Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Prescription for Geekdom

A trip to the hospital emergency room a few nights ago unexpectedly turned into a geekfest.

It was Canada Day, about mid-evening, (happy belated Canada Day, by the way, to all my fellow Canucks, and a happy belated Independence Day to our neighbours to the south) and after an enjoyable day at the local salmon festival, I was relaxing in the back yard with our cat, Wookie (what, me, an SF fan? Yes, I know, we forgot the second “e”) waiting for the bbq to finish its smokey magic on some bison ribs when another cat wandered into the yard. My beast chased the thing off, but I made the mistake of trying to pick him up afterwards (with the aim of putting him back in the house) while he was still in full territorial Kzin mode. In a second, he went from being my little buddy to a shredding demon wrapped around my hand digging claws and fangs as deep as they would go. Sporting a range of slashes and one sizeable gash in the back of my hand that went right down into the muscle, I asked my wife to take me to the hospital for a couple of stitches, a tetanus shot and some antibiotics (any doctor will tell you cat spit is some seriously bad stuff and you really want that tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in the last decade).

Once there, I explained the whole thing to a nurse. She looked up from her notes and said “So he went from Cringer to The Mighty Battle Cat?” That had the two of us chuckling pretty hard. I responded “You know it’s a good night in the ER when you can drop a ‘He-Man’ reference”. I think she was happy someone actually understood her slick little Saturday morning cartoons allusion. And who can blame here? How many of us have dropped SF-flavoured pop culture references that have fallen flat because the other party hasn’t experienced them? Makes it all the more enjoyable when someone’s on the same playing field as you.

But it didn’t end there… My wife snuck into the examining room while I was waiting and we got on a Monty Python kick (“Spamalot” is in town and we had started discussing whether we can rearrange our schedules to see it). By the time the doctor arrived, we were well into “it’s just a flesh wound” and “what are you going to do, bleed on me?” bits. I can’t say we had him in stitches – those were reserved for my mangled hand – but he was catchin’ the references as they flew and he seemed to appreciate a little levity on a busy holiday night shift. His requests for my wife to pass him a couple of pieces of equipment got us onto a Nurse Piggy and “Muppet Veterinary Hospital” kick that was pretty satisfying.

The strange tie-up to the whole affair came the next day when I was chatting with my mom on the phone, explaining what had happened. She responded by quoting Han Solo! “It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.” My mom, suburban housewife, the shake-n-bake queen, the woman with little to no interest in SF and who was bemused at times, frustrated at others with her geeky son’s hoard of sci-fi books, turns around and out of the blue drops a Star Wars reference on me. The Force was strong with her that day.

I guess you just never know when or where an SF moment will happen, but that’s what makes them all the more enjoyable.

No comments: