Brat-Boy’s Reign of Terror

// During my last stay in the hospital a spoiled rich kid was admitted. Brat-Boy’s disability was miniscule in comparison to some of the rest of us but he thought he was the only one on the planet with a hard life.

He lived with his Mom and Grandma who had babied him. Until his arrival we had a pretty mellow Ward. We were now constantly in some kind of trouble. Desserts taken away for a week, early bed times, staff mad at patients, and patients mad at staff. This kid was constantly angry at someone. Usually his anger was about his erroneous interpretation of things said or done by others. “They are picking on me” would be his interpretation of a discussion where he didn’t want to play some game by the “house rules”. He would act out inappropriately, eventually another boy or group of boys would have a belly full and also do or say something inappropriate. Brat boy would tattle and get off Scott free … others would be punished. Others would apologize, only to receive yet another tirade from Brat-Boy. There was constant turmoil. Peace and harmony did not prevail.

At 15 years and the oldest patient I had the title “King of the Ward” and it was my responsibility to restore peace and harmony. I tried a little whispering of wise counsel in his ear so to speak. He was having none of it, becoming angry, verbally abusive, and tattling his warped version of what took place. While no punishment resulted, I did receive a sound scolding and a couple days worth of angry looks from one of the nurses. Decades later a wise man pointed out to me the folly of trying to reason with an unreasonable person. I have made that mistake very few times since.

One of his violations of ward etiquette was refusing to grab a bottle from the next room for a “down” patient who had to pee. During the day the bottles were removed from the night stands and another patient would grab a bottle for you if you needed it … or at least go get a nurse for you. Staff and patients alike were not happy with him about this. After his surgery when he was bed ridden he was gonna be in a world of hurt should he need a bottle.

His surgery was scheduled but on the Monday morning he was to become a “down” patient, he woke up with major allergy issues. He was wheezing and his face was all red and puffed up like a toad. The surgery was postponed till they could determine the cause. They ran tests but found nothing. By evening he was fine and the surgery was rescheduled. Surgeries took place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. For three days he would wake up looking like a toad, tests were run finding nothing and the symptoms would be gone by late afternoon or early evening.

On Thursday they sent him home. Peace and Harmony was instantly restored.

So a few of us were discussing our good fortune and joking about it being an answer to prayer, yet at the same time disappointing because we had plans for payback. One of my hospital brothers had this look like a poor poker player who is holding a good hand. I got him alone and here is what I found out. We all knew Brat-Boy had some allergy issues … but this hospital brother had somehow gotten a look at his chart and found out he was very allergic to baby powder. So Brat-Boys pillow was getting swapped out every night just before bedtime and while he was making his first bathroom visit every morning. The pillow was of course powdered liberally.

Removal of this one hospital brother turned a dysfunctional nightmare into a place where you could actually find enjoyment if you chose. There were no doubt better solutions but our options were limited.


7 Responses to “Brat-Boy’s Reign of Terror”

  1. the epistles of harry Says:

    This is one of those situations that begs the question “Is the means justified by the end”.

  2. Marie Says:

    Pretty resourceful … Lol

  3. thelonglake Says:

    …don’t try to reason with an unreasonable person – great advice, TY.

  4. J. Clements Says:

    One wonders whatever becomes of those kind of “brat-boys”? They end up working in a talc power factory? 😉

  5. Susan Gregory Says:

    I find it fascinating to hear about the ‘real life’ for you at the hospital, and the antics ‘behind the scenes’. You educate those of us who have not had experiences like that while also entertaining. Thanks for sharing that gift!!

  6. lucindasagemidgorden Says:

    Harry, I read your story. I liked it very much. I have some comments. Put the paragraph where you get the advice about dealing with unreasonable people at the end of your piece. I think it will make for a stronger ending. This is something I’m learning from one of the writer’s groups I belong to, don’t use adverbs unless it’s necessary for some reason. Ross says it shows an amateur writer. If you use a strong enough verb, you don’t need the adverb. I’m reading a book right now, that is filled with unnecessary adverbs. It has a great story, but I’m finding the overuse of adverbs annoying. Looking back at my novel, I see them all over the place.

    Keep writing. This story has a great theme and I loved the baby powder solution to dealing with the boy. Did he ever get to have his surgery? If not was he coming back? Those are just questions I had as I was reading your story.

    Blessings, Lucinda Lucinda Sage-Midgorden P.O. Box 3792 Sierra Vista, AZ 85636 520-266-4101

  7. Kathy Says:

    Harry, I absolutely loved this story and it gave me great joy to know that at least in this one instance, someone really did get theirs! Thank you for continuing your writing and for bringing so much joy into this disabled persons rather dull existence. You rock! Kathy Sisson(Boyd), Steilacoom, WA

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