Flu, December 8, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY


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Flu

Listen (MP3)

GK: ....brought to you by the Organization of Associated Federations.

So you didn't get a flu shot this year, because of bad memories of a school nurse when you were six years old. (FN WHIMPERING)

SS (WITCH): Hold still, ya little snot, or I'll stick this thing all the way in your shoulder. And I'll enjoy doing it. (WITCH LAUGHTER)

GK: You stand there trembling in the vestibule (VOICES PASSING) of the drugstore where they give flu shots and you're immobilized by fear.

FN (WEEPING): Why can't I get over this fear of needles? I'm forty years old, for heaven's sake. I'm a doctor!!! (STING)

GK: Yes, you are a well–known surgeon and yet the thought of a needle stuck in your arm fills you with (SHUDDER OF HORROR) ---- you who are so cool in the O.R. ----

FN: Scalpel.

SS: Scalpel.

FN: Suture.

SS: Suture.

FN: Needle.

SS: Needle.

FN: Chisel.

SS: Chisel?

FN: Chisel.

SS: Chisel.

FN: Hacksaw.

SS: Hacksaw.

GK: Yet when you visualize someone putting a needle in you, you feel faint and dizzy. (WOOZY)

So you leave the drugstore and catch the uptown bus and everyone around you (COUGHING, SNEEZING) is pouring clouds of germs into the air. (TR BIG SNEEZE) Billions of viral particles of infection drifting toward you, into your mouth, your nostrils. (SFX) You get off the bus and get in a cab and the cabdriver leans back and (TR COUGHING FIT) and you squirt some hand sanitizer on your face (SFX) and you go home and (DOOR OPENS)

SS: Honey, are you sick?

FN (WOOZY, NAUSEOUS): Me? No. I never get sick. (DOOR CLOSES)

SS: Go to bed and I'll make you some chicken soup.

FN: Okay.

GK: So you lie down in bed and turn on the TV and it's a car chase (CAR RACING, BRAKING, TURNING, BUMPING) and it makes you nauseous and you change channels and (TR BELLOWING) its professional wrestling (BELLOW AND SMACKDOWN) all that sweating is making you sweat--and you change channels (SFX) and it's a reality show called BOTOX (TR: Hold still I'm just going to inject this 8-inch needle directly into your forehead) so you turn off the TV and you turn on public radio (PIANO SLOW CHOPIN) and you fall asleep and dream you're balancing on a tight rope in a circus act, and there's a tiger pacing under you (ROPE SHAKING, FN QUIVERING, TIGER) and (PHONE RING, FN AWAKENING) -----

FN: Hello?

TR (ON PHONE): Hendricks?

FN: Dr. Phelps? What is it, Sir?

TR (ON PHONE): Where in heavens' name are you, Hendricks? The operation's about to start.

FN: I'm sick, sir.

TR (ON PHONE): Get your butt down here, Hendricks, or you're fired. Understand me?

FN: Yes, sir.

GK: So you take some Tylenol, and Sudafed, and Echinacea, and coldiez (FOUR GULPS), and vitamin C, and get to work. And when you show up, something amazing happens. You feel better. Work. The best remedy for illness. One more reason why a person should never retire. The death rate among retired people is horrendous. Stay at the job. A message from AAA, the American Anti-Retirement Association, a member of the Federated Association of Organizations.

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