ARLINGTON, VA – Citing elaborate Flag Day celebrations, year after year patients just don’t show up at Hamilton & Burr Trauma Hospital near our nation’s capital. We’re not even talking about the usual Medicaid OB/GYN or hemorrhoidectomy surgeries which are so hard to remember. Rather, patients will call the ER to promise they’re coming in with intractable nausea and vomiting or misplaced vegetables, only to forget their commitment once they see a new flag unfurled or a parade heading down the street. Staff nurse Natasha Davidson had this to say:
“When Mr. Long didn’t show up for dialysis, we called to remind him that we might have found a brand new kidney for him as well, as Hamilton & Burr Trauma Hospital tends to procure at least two usable organs a day during the summer months. He stated he couldn’t make it because the handwritten text of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ is debuting at the Smithsonian today. I checked it out and he’s right, but his appointment was at 7 am and we all know museums aren’t open then.”
This patriotic fervor is especially difficult for hospital administrators and their new “patient first” philosophy. To increase satisfaction scores, unusually patriotic patrons, customers, and clients (recent scores increased if the word “patient” wasn’t used) are now allowed to bring their bald eagles along, provided that the birds did not increase the number of human organs available for donation during the hospital stay.
“It’s only June,” Nurse Natasha continued worriedly. “If these patients aren’t bothering to show up for their scheduled prostate exams and joint and tendon repairs near Flag Day, what’s going to happen near July 4th, or Thanksgiving, or even on Friendship Day this August 3rd?”
Patients have continued to deny that their no-show habits really show laziness, forgetfulness, and similar vices. If they do decide to show up, albeit hours late, the patients tend to drape themselves with flags or at the very least wear red, white, and blue.
“I just can’t keep appointments around Flag Day,” one patient admitted for strange body sounds explained while saluting a TV in the waiting room turned to Fox News. “I really consider myself sort of a veteran. I never served, but I collected all the Desert Storm trading cards they made back in the 90’s.”