Thursday, March 27, 2014


When I read the following essay, A Valiant Legacy written by Mark Darrah, tears filled my eyes. The theme is so touching that I wanted to share this story with our readers. 

Everyone I know is sad and ashamed of what happened in  1921 on the north side of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Many of us who are both Christians and patriotic are ashamed of what happened in the 1950's in the name of Christianity and patriotism . There's nothing we can do to change history, but we can learn lessons from past mistakes and try to build a better future for everyone.

A Valiant Legacy will be included in Mark’s next book, A COLLECTION OF COMMON PEOPLE, which will soon be available in print and in e-book form.

Mark Darrah is a mystery writer, essayist, and attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has published articles, and short stories. His commentaries can be heard from time to time on "Studio Tulsa" at KWGS 89.5 FM.

I’ll let you know when his collection of personal essays, A COLLECTION COMMON PEOPLE is available.


The year is 1966.  May.  The place: Taft Junior High School in Oklahoma City.  The seventh grade social studies teacher has spent the first two-thirds of the hour talking about Communists. Then, she says, "And we have Communists right here in Oklahoma City..." And she lambastes as Communists a group of ministers who have signed and presented a petition to the local school board demanding that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting children from being forced to say government required prayers in public schools be respected.

The filing of the petition made the headlines of the front page of The Daily Oklahoman. The Court's ruling had already been demonized by its shorthand summarization as "prohibiting prayer in school." In this Cold War time, when billboards read "Impeach Earl Warren," this act of courage by this small group of ministers constituted for many -- the social studies teacher included -- not only apostasy but also treason.

At the end of the hour, a seventh grade boy walked to the front of the room, looked the teacher in the eye, and said, "My father signed that petition and he's not a Communist."  He turned and left.

The boy's father was reprimanded.  He lost his church.  His family was uprooted from their home. This father was by no means a radical. He had voted for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election. He worked hard, paid his bills, tried to be a good citizen. He simply believed that compulsory prayer is no prayer at all, that prayers required by the government profane the sacred.

Later in his new residence as his family mourned the loss of familiar surroundings and friends, that father sat in the dark and wondered whether he had done the right thing.
Fast-forward to the present time.

"The building had just been completed the month before," my friend Dean says.  He and I stand on the bottom floor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. "The church had taken out a loan and then it all went up in flames except this basement.  Let me show you something."
Mt. Zion on fire during 1921 Race Riots

Dean leads me into a recessed area and he points to black scars on cement walls.  "You can still see where the fires burned. The insurances wouldn't pay because they said it was caused by a riot and they didn't have to. The church members met in this basement for years until they were able to pay off the debt and build another building."
The ruins of Mt. Zion Church
Like other public school students of my generation, I had to take Oklahoma history in eighth grade. My textbook had been silent about this. The most devastating racial violence in American history had taken place within walking distance of where my junior high school teacher taught a saccharine version of my state's past.

That official story also left out the chapter on the Ku Klux Klan's domination of my state in the 1920's. During this decade, the KKK was strong not only in South, but also in the Midwest where it had the largest number of members. It was vigorously anti-African American, anti-Catholic, Anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant.  According to its literature of the day, this secret fraternal order was committed to protecting the "purity of white womanhood" and to organizing "the patriotic sentiment of native-born white, Protestant Americans for the defense of distinctively American institutions."

The Klan recruited heavily from white Protestant churches and civic orders such as the Freemasons and the Knights of Pythias. Over thirty-five thousand people attended a Klan induction in Oklahoma City in 1922. One year in the 1920's, all five of candidates for Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives were members of the KKK. Church ladies formed auxiliaries to support their husband's nocturnal activities and to restore and preserve traditional values and morality.

Klan members, disguised in white robes and hoods as the ghosts of the Confederate dead, abducted and physically punished those whom they believed engaged in public indecency, drug use, immoral behavior, wife beating, bootlegging, and other assorted sins.

In Oklahoma, martial law was declared to stop the Klan's vigilante beatings, whippings, and castrations. In the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, thirty-five square blocks of the African-American community were destroyed, over 100 people were killed, and an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, the result of white mob violence. The governor who declared martial law was immediately impeached.
When I wrote a family history for a college class in the 1970's, I asked my living grandmothers and grandfather this question: What was the most significant event of your lifetime?
Each answered: World War I.

Each thought this war had forever corrupted the morals of the country.

My sister, brother, and I these days go through family heirlooms accumulated by my parents and their parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Many were Masons and members of Eastern Star. All were devout white Protestant Oklahoma Christians.

I wonder how close I get to touching the robes of the Ku Klux Klan.
I remember a discussion I had with my grandfather during the latter years of his life. He had come of age in the 1920's and had political ambitions like his father before him. By the time of our talk, Grandpa had had a stroke. He didn't get animated much anymore, but when I asked him whether he had any dealings with the KKK, he lurched forward and said, "They were all a bunch of cowards. They tried to get me to join. I told them I wouldn't have anything to do with them."
The wonderful thing about learning is that you deprive no one else by taking what you learn. The wonderful thing about teaching is that you don't lose what you give away. Teaching is also the only gift you can give that will live on into eternity. Something you teach becomes another's who teaches it to another and to another, and on and on and on.

You see, my grandfather had a son who signed a petition demanding that the Oklahoma City School Board respect the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court prohibiting government-mandated prayer in school. And, that son was a minister, who was reprimanded, who lost his church, whose family was uprooted, who later sat in the dark and wondered whether he had done the right thing.  But let me ask you today, would my brother -- that seventh grade boy who told his teacher that his father was not a Communist -- have had the courage to do so had he not been taught by example?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two legs good, eight legs better.

By Bill Kirton

I know people are scared of spiders. They’re the sort of template for creepy, unnatural monsters. That brilliant old movie The Incredible Shrinking Man has many very scary sequences, but the best is the one with the spider. They seem to represent all the dark, nasty things that lurk in our subconscious. They’re also much better than we are in ways other than making webs or knowing the best recipes which have flies as the main ingredient. I don’t know if they have muscles but, whether they do or not, whatever it is that makes them able to scuttle so effectively works much better than our tendons and things.

I’m writing about them because I’ve just had to get rid of one from the bath. I’ve been cleaning the bit of the house I use as a study because it’s also where guests stay when they come (the only occasions when it sees a vacuum cleaner or duster). This spider had been in the bath for about a week (it’s a spare bathroom). I’d seen it every day and marvelled at the fact that it was often in exactly the same place it had been when I’d looked several hours or even a whole day before. We’re incapable of standing still that long and, even if we did, when we eventually decided to move, we’d creak, be racked with pain, stagger and generally feel terrible. But, if they’re disturbed, they can take off at top speed immediately and you don’t hear any spidery cries of ‘Oh shit, that hurts’.

Another thing. When I eventually had to get rid of my creepy visitor, I got a glass, put it over him, slipped a sheet of paper under the glass to keep him in and took him to the front door to let him go. I upended the glass, he fell about four feet (the equivalent of us jumping from the 6th storey I’d guess), landed perfectly without bouncing and took off at Usain Bolt speed right away. Which is all very impressive.

Coincidentally, the following day I heard a spider expert on the radio talking about them. (BTW, don’t quote any of this in your PhD thesis on arachnids because I haven’t checked the facts and may be remembering them wrongly.) I’m sure he said they had 8 eyes, some on top of their head, some in front, and the tactics they have to use when they mate could very usefully be employed by most if not all men.

They’re scared stiff of females. Certainly some, if not all, make sure they tap out some great rhythms on her web before they actually sidle up to her. I don’t know if they’re special, agreed signals or the latest in arachnid Zumba routines, but they let her know they’re not a Big Spidery Mac. Makes sense when you think of what the female might do to you otherwise.

And the pièce de résistance is delivered by the one (or maybe more) which has (have) the courtesy and common sense to bring her a gift of a juicy meal. This level of romanticism is rewarded when she’s so busy enjoying it that she doesn’t notice him having his evil way with her as she eats.

We can learn a lot from these enterprising creatures if only we stop squishing them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Buffalo Tour Guide

by Jean Henry Mead

During the mid-1980s I served as secretary-treasurer of a world-wide writers' group and spent most of  my writing time answering phone calls and snail mail correspondence, collecting dues and paying the organization's bills. One of my biggest challenges was a call from a German PBS crew filming the U.S. for viewers back home. 

The producer called to ask for information about western reenactments and said that actor Glenn Ford was narrating a TV series (I had no idea Ford spoke German). He also said that Louis L’Amour had agreed to serve as their technical advisor. I had recently interviewed L’Amour for my book, Maverick Writers, and was told he had given them my phone number, so how could I refuse?

The crew of five arrived in Casper in late July, following their filming of Cheyenne’s “Frontier Days.”Among other suggestions, I told them about a 2,000-member buffalo herd located 120 miles from where I lived. Big mistake! They insisted that I lead them there. I regretted not telling them that I had grown up in Los Angeles and had never ventured near a buffalo. But I reluctantly agreed.

The next morning found the crew waiting for me, travel weary and not terribly anxious to leave for the Wyoming outback. Three of the men were past fifty, perhaps even sixty, and spoke English well, although they lapsed into German when not speaking directly to me, which was disconcerting. A young video grip, whom they had hired in San Jose, agreed and complained whenever they were out of earshot.

The director/script writer decided to ride with me while the equipment caretaker; cameraman;  and producer followed in a old van and station wagon. Accustomed to driving the German Autobahn, they had acquired a spindle full of speeding tickets.Quite a collection, in fact. I’m sure they were annoyed that I only drove 65 miles an hour on back roads to the buffalo ranch near Reno Junction.

Two hours later, we arrived at the ranch where the foreman had arranged to meet us at noon. Obviously unimpressed with German film crews, he  left earlier that morning to buy tractor parts in a distant town, so we never saw him. After an hour's wait, his teenaged son left the ranch house to lead us to the herd. With a contemptuous glance at our motley crew, he led us down a bumpy dirt road in his decrepit pickup truck which appeared to have been held together with bailing wire. The pickup bed flapped like a large bird on takeoff, and I knew why when we followed him through the rough, sagebrush-peppered  terrain.

Our first glimpse of the herd came some five minutes later as they grazed peacefully on a hill. We parked nearby and my passenger asked if I would stampede the herd so the cameraman could film them raising clouds of dust. I refused because my Bronco was nearly new  So while they persuaded our guide to do the deed, I drove into the herd and watched as the buffalo showed off by wallowing on their backs with feet in the air several yards away. In order to get some great pictures--which I’m now unable to find--I foolishly left the driver’s seat to get a better look, finding the buffalo so large that they towered over me. 

I never got around to writing about the experience until now, but was later told that I had appeared on German TV as the crazy woman who stood in the midst of a buffalo herd. I had no idea that the crew, stationed on a hill nearby, had their camera trained on me.

That was my first and last role as a buffalo tour guide and foreign TV reality star as well as a secretary-treasurer. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


by Carola

Spring brings longer days and flowers and bright courting colours on birds and animals.....and taxes, and Left Coast Crime. The last two explain the brevity of this post.

At LCC, I have a panel at 10:15 Friday morning--something to do with Downton Abbey, with Catriona McPherson, GM Malliet, and Rhys Bowen. Also, I'm hosting a table at the banquet. Hope to see some of you in Monterey.

Monday, March 17, 2014


By Mark W. Danielson

It may be snowing in the northern US, but it’s springtime here in Texas.  Normally wildflowers announce this time of year, but our continued drought has delayed the annual highway tapestry.  What we do have is plenty of road kill, and for whatever reason, dead skunks are everywhere.  At the rate they are being squashed, you’d think they’d be nearing extinction.

Of course, skunk road kill isn’t limited to Texas.  You’ll find them everywhere in the US, and nearly all are found lying near a stripe.  Remember the “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” song?  There’s a reason that song was written, and while its lyrics mention other road kill, the skunk takes top billing by revengefully stinking its way to Heaven.

So, why is it these cute critters seem find so many car bumpers?  Experts say it’s because they dine on road kill, but I have a different theory.  Skunks have poor eyesight and I think they’re attracted to stripes.  I know this because I’ve witnessed numerous live skunks walking roads and taxiways as if the stripes were their Yellow Brick Road.  Of course, being black, all that drivers may see is their reflecting eyes, and by then it may be too late.  Imagine how hitting a skunk will skink up your car and garage.  Like tornados, it’s best to avoid them.   

Now, before you wish skunks were never born, here are a few fun facts about them.  Their developed claws help them dig and catch food such as mice, moles, voles, rats, birds and their eggs, and rip apart road kill carcasses.  They also like grasshoppers, wasps, bees, crickets, beetles and beetle larvae, fruits, nuts, garden crops, birdseed, pet food and scavenge on garbage.  They roll caterpillars to remove the hairs before eating them, and roll beetles with defensive scents to deplete the scent before they eat it.  Like bees, they won’t bother you unless threatened.  When you see skunks IN this way, they’re actually beneficial critters.

So while you’re celebrating Saint Patty’s Day or any other day, keep your head on a swivel and give them a brake.  Oh, did I mention there are four to five in each litter and they are full grown in five months?  Yes, it looks like they’ll be around a while longer.   

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Accolades to My Alpha and Beta Readers

by Jackie King
There should be a special place in heaven for friends of writers. Especially for smart friends who love to read and who volunteer to read your work. Some of these are called alpha readers and some are called beta readers, and I've just recently learned the difference.

Alpha readers are the folks in your critique group or other friends with generous hearts who will read your work as it’s produced. I have a group of these folks who support me emotionally on a regular basis: my remarkable critique group. I owe these fellow writers untold thanks.

L to R: Carolyn Hart, Jackie King and her Beta Reader, Judy Rosser
Beta readers are volunteers who agree to read your entire manuscript after it’s as good as you can get it, or nearly so. Two extraordinary women, Judy Rosser and her daughter Anna Dooly, undertake this momentous task for me when I finish a book. On February 20, a Thursday, I sent them copies of THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR. The following Tuesday, Judy delivered the entire manuscript back to me with about 150 sticky notes flagging problems they had found. I spent the next few days correcting and changing everything marked, greatly improving my book.
Anna Rosser Dooly's photo.
Beta Reader Anna Rosser Dooly and her teasing husband, Tom
I was thunderstruck when Judy said, “Print us a clean copy and we’ll read the book again.”

This was generosity beyond belief and I was both stunned and humbled. Of course, I jumped at the chance. And that’s where I am now, waiting for my pure gold friends to finish their second reading of THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR, and return it to me with their final suggestions.

I have also reread the book myself and made changes during this time. I never seem to finish with editing. Very soon I’ll write an email to my publisher, Dan Case of Deadly Niche Press, attach the novel, then take a deep breath and push the ‘send’ button.

Just thinking about this scares me. It’s sort of like sending your teenager off to college and worrying that the world won’t accept him or her. But I will do it. Very soon.

While I’m still worrying about THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR, my fickle heart turns to a new idea. A title popped into my head along with a cool way to get rid of a body.

THE VANISHING CORPSE, now just a small stack of ideas on index cards, is slowly taking form inside my head. I can hardly wait to move onward.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Because they’re not worth it

Money’s always in the news. I could bluff my way through some politics but economics, which was always a closed book, is even less penetrable than an obscure Serbo-Croatian dialect. Nonetheless, there’s one aspect of the money thing that I really need explained to me. And it relates to the ongoing banking crisis. It seems that Mr Bob Diamond, the ex CEO of Barclays, ‘earned’ just short of £100,000,000 over the 6 years he was in charge. Now that he’s left, having allegedly presided over a period in which corruption was rife and profits were valued more than customers, he’s been given a bonus of another £22,000,000. Just pause to absorb that a moment – one hundred and twenty-two million pounds in six years.

OK, the l’Oréal adverts tell us ‘it’s because you’re worth it’ and Mr Diamond may well have such a grasp of finance, people, the world – even where the Higgs Boson hangs out – that he IS worth that much money. But even if he is, why does he need so much? What’s he saving for? He must have had a few pennies before he took the job. He must already have at least one house, a car, maybe a boat, even a couple of racehorses, so why does he need £22,000,000 on top of the £100,000,000? And why did he need £100,000,000 in the first place? I leave conclusions about his probity to others – what concerns me is that he represents the sickness of the system by which we’re all forced to live. While people with nothing are having the few pounds they need for food, clothes and shelter refused them, why do those at the other end of the scale, who already have more than they can spend, just keep on accumulating the stuff (and even resent having to give some of it back in taxes – taxes which, by the way, aren’t gifts to the government but the money needed to maintain the social infrastructure essential to keeping a nation civilised)?

You may be asking, what does this have to do with murderous musings? Well of course, it's the root of all evil, but I’m not suggesting a cull of the rich. Nonetheless, people whose thinking and ways of being are dependent on accumulating excessive wealth provide a rich harvest when it comes to dubious moral stances - and crime depends on precisely that. Money is no longer a means, a convenient way of bartering, it’s become an end in itself.  It seems to imply a new set of values. There’s something going on which I don’t understand, the proliferation of a type of person significantly different from the rest of us, a Hannibal Lecter of the cash register. Perhaps if I suddenly acquired many millions, I’d feel the need to multiply them further, but why? Is it to wave wads of notes in front of others to show how powerful I am? If anyone can explain to me why people need more money than they can possibly spend, I’ll be very grateful. And maybe I’ll learn to write better books.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Putting an End to Bullying

by Jean Henry Mead

Teen suicides, school shootings, and cyber harassment have placed a spotlight on bullying.  The dangerous and debilitating practice is as old as mankind but there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, although a number of organizations have been formed to study the problem and educate both children and adults in ways to put a stop to bullys’ power struggles.
Psychologists have determined that certain types of people become bullies due to a number of factors. Among them are: victims of poor parenting, children and adolescents who have been bullied themselves,  those who are unhappy and frustrated with their lives, lack of respect or empathy for others,   and envy of classmates,  to name but a few. Examples of family factors that contribute to bullying include not only a lack of parenting skills, but conflict and addictions within the home, domestic violence and child abuse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Victims of bullies are often shy and lack resilience which hinders their coping skills and sometimes leads to suicide.  Resilience studies have been around since the 1950s when researchers concluded that while some children have the resilience to cope with bullies, others do not. However, they can learn from adults at home, school, and their communities.                                                                                          
Parents are advised to take time to talk to their kids about their activities for at least 15 minutes a day  and discuss the dangers of bullying. By keeping the lines of communication open, problems can be resolved before they become serious. Experts advise parents to encourage their children to report bullying as soon as it happens and to stand up to the culprits by telling them that bullying is unacceptable and by walking away. If violence is involved, children should tell an adult immediately after the attack.

The website, advises adults how to put a stop to bullying by intervening immediatey.   

·         Separate the kids involved.
·         Make sure everyone is safe.
·         Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
·         Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
·         Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
·         Don’t ignore reports of bullying. Don’t assume that kids can work it out themselves.
·         Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
·         Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
·         Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
·         Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
·         Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
·         A weapon is involved.
·         There are threats of serious physical injury.
·         There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
·         There is serious bodily harm.
·         There is sexual abuse.
·         Anyone accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.

There’s currently a campaign to get bystanders involved. School children are hesitant to try to stop bullying because they fear reprisals, but if a group of kids intervene, the outnumbered bully usually gets the message and backs down. 

I was one of many children bullied at school and am currently writing a novel on the subject for middle grade students, tentatively titled, The Bullies of Cherrywood Middle School, third novel in my Hamilton Kids' Mystery series.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guest blog links

by Carola

I'm posting a couple of links today as I'm knee-deep in taxes AND having fits about my approaching deadline.

Here's a post about Zeitgeist--If you don't know what that is, click here

The Book People are a British bookseller who take a selection of books to workplaces. People can look at them and order what they want on the spot. Great idea! They asked me to answer some questions in connection with their promotion of one of my Regency trilogies, but they carry my mysteries too and my answers include both subjects.

The first Daisy Dalrymple mystery was picked as the February book for GoodReads' Cozy book group.

If you belong to Goodreads, do join in!


What you might call "Death galore!"

And while I'm about it, the latest three Polish Daisy covers:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Overture to Disaster Goes Free

By Chester Campbell

I haven't commented on the final book in my Post Cold War Political Thriller Trilogy since a post back in September shortly after it came out in ebook format for the Kindle. I haven't done much in the way of promotion except an occasional tweet, and the results are obvious. It has registered few sales and has received no reviews on Amazon. I suspect one problem is that my loyal readers are all fans of PI whodunit mysteries. The political thrillers are a different breed, the action sweeping across continents, the characters dealing with complex motivations.

My friend Tim Hallinan began his review of the first book (Beware the Jabberwock) with the observation: "This is a change of pace for Chester Campbell, best known (to me, at least) for his Sid Chance PI novels." Happily he added: "Here he's working in the global intelligence thriller territory of Ludlum and Trevanian, but (I'm happy to say) with more character development."

Hallinan (author of the popular Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers and the Junior Bender humorous mysteries) concluded his review with: "Short chapters, great pacing, good characters, and high stakes. I really enjoyed this book." As busy as he is I've been reluctant to ask him for a review of the final book in the series.

So I've decided put my money where my mouth is and do a freebie promotion on BookBub for Overture to Disaster. Previous BookBub promos have resulted in lots of new reviews. I have my fingers crossed on this one.

If you'd like a free copy for the Kindle, check here March 10-12 to get yours.

Visit me at Mystery Mania

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hell Nurse

By Mark W. Danielson

Here’s a great plot for a horror story.  A patient visits a back pain clinic and gets more agony than relief.  It begins with being ignored at the front desk and then being greeted by an angry nurse who escorts him into the back room among multiple victims on gurneys.  His curtain is drawn long enough to change into hospital garb before being opened so all can witness his IV being inserted.  Left staring at the ceiling, the victim then inspects every rusty bolt in the converted factory as loaded gurneys are wheeled back and forth in front of him.  Ninety minutes later and shaking from the cold, the anesthesiologist says, “Time for a nap,” and the victim falls into a groggy state.  Having been wheeled under bright lights and rolled onto his stomach, pain rips through his shoulders as his arms are brought forward and legs raised to prepare for a foot long needle.  The next thing he knows, the patient awakens in the recovery room.

Checking his body for missing parts, he is relieved to find everything is intact.  Unfortunately, that included the back pain.  His stomach groans when the doctor schedules another visit.  On his way out, he notices a sinister grin from the nurse from hell.

After the second injection yields the same result, X-rays show the victim has a compression fracture.  Assuring him this is an easy repair, the doctor says the patient must be awake for this one in case he nicks a nerve.  When the time comes, lying awake, face down and deadened from the lower back down, the doctor strikes a nerve as if acting on his own premonition.  With pain shooting down the patient’s leg, the doctor calmly says, “This is why we keep you awake,” adding they took a biopsy as a precaution.  Suddenly concerned, the patient contemplates that while waiting for the medicine to diminish so he can put weight on his legs.  Eyeing Hell Nurse, he watches her make her rounds, numbing everyone with her gaze.  When he learns his biopsy is missing – he is convinced Hell Nurse was at fault.  Although the repair fixed his sharp pain, the rest hangs like sewer stink.    

Not satisfied, the doc said, “Once you’re heeled, we’ll get you back for another procedure.”  Mulling this over, the patient remembers the victim in Stephen King's Misery and wonders if this is a bad dream.  He watches a dozen people come and go while recovering, wondering if anyone feels better afterwards.  His missing biopsy keeps popping into his head, and yet he still returns for a fourth procedure.  This time before the privacy curtain is drawn, he insists on speaking to the doctor first.  Reluctantly, Hell Nurse releases her grip, but before walking off, mentions something about an implant.  Now left to his thoughts but fully clothed, he contemplates his future as more gurneys are paraded by.  When the doctor shows up an hour later, he convinces him he really needs this procedure to determine where the pain was coming from.  Submitting to the IV, Hell Nurse promptly screws it up, and although the doctor does the next one, it hurts more than any before.  To make matters worse, the doc yells at his nurse for mentioning implants, and then assures the patient this is only another pain blocking injection.  Now all the patient can think of is a bad joke --   Why is pain like a cockroach.?  Because it resists pain block injections!   

Clearly, there is a time when even the most loyal patient cries Uncle, and now this patient is screaming it.  It matters not that the doc wants him back for a disc repair, there is NO way this patient is ever returning to THAT office.  Turns out it was a good thing, too, because a consulting neurosurgeon (read second opinion) says definitely NO to more surgery.  Instead, get in the pool and do physical therapy.  As you might imagine, this is a true story and I was the victim.  My compression fracture repair was good, but the second opinion was even better.  As for Hell Nurse, don’t be surprised if she shows up in one of my stories . . .