In his office in the hospital, strained from his chat with Naysha, assistant Chief Green was fielding call after call from bitterly complaining specialists and crew. The karaoke star arrested in front of their eyes was their avenue for stress relief, they argued in a petition forwarded by O’Bien. He had to be allowed to perform, or their efficiency would decrease, slowing the hunt for a cure for Earth’s pandemic. It went on and on about the efficacy of natural stress relievers…they certainly were spending much too much time on this. He had to do something!
Chief Lopez popped in and apologised for re-routing all those angry calls to him, but he shrugged and whispered while he let a complainant carry on that this was right up his alley.
She nodded with relief and left. On inspiration, Dr. Green said to his com, “Ok, I hear you. Ramone won’t be able to perform for a little while, but I’m going to brush up a little comedy I performed in college. That will have to do for now. You can spread the word, and I hope to see you there. Anyone who’s still stressed after seeing me make a fool of myself can book an appointment to see me in my office. Ok?”
After he hung up, Green felt a flash of panic. He sure hoped he could find his old routines. Some of the jokes were probably too old…he searched his files and got to work.
At nine, when Ramone usually performed, Dr. Green walked through a subdued but curious crowd in the rec hall, waving and bowing as if he were a big star. Some people giggled. With a broad smile belying his fear, he walked center stage as staff announced Ramone was unavailable and would be replaced by him, Assistant Chief Green to entertain them. Amidst a chorus of groans and disappointed fans trickling out the door, he took a deep breath he launched into his spiel.
Hi, great to see you!
It’s been a long time since I delivered this way. Oh oh.
He walked slowly by sections A and B, shaking his head.
You folks in A and B look pretty grumpy. I need to deliver by C-section!
Laughter as he stopped in front of C.
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