After a foot operation a number of years ago, my post-surgery anesthesia haze entertained my husband. He said I kept asking the recovery room nurse if the anesthesiologist had a Weimaraner puppy. Evidently I kept adding syllables to both “Weimaraner” and “anesthesiologist” and was so insistent on this topic that the nurse finally told me that the doctor in question had a basset hound. Tom was pretty sure the nurse fabricated the basset hound in hopes that it would shut me up.
Barbara, my brother Dean’s wife, might hold the record for the widest variety of topics covered in a post-surgical conversation. After a knee replacement, for some reason she couldn’t shake off the anesthesia, so she was in the ICU for a day while they tried to extract her from her semi-conscious state.
Barb was befuddled about her exact circumstances but extremely chatty. The first time the nurse asked if she knew where she was, Barb said she was in Dollar General buying cards for the next year. A bit later, Barb revealed she was waiting to be notified that she was a contestant on The Dating Game.
Domestic matters also were of concern. She was worried that they should have eaten before they got to wherever they were and also distressed by all the flies in the bathroom. She was frantic because she had lost all the shirts and needed new ones, and then she asked the nurse to sprinkle water on the clothes.
After announcing that the nurse had participated in the shadow of the fall, which mystified everyone, Barb tried to take off her knee splint so she could impose some discipline on the students. She shook her finger at the medical staff and read them all the riot act.
But her most memorable moments of conversational nonsense came when she got all worked up because someone had let the ferrets loose.
My friend Georgia says there must be something about dental anesthesia that spurs confession. After her son’s wisdom teeth were extracted, she poured him into the front seat of the car to go home. He leaned back and said, “Boy, I haven’t felt this good since Dave took me to Galena.”
While there’s no doubt that anesthesia talkers can be amusing, the advent of the smart phone has unfortunately provided a means of recording such embarrassing moments for all posterity.
My nephew Christian had his wisdom teeth out a couple of years ago. Post-surgery he was loquacious, to put it mildly. Christian kept insisting that he was “totally competent” as his mother (my sister Vonnie) videoed his every utterance, which went on at great repetitive length. At one point, Christian asserted that he wasn’t nearly as loopy as some others; he was just confused. He then said, with the utmost sincerity, “I know I’m talking too much, but I just can’t shut the **** up.”
With maternal tenderness, Vonnie kindly recorded her son’s entire run of verbal diarrhea to share with family and friends.
However, Christian’s motor mouth can’t hold a candle to his friend Maddy’s anesthesia-induced volubility. This, too, was recorded by her loving mother. There is no limit to what devoted parents will do for their children.
After the extraction of her wisdom teeth, Maddy focused on one thing. She was starving, she said, and wanted sushi, macaroni and cheese, cheese fries, and a milkshake.
Lying in the surgical chair, Maddy started to smack her lips. She said, “I love cheese!” Smack smack.
Then the magic happened. Eyes closed, cheeks stuffed with cotton wadding, Maddy commenced her own beat box imitation. “Puh-puh-tschhhhh, puh-puh-tschhhhh.”
She was good!
She started to rap, beat-boxing after each line.
“I love cheese, pepperjack and more, Jalapeno cheddar I adore
“I like Swiss, muenster and more, American cheese, all good things
“Swiss cheese, Swiss cheese, Swiss cheese, Swiss cheese
Cheddar jack, white cheddar, golden cheddar, mild cheddar
At this point Maddy opened her eyes, looked straight into her mom’s camera lens, and shouted, “NEEDS MORE ASIAGO!” She closed her eyes, leaned back and whispered: “The end.”
Maddy’s mother assures me that except for the YouTube-inspired asiago reference, the rap is a Maddy original. Kraft needs to hire this young woman. Imagine what she could do when fully awake.
CAROLYN TROUT lives in Joplin. She can be reached at email@example.com.