Monday, August 22, 2005


A little bit of Bill for your troubles

From William S Burroughs, Twilight's Last Gleaming:
S.S. America off Jersey Coast.

"Ladies and gentleman there's no cause for alarm. We have a minor problem in the boiler room but everything is now under..." (Sound effects of a nuclear blast). Explosion splits the boat. Dr. Benway, ship's doctor, drunkenly added two inches to a four-inch incision with one stroke of his scalpel.

"Perhaps the appendix is already out doctor" the nurse said peering dubiously over his shoulder. "I saw a little scar."

"The appendix already out !?" the doctor shouted. "I'm taking the appendix out! What do you think I'm doing here?"

"Perhaps the appendix is on the left side doctor," said the nurse. "That happens sometimes you know."

"Stop breathing down my neck I'm coming to that! Don't you think I know where an appendix is? I studied appendectomy in 1904 at Harvard." He threw back his elbows in a movement of exasperation.. He lifts the abdominal wall and searches along the incision dropping ashes from his cigarette. "And get me another scalpel! This one has no edge to it."

He thrusts a red fist at her. The doctor reels back and flattens against the wall from the force of the explosion with the bloody scalpel clutched in one hand. The patient slides off the operating table spilling intestines across the floor. Dr. Benway sweeps instruments, cocaine, and morphine into his satchel.

"Sew her up!" he said, peeling off his gloves. " I can't be expected to work under such conditions."

Dr. Benway. Carrying his satchel pushed through the passengers crowded around Lifeboat No. 1. "Are you all right?" he shouted, seating himself among the women. "I'm the doctor."

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