When he came to he was being hoisted out of the back of the truck on a stretcher while the three children fought to keep the Chihuahuahs from escaping. One leapt over the side and hit the ground running, sending the man in the cowboy hat dashing after it cursing in Spanish. Two stone-faced orderlies in light-blue surgical smocks carried Captain Henry into a dingy building that looked more like a saloon than a hospital. Flies buzzed around a trash can full of dirty guaze and a fan spun lazily on the ceiling high above. A moustachioed female nurse emerged pushing a gurney and the two orderlies unceremoniously dumped Captain Henry on top of it.
The nurse took over, wheeling him into a white-painted room with teddy bear wall-paper trim and no windows. The room was brightly lit by two halogen directional lights like you would see on a movie set or an archealogical dig. The wheels of the gurney vibrated over the cracked tiles on the floor and the nurse deposited Captain Henry on a gleaming operating table in the room's center. Captain Henry could barely turn his head but he could see an elderly caucasian doctor writing something down on a clipboard at a small desk in the room's corner.
The doctor scribbled away for several minutes while Captain Henry familiarized himself with the details of his pain. The injury on his head felt liks someone had taken fifty lit cigarettes and flicked the cherries off of them onto his scalp. There were definitely distinct injuries, lots of them, and he could pick them out if he focused on each. Put together they were a mass of heat and pain accompanied by a strange icy-cold headache that reminded him of drinking an Orange Julius too fast.
At last the doctor finished his scribbling and walked over to examine Captain Henry. The doctor listened to Captain Henry's chest with a stethoscope, held a penlight up to his pupils while pinning his eyelids open, and took his pulse with a finger on his wrist and a stopwatch. Whatever he discovered he added to his notes with brief flourishes on a clipboard.
"You have been injured?" The doctor asked rhetorically in a strange European accent.
Captain Henry started to freak out, thinking the doctor might be another Commie agent, before realizing the man had a German accent. The Germans hadn't been America's enemies for over ten years, although they had been getting pretty suspicious-acting lately.
"Let's see what we can see then." The doctor took a pair of tweezers from his pocket and lowered a jeweller's lens over his right eye. The nurse, who had returned with an injection, aimed one of the directional lamps at Captain Henry's head. As the doctor leaned down to look closely at the small wounds she stabbed the oversized needles into Captain Henry's arm. Immediately his arm went numb and he could feel the numbness spreading throughout his entire body.
Before the numbness extended to Captain Henry's head the doctor plunged the pair of tweezers into one of the wounds. White hot pain shot down through his skull and Captain Henry bit his tongue as the tweezers worked around painfully inside his head. After what seemed like nine to ten hours of digging the doctor exclaimed happily and lifted a glittering silver shard up above Captain Henry's face.
"Looks like a piece of glass only composed of metal." The doctor gazed past the sliver and down into Captain Henry's wild eyes. "You are quite a strange case then sir, but at least you give me an unusual opportunity to practice my neurosurgery skills."
The doctor left his side and disappeared from view. Captain Henry tried to turn his head but his neck would not respond to the commands he was giving it. His whole body was numb, even his face, and he seemed to be paralyzed. He tried to say something but the words just came out as a long vowel sound accompanied by a stream of drool.
Works great on my child, who hasn't barked at all for as long as she's worn the apparatus. When she turns three, we will remove it for a trial period.
This lousy world just gets lousier every year as these stores put out their skeletons and Santas in summer.
Try not to break your console while I try not to break my cyber brain.
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