La La How The Life Goes On

In Frank We Trust

Posted on: May 12, 2010

Frank is my nurse for my ECP treatments. Frank has college-aged sons, a salt-of-the-earth demeanor, and a sense of humor that can only be described as jokingly inflammatory. I think I feel positively disposed toward him because my Dad’s humor was similar (let’s see what I can get away with saying without looking like a total a-hole and still maintaining some element of actual humor)–and because Frank can always find my vein. For those of you just joining us, my veins are for sh*t. “Sclerotic” is the nicest way to describe them, which means they’ve been used so much that they are scarred and ugly (on the inside; they’re still smokin’ hot on my arms) and not entirely amenable to being poked with a needle. So the person inserting an IV has to be a professional; someone who can simultaneously use a monster needle to get through the scarring without blowing the vein entirely. Many have tried, few have succeeded on their first try. Miss Dixon in DF Phlebotomy can do it. The IV Lady at the Brigham (she has a name but I only ever called her ‘the IV lady’) can do it. A nice Ethiopian-accented man at Newton-Wellesley Hospital could do it. And now comes Frank, who does it like no one else. Another nurse started today and then called in Frank who, in his classic manner, said, “I could mess around with what’s here but I’m just gonna pull this nonsense out, stick you again, and we’ll go home happy. What do you say?” Two sticks are always better than one stick followed by deep veinous digging with a needle, so I said yes.

So now that you know that Frank is good people and that I have personally vouched for his bona fides, I do have to reveal that he has the most SNL-character way of expressing himself. By which I mean, he says something that sounds so terrible, to the point that you’re thinking, “What a complete jerk!” but then he finishes his thought, and it is the exact opposite of what you were thinking. For example: Today we were talking home improvement, how my contractor was an a-wipe, how his contractor was lazy, etc.” He made some comment about how they didn’t have this kind of trouble building the pyramids. Another nurse said, “Frank, that’s because they had slaves back then!” Frank then said, “We have slaves today; they’re called Mexicans.” I immediately felt revulsion for Frank, like, what a racist pig. I turned my head so I could figure out how to respond and then he followed up: “I mean, think about it, I pay my contractor eight grand, he pays these guys next to nothing, right? Who’s that money going to? Not the workers! Those poor guys are indentured! Working for almost nothing! Its a disgrace! So that’s why my sons are painting my house this summer. I don’t want any part of mistreating those guys.” So in the space of 8 seconds Frank takes you from hating him and his ignoramus beliefs to hearing about the plight of migrant workers.

Then he did it again with women. I can’t recall the exact line but it was something to the tune of, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s exactly what you’d expect from a woman, right?”….dot dot dot…”because women have been so devalued in the workplace from day one that…blah blah blah.”

I mean, they kept coming! Constant revulsion followed by a statement in total opposition to my expectations. By the fifth time I was learning to not get worked up, but it was just so hilarious; partly because it’s funny, and partly because no one else seemed to notice (or maybe they’ve already made peace with his rhetorical style). Either way, I do now know that power washers should not be operated by morons, that ancient garages built on the edge of your property should not be torn down lest you never be allowed to build them again with all that new coding and whatnot, and that sometimes the sweetest guys come in the frankest of packages.

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