Old Joke No Joke

As background, for those who don’t already know it, here’s a very old joke:

The scene is the cafeteria line in Heaven. An oldtimer is showing a new arrival the ropes. Suddenly, a short stout man with balding hair and an Old Testament beard enters, wearing surgical scrubs, and walks straight to the head of the line, where he is immediately served. The newcomer is flabbergasted: “Who is that, and how come he can cut in line?” The oldtimer replies, “Oh, that’s God. He thinks He’s a surgeon.”

OK, maybe it’s not the best joke in the world, but surgeons who think they are God are regrettably just not that uncommon. Stella’s brother had his second surgery yesterday afternoon. Stella and some of her brother’s friends (and eventually her brother, when he came around) were waiting for the surgeon to tell them the outcome. They waited… and waited… for four hours, until around 9:00 PM. Eventually a nurse took pity on them and told them that the surgeon had left at 5:00 PM, at the end of his shift. Not only did he not tell Stella or her brother the outcome; he didn’t even leave word authorizing the nurse to tell them. As far as we know, her brother’s operation was a success… as far as we know. Splendid human being, that surgeon.

UPDATE Thu. afternoon: brother’s condition is actually quite good. The docs plan to observe him overnight for any (unexpected) changes, then release him tomorrow. I suppose the surgeon must be a decent sawbones, even if he is negligent in the personal aspects of medicine.

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