The Flailing Patient had just cold-cocked me in the kidney during a fit of frustration. I was getting a bit tired of a person who lashed out--physically and verbally--without the slightest qualm, so I took myself into another room where there was an alarm sounding.
I fixed the alarming pump and glanced at the patient in the bed. Something about him seemed familliar. Then I glanced at his armband: "Schlomo Fishnugget."
"Uh, sir?" I ventured, "Are you the same Schlomo Fishnugget that invented the Ding-Dang Freakywidget and postulated the Creakynut Energy Conversion Theory?"
"Why, yes, I am" he replied, with a boyish grin.
"The same Fishnugget who won the Nobel Prize for applications of the Ding-Dang Freakywidget?"
I was standing in the presence of one of my heroes. It was as though Bucky Fuller had knocked on the door and offered to sell me some Girl Scout Cookies (now with less waste!).
I gaped. I've taken care of politicians, minor members of royal families from all over the globe, heads of small states, rodeo clowns, circus performers, musicians of all stripes, investors, and interesting normal people, but here was Schlomo Fishnugget. And I was clearing an alarm on his IV pump.
So, after the requisite I'm-Your-Biggest-Fan business, we talked about dogs. And how to make the perfect potroast.