Health Care Hilarity

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Around this time of year things get busy for lots of people, and I am no different.  Work is steady in my department, Christmas shopping lists are being prepared for the few people on my list, and the planning has begun for my trip to Los Angeles to hit some of the top comedy clubs there come next August.

Comedy material was difficult to create because there wasn’t the motivation to do so, then life got in the way and I found my inspiration again.

A girl I am seeing (that sounds more natural for me to say than girlfriend) wound up in the hospital last Sunday, as she had the bottoms of both lungs collapse in addition to contracting pneumonia.  It doesn’t help that she was born asthmatic too.

I am happy to report that she will be released tomorrow, but the first few days were difficult as there didn’t seem to be much improvement.  Her dosage of medication (steroids) was upped twice, and finally by Friday her lungs started to show signs of clearing up and returning to normal.

I learned how the health care paradigm has shifted.  It used to be when I was in the hospital as a kid, there were plenty of doctors to go around the hospitals, while the nurses were pretty much a doctor’s assistant.  Turn the clock ahead into the hospitals of today, and the nurses rule the roost.  The doctors from what I can tell do not have a full-time presence there, at least they didn’t on her floor.  Nurses are able to do just about everything a doctor can do, and they do it in a caring manner and are able to communicate clearly and effectively.

The first few days in the hospital are tough.  She wheezed when she tried to exhale and needed IV and oxygen daily.  This made sitting in her room for a couple hours at a time not the easiest thing to do, especially when she shares her room with two others.  It was difficult for me to sit and witness firsthand the struggles of other patients while at the same time receiving first rate care.

But as the week got on into Thursday I was able to wheel her around a bit, and the trips outside of her room did us both some good.  It allowed me to start getting ideas for material.

If I never received the comedy coaching I wouldn’t have been able to condition myself to create jokes, but that’s what happened.  Sometimes it takes a while for things to develop but eventually when you are in the hospital day after day and you see the same things day after day, eventually you start to pick up on certain patterns.  My coach said to write comedy, one must start with writing the truth (straight line) then you plug in the appropriate comedy formula into the joke and make it funny.  So realistically, you could write jokes with several completely different punchlines in several different comedy styles all on the same subject!  Then you can state the how and the why of the jokes getting a laugh.  In the end, it makes you look more competent when you can tell somebody why the joke worked instead of simply having no rhyme or reason to creating the punchline because as I’ve stated before, once you know how to make something funny it becomes easier to write.

At a writing session with other comics we used to sit and all think about something funny for a particular joke someone was working on.  You often heard a lot of silence at those writing sessions because I believe some of us (myself included) didn’t know how to think funny.

Anyhow, the new jokes from the hospital will be rolled out soon as they are still being worked on.  I just hope that I don’t have to go back to a hospital again for a long time because it’s the last place I need to get inspiration for material from.

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