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Friday, April 28, 2017

Always Pack a Flashlight


A guest searching for the bathroom at night stubbed his toe. Pain was excruciating.

Vomiting at 2 a.m. is good housecall. Chest pain at 2 a.m. is usually not a housecall. But some decisions when the phone rings at 2 a.m. are tricky.

Nothing about an injured toe is urgent except for the pain. Even if it’s fractured, the only treatment is to splint the toe by taping it to its neighbor.

Having told this to the guest, I hoped that he wouldn’t insist on a housecall. Once in the room, there is no problem, but I often never get there. After half an hour, while I’m still on the freeway, the guest may realize that the pain is tolerable and that he is on the hook for substantial cash (hotel doctors charge more during wee hours).

As often as not, the guest goes back to bed after asking the hotel operator to phone me and cancel. If I’m lucky, the operator makes the call.

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