Surgeon Humor, episode 2
I still remember the first time I told a joke in the OR. I was a junior resident, working with one of our most “old school” surgeons, Dr. D. He’s renowned for being extremely meticulous, and he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If you’re operating with him, you have to be prepared. He’s also very formal – sometimes, I wonder if he even knows any residents’ first names, because he makes it a point to always address us as “Dr. Lastname“.
We were performing an extremely complex case, an operation that Dr. D is known for internationally. I was positioned to his left and slightly behind him, holding onto a retractor. My most important tasks during this case were to provide perfect tension for several hours and to stay awake enough to answer any questions he might ask. I was doing pretty well so far. Until Dr. D turned very slightly towards me and said in his usual stern tone, “Dr. Girlwithaknife.”
Ah crap, he’s gonna ask me something and probably I won’t know the answer and then I’ll look like an idiot…
“Yes, Dr. D?”
“Do you know any good jokes?”
Uh, think… wait… jokes?!
“Good. Would you care to share one with us?”
Oh God, think! Of course, my mind went completely blank. Well, except for one slightly off-color joke. Nooooooo! I can’t tell that one!
“Um, well… ahem… Ah.” *deep breath* “Well, you see Dr. D, the only one that’s coming to mind right now is, um, perhaps not appropriate for sharing in mixed company.”
He turned all the way around and looked at me with a raised eyebrow, “I see.” Then he went back to operating. Okay… And then he turned back towards me, “Well?!”
Great. There was no getting out of this. I’d have to tell the joke and live with the consequences. Do or die. God knew what Dr. D would think of me now… and hopefully no one else would decide that I was somehow harassing them.
“OK… And if anyone gets offended, I apologize in advance!”
Awesome preface, that only ensured that everyone was looking at me with curiosity.
An elderly couple were discussing their wills. The husband turned to his wife and said, “My dear, if you were to pass before me, would you mind if I married a beautiful young woman? It would ensure that my final years would be happy, even without you at my side.” The wife thought for a few moments. “Well, darling, I suppose I wouldn’t mind too much. But you’d have to agree that if you pass first, I could find myself a handsome young man to enjoy my final years with. After all, 20 goes into 80 much more easily than 80 goes into 20.”
There was slightly a terrifying moment of quiet while everyone processed the punchline. Then –
“Ahahahahaha!” Dr. D’s booming laugh filled the room.
And I could finally sigh with relief, hoping that my cheeks would stop burning before the end of the case.