One week ago I had the unfortunate experience of fainting and conking my head on a bathroom sink, and subsequently required 6 staples to the scalp for closure. Since what goes in must eventually come out, I was due for a return trip to the ER this week for hardware removal. Wanting to save me the hassle of this experience, my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor, offered their technical services in the privacy of their own home, and would even throw in some dinner to make it a full evening. Not needing any more convincing to avoid the hospital nor an excuse to visit our friends, my husband and I made the trek to the coast.
As soon as we walked into the house, Mrs. Doctor informed us that she had brought home the wrong tool to perform the procedure. “But don’t worry, I can do this,” she assured.
My first thought: No, you can’t. You just told me you don’t have the staple remover.
My second thought: Of course you can, you’re a doctor and I trust you.
So I bellied up to a seat at the kitchen table and awaited the process of staple extraction. The first tool utilized was a hemostat, which resembles a small pair of dull scissors and is normally used to control bleeding. Mrs. Doctor tried to bend the staples out with the hemostat, but they were too strong for it. Failure #1.
“Hold on, I have another idea,” she said as she headed toward the utility room. I saw her reappear with a pair of household needle-nosed pliers and I immediately recalled the scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High where two teenagers wreck a car, and one says to the other, “Don’t worry, my dad is a TV repairman and has an awesome set of tools, I can fix it!”
You are a doctor, and I trust you. You are a doctor, and I trust you. You are a doctor….
Failure #2. Pliers hurt.
“Don’t go anywhere, we can do this!” Mrs. Doctor said encouragingly as she flew down the hall to her home office. She emerged carrying a staple remover. Not the medical kind we so desperately needed, but rather the school kind that your 3rd grade teacher used to remove staples from a bulletin board, the kind that look like an alligator mouth.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME, MRS. DOCTOR??!?!
Funny, but those hurt, too. They also didn’t work. Failure #3. (The next day Mrs. Doctor told me she brought these out as a joke, but I still don’t believe her.)
Feeling a little frustrated, Mrs. Doctor decided to call Mr. Doctor, who was still at his office, to see if he had found the elusive tool there. (Please, please let him have found one…)
In this interim, Little Doc Jr. offered to have a look-see. He’s only 4, but his tiny fingers are nimble so I said, “Sure, give it a shot, kid!” He just looked so cute in his little lab coat, I couldn’t resist.
After careful inspection, Little Doc Jr. determined “they’re in there pretty good,” and referred me back to Chief Mommy. (I bet he’s still going to charge me a consult fee.)
Just then, Mr. Doctor’s voice came through on the speaker phone…YES! There is one medical staple remover left in all of Tropical Paradise Town, and it is now in Mr. Doctor’s possession, speeding down the causeway!! Hurry home, Doc, hurry home!
When Mr. Doctor walked in, Little Doc Jr. and Little Miss Doctor ran to him with excited delight, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” Yes! Daddy is home indeed and he carries with him what may as well be the key to the Ark of the Covenant, given my anticipation for it.
In a matter of mere seconds, Mrs. Doctor deftly removed all 6 staples with zero effort and only a minute bit of discomfort on my part. The source of all my woe was now just a tiny pile of bent metal on the granite table. Sweet, sweet relief!
Thank you, Mrs. Doctor. You promised me you could do this, and you did.