Friday, March 28, 2008
You know the coolest thing about Europe? Its the little differences. I mean they got the same shit there we got here, its just there its a little different. Example? in Italy you don't dial 9-1-1, you dial 1-1-9. September 11th would have been January 19th if Al Kaida had attacked Rome.
I didn't come under sniper fire during my service in Northern Italy protecting America from the Bosnian hordes, did have a pretty nasty bike wreck on that mountain in the background, and that's me in the backseat of the hornet, taking pics like a little girl. My colleague at the little tent clinic was a real prick, serving out his last few months till he began a prestigious ER residency. The residency was just a formality, as he already was an expert on everything. Having arrived in Italy a few days before him, I was in charge of the clinic, hard to believe, but that's the way the military does things. Anyway for some reason the clinic had accumulated a large number of mercury thermometers, left by previous units and it was now my job to dispose of them. Using my leadership skills, I delegated the task to my corpsman.(to those of you whose military experience is limited to MASH, corpsmen are the Navy's version of Radar O'riley and Corporal Klinger). Soon enough the gaggle of thermometers was gone, I didn't ask and he didn't tell. He did however, have a marble sized Mercury globule, that he delighted in playing with terminator style. Dr.ER had a cow when he realized that he was practicing in the vicinity of a toxic metal. "Get rid of it!! " he shrieked. In one fluid motion, like Larry Bird dishing off a no-look pass, Radar scooped up the mercury and swallowed it. A hush fell over the room. I'd never seen anyone swallow that much mercury before, what would happen? I mean there's a reason we're getting rid of the thermometers, right? Anyway, Radar didn't die, and is currently working in Northern New Jersey in waste management. When no one was looking I sneaked a peek in the toxicology book. Turns out elemental mercury is non toxic.
Posted by Frank Drackman at Friday, March 28, 2008