Brian Matuszak column: Waiting for Godot and test resultsSo I recently spent the longest 37 hours of my life while waiting two hours in a hospital waiting room.
So I recently spent the longest 37 hours of my life while waiting two hours in a hospital waiting room.
The unending stretch of tediousness my wife and I experienced was interrupted only by occasional bursts of boredom. According to completely fictional scientists I invented solely for today’s column, the most effective way of dealing with the frustrating phenomenon of a long wait is to dig
out your cliché bag and unpack a few moldy chestnuts.
You need to:
• See the big picture.
• Look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
• Take a deep breath and count your blessings.
However, it took exactly one second to count my two blessings — Sue was with me, and I was still impossibly handsome — so I needed more ideas on how to kickstart the clock while we waited there, deep within the Bowels of St. Mary’s (coincidentally, my favorite holiday movie about the lower colon).
We weren’t alone. We were surrounded by folks who were also wearily waiting for their names to be called so health care could be administered. It occurred to me, sitting there as my mind, and my butt, grew increasingly more numb, that Sarah Palin was partially right. It wasn’t death panels that we had to fear; it was bored-to-death panels.
The only entertainment (and I use that word the same way I use it when referring to “Celebrity Apprentice”: loosely) we had was counting the number of ways one particular family was breaking every posted rule in this waiting room:
#1 No eating. Two of the excited children were gobbling jelly sandwiches and greasy handfuls of potato chips as they dashed around the room, leaving behind a haphazard trail of gooey bread chunks and potato chip debris. They were like an adrenalized version of Hansel and Gretel who, unfortunately, weren’t lost.
#2 No cell phones.
I have the new Ke$ha song memorized because it was the mother’s ring tone and she seemed to have a bazillion people who texted her, requesting how her children were doing. I bet her reply was never “They’re hungry.”
#3 No smoking.
Actually, I was the one who broke this rule, but don’t worry. The smoke was inside my brain as my patient patience started to flame out of control.
Luckily, this family’s name was finally called and the rest of us quickly resumed our exciting game of How Many Waits Fit In The Waiting Room.
When Sue and I were finally done, I thought about how I could never get those two hours of my life back, and initially, I was angry. But then the doctor pointed out that it wasn’t wasted time; it was invested time. As dull and dreary as that afternoon turned out, the medical tests performed during those two hours helped to chip away at what our health issue was NOT, and therefore, it was time well-spent.
And that was when I realized I had forgotten to unpack the two most important cliché of them all:
• Your family’s health is everything
• Quit whining, baby pants.
Brian Matuszak is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and can shift butt cheek to butt cheek like nobody’s business.