PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life as Lucy Ricardo, Part XII --- --- --- --- --- -- -- The Language Transplant

Between the two of us, Mike and I don’t have a single healthy knee. He has done all manner of damage to his, and I’ve had three cartilage surgeries. The first was from a car accident – knee meets dashboard; the next from a bicycle accident – knee meets asphalt; and the last from a tap dancing class a few years ago – knee meets energetic new step.

On the day of the second surgery, I was lying on a hospital bed in a curtained-off cubicle in the pre- and post-op room. There were a number of other, similar cubicles and several nurses going about their duties and talking to patients and each other. It was about time to take me into surgery when I noticed a large clock on the far wall. I knew approximately how long the surgery should take, so I made mental note of the current time. Simple. When I woke up post-op, I’d just have to observe the time to know if the surgery went as anticipated.

Some time later, I groggily opened my eyes. I had been returned to a different cubicle and my eyes wouldn’t focus enough to locate the wall clock. I sensed someone standing next to me, so I asked, “Que hora es?”

“Huh??” he replied.

“Que hora es?” I repeated. “What time is it?”

He told me the time, and I heard him walk out of my cubicle asking someone: “Did she speak Spanish before surgery?”

And why, you ask, were my first post-surgical words in Spanish? Who knows? Or should I say “Quien sabe?”

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