MIDAS WELBY, D.O.

Narrator. Blithitor neodymium bicyclate, the safe and effective prescription medication for people who feel reasonably healthy most of the time, presents…

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Narrator. Midas Welby, D.O.—the story of a brilliant osteopath trying to make a difference in a big-city hospital.

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(Sound: Siren.)

Narrator. Our story begins as an ambulance arrives at the emergency room of St. Pancreas Hospital.

Ambulance driver. You’ll be okay. We’re at the emergency room now, and here comes Dr. Welby. He’s the best osteopathic clinical diagnostician in the tri-state area.

Welby. What’s wrong with this one?

Ambulance driver. Stubbed his toe.

Welby. Nurse, get me a stub cart in here, stat! What’s the patient’s name?

Ambulance driver. Wendell Foote.

Welby. Foote? You mean Mr. Foote stubbed his toe?

Ambulance driver. They don’t pay me enough for this job.

Foote. It hurts like blazes.

Nurse. Stub cart, Dr. Welby.

Welby. Unwrap the comfy socks, nurse. Mr. Foote, how many fingers am I holding up?

Foote. Eighteen.

Welby. Good ballpark estimate. Does it hurt when I do this?

Foote. Yes, but that’s not the toe I stubbed.

Welby. I needed to check your pain receptors to make sure you hadn’t gone into osmosis. Nothing broken, but your toe’s a bit red. We can fix that with a bit of surgical whitewash like this. Now I want you to put on these comfy socks, and wear them till your toe feels better, which might be as long as forty-five minutes. You think you can do that for me?

Foote. Thank you, Dr. Welby!

Welby. Just doing my job.

Administrator. Well, Dr. Welby, I see you’ve been tending to the sick again.

Welby. That’s what I do, Amanda, as you should well know, since we had a romantic relationship several years ago that neither one of us ever got over.

Administrator. Our backstory has nothing to do with your performance at this hospital. It merely serves to inject a measure of romantic tension into what would otherwise be a string of humdrum procedural plots.

Welby. Is that why you always seem to be checking up on me when I’ve been with a patient?

Administrator. No, I do that because I’m a hard-nosed hospital administrator with a tendency toward micromanagement, using my authority here to compensate for my lack of a fulfilling family life at home.

(Sound: Alarm.)

Nurse. We need a gurney over here! Doctor Welby, we need you!

Welby. What’s going on?

Nurse. Mr. Foote just collapsed!

Welby. This man’s in shock. I don’t get it. His toe looked fine. What happened?

Nurse. He just took one look at his bill and fell on the floor like this.

Welby. How many times do I have to tell them to hold off on the billing for a few minutes?

Nurse. What a night! It must be a full moon.

Welby. Actually, the story about more accidents, crimes, and illnesses happening in the full moon is just an urban myth. Scientific studies have shown that a far greater number of accidents happen during the waning gibbous phase.

Nurse. Shouldn’t we be reviving the patient or something?

Welby. I suppose you’re right. But it’s an interesting subject, lunar influence on human behavior. We’ll have to take it up again when the patient starts breathing. Meanwhile, give him 5 cc of antinomine, and if that doesn’t work try about a gallon and a half of embalming fluid.

Nurse. Ha ha ha!

Welby. Ha ha ha! A little humor goes a long way in defusing a tense situation like this.

Nurse. I’ve injected the antinomine, and he’s coming around.

Foote. You saved my life! How can I ever repay you?

Welby. Don’t even bother thinking about that. And for heaven’s sake don’t look at the bill again. Just let your insurance take care of it.

Foote. But I don’t have insurance, Doctor Welby. —Doctor Welby? Doctor Welby? Nurse, is he going to be okay?

Nurse. We need a gurney over here! And get me 5 cc of antinomine, stat!

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Opening Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit…