Tag Archives: surgery

Teleprompting Politics and Medicine

“It’s a lot like virtual reality, isn’t it?” Rupert asked as he steered his million-dollar LaFerrari around a hairpin turn.  “We’ve been telecommuting for years, so why not telemedicine?”

Betty hung on with both hands and tried not to slide into Rupert on the sharp right curves.  “Does your wife know you drive like a maniac?” she asked through gritted teeth.  “I should know about telemedicine.  After my accident, my surgeon operated remotely from India.[1]  Telemedicine saved my life.”

“I remember that,” Rupert said as he blithely dodged food trucks and surfboard-festooned VW buses.  “But it’s all so haphazard, isn’t it?”

“Nonsense!”  Betty gave a stifled scream as the car swerved between two roving basketballs and a skunk.  “There is even an American Telemedicine Association to keep things regulated.”

“I just heard about this plot to limit telemedicine – or limit abortions, not any other kind of telemedicine.  So is this ATA some fly-by-night con artists who just popped up in the mean states?”

“Con artists?” Betty gasped as the car became airborne over the top of a hill.  “They’ve been promoting telemedicine for 20 years!”

“Oh.”  Rupert appeared to concentrate on his driving as he whipped the LaFerrari onto the freeway.  “So how do you do an abortion over the Web?”

 “There is a live examination with a nurse, then the doctor has a video conference.”  Betty cringed when she heard a police siren going the other way.  “Then the doctor can release a drawer electronically.  The woman finds an abortion-inducing drug in the drawer.”

“Mice,” Rupert said.  “Mice, rats.  In a maze.  Sounds like experiments in psychology class.  Do they ring a bell, too?”  He zipped down an exit ramp and headed down a wide boulevard.  “Oh, wait.  Red pill or blue one, right?  I saw that in a movie once.”

“Rupert, this is serious,” Betty said, her eyes fixed on the horizon.  “They’ve actually been practicing telemedicine for over 50 years.  Teledermatology, teleneurology, prenatal care, rural care.  There’s only one topic the mean states want to regulate, and that’s abortion.  Why is that?”

“Politics, of course.”  Rupert grunted as he dodged potholes and fallen tree limbs.  “No one wants to pay taxes to maintain streets or bridges.  No one wants to pay for someone else’s healthcare.  No one wants to be their brother’s keeper.”

A mechanical arm reached out from the car and swept a tire from the road.  It rolled into a parked car as Rupert and Betty sped by.  The car windows became opaque and Betty heard popping noises from outside.  “I hate driving through turf wars but it shaves 20 minutes off the trip,” Rupert said.



[1] See “Episode 18: Lights Out for Your Health!” of All My Clones, available at https://www.createspace.com/4166055 for less than your doctor’s office co-pay.

And If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit…

Betty Lidalot considers the idea of stiletto surgery:

“There must be a better way to wear heels like those.  I’m not quite a ballerina, so I can’t stand on just my toes.”

Carla DuCansa looked up from trying on a pair of Nicholas Kirkwood black satin pumps with 5” heels and crystal platforms.  “You had any bunions removed already?”

“Of course,” said Betty.  “That was the obvious first step.  The biomedical industry should be able to put its vast resources on to this problem.

Carla waved a hand vaguely.  “Oh, long ago.  First there was the collagen injection into the ball of your foot.”  She lifted up her leg and pointed to it.  “I had that done ages ago.  Now it’s like I’m walking around on pillows.”

Betty closed her eyes dreamily.  “That sounds wonderful.  Is that why you wear those stilt heels all day every day?”

“Oh, no, there is more to it.  I needed to have my toes shortened.”

Betty’s eyes flew open.  “You shortened your toes?  Why?”

“It’s not as if the shoe industry did us any favors,” Carla said.  “They still refuse to design a single comfortable shoe, or one that fits.  So I needed to make my foot fit the shoe.  Who needs a lifetime of pinched nerves?”  She stood up and pirouetted on the toe of one shoe.

“Amazing,” Betty breathed.  “You look as though you could fly.  Is it worth the surgery?”

“Not yet,” Carla said as she descended from the heights of her heels.  “Not until I did Deep Pink.”

“Toenail polish?” Betty guessed.

“It’s where they remove the pinky toe altogether,” Carla said.  “Then all those shoes you always love fit perfectly.  Like my Louboutin Corsetica red sandals.”

“My favorite shoes,” Betty said.  “To look at, anyway.  I can’t imagine how you wear them all day.  So you think the Deep Pink surgery was worth it?”

“I’ve never felt this good about any surgery I’ve ever had done. If it’s vain, it’s vain.  But…”  Carla looked at the shoes on her feet.  “They seem to stop at five and a half inch heels.  Anything taller, and they add a platform.  Why can’t I get a good seven inch heel – or no heel at all.  There is a clinic that will fuse your ankle and remove all those ugly toes.  Then you can tiptoe around as the most elegant ballerina you ever saw.  Add a platform box toe, and you can tower anyone in the room.”

Carla pirouetted on the heel of her right shoe, then on the toe of her left shoe.  “And it’s a market opportunity.”  She coasted to a halt, then sat down daintily.

“What’s the opportunity?” asked Betty.

“My dear, we make medical devices,” said Carla.  “You know, like wheelchairs and walkers.  As we all age, we will need something more fashionable than Granny’s towel rack.  As these foot surgeries become more popular, we must prepare an equally fashionable walker.  And I, my dear, will be ready.”

“Is this about the new TV show you mentioned?”

“Yes, we take away Granny’s towel rack with its hideous and tacky tennis balls on the feet.  We trick it out into something you can be proud of.”

“What’s the name of the show?” Betty asked, not sure if she wanted the answer.

Carla smiled coyly.  “Pimp My Walker.”