… is packing them in today.


I myself (It’s not important. I wasn’t going to mention it. But since you insist… and since it’s topical…) almost landed in GW Hospital yesterday evening.

It was six o’clock, and I was rounding Washington Circle on my way to the Foggy Bottom metro. The emergency room entrance was directly across the street from me.

As I crossed the street, with traffic from the Circle on its way to where I was rapidly walking (you only get a few seconds to cross), I saw a patch of what I assumed was water in the street. How could it be ice? There wasn’t any ice anywhere else. (I didn’t know there’d been water main breaks here earlier in the day.)

It was the last day of class, and I was holding twenty or so student papers in my arms.

I went straight down, hard, papers flying.

My first thought was Get up immediately or get run over.

I did this, and was instantly surrounded by a small crowd of Washingtonians who were worried about me and wanted to know if I was okay. One of them marched out onto the ice and – somehow avoiding the cars – picked up every one of the papers. Another pointed out that if I needed medical attention I’d fallen in one of the best locations ever – three feet from an emergency room.

But I was okay. Okay and grateful.

Sure, my coccyx hurt; but I was okay.

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6 Responses to “UD’s University’s Hospital…”

  1. A J Says:

    This earnest reader is very pleased that you were unhurt and that Washingtonians did the neighborly thing. However, have you thought about using a small messenger bag?

    Totally off-topic to this post, but I know that besides writing about the steady decay of the Academy, you sometimes write about the pharmaceutical industry, so I was wondering if you had seen this little gem? Pfizer’s ethical lapses in Nigeria are, of course, what formed the basis of John le Carré’s mass market novel The Constant Gardener.

  2. Colin Says:

    Be honest: you told this story simply for an excuse to use the word “coccyx” in a sentence, didn’t you? I would have.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Colin: I do love that word.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    A J: Looking forward to opening the link you sent – thanks. As for small messenger bags or other signs of enlightened life-management — nah.

  5. adam Says:

    UD crossed the street in haste,
    Slipped on ice and took a paste.
    Papers flying, ignominious,
    Coccyx dying, oh how hideous!

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    adam: Scary.

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