It was a rather busy day at the office. Even though it was flu season, this was unusual. The doctor didn’t mind; he had started to get bored from the recent dearth of patients. He preferred being busy, and he enjoyed helping his patients. He was glad that he had gotten to the office earlier than usual. Right as he arrived, he rubbed his bust of Hippocrates, as he did every day. Not two minutes had passed before a patient came in. He complained of a sour stomach and nausea.
“Come, have a seat, I have just the thing,” said the doctor. He vanished into a storage room for a while and returned with a glass of liquid and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. “Drink this and wait a minute. It may make you a little tired. I just need to give you a shot in your neck. Don’t worry, the drink will numb you.”
The patient woke up a few minutes later with an oddly large bandage on his neck. He was a little groggy, but he did feel a lot better. The doctor was busy using the rubbing alcohol to clean off the glass he drank from.
“It is imperative that you leave the bandage on for ten days. Keep it dry. I put some ointment on so it will heal faster.” He handed the patient a bottle of pills. “Take every six hours with food.” With that, he sent the patient on his way. He put the rubbing alcohol back in the closet. His obsessive nature sanitized everything. The next patient came in complaining of severe back pain. The doctor did not even look at him as he walked into the examination room.
“Tell me about this back pain you complain of,” the doctor ordered. He did not seem particularly interested in what the patient had to say. The patient did not seem to notice or care. It felt good to unburden himself to a man such as the doctor.
“Ever since I woke up this morning, my back has been killing me. I can barely stand up.”
The doctor walked into the storage room. He returned with another glass of liquid and rubbing alcohol. “Drink this, it will numb your back. I am going to perform a test to see what is wrong with you, although I think I have an idea. This drink will make you drowsy.” The patient, desperate to soothe his pain, swallowed the entire drink in one go. He woke up feeling much better. His back, right below his rib cage, was a little sore, but he would take anything over the pain he had experienced earlier. There was no sign of the rubbing alcohol this time. The doctor told him to leave the bandage on for fifteen days. The patient clumsily stumbled out of the exam room, unable to walk properly. Several more patients came throughout the day, but the drink seemed to fix all of their problems. The rubbing alcohol on the doctor’s desk was almost empty at this point. The doctor swept the floors and managed his finances throughout the day so there wasn’t anything left to do. He went to his office to cross his t’s and dot his i’s. Years of experience made his small practice run smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. People rarely came to him with serious problems. His specialty drink alone was enough to make his patients feel better. He walked over to the sink in the back, full of bloody gauze and scalpels. The last thing he had to do was sanitize these too. He scrubbed them with his last bit of rubbing alcohol. He put them back in the storage closet, next to his day’s earnings. He took a moment to enjoy the new additions: a kidney, part of a thyroid, some adrenal glands and an ovary. Perfectly preserved in the alcohol, they would last a long time. He thought he was giving them a deal: who needs both kidneys anyway? He rubbed his bust of Hippocrates once more before leaving for the day.