Here is a brief summary of each of the stories in the book:
The Medical Director’s Divorce: Like a fly trapped in a spider’s web, Dr. Vince Galardi spins a trap from which he cannot escape. When his wife, Renée, divorces him, the respected medical director of Bard Memorial Hospital sinks into a pit of despair. His behavior shocks his colleagues and leads inevitably to a conclusion worthy of a Greek tragedy.
Becky’s Bane: Baby Becky Kolb is destined to have a secret heartache when she becomes a woman. A horrible medical misfortune occurs in her infancy that is certain to mar her future love life. Her mother and father are distraught and don’t know what to tell her…or when. What would you do?
Number 25: When a hospital executive gets a scary phone call, he is shocked to learn the caller’s identity. Hospitals attract all sorts of flotsam and jetsam along with the pearls and stars. Mixed in with the medical magicians and do-gooders, are the disgruntled employees, sexually obsessive psychiatric outpatients, all kinds of broken hearts and bewildered psyches. What is the caller’s story?
Conflict of Values: When six-year-old Dennis Washington is seriously injured, the doctors say he needs blood to save his life. “Not so,” say his parents. They believe that God will save Dennis and that a blood transfusion will interfere with God’s will. While they argue, the boy is dying.
The Ice Cream Giant: Things are often not as they appear and neither are people. Think about it. You believe you know someone and, suddenly, you don’t recognize him or her. Even your wife or husband…even your kids or parents…it doesn’t matter. Plastic surgery may exaggerate this situation but, even without it, the more intimate the relationship, the bigger the surprise.
A Parable: The Arms Merchant: Can today’s friends become tomorrow’s enemies? Does it ever pay to trade weapons with potential enemies? Can a people become too comfortable and miss the signals that its preeminence is threatened? This “tongue-in-cheek” satire tells the tale of a prehistoric people who did just that. Does it have relevance for our leaders today?
He Says…She Says: A Spoof on the Eternal Battle of the Sexes. In a distant future where making babies no longer requires sexual intimacy, men and women are kept apart. The Church of the Originators has rewritten the Adam and Eve story to provide divine support for this social system. However, when Andrew Epsilon (8) finds himself attracted to a female insurgent, an heretical notion, things get interesting.
Bard Memorial Hospital: The narrative miniatures in this extensive collection portray individual episodes involving doctors, other caregivers, patients, and employees.