The Newest Folio:
Getting Locked in the Looney Ward
    Dear Friends,

    The latest Folio sure is a good one. I began by reading the Dr. Phage piece about Seattle in the old days and the monster, and was predictably pleased by it.

    But there was also much else to enjoy. I particularly liked the review of Hidden America, and the review (and further correspondence) about courthouses in Texas.

    The articles on Hitchens and on Larkin's poetry struck a chord --- I too have been thinking about mortality more than I used to. I wonder why?

    The hospital advice would have been valuable, if I had followed any of it. I would never have turned up my nose at canned grapefruit or pineapple for breakfast, and I never dared turn down anything all the nurses, technicians, and trolls inflicted on me.

    By the way, there was one nurse, a grave, middle-aged Vietnamese-American angel of mercy, who was able to install and remove the dreaded Foley catheter while inflicting only very slight discomfort.

    This all reminds me of an instructive story. My friend Arthur's brother once went to a hospital just to visit someone there.

    He took the stairs, rather than the elevator, and happened to leave the stairwell at the wrong floor.

    After the door closed behind him, he discovered two things: (A) that the door locked behind him, so he couldn't return to the stairs; and (B) that the floor he had inadvertently entered was the locked Psych Ward.

    So he made his way to the front, where the main door, also locked, had a window, and tapped on it to attract the attention of the staff, nurses, orderlies, ANYONE.

    "I don't belong in here," he shouted at them, "I came in by mistake!" Needless to say, the staffers had heard that one many times before. Arthur's brother may still be there.

--- J. G.
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