a white fuzzy torpedo out of my hands, down my side, towards a brief leveling off on the bed before she would plunge down to the hard tile.  Great.  I wonder how many MOTY (Mother of the Year) points I would get for dropping my newborn child on the floor…while still in the hospital.  With one swift movement, I grabbed the bundle, turned her upright and plopped her back onto my chest where she spent the night without any further misadventures thanks to the adrenaline pumping through my body.  It’s amazing how bleak life is at 3 o’clock in the morning when you almost injure someone.  I thought to myself, this was a mistake.  I shouldn’t be a mother.  I like my life too much.  I sleep too soundly.  I clearly don’t care enough.  This creature is going to change me and I don’t want to change.

It’s also amazing how beautiful 9 am is when the sun is shining and the whole day is ahead of you.  It also helps to have a large coffee brought to you by a good friend.  Sipping my Starbucks, I gazed down at the little peanut who made me question my judgment, my sanity, my capacity for love and my generosity.  Her little mouth rooting around the world for the boob.  Her eyes bright and unseeing.  Her body wriggling.  Her brain searching for me as the only familiar object.  And then it hit.  Suddenly I knew what everyone was talking about.  This was the feeling of love I could never have anticipated.  It was overwhelming.  Then, I peed myself…damn epidural.

Written by composthaste

May 13, 2012 at 12:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Hit and Run

with one comment

To The gentleman who struck our car with my wife and 2 week old infant inside:

Sir, today started like any other day we’ve had in the last 2 weeks.  We snuggled with our new baby in bed.  By her good graces (and the fact that she’s tired of looking at my straggly-ass hair), she gave me her hair appointment so that I could get this shit trimmed.  Fear not, good friend, I will be getting it colored soon as well.  The appointment was originally at 3:30 but got moved to 12:15, otherwise fine man, we would never have met today.  When we left the house, tardy as usual, we attempted to get into the leased vehicle (if you had hit that one friend, we would not be quite so put out), however someone, no names will be mentioned here, left the lights on and the battery was dead.  Not ones to be dissuaded by such a small hiccup, we threw the infant, in her appropriately fitted car seat, into the vehicle we own.  Again sir, we might not be so unhappy with you had you hit our other vehicle.  I arrived at my hair appointment on time for the first time in my life.  My darling wife went home to get a blanket so that we could take our little Pooky-bear to her first luncheon.

During this time, I was enjoying a good shampoo and the best scalp massage ever complete with hot towel (sir, if you’ve never had this experience, it is quite divine).  I was enjoying some witty banter with my good friend and stylist when I got a phone call from my wife.  Yep, this is when you come into the story.  Apparently, you ran a red light while she was turning onto South Blvd.  Thankfully for her, my infant and frankly you as well, there was a slight delay in her getting into the intersection once the light turned green as she was trying to halt the screaming from the banshee in the back seat with a pacifier…no small task when the alien is behind you.  I’m sure you understand as it appears that you had a little person of your own in the car.

My friend-stylist-superhero finished trimming the bangs in record time and then drove me to the scene of the incident.  You seemed so nice and courteous at the time, asking how everyone was, making sure the baby was ok.  You even, despite, multiple websites’ advice, clearly you didn’t Google “I just was in an accident what do I do” before you got out of your car.  You told me three times that it was your fault; for future reference, you don’t need to say that.  We took some photos of the damage while we awaited the police and stood around (well, you and my wife stood around, while I breastfed my infant in the front seat of the damaged vehicle…nothing, not even your mistake, can keep the girl from the boob).  You stuck around so long, it didn’t occur to us that you would do what you did.

I write you this letter not because I’m that angry.  Everyone is fine and it’s just a car.  My beautiful wife is sore but will be ok in a few days and my precious daughter is similarly unscathed.  I write because, in the future, when you try to flee the scene of an accident that is your fault, do NOT drive away in a direction and at a speed by which I can leisurely memorize your  license plate number.  As I watched your Expedition slowly make its way onto the highway ramp, I was even able to ascertain that it was a Maryland plate.  We all learn from our mistakes.  Things you might want to glean from this experience.  Pay attention when driving your own precious cargo around, by the grace of whatever, this time no one was hurt.  Do not leave the scene of the accident.  Even if you are uninsured, you couldn’t get into more trouble by staying put than you would leaving…it just pisses people off, even Charlie Brown (our officer at the scene, can’t make that up).  And lastly, if you are considering a career as a get away car driver, you might want to rethink your options.  You are neither good at driving nor getting away.







Written by composthaste

April 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Wyatt Wednesday

leave a comment »

Look…it’s not my fault.   Ok, so I did take the loaf of bread off the counter and eat it on the rug.  And, there are soggy crumbs smooshed into the carpet that will never come up.  But, look, I’ve tried to put the remaining slices back in the bag.  I just can’t seem to stuff them back in there…..

What about your role in this?  You left the loaf right there on the counter behind the tomatoes.  Why aren’t you taking any responsibility?  And Max?  He nudged it closer to the edge of the counter where I could clearly see and smell it. Does he get ANY blame in this?  Don’t forget about Petey….his stomach growled which totally reminded me that I was hungry…why are you still yelling at me????

This worked so much better for BP.

Written by composthaste

May 27, 2010 at 12:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Thirteenth Time Is the Charm

with one comment

I’m not someone who runs to see the sights of any new city to which I travel.  Sure, I’ll hit a museum or two but my greatest joy is sitting in restaurants, wandering around and getting a feel of what it might be like to live there.   My second greatest joy is reading the guidebooks.  I tend to skim through the overall history of the place.  Sure, there were some riots, Evita was beloved and be-hated, they can never get the economy off the ground, etc.  But, it’s the little stories tucked in that can make an entire trip worthwhile.  On our third day in Buenos Aires, after my master class was missed (more about that on another day), we went to Ricoleta.  This is a beautiful part of the city, with great shopping, a huge park and the famous cemetery.  There were wonderful parts about that day, from seeing the huge gum tree where I had a picture taken of me at the age of 6, to the dogs (which, by the way, take themselves very seriously in the capital city….don’t laugh at them) but I loved the cemetery.

The Ricoleta cemetery is one of those beautiful and yet creepy and questionably sanitary mini-city of above-ground mausoleums.  Much like above-ground pools, they call into question the judgment of their owners.  At first, there is the shock of seeing some rotting coffins just behind a gap in the marble.  Then there is the gross factor of seeing that they have an impressive drainage system that must mean that seepage must occur.    Then you realize that each mausoleum has an underground area to keep the majority of the family that begs the question: “who ranks highest in the family to get the above-ground digs?”.  Then you see the coffin gourneys strewn about which implies recent additions.   Then you pet the “death kitties” which roam around before you realize that they can get into the mausoleums and probably do some mean ratting down there.  But none of these activities were my favorite part.

There is a mausoleum in Ricoleta dedicated to Ruffina Something.  Stop if you’ve heard this story before.  Ruffina had a cataplectic fit and was buried at the age of 19.  At some point after the initial burial, or as I like to call it “Death.1”, she woke up and realized she was in a bad situation.  She attempted to claw her way out but was unsuccessful.  “Death.2” occurred as a result of some serious splinters under her fingers, anoxia and a heart attack.  There are many questions I have about this scenario.  Did they not check pulses in the 18th century?  How long did they wait after the fit before they threw her in the box…thirty minutes?  An hour?  How did they know that she had not died before they tossed her into the ground?  I’m imagining a few possibilities.  “Antonio? Did you hear something?”  “No, I just have a little gas”.  “Has that coffin lid always been askew?”.

But this isn’t the best part of the story.  Apparently, some well-meaning friend of the family, or neighbor, heard about poor Ruffina and made a vow to never allow something this tragic to ever happen again.  So, he set to work, designing a coffin with an alarm system and a release.  Now, this gentleman was tenacious and he wanted to make absolutely sure that his new contraption would work.   So, like any good engineer, he tested it….12 times.  Not satisfied with a mere 12, he decided to give it another go and, on the thirteenth time, his design failed him and he died inside the coffin, of finger splinters, anoxia and a heart attack.   I don’t know about you, but I have more questions now.   Were twelve attempts not enough to reassure him that his product was safe?  Did he not tell anyone what he was working on?   Why on earth would he do this by himself?  It would be a simple favor…”Hi Antonio, I’m going to be testing a new coffin, would you mind hanging out in case it doesn’t work?”  Maybe they did hang out for a while but got bored after test #8 and decided to head to Cabreras for a glass of Malbec and a tenderloin.

When you stand in front of Ruffina’s grave (a substantial upgrade as only guilt can buy), you are struck by the statue of the young woman with her hand on the door handle.  It’s as if she is saying in a bored tone, “Hi.  Come on in.  I’ve got a story to tell you.”

Written by composthaste

May 24, 2010 at 12:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized


with one comment

Today, I went from “local lecturer” to “World Speaker”.  This is not to be confused with “world narrator”…you know the type; they read all the building signs as you drive by, comment on everything they see.  This is not to be confused with “low talker”…you know the type; they sit too close to you at a party and comment on everything in a running monologue, right into your tympanic membrane, despite the conversation you are in the middle of with someone else.

Nope.  Today, I gave my first lecture outside of my own little microcosm of residents.  I flew out of the nest.  I left the farm for the first time.  I left the hive behind and buzzed out into the world.  It’s important here not to confuse “world speaker” with “international renown”.  More accurately, I am like Celine Dion, working out the kinks in my performance overseas before I bring it back to the US.

So, standing in front of a room full of Argentine physicians, I dazzled them with my brilliance.  I also learned a few things.  For example, despite the simultaneous translation, jokes don’t really translate well.  During the talk, a paparazzi-esque photographer kept snapping photos of me while I droned on about metabolic diseases in infants.  Angeline Jolie?  Yeah, I feel her pain. After the morning session, the woman organizing the event planned a “meet and greet” lunch.  This was my favorite part of the day.  Sitting in a circle and discussing the various pleasures and problems we found with medicine in our respective cultures.  Their socialized medicine structure appears very much intact and I couldn’t tell at times whether they are behind us or our future.

If you’re ever planning a little lunch for people who speak different languages allow me to suggest getting an official interpreter.  I speak Spanish a little bit.   Essentially, I understand 8-9 out of every 10 words people say.  This means that I can carry on a conversation without difficulty at times and that I can also completely miss the point.  For example “We’re so excited to have you here sharing your ideas of emergency medicine” can also be “We’re so excited to have you here sharing your diseases in our emergency department”.  Despite my imperfections though, I think I would have done a better job than the interpreter we had.  The organizer, a completely lovely and enthusiastic woman, made the most lovely introductory speech that went something along the lines of “On behalf of the physicians here, we would like to extend a warm welcome to our American colleagues.  We are so excited that you travelled all the way to Buenos Aires to speak with us and to sit with us here to share ideas.  I would like this time to be about asking each other questions about the way medicine works in our very different systems.”  The interpreter then “translated” this to be “She welcomes you to Buenos Aires, if you have questions for each other, ask.”

Really, it appears that their issues are similar to ours.  How do you do research in a busy clinical practice, how do you keep patients happy when there are so many inefficiencies and waits, and how do you practice medicine for 30 years without becoming burnt out.  One of my colleagues addressed the last question with the basis of academic medicine in the US.  You can avoid burn out by staying in an academic setting and decreasing slightly the number of clinical hours you work by pursuing loftier goals: research, advocacy, administration, etc.  They were all nodding their heads until he stated “….and this way, you’re not seeing patients for 40 hours per week”.  At that point, we lost them.  The woman next to me, coyly remarked that she works 12-15 hour days at three different jobs.  It turns out the “part time” physician here works 36 hours per week and that is only because her husband works more and makes enough to support them.  I’m no health care czar but I think that if you went to most American physicians and said “Look, good job and everything on your eight years of graduate studies and 5 years of residency.   You’re now going to need to take a second job to make ends meet.  Maybe a third…it’s hard to say right now”….you would have a riot on your hands.  Not a violent one, more of a conservative physician, sulking in the corner type of riot….holding signs that said “we don’t want to play anymore” and “I’m taking my stethoscope and my pen and I’m going home”.

12-15 hours per day.   That is unreal!  Now, I’m sure they don’t have the same stringent rules about documentation.  I’m sure their nurses don’t spend 2/3 of their time writing in charts as opposed to taking care of patients.  And, you don’t hear a lot about big payout Argentine malpractice suits.  So, maybe medicine here is actually fun to practice.  Maybe they spend the majority of their time making decisions based on medical necessity and not patient satisfaction scores.  If I didn’t have to coach my patients to say that they received “excellent” care today when they were phone surveyed a month from now, after they recovered their health and received their $1000 bill, maybe, I wouldn’t mind working 12 hours a day.   Doctors in the US used to practice this way.  Round at the “public hospitals” before you went to see their patients in your clinics.  So I really couldn’t tell if these fine and brilliant physicians were behind us or if this will be our future.

Written by composthaste

May 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Cat Blimp

with 2 comments

Today I received one of the funniest emails.  It was a video clip from my hometown.  One of the ER residents was asked to be on TV (that frequently happens, a health issue comes up and local news stations set up interviews with “experts”).  You’re supposed to take it seriously as this is PR for your hospital but it’s difficult at times.  The weather gets cold and you’re supposed to remind people of the importance of hats.  Really?  Who doesn’t know to put a hat on when it’s cold?
With his white coat on and serious expression he noted the importance of protection against cold weather especially for the extremes of ages.  On TV, he is quoted as saying “it’s especially important for the extremes of ages, kids, the elderly, elderly kids, BabaBouie.” And he went on without missing a beat.  For some reason, this did not get caught in the editing room and was aired.  It was hilarious.
I was never asked when I was a resident to perform for the local news and I was pretty happy about it.  It’s not that I’m camera-shy, it’s just that I hate all of the resulting footage that results when I’m photographed/filmed.  Thus, it is vanity and not shyness that keeps me out of the limelight.
Last summer, I was sitting in my office (a windowless cube room that I share with 6 other people with two ancient computers, a circa 1972 couch, and a plastic plant) when Tricia came to the door.
“Emily, the news wants to interview one of you’all about sunscreen at 3 o’clock and I can’t find anyone else to do it.  Do you mind?  It will be a total of 90 seconds of your life, they don’t air all of it and they ask dumb questions.”
“Um.”  Quick Emily, think of something, ANYTHING that will keep you from doing this.  “I guess if you can’t find anyone else, I’ll do it.”
Not wanting to appear uneducated, I spend the next 30 minutes, reading up on sunscreen.  Newest recommendations, new products and chemicals, etc.
My time came.  I brushed my hair, tucked in my shirt and went out to meet the news van.
I       was       charming.  I smiled, we laughed, we talked about sunscreen.  I told the good people of my town to save their money!  Don’t buy the spf70!  45 should work just fine.  Just apply frequently.  Make sure to lather the kids until they just slip through their greasy fingers.  She thanked me and I went back to work and forgot all about it.

Two days later one of our patient representatives, a southern lady through and through drawled to me as I passed her in the hallway.
“Dr. Emily.  I saw you on TV last night saving those kittens.  I thought ‘well that sounds like Emily, saving kittens.”
“Jane.  I talked about sunscreen.”
“Oh yeah? It’s all the same.”
Sunscreen and kittens, I get the two confused all the time.  I forgot all about it.

The next weekend, we were hanging out at the neighbors pool (slathered in spf45 as I am paler than Powder) and they said “Emily, we DVR’d your news special.  It’s hilarious , you’ve got to see it.”
Oh no.  Trying to seem nonchalant, I leapt out of the pool and barely dried off before I stood in front of their TV, dripping on their hardwoods.
“Well.  I guess, if you went to the trouble of taping it, we should watch it.”

We fast-forwarded (interesting how that has become a verb) through the usual shootings, car accidents and weather.  Then…..oohooh….there she was, my interviewer.  Standing in what looked like a park with a bunch of sunscreen products in front of her.  This is not where we interviewed.  Where was I?  She spoke about sunscreen and the things we talked about.  She misquoted me (making sure though that she got my name right) and said “We have to break for commercial but we’ll be back with the doctor to tell you more about the dangers of sun exposure.”
The news came back on.  It wasn’t me.  It started with a male reporter describing a “terrible tragedy” that occurred the day before.
“Today, a _____ county man is behind bars for cruelty to animals and littering.  Yesterday, he was spotted throwing a garbage bag full of baby kittens from the drivers’ seat of his pickup as he sped down ________rd.  AND THIS WOMAN SAW IT ALL.”
Who was this special person who is now living with nearly a dozen cats?  Apparently, it’s me.  There I am, in a video clip, (muted, of course) standing in my scrubs with my #*Y%-ing name tag on, smiling and laughing and, ostensibly, discussing the horror of watching the Hindenburg of cats go flying out of a pick-up.
So, if I seem to be snobby or disdainful of the local news and their need to get an expert to tell you to put a coat on, it’s with reason.  They’re idiots.

Written by composthaste

March 28, 2009 at 2:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized