(GK: Garrison Keillor; TK: Tom Keith; SS: Sue Scott: TR: Tim Russell)


GK: When it comes to health care, you're looking for something you know and trust, so you go to your aging family practitioner, Doc Peters, whom you know, but do you trust him?

TR (GEEZER): Well, it beats me. I guess we'll have to just wait and see. Could be a brain tumor, could be ordinary dandruff. Time will tell.

GK: So you go to a big city health clinic where you don't know anybody and they don't know you -----

SS: Mr. Wheeler?

GK: It's Wyler.

SS: Take a seat in there. Wait for your name to be called.

GK: Will it be soon? I mean, I've been waiting for three days. I haven't had a shower---- I've been living off potato chips from the vending machine. My cellphone is out of power.

SS: We'll get to you as soon as we can. (BRIDGE)

GK: So you finally get in and some brilliant man whom you never saw before takes one look at you----

TR: It's a dilated displacement of the differential of the lower delphinium. See right there? On the X-ray? That's your hematite. Right beside the bitumen. We just put you on Hydrofluoric-aminosulfagalactic bioxychloridated Lucite and then we go in with an open-ended spanner and we rout the reamer back up to the hyacinth.

GK: I see. What's that?

TR: The dark area?

GK: Yes.

TR: It's your butt.

GK: Oh. (MUSIC UNDER) And the next thing you know, you're in the operating room. (RESPIRATOR, CLINK OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS)

TR: I'm going to inject this light anesthetic into your left eyeball now, so if you hold very, very still----- don't blink---- this is going to sting just a teeny tiny bit----- (SLIGHT SQUISH) Good. Hold very still. Almost done. (POP) There.


GK: And he does some brain surgery on you, working with microscopic tools, working through a tiny hole he drilled right between your eyes---- (DRILL) and it's an incredible miracle ---- this feat of surgery accomplishes amazing things ----

TR: How do you feel?


TK: Maybe we better operate on the left one, too. (MUSIC)

GK: It's so lonely in that land of medical technology. You miss the human touch. You miss kindness, compassion.

SS (ROBOTIC): Mr. Wheeler, report to Desk A. Mr. Wheeler----

GK: You miss her.

SS: Hi. I'm Nancy. How are you feeling? You sure look good.
But you know something? Everybody's talking about what tremendous progress you're making. It's really fantastic. Can I fluff up those pillows for you? How about a neck rub? Care for water? You want to talk about anything? (MUSIC UNDER)

GK: You need nurses more than you even know.

SS: Nurses know as much as doctors do, and they're nicer.

GK: Yes. November is National Nursing Month. Nurses know as much as doctors do, and they're nicer.

SS: Much nicer.

GK: Why not tell a nurse you love her. (MUSIC)

© Garrison Keillor 2001