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The Lay of the Lupus Monster

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"Why is it dark in here?"

"Watch it!"

"Sorry, I thought that was my pocket."

"Sure, whatever."

"I think I found a desk. Does this feel like a desk to you?"

"Did anyone else hear that?"




"Oh, right."

"Come in, come in children, and let Poppa Greg tell you a story."

"Do we have a patient?"

"No, guy who looks like Steve Carrell."

"My name is-"

"Count your blessings. I think you look like an ambulance chaser."

"Excellent observation, Doctor Without Borders. Would you rather be Ambulance Chaser, Steve?"


"Then shut up and listen."

"Is there going to be a test on this?"

"I said shut up, Kutner."

"How come he gets called by his name?"

"Because I can't remember what his real number is. Now shut the hell up while I tell you the story of the Lupus Monster."

"The what?"

"Next person to talk gets fired. Got it? Now, it all started many moons ago, when you were but lowly med students, except Twenty-Six."

"I knew it!"

"This castle was run by the evilest and foulest witch to ever set Manolo on the fair shores of New Jersey. In fact, they used to be fair shores, before she got here. She turned this fine castle into a spooky, eldritch place, or as spooky as a place with a plate glass window every five feet can be.

"The many patients of this hospital-"

"You said it was a castle a minute ago."

"Castle, hospital, whatever. Anyway, the patients languished under her iron rule. She cut their rations and made them labor in the hot, boiling sun. She even took away their television sets, so they couldn't even watch Judge Judy. Her many minions were even worse off, because they had to listen to the patients bitching about their missing TVs.

"Finally, the day came when one of the minions had had enough. He hitched up his mighty Honda and strapped on his fire-hardened staff-"

"Don't heroes in these stories usually have huge roan chargers and mythical swords, or things like that?"

"What's that, Thirteen? You want to bathe all the bariatric patients? What an odd request, but if you insist-"

"I'll be good."

"I doubt it. At any rate, he got on his motorcycle and he rode out to find an ally strong enough to defeat the evil witch. He rode the length and breadth of the land, searching out anyone to help him in his quest. Unfortunately, hunting witches was out that season, and so his quest wore on. Finally, he found himself on the top of a huge mountain, out of money, food, and time. You see, he'd just gotten a page from the other minions saying that the evil witch was going to impose mandatory overtime."

"He had no money or food, but he still had his pager?"

"DMB, is this my story, or yours?"

"I think you mean DWB."

"Doctor Without Borders, Dave Matthews Band, either one works. At the top of this mountain was the cave of the last, greatest enemy in the world- the Lupus Monster."

"That's it. I'm going to the clinic."

"But I haven't even degraded you today!"

"Can't you do it while I'm in the clinic?"

"Fine. Try not to marry any of the nurses while you're there."

"How come he gets to go?"

"Because he's black. Anyway, the lair of the Lupus Monster was surrounded by bones, three layers thick. The stethoscopes of many vanquished diagnosticians dangled perilously from the twisted trees. The brave young knight, however, knew no fear, and so called forth the Lupus Monster. In time, the Lupus Monster agreed to help rid him of the evil witch, in exchange for the eternal souls of a few of the patients. And before you ask, I never said he was a nice person.

"The Lupus Monster rode with our hero many nights and days back to the castle. It was worse than he had feared- not only was there mandatory overtime, but a dress code as well. But they stood fast, and the terrible Lupus Monster waged full war on the castle for seven days and nights.

"Finally, the evil witch noticed. She went up to the highest of the high towers, and there she called out to the Monster. 'I'll give you an extra fifteen percent to stop scaring my doctors!" she called, but there was no answer, even when she offered biannual step increases. It was then that the witch got angry.

"Summoning up all of her arcane power, she leaned out of the window, her cleavage perilously close to pulling her to earth. The evil witch gave the Lupus Monster her worst and most dreadful stare, against which the Lupus Monster had no recourse. He held his ground for fifteen long hours, and then he was no more. 'And stay out!' she shouted, closing the window behind her.

"And that, children, is why, to this day, there has never been a case of Lupus erythematosus in this hospital."

"Wait, what about the evil witch?"

"What about her?"

"She still runs the castle, and she'd like to know why she's paying you all to sit around having story time."

"Run! She'll kill you with her eldritch powers!"

"House, turn the damn lights on and go back to work."

"Fine. Not my fault if you don't appreciate a good scare."