>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen

July 30, 2006

Is there anyone out there who enjoys the way a hospital smells? Kind of like your dorm room the first day you move in, the stench of sterile fills your nostrils and overwhelms your senses so much that you can actually taste the bleach they used to disinfect the floor three months ago. But no matter how much you hate the smell ofhospitals, there will be at least one time in your college life you will somehow end up there. How you arrive—wailing ambulance, friend’s car, bungee-corded to the back of a pick-up truck—is all up to you.

A lot of people who watch Grey’s Anatomy and ER think that the story lines are unrealistic. The writers have to take rare cases of a dramatic medical experience and exaggerate it to the extreme, right? Wrong. I think anyone who has spent time in the ER knows just how disturbing the place is. The only unrealistic scenes in ER are how nice the nurses are, how organized the staff is, and how attractive the doctors are. Seriously, where are all the hot doctors? I have yet to meet some doctor I’ve found attractive enough to not be utterly uncomfortable with during a breast exam.

“Why are doctors so surprised to have students come in the morning after a bender? Isn’t serious dehydration to be expected?”

I’m pretty sure no one has had a genuinely pleasant experience in the hospital. When women show up in the emergency room, the first thing they’re asked is, “Are you pregnant?” You could enter the ER with a 2×4 jammed in your head, literally preventing your brains from falling out, and the nurse will still look at you and ask, “When was your last period?” followed by, “Are you sexually active?” If the first answer was three weeks ago and the second answer is yes, then the nurse will say, “Are you pregnant?”

Is that what they’re teaching in med school now? “Listen students, women have the tendency to lie about being preggers. Therefore, you will need to grill them in front of family and friends, create a flow chart of all their sexual partners corresponding to dates of their last ‘visit from Aunt Flo,’ and just as they’re about to pass out from the pain, advise them to get a pregnancy test. If you’re dealing with a virgin, tell her that today’s studies show that semen can actually penetrate denim through dry humping. That’s all for today. Tomorrow we learn how to expertly apply Band-Aids to boo boos.”

There’s always some incident where someone you hardly know ends up in the emergency room, but because you’re an acquaintance, you have to provide your support. Freshman year, this loner girl across the hall from Meghan and I ended up falling down the stairs underage and wasted. She was a heavy girl and it took three EMT’s to carry the gurney out of the building. We knew there wouldn’t be anyone at the hospital when she woke up, so Meghan decided we should go stay there. I vetoed the idea and went to sleep. An hour later Meghan called me up asking me to meet her at the hospital—apparently there was another accident. In the five seconds it took to walk from the electric sliding doors to the taxi, a car had somehow managed to hit her.

Why are doctors and nurses so surprised and annoyed to have students come in the morning after a bender? If you live in a college town, isn’t serious dehydration to be expected? Just stick ‘em in a wheelchair, hook ‘em up to an IV, and stick ‘em in front of the television for two hours. I took my friend to the hospital the day after her 21st birthday and the nurse insisted that she write down every single drink she had the night before. Lady, if she could remember every beverage she consumed, we wouldn’t be here right now. Luckily she had made tick marks on her arm, so we were able to provide the nurse with a general idea.

I don’t advocate binge drinking, but let’s face it, it happens. There’s always people trying to see if they can consume a handle of Bacardi—right up there with drinking an entire gallon of whole milk. It will KILL you. And if you live through a stomach pumping, I guarantee you’ll never binge drink again. Not only will you never binge drink, you’ll start preaching to your friends slamming brewskis during power hour that having your stomach pumped followed by enema is not how they would like to remember the night.

Have you noticed that when you make new friends you try not to say anything to offend them? Especially when you’re pre-gaming. First off, if there’s a guy in a framed photo, ask who it is before you gush how banging he looks. Second, always bring your own mixer, and third, stick to top 40 tunes. There are times though when people will surprise you. Some new girl friends of mine I met at work were going out on the town a couple Saturdays ago, and right before we left, the two girls whose apartment we were in started typing away furiously at the computer. I entered there room and the image on the screen… well, have a look for yourself below. But I’m warning you, it’s seriously not for the weak. Even med students have trouble looking at it:

After seeing this image you will never ever EVER have sex again.

After shielding my eyes all I could say was, “Why Why WHY?” To which she replied, “To serve as a reminder never to hookup with anyone you meet at a bar tonight.” TONIGHT? I feel like going home and spending every night alone for the rest of my life! Is it possible for a human to become asexual? Because I think it’s a choice seriously worth looking into. Makes dehydrated college students a walk in the park, huh?

Now, anyone not grossed out and still reading this, let me tell you men something. Going to the lady doctor is not something to joke about. Let me see if I can break down the equivalent of a trip to the lady doctor for you guys: First, stick a metal spork in the freezer for two days. Then take off your pants, put your legs in the air, and have someone poke your balls with it for fifteen minutes. That’s what it feels like for us, times twenty. You have no idea what women would give for a simple, “Turn and cough.”

You guys get rather serious injuries. Usually they occur when you’re drunk, and you have to high tail it to the hospital the next morning. It’s only when you’re injured that you men turn to your girlfriends. You show up at our door at eight in the morning on a Sunday with a broken finger, no recollection of how you got it, and need a ride to the ER because all your buddies are still hammered, and also cannot remember how you broke your hand. Sure, there’s a bit of a hazy memory of taking a swan dive into the beer pong table, which would also explain why your face is covered in splinters, but that’s about it.

Either way, you know it’s love when your girlfriend’s waiting in the ER trying to formulate a legitimate lie and the nurse asks, “How’d this happen?” Because an intramural sports injury sounds a lot better on your chart than willingly falling into a piece of plywood.

Rants & Raves

Since “Workisms” had to end (I no longer work in the fifth ring of hell—an office building in the Chicago suburbs), you’ll find here now some commentary on current events. Not political of course. Just funny stuff.

Why are there only THREE parents on One Tree Hill? The evil political dad, the cancer-ridden mom, and the woman from the cutting edge who said “toepick!”, seven teenagers, and three parents. Even if they were single parents, that still leaves four high school students as orphans. The orphans of course are all significantly talented. There’s a fashion designer, a rockstar, two basketball players, a comic artist, the nice guy and a whore. But I guess that’s what makes a hit show. Remember Beverly Hills 90210? Only three parents there—one went to rehab and the other two got shipped to Japan, but let the kids keep the house their senior year. Why is reality TV so amazing? Because at least on My Big Sweet Sixteen the parents seem to be somewhat involved.

I say this because recently I started watching Laguna Beach and The Hills. I have seen a total of four episodes and will never watch another again. I’m not entirely sure how things work out there in California, but Kristen, Halley, Alex, Fuckme and whatever the hell your boyfriend’s names are, people in the Midwest aren’t buying the fact that this is a reality show. You can wear a microphone attached to your low-rise, hoochie skirts all you want, but no matter how hot you look and how much you feel sorry for yourself, the only people buying into your life are in your zip code. Everyone else thinks you just suck at life. Go binge drink and end up in the ER getting a pregnancy test like the rest of us.