With a Song in His Heart, Patient Can't Stop Singing

Written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Friday, 26 April 2019

image for With a Song in His Heart, Patient Can't Stop Singing
HEART ACHE, HEART ACHE.

Scene: The ER room at a large hospital in San Francisco.

[Nurse] Doctor, the next patient is elderly, a bit balmy. He's a has-been, washed up, third-rate pop tune singer from the '40s and '50s who is very difficult to communicate with.

[Doctor] Can't he speak English?

[Nurse] You'll see. When he speaks to you, he doesn't talk. He SINGS! The first part of every sentence is taken from a song.

[Nurse steps out of room and immediately wheels in patient on gurney, writhing in pain.

[Doctor] What's the problem?

[Patient, singing] HEART ACHE, HEART ACHE.

[Doctor] Where, exactly?

[Patient, singing, pointing] HERE, IN MY HEART.

[Doctor] Where does it hurt?

[Patient] DEEP IN MY HEART, Doc, I have a pain again.

[Doctor] Would you say the pain is mostly in the center of your heart?

[Patient, nodding yes] The HEART OF MY HEART is where I feel the strain.

[Doctor] It's probably indigestion. You had too big a party last night. It's most likely nothing.

[Patient] MY HEART TELLS ME THIS IS THE REAL THING.

[Doctor, to Nurse] Talking to this guy is impossible.

[Nurse] You think this is bad? Be thankful you aren't his gastro-intestinal specialist!

[Doctor] OK, let's see what's in your heart.

[Patient] A HEART FULL OF LOVE, That's what you'll find, but I don't mind.

[Doctor makes a hasty exam, with lots of thumping, probing, and "uh huhs"]

[Doctor, in voice displaying surprise] I remember you. I've seen you several times. Seems like I've been here before.

[Patient] YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY HEART.

[Doctor, hopefully] Wouldn't you prefer another surgeon?

[Patient] No, MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU, SIGHS FOR YOU, DIES FOR YOU.

[Doctor] You're a lot overweight. Too rich a diet will cause heart problems. Maybe too much candy?

[Patient] SWEET HEART, SWEET HEART, SWEET HEART.

[Doctor] OK, here's a warning: those sweets can kill you.

[Patient] BEWARE, MY FOOLISH HEART.

[Doctor] I can't do anything until the palpitations are under control.

[Patient] BE STILL MY HEART.

[Doctor does more probing, with more "uh huhs.] I'm sorry, but I'll have to remove your heart.

[Patient] But I'VE GOTTA HAVE HEART, MILES AND MILES AND MILES OF HEART.

[Doctor] Of course. What I mean is I will do a heart transplant. We just happen to have one available. Furthermore, this will be an experimental operation since you will have only a local anesthetic and will be awake during the whole procedure.

[Patient] BE CAREFUL, IT'S MY HEART. IT'S NOT MY PULSE YOU'RE TAKING, IT'S MY HEART.

[Doctor begins operation, gets rather rough with the patient, who winces and moans. Doctor lifts heart from his chest]

[Patient] YOU TOOK THE PART THAT ONCE WAS MY HEART.

[Nurse takes the heart carefully and starts across room with it.

[Patient points] THERE GOES MY HEART.

[Nurse stumbles, drops heart]

[Patient] HEARTBREAKER, YOU DROPPED IT TO THE GROUND, YOU HEARTBREAKER.

[Nurse, recovering heart] The heart's OK.

[Doctor] Don't worry. Your old heart will be refurbished and transplanted.
\
[Patient] MY HEART WILL GO ON.

[Doctor looks around frantically, searching desperately, searching through cabinet for something]

[Doctor] I have everything needed for the operation except an important item. [Doctor now sings] BUT WHERE IS YOUR HEART?

[Doctor finally finds the heart, which is obviously very large.]

[Doctor] Here it is, but it's too large and I need to break it in half so it'll fit.

[Patient] SO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO, WHEN YOU BREAK A HEART IN TWO.

[Doctor inserts heart in chest, rather roughly, with patient moaning and writhing]

[Doctor] Is there any pain?

[Patient, smiling, with a happy voice] SUDDENLY, MY HEART SINGS.

[Doctor] You'll feel ten years younger with this new heart.

[Patient] I'M YOUNG AT HEART.

[Doctor, lifting something up to show the patient] Now, watch your diet or this will happen to you again. Look here, this is the heart from a dead man and it's what yours will look like if you gorge yourself again. This could be [doctor sings] YOUR COLD, COLD HEART.

[Doctor] Your sexual dalliances may be partly responsible. Not right for a married man. So remember: YOUR CHEATING HEART, WILL TELL ON YOU.

[Doctor] OK, I'm sending you home now. But next time we meet I may not be able to fix your ACHY BREAKY HEART.

[As patient is wheeled out of ER, still on the gurney, Doctor sings] YOU'RE BREAKING MY HEART CAUSE YOU'RE LEAVING.

[A cheerful, upbeat patient responds as he departs through the door on the gurney pushed by the nurse and doctor.]

[Patient] WITH A SONG IN MY HEART .... I LEFT MY HEART, IN SAN FRANCISCO [patient waves farewell to doctor and nurse]

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

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