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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.”
Damn.
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.

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Written by composthaste

March 28, 2009 at 2:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. OMG where is the YouTube clip? You people need to call me when you have history like this on a DVR

    doctor_shadow

    March 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

  2. OMG that is horrible and terrifying and hilarious all at the same time!
    This is _exactly_ why I cross the street everytime I pass Riley and the news crew is outside. You never know what those fools will do!

    lisa

    April 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm


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