My Finest Prank

By Max Lorber

Someone suggested I donate my body to science when I die. I didn’t like the idea of waiting:  It could have been weeks or months or even years before I got my chance.

I walked into the Clinic. Thin smell of bleach and urine and cotton balls wafting through the halls. I took a number from the receptionist, she stamped my forehead and placed a sticker on my shirt (Hello, my name is___). I sat there reading a National Geographic from 1984 for the better part of an hour before the famous Dr. Benway (the Lunch is, in fact, quite Naked) made an entrance, his signature ivory cigarette holder gripped in his teeth and a stained lab coat fitting leisurely around his shoulders.

A group of seven or eight medical students followed him closely, their three-day amphetamine binge on the wane, eyes dulled and muted. Not Dr. Benway, of course— his legs were still kicking vigorously. He was certainly ready to operate.

“Get your pens out, you overeducated little bastards,” Dr. Benway hissed as he strapped me down. He replaced the filterless Pall-Mall in his cigarette holder with a fresh one and lit it up.

“Even though this young man seems to have volunteered himself to be some sort of martyr for our craft, this does not mean we will be gentle. I make no exceptions for my work.” He made a vague gesture over me. “Here is the body, of course, the liver is somewhere around here. Marcus! Stop picking your nose and mark this down on your chart. You forgot your chart? Ugh. Your mother must be so proud of you. Goggles, everyone! This young man smells as if he has been drinking and blood always runs thin with whiskey. We will most likely get a splash or two when the blade touches down.”

He turns to me and exhales a large plume of smoke. “Give this one a 3/4 grain of morphine. I imagine he has a tolerance.”

I closed my eyes and smiled as the sound of an electric saw filled the room.

When Benway and his band of students opened me up they found my internal platforms to be completely blackened and filthy like a subway tunnel. After all that time and effort putting the paperwork through and strapping me down and cutting me up, they found nothing useful. I laughed hysterically as they moved from organ to organ.

I could hear one student vomiting. Most likely Marcus. I laughed and laughed—  it was my finest prank. The last thing I remember was Benway dropping cigarette ash into my open wounds and cursing his horribly unsuccessful lesson.

I must say, despite his fat fingers and volatile temper, Benway is one hell of a doctor. I rose later that night like Frankenstein from the abyss. Benway was there, of course, puffing a Pall-Mall and drinking scotch. There were stitches running up and down and a strong electrical current pulsated through me.

Now it was Benway’s turn to laugh.


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