By Lauren Elliott, RN

‘Hey girl,” she sang. “How are you doing?”

It was my good friend Tracy on the phone.

“Oh my God,” I exclaimed.  “I have been looking out of the window for the past couple of hours at a bomb.”

“What? A bomb?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said, breathlessly.

“I went outside with Sydney and happened to look over by the driveway, and I saw a bag, wedged up against the back tire.”

“Really? So, what was in it?” she asked.

“It’s a bomb! I’m not going over to that thing. I have an eight-foot-high fence, so whatever it is, somebody made a great effort to get in here!”

“You sound worried,” she said.

Lauren Elliott

Lauren Elliott

“Well, I am. You think some drug seeker followed me home from work because he didn’t get his Percocet? I saw a guy at the bus stop down the hill that looked just like a patient who came in complaining of the same toothache he has had for about six months. When the doctor walked in the room with a hypodermic needle in his hand the guy’s eyes got big as saucers and asked what that was for.”

“You said your tooth is killing you so I am gonna take care of it,” the doctor said. “I’m gonna numb your jaw. “‘(Expletive deleted) that!’” the patient yelled.

“He was last seen running through the doors in the lobby,” I said.

“OK, let me get this straight,” Tracy said, very calmly. “You are saying a drug seeker followed you home and planted a bomb in your driveway.”

“I don’t know. Maybe,” I said. “Don’t you think a friend would have knocked on the door or left a note or card?”

“Well,” she said. “How are you going to know if there is a note if you won’t look in the bag?”

She had a point.

“Hold on then,” I said. “If it explodes, you can call 911 for me.”

I tiptoed over to the car. It could not be a drone drop. I didn’t have Amazon Prime. I leaned over the trunk of the car and peered down into the bag.

“So,” Tracy said when I came back on the line. “Did you find out what was in it?”

“Yeah,” I answered.

The card read, “Happy Birthday! You are a bit late to the party but enjoy!”

My friend had given me a gift because I mentioned one day that I had never had a martini. The ‘Bomb’ was a martini kit, complete with vermouth, vodka, olives and two beautiful, etched martini glasses.

“You need to stop watching CNN and get out more,” she said. “You did the same thing when I left the case of dog food. What am I going to do with you?”

This came to mind after a story broke a couple of weeks ago from a community that had been plunged into abject terror because of dolls. What was going on? the people asked. Who would do such a thing? Someone had placed Victorian dolls on the doorsteps of a number of people.

“Can you imagine your daughter getting that?” one recipient’s mother told the press. She said the doll had the same hair color as her daughter.

It had to be a pedophile! No normal person would give Victorian dolls to children. The whole thing was just too ‘creepy.’

The others in the neighborhood who found the same thing on their doorstep were convinced a monster was roaming the neighborhood.

It turned out that the dolls had been distributed around the neighborhood by a neighbor who matched the dolls with the child she thought most resembled it. She attended church with the same people and thought it was a nice surprise.

The neighborhood felt otherwise. I could not find it in my heart to be too hard on them. What have we become?

For heaven’s sake, perhaps everyone should stop watching so much CNN.

Lauren Elliott spends her time in emergency departments all over the country. When she is not wearing scrubs she can be found digging in her garden, blogging, fiddling, cooking, talking to her orchids and brushing up on language skills. The writer, musician, registered nurse and family nurse practitioner lives in The Northern Neck with her feline and canine rescues. She is the author of “The Tales of Anna East” and a travel nurse for The Right Solutions. She can be reached via email at Laurenssoapbox@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at @LaurenSoapBox.

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