Will Be Abducted for Health Care by Tina Darragh

Sci & Fi take turns getting one cup of coffee from the vending machine in the hospital basement.  As long as their drink appears to be hot, the hospital guards can’t tell the difference between them and the other folks in the ER waiting room.  With standard wait times of over 48 hours, the word on the street is: bring your sleeping bag.  Sci & Fi have taken it one step further and have lived at the hospital for over two months.  With the help of a kindly employee who leaves the residents’ shower room open after midnight, Sci & Fi are two of the best looking “patients” in the whole hospital.

Sci:     Let’s rehearse again what we’ll say if we’re ever pulled in to see a doctor.

Fi:       [pointing to his head] Doctor, as you can see, I’m losing my hair in clumps.

Sci:     [as the doctor]  I can see that.  Have you been in chemotherapy?

Fi:        No, this is from sleeping rough for months near a dump with depleted uranium

Sci:     [voice deepens with “professional concern”] There’s no proof depleted uranium is
            dangerous.  You have HPLBB - Homeless Person Lack-of-Bed Bugs.  I’ll give
            you a referral to a shelter.

Fi:        But doctor, I’m too sick to keep a bed at a shelter.  The random rashes I have
            make them fear I’ll make everyone else ill.  They’ll just refer me back here.

Sci:      [pretending to rummage through a drawer of pharmaceutical freebies]
            Don’t actually take these.  They are for “show & tell” for the shelter director.
            Go and itch no more.

Fi:        [saluting] Ah, ah, I will take them to my leader.

Sci & Fi do their best goosesteps and nose twitches before collapsing back into their chairs while exclaiming “That’s our exercise for the day!”  From around the corner comes a personal trainer-type clad in authentic Jetson garb.

Jet:      We could use you two to make a foursome for our space ship landing out by the
            registration desk.

Sci & Fi are first puzzled then concerned that this is a scam to steal their sleeping bags.

Jet:      Don’t worry - I’m one of you.  I was working at a gym, but when I started losing
            my hair and having random rashes they fired me for not being a “healthy role
            model”.  I was in the service in Iraq - exposed to depleted uranium there, I
            suppose.  Anyway, I had this Jetson suit left over from a Halloween party, and it’s
            the only thing that people didn’t buy at the jumble sale before I was evicted.  So I
            was wearing it when I came to the ER for treatment, and I was seen immediately. 
            Turns out there is a whole wing of the hospital for people who say they’ve been
            abducted by aliens.  Ever since parity for mental health benefits went
            through on the banker bailout, being abducted by aliens is big business.  They
            haven’t figured out the billing codes for it yet, so the hospitals get to charge the
            insurance companies whatever they want.  It’s like a 4-star hotel in there - we
            have jacuzzis in the rooms and everything.  Come to think of it, it must have been
            a 4-star hotel that went belly-up in the meltdown.  The medical tourism industry
            has taken a bit hit, too.

Sci & Fi are incredulous.

Sci:     You mean you pretend to have been abducted by aliens so that you can be

Jet:      You got it - sweet, isn’t it. No blood or urine tests, no proof needed.  But then we
            were discharged after the number of covered days for the diagnosis they gave us
            were up, so we have to change things around a bit to get back in.  That’s why we
            need you two.  We’re going to say that we converted you to alien life, and we’ll all
            get in on a general religious exemption.

Sci, Fi, and Jet high-five and fist bump in joy, so they don’t see Peepbody - a combination Mr. Peabody/Mr. Peepers - enter from the left.

PB:      Here I come to save the day!

Peepbody opens his shirt to reveal a screen and presses buttons on his chest.

Sci, Fi and Jet in chorus:  What Are You?!

PB:      I’m an alien.  I used to be a small-for-my-age boy, but my parents wanted me to
            fit in so they gave me growth hormones.  They didn’t know that one of the side
            effects is that I’d become a space creature.  Cool, huh?

Jet:      So you want to be admitted with us?

PB:      Oh, no.  I’m here as your patient advocate.  The insurance companies are
            becoming wise to your guys, so they are about to require one of those brain
            scans on admission that can tell if a person is lying.  I’ll be with you for the scan,
            and disrupt it with my screen.

Peepbody pushes some of the buttons on his chest, buzzing and flashing.

Jet:      Can you take us to your leader?

PB:      Oh, no, we’re anarchists.  But stick with me - we aliens are getting into the
            medical tourism business now that corporate health care stocks have tanked. 
            The next time you are discharged, we’ll go to India!

Sci, Fi, Jet and Peepbody leave the stage fist bumping and flashing together.