Written by PP Rega
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Sunday, 26 April 2009

image for Emergency Medicine: An Allegorical Fable in Three-Quarter Time

Once upon a time, there existed this beautiful, rainbow-festooned land called EM. On the highways and byways of the magical, mystical land called EM, there traversed a sleek, silver coach powered by six Arabian stallions. It was the The King's Coach...The Royal Coach. It was a wonder to behold especially in the moonlight as the lunar rays danced on the backs of the great steeds and made the coach's ornaments glisten.

The natives of EM loved the coach of their beloved King. They felt the coach was their own. It was so special to them that they bestowed on it an appellation: E.R. And E.R. was driven by only one person, a noble knight, the King's favorite: Sir E.R. Doc. The driving skills of E.R. Doc were considerable. They were astounding. They were mesmerizing. They were accomplished with such aplomb. But it required years of training and driving in all conditions imaginable before Sir E.R. Doc acquired that special armor of sapiential authority. Now, after all these years, whenever the good knight drove E.R., it looked so easy to the casual observer that it seemed anyone could drive E.R. with the same fluidity and dexterity as E.R. Doc.

One day in this magical, mystical land called EM, members of the Court were directed by the King to visit a region in the kingdom called "Hopital L'icu." They were Nurse-Man, The Minister of Ad, and The Sultan of Con. To most of The Court and to all of the natives, these three were in league with power, money, and the Devil. They were The Unholy Three.

"How will we get there, Your Highness?" asked Nurse-Man. The Nurse-Man knew no fear of God, King, nor man. However, The Sultan of Con and the Minister of Ad said nothing preferring to keep their eyes down and their noses scraping the floors of the Palace, yet always prepared to advance themselves in the favors of the King.

As an answer to Nurse-Man's query, His Highness waved his royal wand and from behind the alabaster screen came Sir E.R. Doc.

"We have asked Our beloved friend to take you in Our Coach. He will get you all there with alacrity and in safety."

The Unholy Three were not happy with this.

"Your servant, m'Lord," said Sir E.R. Doc as he gave the King a wink and escorted his new companions to the Coach. The King concealed a smile for he and his Knight were more than King and knight. They were true friends. Sir E.R. Doc, more than once, had salvaged His Majesty's Honor and Arse on their many adventures and escapades.

Into the courtyard, the King's good knight led the Unholy Three towards the coach. The Sultan of Con was still rubbing the dust of the palace floor from his nostrils, but when he saw the Coach and horses this close for the first time, he marveled at its beauty and obvious power. So, too, did the Minister of Ad. Despite their ignorance about most matters, many were the times they whispered in the Royal Auricular Appendage about adding more wheels to the Coach or re-painting it a gaudier color or exchanging the Arabian stallions for mustangs because they were cheaper. Religiously, The King brushed them from His Ear like a horse's tail with flies and usually directed them to other activities that were more suited to their limited talents.

Nurse-Man, however, was a different matter. She was intimately connected to the Coach. Her sole purpose in life was to ensure that the Coach was always ready, well-oiled, and immaculate and the horses sleek, strong, and well-fed. While Sir E.R. Doc appreciated her talents and her devotion to the tasks that made his job easier, there never existed a collegial camaraderie between the two. Perhaps it was the mustache and codpiece Nurse-Man was always sporting to try to make herself seem more important.

In any case, once Sir Knight had the Unholy Three, comfortably and hospitably settled into the plush Royal-red cushions of the Coach, he patted the rumps of his steeds and with a flick of the reins, started driving down the road to Hopital L'icu. He always went down this same road because it was straight and wide and didn't have the potholes and ravines common to alternate routes.

As the Coach flew down the road, Nurse-Man, the Minister of Ad, and the Sultan of Con looked out their windows and began chattering to each other in conspiratorial tones.

Suddenly, the Unholy Three reached through the little window at the front of the Coach and grabbed Sir E.R. Doc by the arse, for he was seated higher than they were and therefore that was all they could grab on to.

Swiftly recovering, for that was another of the knight's many gifts, he asked, "Is there something you wish of me, my colleagues?" There was barely-concealed sarcasm in his question, for he knew Evil when he saw it, but he always believed God and King and his Armor of Sapiential Authority would protect him.

"You're taking the wrong road," piped up the Sultan of Con. The volume of his voice was loud. Louder than anyone ever heard. That was chiefly because his head was up His Majesty's arse most of the time.

The Minister of Ad directed, "Take the Noblesse Oblige Highway. I just increased the peons' taxes to pay for it. It's newer and better and we will make better time."

Sir E.R. Doc demurred.

"Thank you for your wise input, but I must respectfully disagree."

However, the Unholy Three in the back seat became, not only insistent, but demeaning. After all, the King was not there and the Knight's back was to them -- an easy target.

"Don't argue, good sir," said Nurse-Man. "This is really my coach. I wash it. I care for it. I rub down the horses. You're just being permitted to drive it."

"But…"

"Have no fear, Sir Knight," chimed in the Sultan of Con. "In case you get into trouble, I am right here and I will rescue you. After all, I'm really the expert in all matters related to EM."

The Minister of Ad, even more forcibly than before, announced, "We will do whatever our majority decides, sir. I am the King in his place and I give the orders but only if it's during certain hours and specific days of the week and when His Royal Highness isn't around. We must always consider profit margins first. So, distress us no further."

Nevertheless, Sir E.R. Doc, with his Armor of Sapiential Authority, typically impervious to intimidation, sarcasm and snide remarks, diplomatically tried to explain his posture.

"Good sirs, oh, excuse me…and Madame…, your mustache confused me," began the knight, "your suggestion is excellent, but the route is so new that well-designed maps showing hazards and pitfalls have not been created yet."

With that, Sir E.R. Doc turned around in his seat, closed and locked the little window near his arse and continued on his pre-determined route.

The Unholy Three were apoplectic in anger and hatred. The years of this knight's insolence must come to an end. So, using the Nurse-Man's head as a battering ram, they crashed in the little window by the knight's arse and clawed and scratched and pulled at the Sir E.R. Doc. He, in turn, could do little. It required all his energies just to handle the stallions and keep the Coach on the road.

With all this violent activity and the Nurse-Man's head, the hole in the Coach widened enough that the Unholy Three were able to grab the reins, pull the preoccupied knight from the driver's seat, and pummel him into unconsciousness.

The Minister of Ad tried to stop the Coach, but the stallions, sensing unsure hands at the reins, grew panicky and galloped faster than before. Meanwhile, Nurse-Man and the Sultan of Con tied-up and gagged the knight and shoved his limp body under the seat.

"Here," cried out the Minister of Ad, "You take these reins. The bloody horses are out of control."

"No fear, I pray you," admonished the Sultan of Con and he calmly took over the reins and negotiated himself through the hole and into the driver's seat. The steeds galloped on relentlessly and he directed them onto the alternate highway.

To the two left in the back of the Coach, life was now proceeding swimmingly. They finally had complete control of E.R. However, while they were celebrating with occasional kicks to the knight's groin, they were oblivious to events outside of their Coach. Not so with the Sultan of Con. As he struggled to maintain some sort of control over the stallions, day yielded to dusk and the weather turned dank and dangerous. Rain began pelting E.R. and the road became slippery and the stallions' hoofs grew unsure.

"Uhhh…I could use a little assistance up here, if you please," shouted the Sultan of Con.

The tuneful notes that were in the throats of Nurse-Man and the Minister of Ad quickly metamorphosed into a vise that mercilessly strangled air intake. As they competed with each other to control the reins, their eyes were witness to a cratered road with neither illumination nor guardrails.

The more The Unholy Three's hands struggled with the reins, the harder it was to control E.R. Time after time, the Royal Coach edged out past the berm sending gravel down into the deep ravine that skirted the highway. Beads of perspiration dotted the brow of Nurse-Man. Malodorous smells exuded from the pantaloons of the Minister of Ad. Excuses slithered out of the two-faced mouth of the Sultan of Con: "Don't look to me. I only consult...Don't look to me. This is your job...Don't look to me. I have other responsibilities..."

Then it happened. It was on the last stretch of road, by the longest curve, next to the deepest canyon, Lawsooth Canyon. Just as the Unholy Three caught sight of Hopital L'icu, the rain and the darkness took final control of E.R. and the sleek, silver Royal Coach with its six Arabian stallions plunged into the canyon. As for Nurse-Man, the Sultan of Con, and the Minister of Ad, they were able to jump clear just as E.R. took its final voyage with Sir E.R. Doc manacled inside its bowels.

At the funeral, all the princes and gentry in the land of EM came to pay their respects to the much-loved Sir E.R. Doc. That also included Nurse-Man, the Minister of Ad, and Sultan of Con who expressed their collective grief with glycerin on their cheeks to simulate tears and flayed themselves with whips adorned with soft rubber spikes.

The King never attended the funeral. He was inconsolable to have lost his dear friend. He convened "A Royal Inquiry Into The Events That Resulted In The Death of Sir E.R. Doc and the Destruction of E.R." Due to the conspiratorial machinations of the Unholy Three, the Royal Inquiry determined that the blame laid squarely on the head of Sir E.R. Doc. He chose the wrong road. He whipped the horses onward. He lost control of the Coach. And it was he who was at the reins when the accident happened. Of course, there were no signs of ties on his wrists or feet or of the Nurse-Man's petticoat that was stuffed down his throat.

With that official decision, the gentry, angered by the loss of their beloved E.R., rose up with pitchforks and scythes, exhumed the decaying corpse of Sir E.R. Doc from his marble mausoleum and placed his head on the largest pike the land of EM ever saw.

The King, realizing how the events were beyond his control, sighed, smiled, and gazed with greater appreciation upon the talents of Nurse-Man….as long as she shaved off her mustache.

And they lived hapily ever after.

The End

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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