Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Write the (Titles of) Songs

It’s often hard to remember that other people outside of The Bride and The Parents actually read this blog. I know this because I was reminded of such by one Katelynn Ralph, an ED tech who hails from the lovely town of Beloit, Kansas. Beloit is not particularly renowned outside of North Central Kansas, but I have been in Beloit during my tenure as a State Health Officer visiting the Mitchell County Health Department. I learned that the people of Beloit are, well, quite Beloitful, but also that they put out a spread of cookies that included the most remarkable pecan tarts. When most places simply open a bag of Oreos and sugar wafers, you remember stuff like that.

(I have done some more research on Beloit and have also discovered that according to the Definitive Authority on All Things…and by that I mean Wikipedia…that “legend has it that the local Indians advised to locate the town at a certain bend of the Solomon River to protect the town from tornadoes. To this date, downtown Beloit has never been hit with a tornado.” I have also discovered that Beloit was once home to Gene Keady, former Purdue Boilermaker head basketball coach who was despised by my parents (both Indiana grads) for decades of coaching against The General and really bad choice of hairpiece.

(You may laugh at the whole Indian thing, but they clearly knew what they were talking about. In Topeka, for instance, city planners were warned not to build a water tower on Burnett’s Mound, long thought by native peoples to protect the city from tornados. They did, and a tornado came right over the top of the mound in 1966, killing 16 and doing over $100 million dollars of damage. I also have it on good authority that Lima, Peru was sited directly in the middle of a malarial swamp, as the Spanish were advised to do by the not-so-savage-and-really-pretty-darn-acute native population.)

Katelynn had asked why I had not blogged in the past few weeks. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought much about it. I blog when I blog, and some weeks I do better than others. I do recall that the last time I blogged I was having problems with line and paragraph spacing on the BlogSpot site, and that whatever I tried to post came out as one long run-on sentence. That’s probably reflective of how I actually talk, but not really good for reading. So I remember thinking that I’d give the system a week or so to figure itself out, and then I’d go on-line again.

Then I made a discovery…or, more accurately, a re-discovery…that steered me away from my writing tasks. This was called Civilization IV, a game where one’s nation starts in the Stone Age and your task is to emerge victorious by “The End of History,” which the game reckons to be the year 2050, a full 39 years after last weekend’s aborted rapture. It’s an older game, and I’ve had it for a couple of years. It had been dropped from the standard repertoire of time-wasters for Age of Empires III, then for Starcraft II, and finally Civilization V. Civilization V, however, was so little fun…and I mean that in a playing sense, not in the sense that I stand no chance above the merest beginner level, nor in the sense that I won’t play on-line because I’m tired of having my butt kicked by teenagers who have no life and can’t spell, because that’s a given…that I decided to give Civ IV another spin in the CD drive.

This was, to put it mildly, a mistake. Civ IV has become an all consuming passion for the past six weeks, and while I’ve done some writing it’s usually started out in with a phrase like “I saw a patient in the ER…” and ends up a sentence or two later with “…and what I really need are a few Giant Bunnies with Chainsaws to take out those stupid Barbarian Axemen.” Needless to say, I like the game. It lets me create people who do whatever I want them to with no regard for themselves. I can name cities after particularly noxious individuals in public life or in my own personal and professional sphere, and then utterly destroy them with nuclear weapons. I can make an entire culture put up monuments to ME. It’s horribly addictive, and to be frank it wasn’t Katelynn’s question, nor the continued urgings of The Bride that brought me back to my keyboard. It was the fact that I’ve been able to win on Warlord level six times running (don’t get too excited for me…it’s still the third easiest out of the eight levels of play) and has yet to send me the next expansion disc. I figure I have a ten day window (standard shipping) to write.

So Katelynn, here is your blog. As you requested, it’s about soundtracks. A few weeks back, a few of us (Katelynn, Aminda and I) were sitting around thinking about the music you hear in the background at stores and when you’re on hold. What if different places in the hospital had their own piped-in music? We came up with a brief list of tunes we thought should be in the background for these many different units. Here’s a sampling, edited for taste:

Intensive Care

“Every Breath You Take” (The Police)
“Breathe” (Faith Hill)
“Knock Knock Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan)
Anything by Air Supply


“Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (Simon and Garfunkel)
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John)

Labor and Delivery

“You’re Having My Baby” (Paul Anka…because he had His Way with you)
“Baby, Baby, Baby’ (Justin Bieber)
“Born to Be Wild” (Steppenwolf)


“My Heart Will Go On” (Rene Angelil’s incredibly rich Child Bride)
“Heart of Glass” (Blondie)
“I Can Feel Your Heartbeat” (The Partridge Family)
“Achy Breaky Heart” (Miley Cyrus’ Dad…didn’t he used to be somebody?)
“Heart Attack” (Olivia Newton-John)

Emergency Room

“Urgent” (Foreigner)
“Need You Now” (Lady Antebellum)
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (Rolling Stones)
“Alcohol” (Brad Paisley)

Plastic Surgery

“Barbie Girl” (Aqua)
“California Girls” (Katy Perry)
“Baby Got Back” (Sir Mix-A-Lot)

Operating Room

“The First Cut is the Deepest” (Rod Stewart)


“Crazy” (Patsy Kline)
“Crazy Train” (Ozzie Osborne. FYI, you can get rabies from eating bat heads.)
“Man of Constant Sorrow” (Soggy Bottom Boys…also see Urology songs.)


Anything by Justin Bieber or Billy Ray Cyrus’ kid (Didn’t she used to be somebody?)


“You Shook Me All Night Long” (AC/DC)

Transfer Center

“We’re Not Gonna Take It.” (Twisted Sister)


“Underneath Your Clothes“ (Shakira)

Pastoral Care

“Living on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi)
“Don’t Stop Believing” (Journey)
“Jesus Take the Wheel” (Carrie Underwood. I have long thought there should be a song called, “Moses, Invest my IRA,” but no one seems to want to record it.)


“Eye of the Tiger” (Survivor)
“Eye in the Sky” (The Alan Parsons Project)


“High on You” (Survivor)
“Mister Sandman” (The Chordettes)
“Hit Me with your Best Shot” (Pat Benatar)
Anything by Michael Jackson (can you say propofol?)

And a special tune for those with any two or more totally unrelated problems, each encompassing a time span of greater than three months that needed ambulance transport between 1 and 5 AM, asleep upon physician arrival but awakes to find they are still in severe pain, is accompanied by at least three family members or any number of assorted pets, reminds you that they are “not a f…ing prisoner” when you tell them it’s against hospital policy for them to go outside and smoke during their care, and says they know someone in administration:

“Here’s a Quarter. Call Someone Who Cares.” (Travis Tritt)

As always, your contributions are welcome

(Hey, Katelynn…yes, I did write most of this at the Laundromat.)

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