Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Not To Visit The Hospital

Truly, I don't know if life conspires against me or if I just need to be taken out back and put out of my misery.

I visited a local hospital this morning. Two of my congregants were in for various reasons and I thought a drop-by might be nice. I got the room numbers and made my way to the bank of elevators. I pushed the button and "DING!" the chime sounded and the door opened instantly.

(Teachable moment: For those of you who don't make hospital visiting a part of your weekly routine, hospital elevators run on the equivalent of Chipmunk power. They are never there when you want one and when they do arrive they are generally occupied with one orderly and an empty blood stained gurney. Fun.)

I stepped through the open door, ascended to the appropriate floor, and made my visit. When it was time to leave I went back to the elevators, pushed the button and "DING!" Once again the same door opened immediately. For a pastor this is fair cause for mild shock to set in. I actually build 30 minutes into most hospital trips to wait for vertical transportation.

Not this time. "Ding!" came to my rescue. It came so quickly that I was still looking at the button as the door opened. I felt instantly compelled to thank the elevator!

"Oh, you beautiful thing! Have you been waiting for me?" I said that. Out loud. And then I looked up ... into the elevator ... where a lone nurse stared at me. Mouth and eyes wide open in fear. I stopped in mid-step. Nearly mid-air. I felt like Wile E. Coyote after he had just stepped off a cliff as his feet peddle furiously seeking non-existent traction. The next five seconds passed in slow motion. For both of us.

"Uh. I was ... uh ... talking to the elevator. I ... I uh ... I'll wait for the next one." The door closed. I found the stairs and exited the building as quickly as possible, praying to avoid security guards and camera's.

I now sit at my desk. Blinds closed. Lights off. The "Pervert Task Force" should be here to collect me any minute now...