Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

All Quotes


Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Tell Grinny Sue I Said ‘Hello!’

Recognition can be a funny thing. Not ‘funny ha-ha’, necessarily. More like ‘funny get pelted with tapioca pudding by an angry healthcare worker’.

Perhaps I should explain.

I work in a hospital. Along the corridor connecting one of the exits — the one often patrolled by Chipper the Enunciating Wonder Guard — and the main elevators, there are a series of photos. These are not little pictures hung on the wall; rather, they’re huge snapshots, screened somehow in montage format directly onto the wall itself. Pics of patient care and lab research, doctors consulting and biologists examining, compassion personified and science embodied. This mosaic of imagery is meant to inspire and awe all those who walk past, to show off the sorts of saintly work done around the joint. I pass by these pictures a lot.

Naturally, I’ve given everyone on that wall a nickname.

And just as naturally, very few of those nicknames are particularly flattering. For instance, there’s “Odd-Nosed Bed Nurse”. Near her is “Crazy-Eye Lab Coat” and the beaming “Grinny Sue”. There’s a whole gang of flattened folks to greet as I walk by — “Painted Kid”, “Palsy Pete”, “Buck-Toothed Cougar”, “Soccer Momster” and “Underpants”, to name just a few.

I’ve long wondered whether these were pictures of real employees or some kind of glorified glamour shots of actors and actresses who aren’t actually doctors — they just play one on the wall. There’s another set of pictures outside the building that I’m certain are staged, given the hokey settings, extreme close-ups and universally attractive nature of everyone pictured.

(I’m not saying the people inside are ugly, mind you. I’m just saying “Palsy Pete” isn’t going to be greeting pedestrians and passing cars outside the entrance any time soon. That’s all.

For that matter, neither am I. These poor people are sick enough, without dealing with that.)

“I’m just saying ‘Palsy Pete’ isn’t going to be greeting pedestrians and passing cars outside the entrance any time soon.”

So this afternoon I was in the cafeteria, scarfing Thousand Island from the salad bar, and there she was. Approaching the registers, right in front of me, a face I’d seen a thousand times. She was in hospital scrubs, was probably just getting lunch at a quarter til four, and had that baggy-eyed, downtrodden look that says, ‘I’ve been here for nineteen hours and I’d just kill myself right now, but I don’t have the strength.’

In other words: she definitely works here!

I couldn’t help myself. I don’t often get starry-eyed, but I was in the presence of a local legend. I’ve worked here for eight years, and I’ve never seen anyone — anyone — on that wall in person. I had to acknowledge her, to interact in some way. Maybe we’d chat a little, or she’d sign my granola bar wrapper. I could barely contain myself. So I pointed and shouted out:


What was I supposed to do? It’s not like I knew her name. I had to call her something. And that’s what I’ve called her for the last eight years. In my head, anyway.

I always forget how important the ‘in my head’ part is.

Anyway, she looked over, whizzed her tapioca at me and snarled, ‘I’m a physician’s assistant, jerkwad!‘ I ducked too late, the pudding landed, and she wandered off, smiling.

As I negotiated soon after with the cafeteria attendant about whether I should actually have to pay for the tapioca, she offered a piece of advice:

Maybe you oughta try really connecting with people — see them for who they really are, not some superficial characteristic.

Maybe you’re right, Lazy Eye Cashier. Maybe you’re right.

She scowled. ‘That’s a buck twelve for the pudding, ya Bug-Eyed Jerkwad. Plus tax.

I paid. And I didn’t get Odd-Nosed Bed Nurse’s autograph. But at least I saw a celebrity. And now I know what they’ll call me, if my face ever ends up on that corridor wall. Also, some of the pudding from my shirt was delicious. I’d call that a ‘wash’.

Permalink  |  No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
  Drinkstorm Studios

Me on Science (silly):
  Secondhand SCIENCE

Me on Science (real):
  Meta Science News

Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon

Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
Unlikely Explanations

Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers
A Doofus Is Me
Articles 'n' Zines
Audience Participation
Awkward Conversations
Bits About Blogging
Bitter Old Man Rants
Blasts from My Past
Cars 'n' Drivers
Dog Drivel
Foodstuff Fluff
Fun with Words!
Grooming Gaffes
Just Life
Loopy Lists
Making Fun of Jerks
Marketing Weenies
Married and a Moron
Miscellaneous Nonsense
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig
Sleep, and Lack Thereof
Tales from the Stage
Tasty Beverages
The Happy Homeowner
TV & Movies & Games, O My!
Vacations 'n' Holidays
Weird for the Sake of Weird
Whither the Weather
Wicked Pissah Bahstan
Wide World o' Sports
Work, Work, Work

Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
100 Best Humor Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine



Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner


RSS 2.0
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved