256 Words

Pediatric Analgesics

Thomas Sennett

A five year old black boy named Hobart threw up in a Technicolor mess of cereal and milk in my waiting room this morning.

"Fruit loops!" a toddler named Jerry said. Jerry went to pick up some pre-masticated Fruitloops but his mother snatched him away faster than if he were about to grab a vial of Strontium 90. Children are enormously curious, even about vomit.

Hobart looked pathetic.

"That's all right, young fella," I said. I felt his head. He was running a high fever.

"I wrecked those magazines," he said pointing to the coffee table, where most of the mess had hit. Six issues of "Highlights for Children" magazine had been soaked.

"Those stories are boring anyway," Hobart said.

In addition to a having a stomach virus Hobart was a literary critic. There wasn't much to do except medicate the symptoms. I prescribed something to settle his stomach, and directed his mother to give him an aspirin suppository every three hours and come back in three days.

I received several calls from his exasperated mother during the next few days. "Hobart doesn't like his aspirin suppositories," she emphasized.

After three days, I saw Hobart again. The fever was much lower, the stomach improved.

"So I hear you don't like taking your aspirins, Hobart?" I asked him.

"I want mouthprins," Hobart said.

I laughed for about five minutes. The receptionist even came in to see if I was all right. I acceded to Hobart's request, and informed his mother that Hobart was quite a bright boy.

Copyright ©1997 Richard Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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July, 1997
Issue #15

256 Words