Not Disneyland, Part 2: A Screenplay

[It's 10:00 pm in the Terreno di Amore home. Cicada sits on the couch watching television. Murray comes downstairs towards her. She hears him as he comes.]

Murray: Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.

[Cicada fumbles for the remote and pauses her program.]

Cicada: What?

[Murray stumbles into the living room, holding his head.]

Murray: Oh no. Oh no.

Cicada: What happened?

Murray: I sliced my head open on the ledge of my drawing desk. I felt it go in deep. It's going to start bleeding a lot really soon.

Cicada: Oh! Okay. Um... let me help.

[Cicada and Murray go to the kitchen sink. Murray takes his hand away from the wound; two fingers are covered in blood. Cicada takes a paper towel, folds it in quarters, and applies it to the wound.]

Cicada: Should we go to the ER?

Murray: I could hear it slice into my head. I think I'm definitely going to need stitches. It's pretty deep.

Cicada: Okay. You go sit down. I'll call my visiting teacher because she's a nurse and she can tell us if we should go.

[Murray sits down and Cicada calls her visiting teacher.]

Cicada: Hi, Katie?

Katie (sounds groggy): Are you okay? Is everything okay?

Cicada: I'm fine. My husband cut his head on a desk and we were just wondering if we should go to the ER.

Katie: What does it look like?

Cicada: Hm. I haven't really looked at it. Let's see. [Removes paper towel from Murray's head. The wound isn't bleeding too badly.] Oh. It's about 3/4 inch long and the sides aren't touching... We should probably go to the ER, huh?

Katie: I hate to tell people not to go to the ER. Your biggest worry is that it would get infected. Since Instacare is closed, I'd go to the ER. Go to Orem Community because they're much less busy at night.

Cicada: Okay. Should I give him Tylenol or anything?

Katie: Don't give him anything, but you can put ice on it.

Cicada: Okay. Thanks. [Hangs up phone.] Okay, Murray. We do need to go to the ER.

Murray: Okay.

[Cicada gets an ice pack for Murray. Cicada and Murray leave the house together; Murray is wearing a t-shirt, pajama pants, and a nice grey blazer. Cicada is dressed as if she attended a fake funeral earlier in the day, which, in fact, she did.]

[In the car, driving to the hospital, Murray and Cicada begin to joke about their unexpected date to the ER and the events of the evening.]

Cicada: I think that I woke up my visiting teacher. She sounded pretty tired. Oh well. It's her job.

Murray: Do you think that she's ticked that you called?

Cicada: Uh, well, no. I mean, she's my visiting teacher. That's what they're supposed to do is be there to help and be called upon.

Murray: Yeah, but no one ever actually does that.

Cicada: Sure they do! You can ask your visiting teachers and home teachers to do stuff. That's what they're there for!

Murray: Yeah, but it's an unspoken rule that you don't actually ever take them up on their offer to help you if there's anything you need.

Cicada: That's so not true.

Murray: Yes it is. You're not supposed to actually ask them to do anything.

Cicada: I've always asked my visiting teachers or home teachers to do something for me if I needed their help. Like the one time that The Boy sat on my bed and it couldn't support both our weight and it broke. When my home teachers asked if there was anything they could do, I asked if either of them could weld metal. One said he could, and I told him that he could fix my bed for me! I gave him the broken parts and he fixed it! Or there was the time my grandma died and I called my visiting teacher at one in the morning to ask her to drive me and The Boy to the airport at 6:00 that very morning. This is how the system works!

Murray: Yeah, but nobody does that. At least it's not done here in Utah.

Cicada: You are a horrible person.

[The couple pulls up to Orem Community ER. They enter the tiny ER waiting/reception room. A mother with her son are ahead of them in line, checking in.]

Cicada: It's so funny waiting in line in an ER. No one ever seems to be in a big hurry.

Murray: I know! Don't they prioritize by the severity of the injury?

Cicada: Well, yeah, they probably do. But if you're waiting in line, they figure your injury isn't bad enough to warrant immediate care.

[Murray gives Cicada a skeptical look.]

Cicada: Well, it's true! If you had severed your arm, we wouldn't be standing here in line with me holding your severed arm. We'd get in right away.

Murray: I don't know. There's not many people around here.

Cicada: Yeah, but if I were waving around your severed arm, and we were yelling, people would come and help us immediately.

Murray: Oh, I know! You'd get immediate help if you came on an ambulance. You have to come by ambulance.

Cicada: You can drive up to the ER yourself and still get immediate assistance. Haven't you ever watched ER?

Murray: That's a dramatization and I don't watch shows like that.

Cicada: Well, people can just drive up, and they drag their friend's body through the doors and they yell, "Somebody help me! Help me!" If this were a serious injury, we'd be making a lot more noise.

Murray: But that's in places like Chicago.

Cicada: The same stuff happens here in Orem, too. Just on a less frequent basis. If we were making a lot of noise, we'd get service immediately.

[The receptionist finishes with the mother and son, and Murray and Cicada check in. They then go to their seats to wait and watch the Jay Leno show on TV.]

Murray: I hate that guy.

Cicada: Didn't you tell me yesterday that I have a prominent chin, but not a Jay Leno chin?

[Murray and Cicada intermittently watch the Jay Leno show, discuss whether or not they would choose to plastinate Murray's severed arm a la Body Worlds, and laugh about the fact that with Cicada's pregnant belly, everyone should assume that she's the one who needs to be in the ER.]

Cicada: Do you want me to take a picture of your head wound with my iPhone and then you can see it?

Murray: Yeah.

[Cicada takes a picture of Murray's head wound and then shows it to him. The couple laughs about the head wound. Others in the ER begin to get restless and ask when it's going to be their turn to leave. The mother and son are soon called away. Murray and Cicada are left alone in the room with one other ER patron, a plump young lady in her 20s.]

ER Patron: So why are you here?

Murray: I hit my head on the ledge of my desk and cut it open.

ER Patron: I figured you guys would be the first to be called in.

Cicada: Yeah... it's really not that bad. But we were wondering how people are prioritized.

ER Patron: This is a better place to come than Utah Valley Regional, though. The last time I went there, I waited for five hours.

Murray: Wow. This is lots better.

ER Patron: Yeah. [To Cicada:] When are you due?

Cicada: January 4th.

[They talk about the baby for a while until Murray and Cicada are called back to the ER. Back in the ER, a doctor and nurse inspect Murray's wound. They marvel at the amount of hair that has been mashed into the deep cut. They dig out the hair, disinfect the wound, and inject it with numbing agent to prepare for the staples. This is the most painful part, and Murray makes a face that communicates his pain and makes his insensitive wife laugh. The doctor inserts two staples into Murray's head, a la Frankenstein, and tell the couple they are free to leave as soon as they have their discharge/staple care instruction sheets. On their way out of the ER, Cicada generously offers to treat Murray to his copay. She whips out her wallet and pays the receptionist $200.]

Murray: Wow. Two hundred dollars.

Cicada: I know! We're slowly but surely spending all that money that we would have spent if we had decided to go to Disneyland.

Murray: I wouldn't have hurt my head and had to go to the ER if we'd gone to Disneyland. We could have had a wonderful day of fun and adventure at Disneyland for that amount of money.

Cicada: Instead we got to spend an hour in the ER. It's like Adventureland.

Murray: That is not my Fantasyland.


Mike Loveland said...

I really think that I could play Murray in this production really well. I would nail it.

That was so much fun that we should go to ERs in the middle of the night more often!

lynette said...

Glad the noggin is all back together. You didn't need that kind of drama last night. Thanks for being the best wife/nurse.

Murray, any flashbacks of being at the Orem ER waiting to have your broken arm looked at.......

DP said...

So, Sarah and I have had the same conversation about home teaching with her sister. Sarah and I always thought it was the way you saw it, Cicada, but her sister also told us that home teachers never actually mean it when they say that.

We concluded that people who think home teachers don't mean it probably don't mean it themselves when they say that---and that's why they think others don't, either.

There is something really deep and psychological about all this, I'm sure.

Nerd Goddess said...

Maybe the whole home teacher thing IS a Utah thing, because I don't ever recall my parents asking for help. Except maybe for blessings.

Note to self, make visiting teachers do the dishes next time.

Also, the ER is not the same as Disneyland.

Your blog teaches me ever so many things.

Sarah said...

Love it.
Ariel and I agree with you on the VT/Home Teacher thing...

Jordan said...

To quote what my parents would say if they saw the wound: "That makes my colon pucker."

Janssen said...

Wow, you two almost make me want to come and sit in the ER waiting room with you. Except not quite. Like Murray, it's not my fantasyland.

spart said...

You totally lost me at the pay $200 part...then I remembered you now live in the U.S.A. Right. Still, had you been in Canada and gone with a head wound it would have been free, but you'd likely have waited much longer. Did the story of the guy that waited 34 hours and died in the emergency waiting room make news down there? They didn't even know he was dead until somebody poked him several hours later.

Rachie said...

ACK! I love how calm you both were. I probably would have started crying from fear and worry. I'm glad Murray's head got taken care of and that your visiting teacher was able to serve you. I do believe they're there to help you, but I've never needed their assistance before. Good on you for making use of the system. :)

PS Whenever I said people could call me if they needed anything I meant it. But if they abused it I would probably be annoyed after a while.

jeri said...

I called my home teachers when Bart was in the hospital last winter. They came right away, with their wives, dressed up (they were both on their Friday-dates) to give the poor little guy a blessing. People SO do that in Utah. I had forgotten how awesome they were... thanks for the reminder!

Bart was 100% better the next day. Even the Dr. was surprised.

jeri said...

Also glad Murray's head is doing better. Did you mention HOW he cut his head on his art desk?

bedelia said...

That was a sick picture.
and that's a link to my friends blog who has GD too. Its her new favorite treat.

bedelia said...

And is there a way to embed the link in a comment? And is "embed" the right word?

Cicada said...


He was trying to fix a drawer under the art desk and then stood up into the art desk. Ouch.


Great link! Reading that blog is like reading all my own thoughts about food. To make a functioning link in comments, you have to use html code.

Kiersten said...

I think it's funny that you classify fixing your husband's head wound as "frivolous money spending." That makes me laugh. Actually, the whole post did, although I do feel bad for Murray. Poor guy. You are a good woman to stay calm and get him all fixed up.

Oh, and I saw your new calendar on Nicole Hill's blog. I was just scanning through the stuff on my reader, saw the picture of the elephant and thought, "hmm, that looks like Alma's husband's work." I felt like quite the art connoisseur now!