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Surgeon Insurgent: A Modern Skit

by lin night

This is a skit I wrote and performed with a group for English. It was supposed to tie into modernism and/or A Farewell to Arms. Names have been taken out. Note: the Star Wars reference is an inside joke.


Surgeon #1 -

Surgeon #2 -

Nurse -

Victim -

Analyst #1 -

Analyst #2 -

Mike -


Lights off. Mike and Victim are standing.

Mike: Hey baby. Come to Daddy.

Victim: No, I don’t want to. It’s not right.

Mike: Luke, I am your father.

Mike approaches Victim, starts harassing her.

Victim: Get your hands off me! They lock people like you up in prison, you know!

Victim attempts to get away, Mike grabs her arm. Victim slaps Mike and runs to another place.

Mike: You hurt me!

Victim: You deserve it. This isn’t right. I’m smarter now and I know this is wrong. Fathers don’t do this to their daughters. (narrows eyes) I’m going to tell the police.

Mike: You will do no such thing! You know what I want and you have it! Now get over here!

Mike slaps Victim. She falls.

Mike: Get on your knees and COME to DADDY!

Sounds of beating. Scene ends.



Victim is on table. Nurse is with her. Surgeons burst in.

Surgeon #2: Alert! Alert! There’s a contraction in the brain and the cells are popping!

Surgeon #1: Nurse, stabilize the patient’s reticular formation!

Nurse: But doctor, we need to adjust the dura mater and align the arachnoid!

Surgeon #1: NOW!

Nurse: Right away!

Nurse nudges Victim’s head.

Nurse: Done!

Surgeon #1 pushes Nurse. Nurse falls to the floor.

Surgeon #1: Get out of my way! It’s defibrillator time! (begins to laugh maniacally)

Surgeon #1 takes two irons from her backpack, boogies down with Surgeon #2 and Nurse for a moment, then proceeds to pump Victim’s chest.

Surgeon #2 and Nurse: Wait! No! Doctor, those are irons!

Victim: It burns! It burns! (goes unconscious)

Surgeon #1: All done! I bet you feel nice and comfy now, huh?

Surgeon #2: This is not good. The cerebrospinal fluid has coagulated and the ventricles are subsidizing. I don’t think her thalamus is going to hold.

Surgeon #1 (holds up a sharp utensil and licks lips): I propose an operation!

Surgeon #2 (picks up another instrument): I concur!

Nurse: Doctor, are you sure that’s a good idea?

Surgeon #1: Do me a favor, #######. Shut your FAT mouth and wait for me to tell you what to do! I’m in charge here and I know for a fact that it’s the best flippin’ idea ever! ######, prepare the Schwann cells! We’re going in!

Lights flicker on and off. The Cardigans’ “Love Fool” starts playing. Surgeons and Nurse are prancing around with dangerous tools and throwing brain parts in the air.

When this is done, the lights turn back to normal and we see the surgeons/Nurse fondling with the brain.

Surgeon #1: Hand me the medulla oblongata.

Surgeon #2: Hold on, the phalanges are stuck.

Surgeon #1: You imbecile!

They poke around a bit more.

Surgeon #1: Hmm…I don’t believe this. Where are the cat scans?

The analysts enter.

Analyst #1: Right here!

Analyst #1 clips Cat Scan #1 on the board. Surgeons go to look.

Surgeon #1 (to Surgeon #2): Where do you think you’re going? Get back to work!

Analyst #2: Let me just have a little look-see here.

Analyst #1: Hmm… how unusual. How utterly, completely, fantastically unusual.

Analyst #2 (points at random spot on picture): Colorful too. You see this here? This is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Nurse: If you ask me, I’d say she’s suffering from a case of modernism.

Everyone (including Victim): Brilliant deduction!

Analyst #1: You’re absolutely right. (pets Nurse’s hair) It boggles my mind, the genius of young nurses.

Nurse: Thanks, you’re too kind. To think I was just—

Analyst #2: Yes anyway, we have some business we should be attending to.

Surgeon #1: Like what?

Analyst #2: I don’t know.

Analyst #1: Excellent. Thank you. Now where were we?

Analyst #2: I’m not sure. Where were we? Where is anything in this everlasting daydream we call life?

Nurse: Heck if I know.

Surgeon #2 (clears throat): I believe we were talking about the effect the Platt Amendment had on the sovereignty of party nations.

Surgeon #1: Whoa, let’s not get into that. Controversial issue!

Analyst #2: What was the victim’s name?

Nurse (says with French accent): ### ########.

Analyst #1: ########, eh? I remember her. Had a history, didn’t she? A history of something… I can’t quite put my finger on it. It was disturbing, it was—

Analyst #2: Hey, Nurse, could you go fetch her last brain scan? It’s in that file over there.

In the background, the surgeons are playing catch with a part of the brain.

Nurse clips Cat Scan #2 on the board. The analysts appear most interested.

Analyst #1: Notice the change in appearance. It’s remarkable.

Analyst #2: I agree. What’s the date on this?

Analyst #1: I can’t make it out. But I remember it was a few months ago.

Analyst #2: She’s been here fairly recently then.

Victim begins to mumble and shake. Surgeons jump back.

Analyst #2: Hmm? What’s going on?

Surgeon #1: What the—this isn’t happening! We’re operating! Go back to sleep!

Nurse: Give her some laughing gas! That’ll shut her up real good.

Surgeon #2: Shut up! Shut up! She’s saying something!

Victim begins to speak.

Victim (faintly but disdainfully): Fools, all of you, fools. I don’t need a brain operation. You’ve got it all wrong. None of you can begin to understand the enlightenment I’ve gone through…I know better now. I know what life is. An endless tunnel… and what’s at the end of it?

Nurse, surgeons, analysts all shrug and look confused.

Victim: Nothing you idiots. Nothing.

Lights flicker with each beat of the “heartbeat monitor.” Victim dies.

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Points: 1040
Reviews: 92

Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:38 am
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lin night says...

Well, the beginning and end scenes in particular were designed to make people feel uncomfortable. The surgeon behavior was exaggerated, of course, to create a surreal and chaotic environment. There were obvious differences between their characters and the victim's. Because one of the concepts of modernism is the lack of pictureseque endings, I wanted to reverse the tone towards the end and deliver a shocking ending that affirmed the seriousness of the subject matter.

Ironically, the medical lingo was taken from the back of a biology book. Everything is complete BS.

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683 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 683

Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:47 pm
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Emma wrote a review...

Okay, its like a important matter and you tried to turn it to make it funny. The problem is that I think you took it to far and the ending fizzled. Though you really know your stuff! Good on you! For example:

Surgeon #2 : Alert! Alert! There’s a contraction in the brain and the cells are popping!

Surgeon #1 : Nurse, stabilize the patient’s reticular formation!

Nurse: But doctor, we need to adjust the dura mater and align the arachnoid!

What the hell were they talkin about?! :P

In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.
— Kathleen Norris