Jimmy’s Last Stand

September 26, 2013

by Danielle Small

Never mind homework,  Jimmy had enough trouble just trying to remind his parents to pick him up from school.

“I’m entering it into my calendar,” promised his mom every morning as she typed the reminder into her phone.

“You shouldn’t need an alarm to remind you to pick me up from school,” mumbled Jimmy as he finished making his lunch—a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had too much peanut butter and not enough jelly.

The next day, Jimmy knew exactly what he had to do. It was a Saturday and Jimmy, filled with optimism, whistled on his way to his parents’ room. They were still asleep, so when he took their smartphones and plunged them in a bowl of water, they did not notice. An hour later, when they woke up, he semi­successfully made pancakes with bacon and eggs.

Straggling into the kitchen, his parents asked him why he made breakfast.

“I’m on a mission,” he replied. “I’m on a mission to make our family a real family. I can’t remember the last time we spent time together where you guys weren’t playing Angry Birds or emailing your bosses. And I want to change that. Your training starts today.”

During his curt speech, Jimmy’s parents were hurriedly searching for their phones.

Before they could freak out, Jimmy explained how he had disposed of them. His parents screamed at him and took turns yelling “You’re grounded.” But Jimmy didn’t care because this was all a part of the plan.

“You’ll get your phones back after we sit down and eat together as a family—for once,” Jimmy said.

His parents’ resistance and threats of punishment were futile. They needed their phones and they weren’t the spanking types. And if the only thing they had to do was sit down and eat breakfast to get their phones back, well, it did not seem like a bad deal.

A few years later when reflecting on that odd weekend, Jimmy wondered if his little experiment did any good. They never ate together much after that. Then, he remembered that Monday, for the first time, his mom was actually on time to pick him up from school, and she didn’t even have her smartphone to remind her.

Danielle Small is a freelance writer based in New York City. When she’s not peddling articles or tweeting (@danielleabeda), she fills her time trying to master the harmonica. She can play three-quarters of a Bob Dylan song.-See more at: http://downsizedlivingmag.com/Fool-Your-Family.html#sthash.WRDcQsCu.dpuf

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

A Pill Hard to Swallow

September 17, 2013

by Nancy Redman

I arrived at a drugstore to fill an antibiotic prescription for a recent tooth extraction.

I was shocked to see a line extending five blocks long.

What could possibly be the reason?

I joined the line and turned to an elderly gentleman sitting on his walker seat.

How long have you been in line? I asked.

Three hours, he said.

What? Why not go to another pharmacy? I said.

The man looked wearily into my eyes.

It will make no difference, he said.

There are eight-hour lines everywhere.

Why? I asked.

The new robot automation is malfunctioning, he said.

What?

Every pharmacy is using robot automation to assist pharmacists, the man said.

Unfortunately, the pharmacists are not as sophisticated as the robots.

What do you mean? I said.

Some robots are catapulting thousands of pills in all directions, looking like manic lawn sprinklers.

Some robots are turning around in a continuous circle.

One robot is continually filling the same prescription.

The staff, ducking the pills while wearing protective head gear, remained on the phone waiting for tech support.

One pharmacist in his white lab coat snuck outside for a quick smoke.

His assistant, who finally got through, was desperate. Listen, he said, I can’t find the purple wire!

I see red—blue—no purple wire.

Can I combine the red and blue wires to make a purple one?

No? That won’t work?

To my amazement, tech support finally arrived. They were wearing headphones under helmets with cushioned body suits and shields. As they tried to dismantle the robots, I slipped in behind them.

I quickly found a stock boy and offered him one hundred dollars for penicillin for my tooth extraction.

As I rushed out of the pharmacy, I walked past the old gentleman, who was being attended to by paramedics.

Will he be OK? I asked.

Yes. As soon as we get his prescription filled.

Nancy Redman is an actress, standup, and playwright. Her one-woman play, CLUTTER: I’m Saving My Life and It’s Killing Me won Best Comedian Award United Solo Theatre Festival 2011 and Best Directing Award for Austin Pendleton. Ms. Redman’s plays are published at http://www.indietheaternow.com/Playwright/nancy-redman

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

by Blair Adams

You can camouflage your little hut in the park with green paint and branches all you want to, but the police seem to always have a way of finding it. Fortunately, many garden supply shops now sell attractive artificial bushes and shrubs that are excellent for sleeping in parks and are barely detectable.

Made of the same material as artificial turf, these abodes can stand up to virtually any weather condition and are also very light, making them easily transportable from place to place.

Live-in bushes are a good place to wind down after a hard day's work.

Live-in bushes are a good place to wind down after a hard day’s work.

That’s good news for many low-wage workers, who are now the fastest growing sector of the U.S. labor force. Many of these workers struggle with the high costs of transportation and housing, so these bushes are a low-cost option that allows them to live close to work and greatly reduce their expenses.

Darryl McNulty, 35, a cashier at a Gap clothing outlet in Los Angeles, lives with his parents in Whittier, about 12 miles away, and sleeps in a local park. “It’s easy,” he says. “I just get to work early to brush my teeth in the bathroom; then I go home on weekends. I make twice as much as if I had a car and had to pay for gas. The only thing you really need to worry about is the dogs. Once this big Borzoi lifted his leg on me, but for the most part, it’s been great.”

And because in some parts of the country parks are few and far between, these bushes are ideal for squatting in shopping malls, around office buildings and streets.

“Nobody really notices” said Tom Ricci, 23, who recently graduated from the University of Virginia and is an intern at a consulting firm. “Although someone tried to water and fertilize me once.”

In spite of the drawbacks, these nifty little bushes are swiftly becoming a creative path to upward mobility. “I’m going to use mine as a Christmas tree, come December,” said Mr. Ricci. “And this time I’ll be able to afford presents.”

Blair Adams is the editor of Downsized Living.

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

by Sean McConeghy

Do-It-Yourself Botox

Until recently, dinner at the Duncan house in Gary, Indiana, was a relaxing affair.  James, an insurance executive, would typically go over claims on his Blackberry, occasionally calling a colleague to discuss a particular case.  His wife, Monica, would check up on plans for fundraisers she was planning for the charity she runs.  Meanwhile, their teenage children Matt and Sandy would text their friends about weekend plans, school gossip or the people they were dating.

With recent increases in cell phone rates, however, such quality time is no longer possible.  That valued half an hour has now turned into a 10-minute awkward silence interrupted by the occasional platitude or routine question.  “How was your day?” starts the nightly performance, which is without exception followed by “Fine. Yours?” “Okay.”  James later compliments his wife on the dinner, but it’s clear that nobody at the table is especially comfortable.

“These are hard times,” said Monica.  “The higher rates leave us no choice but to cut down on our cell phone use, and it’s tearing our family apart.  I don’t know which is worse, that painful period of queasiness all of us prepare for all day or the arguments that start just to break up the monotony.”

Sadly, though, the Duncans are not alone.  Newlyweds Mark and Karen Newberry of Houston are already staring at each other across the table.

“Five months ago I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Karen,” Mark, 35, reflected.  “She was so beautiful. Her lunchtime calls always brought a smile to my face, and the way she would send those smiley faces at the end of her texts. It was just incredible to know that the love of my life was just a phone call away.”

Times have changed, though.  “The only time I get to talk with her now is when we’re together, and I just don’t know if I can handle that.”

Diners aren’t the only one who have noticed the change. Pietro Conti, the owner of Pietro’s, a popular Italian restaurant in Seattle, said that his place just isn’t the same. “This place used to be filled with smiling people chatting away for hours. Now that the only people they talk to are the ones sitting opposite them, they just stare across the tables in silences so deep, you’d think this was a Trappist monastery.”

When this crisis will finally end and allow meals to return to normal is anybody’s guess. If it doesn’t end soon, though, you might want to consider investing in companies that sell microwaveable dinners. Any meal that last longer than a commercial break could soon be a thing of the past.

Sean McConeghy has spent most of the last decade traveling around the world, mostly teaching to support that occupation. He’s currently in Honduras starting his own business. He is working toward his Rhett Butler moment when he can say to his former life, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

 

by Sean McConeghy

Do-It-Yourself Botox

Tim Smyth might look like any other 13-year-old, but what this young boy has been through is something no child should have to endure.  Heading into his birthday in late January, Smyth had his heart set on an Xbox 360, along with two other games, Grand Theft Auto IV and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Unfortunately for him, his parents just couldn’t afford the $420 price tag.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Smyth.  “I took out the garbage twice last month, didn’t curse at my mother for three weeks, and this was the thanks I got!”

When reached for comment, Smyth’s mother burst into tears and said,  “I can’t believe this had to happen to him when he’s so young. I would like to give him an outlet for acting out the gratuitous violence and sexual content he sees on Showtime after we’re in bed, but I just couldn’t afford it.  Now Tim has been forced to take up soccer.  Soccer! Can you believe it?”

Sadly, stories like Smyth’s are happening all across the country, and the recession’s forgotten victims seem to be suffering the most.

In Springfield, Missouri, nine-year-old Jack Mazer is also having a hard time.  Counting on his parents to plunk down nearly $200 for his new Wii and his chance to imitate his favorite basketball player Kobe Bryant, Mazer stormed up to his room in a huff upon discovering that his parents had instead gotten him an unidentifiable orange orb.

Jack’s father Mark, who apparently was somewhat familiar with the strange object, said that he had vague recollections of using it in his youth.  After years spent sitting in front of the TV, though, he had to admit that he was no longer sure of what to do with it.  “I hoped that my son would be able to figure it out, but apparently I was wrong.  I may now have to take the drastic step of spending time with him rediscovering its use,” he said.

Not being able to enjoy imaginary worlds is a comparatively minor problem for these forgotten youth. They are also being confronted with massive psychological trauma.

EstebanMario Esteban, an 11-year-old in Colorado Springs, has been catatonic since late December. Esteban’s mother, Lupe, described the traumatic event: “We were hoping that we’d be able to get Mario a PS3 during the after-Christmas sales, but we just couldn’t swing it.  Mario came to us begging, but we had to tell him no.  Then he asked us the question every parent dreads: ‘What do I do now?’  Then… I’m sorry, it’s just so difficult for me to talk about it… I told him that he had to go outside and use his imagination, and that’s when…” Her voice gave out before she could finish.

Fortunately, there are occasional bright spots in this otherwise devastating phenomenon. After receiving only clothes and a few books for Christmas, 12-year-old Francis Barnbey got an unexpected present: some chalk and a rubber ball from his grandparents, who explained that their children had used those items themselves.  “Your parents used to play with these when they were young. Maybe you’ll enjoy them too,” they told him. Barnbey’s 15-year-old brother then stepped in to help him draw nipples on the ball.

Even with hopeful stories like the Barnbey’s, most American children continue to wander playgrounds aimlessly, desperately waiting for the day when they will once again be able to spend six hours a day staring at a screen with their friends.  Sadly, though, that day does not appear to be in the foreseeable future.

Update:  Since this article was first written, Tim Smyth has discovered his creative side.  Now rather than pretending to steal cars and run over old ladies, he’s doing the real thing and is now wanted in four states.

Sean McConeghy has spent most of the last decade traveling around the world, mostly teaching to support that occupation. He’s currently in Honduras starting his own business. He is working toward his Rhett Butler moment when he can say to his former life, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

 

 

by Blair Adams

Hailed as the “Julia Child of our times,” 29-year-old chef Rob McGuire is leading a food revolution that is taking America by storm: It’s called Recycled Cuisine, and Rob is showing Americans that fine cuisine is as close as the nearest Dumpster. Using carefully selected ingredients from trash bins around his hometown of Seattle, Rob creates interesting and innovative recipes that are scrumptious and easy to prepare.

He typically goes “shopping” for ingredients twice a day at two o’clock in the afternoon after breakfast and lunch, and then again around nine or ten o’clock, when the dinner hour is over at most restaurants. “I always use fresh ingredients,” he explained. “You never know what you’re going to find in a Dumpster, and that brings an element of spontaneity, randomness, chance and unpredictability to these recipes. It’s very exciting.”

Rob McGuire is pioneering a new movement in American cuisine.

Rob McGuire is pioneering a new movement in American cuisine.

For instance, Rob is famous for his rice croquettes, which he makes by waiting outside of Asian restaurants. There he takes all the rice left over from people’s plates, combines them with different ingredients such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and shrimp, rolls them into balls, and then fries them on the spot with a portable cook stove he brings with him. Rob points out that anyone can do this with a campfire, skillet and cooking oil.

Shish kabobs are another specialty of his and can utilize any type of cuisine as a source of ingredients. “You can find the ingredients in almost any restaurant trash bin,” he said, “and the possibilities are endless. You can really be creative and even combine ingredients that you wouldn’t think go together.” Making shish kabobs is easy, he explained. “You just find any old stick, and go to it.”

His increasingly popular cooking show, Dumpster Diving, on the Food Network, is winning millions of fans all over the country, and his cookbook has been on The New York Times bestseller list for seven months. Rob went to the Cordon Bleu academy in Seattle, but like so many other cooking school graduates, found only $10 or $12 an hour jobs as a line cook waiting for him when he got out. That wasn’t nearly enough to pay back the thousands of dollars of student loans he had taken out, so he had to think on his feet. Recycled Cuisine was the result.

For reasons of food safety, Rob frequently tells people to always cook food thoroughly and avoid scavenging raw or fresh foods such as salads. Cooking at high temperatures kills bacteria, which is an important consideration with this type of cooking. Instead, he says, weeds like fennel and chicory are edible and available at many vacant lots. He also makes delightful salads with Miner’s lettuce, a common plant found throughout the West Coast. His cookbook even includes a section on how to grow salad greens in tin cans.

So people don’t feel stigmatized by using such unconventional cooking methods, he emphasizes the innovative nature of his cuisine. “Cooking has been evolving this way for centuries,” he pointed out. “People have always used whatever ingredients they had at their disposal. For example, in order to stretch a piece of meat, Genoese sailors just put a little bit of the meat in between two squares of pasta—and presto, ravioli. Just think of yourself as writing a new chapter in culinary history.”

Blair Adams is the editor of Downsized Living.

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

 Photo credit: iStock

by Blair Adams

With jobs scarce and middle-class jobs gone the way of the black-and-white TV, is it still possible to achieve the American dream? Joanne Horvath, an employment specialist at Berenson Personnel, a leading temp agency, thinks so.

“You just have to dial down your expectations, and imagine your job search strategy in a whole new way,” Horvath said. “In today’s economy, where there are so many more applicants than there are jobs, stellar qualifications aren’t enough. For example, some employers hold a raffle where the winning ticket holders are the ones who get to apply. Also, the hiring process itself is a lot more cryptic. Most employers refuse to hire people who are currently unemployed. If you’re an expert in your field, you’re overqualified; if you’re a star performer, you’ll want too much money; if you have years of experience, you’re too old; and if you have a new degree or certificate, you have no experience. And for most jobs, there’s no tolerance for learning or transfer of skills from one field to another.” Therefore, she went on, job seekers need to find creative ways to stand out.

There are plenty of opportunities available to the resourceful.

There are plenty of opportunities available to the resourceful.

Twenty-eight-year-old Lane Martin of Kansas City, Missouri, is one example. When a recent hiring fair for a dozen part-time clerks’ positions at a local Walmart drew more than 3,000 people, Lane got creative, took matters into his own hands — and won.

A recent graduate of NYU with a degree in engineering and a master’s in urban planning, Lane had sent out 600 resumes but never got called for an interview. Needing to bring in some cash, he went to apply for a position at the fair. But after standing in line for six hours and seeing that his prospects were dimming by the minute, Lane decided he had to do what he had to do — make an impression no matter what. He took a page out of the old seventies playbook, doffed his clothes and ran, stark naked, to the front of the line. Hoping to imprint his name on the interviewers’ memories, he saluted the Walmart representatives, handed them his resume and said, “Lane Martin at your service.” Then he ran as police keeping order at the event came after him.

A former high school track star and an avid jogger, Lane ran so fast down the street, he quickly eluded the police, and a courier delivering a package couldn’t help but notice. The courier flagged Lane down, took down his contact information and hired him the next day. At $8 an hour, the courier’s job is way more than he was making at his old, interim position as a waiter.

But running naked isn’t the only way to stand out from the crowd. Rick Nevitt, a 38-year-old former ad executive in Phoenix, Arizona, thinking he didn’t have a chance in a field of over 300 applicants, barked and howled like a dog during a recent interview for a sales position at a car dealership — he got the job. Other job applicants have parachuted to their interviews in costume or fixed Caesar’s salad at the interviewer’s desk.

Horvath said, “If you asked me what the American dream is now, I couldn’t say. Last week we had one guy come in who was a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, and he couldn’t get a job. So I asked him, ‘Can you do anything else, like sing or tap dance?’ All I know is, in today’s economy, always think and do the opposite of what makes sense.”

Blair Adams is the editor of Downsized Living.

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

Photo credit: iStock

by Sean McConeghy

Staten Island, NY – Erin McDougal’s friends were stunned this weekend when she walked into her sweet sixteen birthday party wearing the same dress she had worn at a similar event just two months earlier. Jaws dropped, heads turned away, and McDougal’s face turned bright red because nobody was quite sure how such a disgraceful and humiliating scene could happen in their hometown. One mother in attendance pulled the girl aside to ask whether she wanted her to report the incident to the local authorities, but Erin declined, stating that she had already suffered enough without having more attention drawn to the event.

Erin’s humiliation went viral through tweets and Facebook status updates from those in attendance, and mockers and sympathizers alike all had something to say. One of her classmates, who asked not to be named, said, “I can’t believe this could happen. I mean, Erin was my best friend, and she totally shows up in the same dress that she had on like six weeks ago at another best friend’s sweet sixteen?! I mean, OMG.”

iStock_000010501179XSmall

After being humiliated on Facebook and Twitter for wearing the same dress twice, Erin McDougal faced an uncertain future. Luckily, a Good Samaritan came to her aid.

Other reactions were more sympathetic.  One Twitter post said “I had no idea things were so bad for her. How could this happen in our suburb? SMH.”

When reached for comment, Erin’s father Tim said that he was ashamed to let her go in that dress, but he didn’t have much choice. “We didn’t want to tell her that she couldn’t have a party, but we had already spent over $1,000 on new dresses for other events. With her prom coming up and both my wife and I already working two jobs each, we had to make a decision. We knew it would be tough on her, but what choice did we have?”

Erin herself was quite devastated by the whole thing.  She posted a flip-card video on YouTube, saying that her parents just didn’t work hard enough, and that at one point they had even suggested she get a job if she wanted a new dress for every party. She went on to explain that she could never do such a thing because all her friends would see her working, and that would be even more embarassing than wearing the same dress.

Fortunately, this story had a happy ending. Upon seeing a Pinterest meme mocking Erin, Stephanie Milton, who lives hundreds of miles away in Dayton, Ohio, decided that it was time to take action.  Stephanie started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to ensure that Erin would never again have to endure such a plight. She has raised $8,000 so far and is hoping to hit at least $10,000. “I can’t think of any cause more important than keeping this young girl from ever having to endure something like that again,” she said.

Sean McConeghy has spent most of the last decade traveling around the world, mostly teaching to support that occupation. He’s currently in Honduras starting his own business. He is working toward his Rhett Butler moment when he can say to his former life, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” See more at: http://downsizedlivingmag.com/Meals-Become-Awkward.html#sthash.mKCt5XLT.dpuf

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

Photo credit: iStock

by Jorja Hudson

So you’ve fallen on hard times. The economy is bad and you figure that excuse will do for at least another couple years. Your family and friends have been very supportive since that social media marketing job fell through.

At first, you appreciated the discount store gift cards and homemade soup. But you are used to a higher standard of living. So buck up, there’s no reason upward mobility has to end with your job loss. Up the ante on all those kind souls and get them to pony up a bit more. After all, you can be a choosy beggar. Here’s how:

First of all, avoid your closest friends. They’ve seen you at your most desperate and know you’ll settle for a watery cup of coffee. Instead, contact friends you haven’t seen in many years–even Billy from fifth-grade gym class, who, haltingly on the phone, can barely remember you–they don’t know the intricate details of your sad existence.

Arrange to meet Janet or Chubby at your favorite cafe. As you stand in line, scuffle through your purse or jeans pocket and sigh that you unwittingly left your wallet at home. They’re nice folks–they’ll offer to spot you. Thank them, then mention your dietary preference for soy milk, your love of hazelnuts, and the long night ahead of you. Before you know it, you’re listening to Janet’s harrowing tales of accounting while you sip your free hazelnut soy latte.

Once you’ve exhausted your old friends, start on your family. The good thing is, the complex nature of today’s families expands your range of possibilities. You have your former stepmother’s third cousin once removed. The in-laws of your father’s new family. Your half-brother’s ex-wife. Call them. Get to know them. Remind them of the family reunion you once saw them at even if you were never there. Keep trying. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping in the guest rooms of some of your more well-heeled relations and maybe even invited to go with them to their vacation home in Maui.

And while you’re making the rounds of friends and family, you don’t have to settle for twelve-pack chicken breasts and processed food from a supermarket. As everyone knows, you are what you eat. If you were earning real money, you’d be eating Brie and sustainably-raised organic vegetables from a gourmet natural foods store. Next time at a family dinner, pretend to faint. Tell mom you’ve developed low blood sugar, weight loss, or a gluten allergy. Your mother will quickly transform her love for you into the form of antioxidant-powered smoothies, whole-wheat penne, and grass-fed beef.

Keep in mind the inevitable–after awhile you’re going to wear out your welcome. So keep reminding friends and family about the 500 resumes you sent out, even if you never got a call back. Let them know about that interview that’s in the pipeline even though you only got an automated e-mail saying your resume was received.

And tell them that the next job is just around the corner. Then tell yourself that. The next job is just around the corner. It is.

Jorja Hudson is a writer from London with a background in film. She lives in New York and studies sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Her work can be seen on www.jorjahudsonportfolio.com and @jorjasmic.

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

Photo credit: iStock

Burger Chain Triage

July 16, 2013

by Nancy Redman

One day I cut my finger chopping onions. Alarmed at the resulting geyser of blood, I was faced with imminent danger and the necessity of finding the nearest emergency room.

But posted outside the closed emergency room in Brooklyn, there was a sign.

  1. Emergency room cutbacks have forced us to make significant changes in policy.
  2. Emergencies now require appointments.
  3. Scheduled appointments must be made one day in advance.
  4. We are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  5. Many emergency rooms, including this one, are merging with fast-food chains.
  6. If you show up without an appointment, you must go to the Burger King on Fulton Street where our medical interns and resident doctors will take your meal order along with your blood pressure, temperature, and blood work. Burger King has a triage and cots if you need to stay overnight.
  7. This is a statewide change of policy.
  8. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I took the bus to the hospital’s affiliated Burger King Medical Center and approached a young intern at the cashier.

Excuse me, I said, holding my bleeding finger. I have an emergency.

The intern said, Would you like fries with your emergency?

No, I said. Is there someone who can stop this bleeding?

Yes, he said. But we have to take your order first in order for you to receive medical care. It is our policy.

I said, okay, I’ll have a burger and a coke.

Good, he said. That will be fifty dollars.

Fifty dollars?

Yes, he said. There is a minimum charge.

I have insurance, I answered.

The intern said, We have a large overhead. It is a fifty dollar minimum plus insurance.

He brought me my burger and a coke.

Intern: Now take a number, sit and wait to be called. You will be seen in the next group of sixty people, ages thirty through eighty.

Me: I’m losing a lot of blood.

Intern: I’m losing a lot of patients.

Me: I don’t doubt that! Is there a doctor in charge?

Intern: He’s making shakes. You’ll have to wait.

We have seventy-seven people bleeding, fifty-three gun shot wounds, twenty-four stab wounds. Bleeding from the head and chest. You have a bloody finger.

How did you cut your finger?

Me: I was chopping onions.

Intern: Unfortunately, you are a low priority. Hold the gauze and ice tight around your finger. I will call you when your meal is ready.

Before I sat down, he said, Anything else?

I said – Just this –

I gave him the finger.

The intern said, Ahh – the finger.

Now you’ve gotta see a psychiatrist.

Nancy Redman is an actress, standup, and playwright. Her one-woman play, CLUTTER: I’m Saving My Life and It’s Killing Me won Best Comedian Award United Solo Theatre Festival 2011 and Best Directing Award for Austin Pendleton. Ms. Redman’s plays are published at http://www.indietheaternow.com/Playwright/nancy-redman

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.