We all came rushing into the ER at Lost Land Memorial Hospital after receiving an urgent call from Dr. Stat Convalesky, local physician in the Land of Lost Board Members. It was the usual setting, gurneys, needles, eccentric staff, but that’s another column. Cash Now, local accountant, and I arrived together joining other friends already pacing the waiting room.
“Is Bella okay?” gasped Cash. We had all received a call from Dr. Convalesky telling us that Bella Pelorizado, well known local nonprofit advocate, had been brought to the ER.
Dr. Convalesky walked into the waiting room and we all rushed forward to get answers to our concerns. He began by saying, “She is in no danger” We relaxed. “She will have to stay overnight. But I think you can all come back for a quick chat.” We followed him into the spotless and shining ER examining room. There was Bella laying on her stomach on an examining table, a white sheet flecked with blood draped across her.
“This is an outrage,” roared Joshua Biggly Huge, “Is no one safe in this community? Where were the police, Homeland Security? What’s that Congressman’s name?”
“Please remain calm,” cautioned Dr. Convalesky. “My patient needs to lie still and not be excited.”
“How did this happen, Bella dear?” asked Al Truistini. He had a way of soothing our concerns and also working to calm Bella’s fears.
Bella turned her head to look at us. “I just went to speak as a community advocate at the annual public budget hearings.” Her active head of curls spelled, “Pain.”
“We saw you on TV,” I said. “You did a great job. You talked about need, spoke in support with statistical evidence and testimony from other community members and service providers.”
“And,” marveled Cash, “you did it all with respect and decorum, never losing your temper or calling people names.” We all nodded. Some of us had seen the dark side of Bella’s temper.
“Your arguments were lucid,” said Joshua, “encouraging local leaders to balance funding solutions and build partnerships to develop new ways of solving problems.”
“Thanks,” spelled her hair.
“I was impressed with the way you challenged local leaders to face issues, not put them off to an unknown future. I particularly like your metaphor,” Al thought a moment, “oh, yes, a decaying tooth doesn’t heal itself, only encourages more to rot with it.” We were all glad we had brushed and flossed that morning.
“So what happened. Did they shoot the messenger?” laughed Cash.
“No, I got a little carried away.”
“You mean you were escorted from the meeting? I didn’t see that on TV.”
“No, I was so eager to make my points about issues I thought needed attention, especially since I would be speaking in the new meeting room,” she spoke softly, “I planned to have a little demonstration, sort of a stationary parade float.”
“In the new government meeting room? But I didn’t see that on TV.”
“I thought, with that high ceiling and those beautiful windows, I could create something that would speak to community need such as elder issues, concerns for children, the responsibility of leaders to find solutions within the community, collaborations, synchronizing assets.”
“Synchronizing assets? But I didn’t see that on TV.”
“You would know what I’m talking about, if the float had worked.”
“But we all saw you on the broadcast of the meeting. After you spoke, the meeting ended.”
“No, not quite,” she put her head down and spoke into her pillow, “It blew up.” Her hair responded, “Kaboom!”
“Everything.” Her voice was still muffled, and we strained to hear. “I hadn’t considered the amps and the length of my extension cord and the challenge of water and electricity together, and a few other technical things.”
“You blew up the new meeting room?”
“Not exactly.” She moved uncomfortably on the hospital table. “The display blew up, shorted out the building, and showered me with shards of glass as I ducked under a podium.”
“Was anyone else hurt?”
“No, just the part of me that couldn’t fit under the podium.” She laid her head back on the pillow.
Dr. Convalesky said, “She’ll be fine in a month or two just as long as she sleeps on her stomach and doesn’t sit on anything too hard.” He signaled that it was time to leave.
As we tiptoed out of the room, we turned back for one last look as her hair spelled…. Well, we weren’t sure what it was spelling. Dr. C looked at the confused hair and said to us, “Lets go, the sedative must be working.”
June 2008 Bella’s Big Blowout