Under the Knife With a Robo-Nurse

Robot assistants are as good as humans for some surgery.
Thompson Reuters

Surgical team:  Robot and five humans


It was time, my dentist told me, for the wisdom teeth to come out.  The longer I waited, the worse it was going to get, he said, so I figuratively, if not literally, bit the bullet and made an appointment with an oral surgeon.

“This won’t hurt–me–a bit.”


When the fateful day arrived, I checked into the hospital, put on the green “johnny” that was designed to cover a supermodel’s derriere, and walked down the hall to a room where I’d be prepped and given general anesthesia.  As I lay on the litter, the door swung open and in rolled RN2, the latest in robotic nurses.

“hello patient how are you today?”

“Fine,” I said, a little disconcerted.  “Is there a real nurse . . .”

“what is weather like outside?”

“Uh, okay.  A little cold for April . . .”

“well you know what they say if you don’t like it stick around it will change ha ha.”

“Yes, I’ve heard that one before.”

“how about those redsoxpatriotscelticsbruins huh?”

I got the sense that my automated caretaker wasn’t really interested in what I thought.  I decided to give it a little test.

“You know how it is with the Sox–always the bridesmaids, never the bride.”

“you need to stop spending so much time with your maiden aunt the sox won it all in 04 07 and 2013 dingleberry.”

Okay, I guess artificial intelligence has come a long way.  “So you’re going to knock me out, right?  None of this Novocain nonsense?”

“that is right you did not have anything to eat this morning did you?”

“Did you take a look at the scrambled eggs in the cafeteria?”

“ha ha good you have a sense of humor.  Let me pull up your johnny and I will shave your groin.”

I felt the bottom fall out of my stomach, and much faster than my last unfortunate encounter with an automaton.  That time I only lost 75 cents in a soda machine.

“You’ll never see your stinking 75 cents again!”


“Uh, there must be some mistake.  I’m having my wisdom teeth out.”

“you are old must have had wisdom teeth out years ago i have you down for hysterectomy.”

Now I knew something was wrong.  “Are you sure you have the right patient chart?”

“your first name is connie right like connie francis it’s my party and i’ll cry if i want to?”

Connie Francis and Lesley Gore:  Differences in permanent waves are beyond the power of computer-based detection systems to measure.


“That was Lesley Gore, and anyway I’m a man.”

“that’s what you say but did you not wimp out on wrestling in high school gym class to practice free throws how about that?”

She had me there.  I decided to try the “soft” approach.

“Look, what say you and me blow this pop stand and go squirt some WD-40 Spray-On Lubricant in our joints?”

RN2 fluttered her gauges at me seductively.  “you are talking my language big boy i will see you as soon as i get off my shift where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know.  I could pick up a 3 ounce Handy Can at AutoZone, then we could go back to my place.”

“you men are all alike” she sputtered as she turned her back to me.

“What?  What did I say?”

“dinner and movie first!”


Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Sci-Fi Kind of Guy.”

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