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Oh, The Games People Play

FROM THE “BEST OF EMERGIBLOG” FILES, ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 16, 2005, THIS WAS ONE OF THE VERY FIRST POSTS OF THE THEN BRAND-NEW EXPERIMENT KNOWN AS “EMERGIBLOG”

I never knew this game existed until I did a web search for the character! There are actually pristine, unopened Cherry Ames games on eBay.

No, I didn’t buy one. Seventy-five dollars is a wee bit too much to pay, although I did spend that much on a vintage Barbie outfit about ten years ago.

Hey, it came with the original shoes and Barbie fans know it’s all about the shoes!

(UPDATE 5/09: My co-worker gave me all of her Cherry Ames books – a complete set – and a copy of the game, in perfect condition!)

***********

Those who study human behavior should spend a shift in the emergency department.

The games played in the ER make the Olympics look like a tetherball tournament. Some of the participants are patients and some are staff. Some are gold-medalists in their specialty and some arrive a few feet short of a full balance beam.

Let’s take a look at “The Emergency Olympic Games”:

“The Suck-Up”

Usually the player is suffering from an acute lack of an opiate prescription for chronic pain symptoms with a nebulous origin for which they have not been evaluated by a doctor but they have an appointment with a specialist next week but they ran out of their Vicodin and they just cannot bear it.

Said patient is overwhelmingly complimentary to Team Nursing . The targeted nurse is SO much nicer than any other nurse anywhere in the whole world and gee, that other nurse was so rude they wish ALL nurses were just like you! These compliments are dispensed within 3.5 seconds of spotting the nurse, often making said RN feel an acute need for a shower.

The player realizes she is out of medal contention when the targeted nurse responds with, “Gee, thanks, but I just came in to get a Betadine swab….”

”Mean Medical Matchup”

This game is closely related to the Suck-Up, utilizing the same team.

Player has been evaluated by the ER doctor, who, having the audacity to disbelieve their story, has gone for the gold and verbalized his lack of belief to the patient. Bottom line: no prescription. The patient prepares for this event with the “Which Doctor is On Tonight?” drill, using a telephone to assess the playing field before engaging the opponent.

“Peek-a-Boo Bypass”

This event requires a large team that converges on the patient’s playing field soon after the patient’s arrival. Anyone can make the Peek-a-Boo team, although it is usually composed of family members and friends of many generations.

Upon arrival, Team Nursing announces the event rule: only two members of the Peek-a-Boo team on the field at a time. This is met with a courteous response and extraneous members go to the bench in the waiting room, where the goal is getting back onto the playing field without Team Nursing noticing. This is accomplished by one Peek-a-Boo team member returning to the patient at a time until the bedside number has quadrupled. Stealth and dexterity are assets to this goal. Occasionally Team Security will act as referee.

“The Two Guy Offense”

The preliminaries for this event take place off the Emergency Stadium grounds.

The player reports a spontaneous assault by Team Two Guys. The members of this team are always unknown to the patient and the initiation of contact always unprovoked.

The goal of Team Patient is to obtain care from Team Medical with minimal disclosure of the playbook. The involvement of Team Police is always declined as so as not to incur a penalty. Team Two Guys apparently has many expansion franchises.

“The Two Beer Defense”

Team Patient enters the arena via Team Paramedic, having received a report of “player down” on the sidelines of a local Team Seven-Eleven. Team Patient arrives supine on a movable gamepiece.

Upon arrival in ER Stadium, body fluids are released for assessment by Team Nursing who immediately take defensive positions. Performance-enhancing ETOH is suspected as the characterisic Odor Offense is noted. Team Medical waits for the Designated Cleaners and takes the field.

Minimal interaction takes place between the teams for many hours at which point Team Patient verbalizes that he only had “two beers”. Team Medical knows to multiply this number by 58. Team Patient is taken out of the medals race on a credibility technicality.

“The Decibel Debate”

Team Patient attempts to propel themselves off the bench and onto the playing field by increasing their verbal intensity. Team Nursing counters with internal auditory blocking mechanisms. The goal: Team Patient enters playing field at appropriate interval. Team Patient rarely medals in this event.

“The Titanic Panic”

Team Patient arrives, usually via Team Paramedic, complaining of numbness, chest pain, shortness of breath and near-syncope occurring at the preliminary event at Home Arena which involved a “Decibel Debate” with another member of Team Family.

The Peek-a-Boo team arrives to act as cheerleaders for the event. No medal is awarded, as the full cardiac work-up that ensues turns out to be negative. An Academy Award nomination, however, would be appropriate.

These are just some of the Emergency Olympic events to which I have a front row seat and perpetual season tickets!

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*


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