Last night I worked the emergency department. It was one of those nights that was a kind of confluence of influences; a perfect storm in the world of the ER. It was 1) Saturday night, 2) the first Clemson University home game and 3) the Saturday night of Labor Day weekend.

Now, I’m looking back on it all with the perspective of a very tired physician who spent the evening once again sorting through patients to decide what was dangerous and what wasn’t. Trying to explain to the soldier on leave that the ER, at 3 am, wasn’t the place to evaluate his already evaluated chronic back pain. Trying to understand why a man would take a tray full of drinking glasses and smash them on his chest and face, so that I had to glue and staple and tape him back together…for free. Wondering why adults become so intensely intoxicated at football games that they can’t remember where they are. Realizing I’m actually not too far advanced from ancient physicians when I stab an abscess to drain puss. Asking lots of questions; getting few answers in the big scheme of things.

But last night confirmed my suspicions. The devil is nowhere more at work than the ER on Saturday night, during a first Clemson evening game, on Labor Day weekend. So, I have a list, inspired by Mama Boucher, from the Waterboy:

Mama Boucher, seer of seers

Mama Boucher, seer of seers

‘Foosball is da devil!’ (Actually a direct quote from Mama Boucher herself, sage of sages.)

‘Home games is da devil!’

‘Labor Day is da devil!’

‘Fightin’ is da devil!’

‘MRSA is da devil!’

‘Night shift is da devil!’

‘Refractory atrial flutter is da devil!’

‘Drunk people is (in league with) da devil!’

‘I couldn’t sit in my recliner at work because of da devil!’

‘Being wide awake at 2PM after a night shift, with another on the way, is da devil!’

‘Chest pain is da devil!’

‘Lying is (from) da devil!’

‘Status Dramaticus is da devil!’ (The condition wherein all of the patients problems actually revolve around endless, manufactured drama.)

‘Faking seizures is da devil!’

‘Lortab is da devil!’

Thank you. I go back in a few hours, when I will attempt to follow the Biblical injunction: ‘Resist da devil and he will flee from you.’ (Paraphrased).

Vade Retro Satana!

I remain your, very sleepy,


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