For Cinco de Mayo I am going to tell you a story about my first margarita on the rocks…
In medical school I was assigned to the biggest, baddest, meanest resident in existence for my surgery rotation. He had made grown men cry more than once.
I knew I was screwed.
The other student assigned to this resident was a fellow classmate who was known for smoking tons of weed. I think he is practicing pain management in Colorado now…
At any rate, as the med students assigned to this rotation we were lackeys, doing scut work that no one else wanted to do themselves.
Do what you are told, don’t draw attention to yourself. Stay out of the way. Learn as much as you can.
As it turned out, it was this resident’s last month at the program. He would be leaving for the biggest, baddest trauma surgery program in the country. The perfect match, in my opinion. He had a research project he had to wrap up before he left, however, looking at the use of hyperbaric oxygen in traumatic brain injury.
You cannot go around bonking people on the head and then dissecting their brains in the name of science, so he was doing the research on rats. He had made a “machine” with a hammer that was supposed to generate a consistent amount of force when it whacked the rats in the head. No matter how many variables you try to control, closed head injuries are still variable. Highly variable. So you have to have a sufficient number of victims to account for that variability.
We spent the month scrubbing in on surgeries and getting yelled at by this guy, but he also made it clear that we had to help him with the rat project. So we anesthetized dozens of rats, bonked them on the head with the hammer machine, treated them with hyperbarics, then euthanized them and harvested their brains.
I hated every single last minute of it. If there is a hell and I end up there, I imagine there will be an army of rats waiting to eat my face off.
On the last day of the rotation, as I cut out the last brain of the last rat, this scary as hell resident congratulated us on surviving and told us we were the best students he had ever taught. He wanted to take us out for a drink.
So he did.
Now, I had never really been an alcohol drinker. In fact, I had to that point in my life only ever had a single frozen margarita. It had tasted good. When I was asked what I wanted to drink, I picked a margarita thinking I would get one of those nice, delicious, fluffy frozen ones.
“Do you want that on the rocks?”
I did not know what the hell that meant. So I said yes.
“Give her extra tequila,” my pot smoking friend said. The waiter laughed. My friend laughed. The surgery resident from hell laughed.
That was about 7PM.
By 7:30PM, when I stood to walk out, the world was listing to the left.