Go Pro

October 29, 2015

This morning, I got a call from Washington University Medical School. Would I, for compensation, agree to have my neck surgery filmed live? Heck, I’d kiss Carly Fiorina for compensation—but not live, and no tongues.

Live from Barnes Hospital . . . it’s Eugene Baldwin in a backless gown! There will be a three camera setup: from the top, to the side, and one Go Pro camera mounted on a special cup over my boys, to see the operation from the front view, the “boys’ view.”

Jennifer Lawrence will be in St. Louis at that time, to study how to be a surgical nurse for an upcoming film. So! Yes! J-Law in scrubs three sizes too small, will be observing my operation! I suggested that she mount and hand operate the Go Pro camera, and the head of surgery said she would send Jen that request.

So what’s to worry? The camera crew will film two alternative endings: “Success,” and “Oops.” In the latter, I’ll play a man who died on the table, with J-Law holding my cup. I suggested a third ending, where I climb out of my body and hover over the room and make spooky noises, but the staff nixed that—too negative.

This will be my second film, as I was in a movie made by old school mate Curt Madison, shot in Alaska. I played a radio announcer doing the weather. I wasn’t onscreen, but hey: show business!

Thrill to my neck being slit open from the front, my vocal chords moved, and my esophagus shoved out of the way. Munch your popcorn as Paul Santiago (who looks like Seth Rogen) cuts and snips bone spurs RIGHT OVER MY SPINAL CHORD! Laugh out loud when Paul removes my middle, crushed disk and replaces it with cadaver bones! Ooh and ah, as Paul puts a titanium plate over three disks and screws them tight! I haven’t been screwed in quite a while! And shiver your timbers, as J-Law, as I’m losing blood, rips off her scrubs to stem the flow!

Rated PG 13: blood, no guts, dead people, bosomy J-Law bending low over my prone body, nurses laughing at me, and mild violence!

I have to join SAG, AFTRA and AQUAVITA, in order to appear. Brought to you by Coke, the Koch Brothers, (Big Ass) Coal, “Cops,” Betty Crocker, the new movie “Crackpots,” and Kraft Mac and Cheese!

Scared? I’m not scared just because my neck is connected to my brain and skull and nerves and my boys. As Brian sang from the cross, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

Ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille—I mean, Dr. Santiago. Remember, my left side is my good side. Could you lop off that turkey neck while you’re at it? Oh, and . . .

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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