At the monthly staff meeting, the hospital director brought up the head nurse's accusation that Dr. Smith had addressed her in a rude and vulgar manner. "We must censure this sort of behaviour," the chief pointed out. "Have you anything to say in your defense?"

"Let me explain the extenuating circumstances," requested Dr. Smith. "First of all, my alarm didn't go off. So when I saw how late I was I jumped out of bed, caught my foot in the sheets and fell over, smacking my head into the bedside table and breaking the lamp. As I was shaving the doorbell rang, and I cut myself.

It was a young fellow selling encyclopedias, and I had to buy A through G before I could get rid of him. I'd forgotten my bagel in the toaster oven, so it was burnt and my coffee was cold. On my way to the car I slipped, bruising my knee and tearing my coat, and then the battery turned out to be dead. It took forty-five minutes for the serviceman to come over and get the car started, which cost me eighty-five dollars. I should have taken a cab anyway, because in the hospital parking lot the snowplow ran into the car, totaling the front end."

Dr. Smith took a deep breath and continued." And when I finally got to my office and sat down at my desk to collect myself, Nurse McMahon burst in and said, 'Doctor, that shipment of six dozen thermometers just arrived -- where do you want me to put them?"

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