It had been a quiet night, there was nothing happening, no celebrities being smuggled in through the Hospitals backdoors for rehab, coated head bent low in shame and fear of discovery. Not so much as a scrape or bump from the general population of SL city. Just another night, like so many before.
THEN, it came, the sudden shrill of a banshee wail which shredded the peace and composure around me as the vibrant flash of approaching sirens screamed into the stillness, the vibrant flash of lights illuminating the sky as if I was in the midst of an alien invasion and alerting the world to a crisis of global proportion.
The cries of ‘Medic’ hit the air with a frantic urgency amongst the ensuing onslaught of paramedics, Drs and nurses which suddenly appeared, throwing open the doors of the Egoisme General Hospital. Their faces were taut with fear and anticipation. It was clear, something desperate was happening as the hordes of medics around me suddenly swung into well-rehearsed and orchestrated practice. Moving like one, each a tiny cog In a machine that instantly functioned as a well oiled mechanism.
The doors to the Egoisme General Hospital flew wide open, the gurney was pulled through in preparation, In the confusion, I struggled to see the face of the woman that lay prone on the hard and shiny plastic surface, screaming with agony, her face contorted, twisted into unrecognisable features, pulled from the ambulance with accelerated speed. Through the blur of movement all around me, I heard the words shouted ‘Lanai Jarrico’ female...and then a pause for the fateful diagnosis - the fateful diagnosis ‘Twinkie overdose’ A doctor carefully lubricated a latex gloved hand, snapping the cuff with a sharp snap, his eyes awash with terror.. “I’m going in..We need to act now or we’ll lose her. Lube me up.”
Looking pale and wan, some two hours later, they wheeled her back into the main hospital where I awaited the news scoop of the century. There was less urgency now, but equal concern as she was trundled behind a curtain, screened from the rest of us from our prying eyes, our busybody curiosity. I moved, with paparazzi precision towards her, inching my way slowly ever closer, till I stood listening, through a chink of the flimsy material. I heard her, reach for the cell phone, I heard the tones as she clicked the buttons..I heard her speak to some minion at the other end of the line ‘Party NOW, Egoisme General Hospital..and..bring Twinkies’.
I was in awe, this woman, survivor of numerous Thanksgiving dinners, was planning a party from her hospital bed. I wanted to be there, I wanted a part of the action. I sleuthed my way to the nurses rooms, I found the collection of scrubs and selected one. With care I put on the surgical mask, making sure my face was shrouded, unidentifiable and now, suitably disguised, I was able to infiltrate the scene slowly unfolding before me as a procession of caterers and party planners duly arrived. The Party began. Somebody pushed a glass of champagne into my hand, they offered me a snort on the gas and air..Twinkies..alchohol..drugs..and an unexplainable man in a strait Jacket.
Ladies..gentleman, readers. I am a hack, a humble hack. My words are not adequate to describe the scene that unfolded before me. I was not prepared as Drs and Nurses arrived..even patients left their beds and began pouring into the foyer, no regard to the openings in their gowns that allowed their buttocks to swing free and in time to the music that now began to play from the hospital P.A system. The film ‘Caligula’ sprang to mind as half naked, swaying like badly dressed Romans..the party began. Drs, Nurses..began to clamber and vie for each other for position on the impromptu dance floor. Some, possessed by some sort of communal hysteria and madness, began to strip, they waved Twinkies at me like Crack cocaine. I resisted.
Revellers gathered, still disguised as a Nurse, and perhaps the most dressed amongst all of them, I made my way amongst them, taking photographs, catching snippets of information as it reached my ears. They mistook my reporter’s notebook for a hospital clip board, I was able to make my way undetected through the throng. Time after time, twinkies were pressed into my hands. I feared for my life and my digestion.
Nervously, cautiously, I made my way through the throng of half dressed DJ’s and scantily clad nurses. The party was in full swing when through the doors burst what I was reassured was a CHUPACABRA. In order to placate it, I fed it the Twinkies.
There was an announcement of the competition winner. Reluctantly I made it. They asked me to. I didn’t dare not to. I mumbled from behind my mask. The winner seemed excited enough, though turned down the offer of a free prostate check, saying she would pass it on. Similarly she declined the free pregnancy test. I made my way to the doors, bumping into a smooth operator on the way, who tried to ply me with Jelly babies and a trip on his Tardis. ( I do mean ON and not IN) I wondered what surrealist nightmare I was in, as I hastily declined his offer of a fumble with his sonic screwdriver. Will the madness ever end? I must..leave.
I awoke this morning, my head pounding. I remember little. I was presented with a large hospital bil at the front desk, by a woman that I barely recognised clothed. I will pass the cost on to Egoisme. As I left the building, I glanced at my notes. I vaguely remember a half naked man in duck slippers. I must get home to develop the pictures..who is this man coming towards me..with a big syringe and a strait jacket? Why is he looking at me like that? What does he mean ‘Can’t have this getting into the press”.