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The nurse’s guide to surviving the Fourth of July

Shutterstock | Transient Eternal
Shutterstock | Transient Eternal

Ah, the halcyon days of summer. The weather’s hot, the corn is high, and morons and idiots abound. Mix in some high explosives in brightly-colored packages and a music festival or two, and what do you have? A sure-fire (ha) way to ruin any nurse’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Here’s how NOT to let that happen:

1. If your friends or family are a little on the bozo side of the scale, make plans to keep all explosives and flammable devices away from them. Or just stay away from their gathering entirely. You know you’d be called upon in case of emergency; why tempt fate?

2. Anywhere you go, pretend you’re something else. Somebody passes out in front of you at the annual arts festival? You’re an accountant. A score of people get flattened by a herd of enraged hogs at the state fair? So sorry, but you paint watercolors for a living. A stranger gets a bad hit of something at a concert? You’d love to help, but you’re still weak from six months on the International Space Station. Use your imagination.

3. Surround yourself with people who exercise good judgement in matters concerning food and drink. That way, you’ll never be subject to the joys of bad potato salad or vulcanized hamburgers. I’m lucky enough to have friends who serve prime rib for picnics: guess where I’ll be on the Fourth?

4. Emergency rooms: for the love of all that’s holy, stay out of them on the Fourth. Unless you’re actually suffering a heart attack or have just accidentally sawed your leg off with a steak knife, EDs are not the places to be on our nation’s birthday.

5. If all else fails, there’s a long and honored tradition of staying home all day and pulling the covers over your head as soon as dusk falls. Bonus: you get all the ice cream bars to yourself!

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Agatha Lellis

Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at askauntieaggie@gmail.com.
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