"Hey Doc," Vorreli said, "I wanna ask you som- oh." He stopped suddenly when he saw Penknife with another doctor and a man in the hospital gown. Apparently, he was putting two, two and two together. His abrupt halt caused Knock to run into him and, consequently, jump on his back. "I can see you're busy, uh, we come back later."

Vorreli then turned around and began walking very quickly in the opposite direction. In response, Greensleeves grabbed Knock's shoulder, pulling both of them back into the room and, at the same time, pulling Knock off Vorreli.

"No, no..." he said, leading them to the patient. "If you work with Dr. Penknife, you'll want to take a look at this man too."

"If anyone else wants to look at you, you can start charging for it." Penknife whispered in the patient's ear.

"Doctor, you still haven't told me what's wrong with him!" Stephens shouted in frustration.

"Is somebody sick?" Vorreli asked.

"Don't be silly, who would be sick in a hospital?" Penknife replied. "Now come on, let's examine this man."

The four of them surrounded the patient and, in unison, put their hands to their chins and leaned forward. The sick man suddenly looked much, much sicker.

"Well, what do you think, nurse?" Penknife said.

"I tell ya," Vorreli replied, "I think we should run some tests first."

"True/False or multiple choice?"

"Better be the second one, I don't have a coin to flip."

"You're off to a great start, testing my patience."

"Well, the patient's what we're here to test, right?"

"You were dropped on your head a lot, weren't you? I'll bet some of it even happened when you were a child. You say you want to run some tests, eh? Okay, we'll start by testing his reflexes. Harrison, get me the rubber mallet."

At that, Knock whistled and shook his head. Then he held up a finger and produced a large wooden mallet from his jacket, which he proudly presented to Penknife.

"Well it's not rubber but it'll do." Penknife said, smiling and taking the mallet. "If nothing else, this'll give us an ailment we can identify- a broken leg." He drew the mallet back dramatically, held it at it's apex for a moment, then slammed it downward. He stopped inches from the patient's knee, but everybody winced all the same. He then gave the knee a little tap, and the patient's leg shot upwards.

"You see," Penknife said, turning to Stephens and Greensleeves, "the knee is by and large the most overlooked part of the body. That's because it's so often located much lower than the eyes."

As he said this, he continued tapping with the mallet. With each tap he made, the leg rose a little bit higher, until it was almost parallel with Penknife's head. "That's odd." He remarked, "does anyone else feel a breeze?"

He turned back to the patient, only to see that somewhere in the course of all this, Knock had jumped onto the table and moved his own knee in place of the patient's knee. He continued swinging it upwards after Penknife stopped tapping it.

"Get off that poor man there, he has enough diseases as it is." Penknife remarked.

The patient stood, sending Knock to the ground. "Do you really think I have something?" he asked.


"I dunno, I think we needa few more tests." Vorreli replied.

"All right, next we'll test your vision." Penknife pulled a sheet of paper out of his pocket and held it up in front of the patient. "Look at these blotches and tell me what you see."

The patient considered this a moment. "Well, it looks like an ostrich."

"Are you kidding?" Vorreli replied. "That? No, that's an elephant."

"Well I think it looks like an ostrich."

"You're both wrong," said Penknife. "It's my pen, and it's broken."

"What do you think, Knock?"

In lieu of a reply, Knock took a whistle from his pocket and blew it, very loudly, next to the patient's head.

"Aaugh!" the patient cried.

"Ah, good." Vorreli said.

"What's good?!"

"Your ears work. Asta good."

"Well, I've seen all I need to see." Penknife declared. "This man has a clear-cut case of Atisetisitisetisosis. Don't you agree nurse?"

"Nah." Vorreli said.

"What, you don't like it?"

"Nah. Too many etises."

"What, you think I should take one etis out and leave just the one?"

"One is too many, you can take both etises out."

"Well wait a minute, how about I take out one etis and you take out the other etis."

"Okay, but I got no place to take her."

Penknife grabbed his own hair and pulled backwards.

"Never mind." Vorreli said, shaking his head. "I don' like Edith anyway. Who else you got in there?"

"Who else?" Penknife counted off on his fingers. "Well, if we get rid of the etises, there's an atis, an itis and an osis."

"Well, I'll tell ya what we do, Doc. We tell itis that she can't hang around here no more... then when she goes to tell etis about it, we change the locks and pretend to be out."

"Well, it sounds reasonable so far."

"An' while that's happening we send osis out to the corner for groceries. Bread, milk an' asparagus."

"What, no eggs?"

"Nah, we got plenty eggs. So while she's out with the groceries, whadaya think we do? We change the locks again!"

"Well that's all right for her, but what about atis?"

"Don' worry 'bout her, she's a friend of Edith. See, she left when they left."


"So the itis's gone and the osis's gone, and now we got something!"

Dr. Penknife considered this "So there's no etises, no itises, no atises and no osises? There's no more disease left. He's cured!" He leapt up and shook hands with Vorreli. Knock, who had made his way onto the patient's lap again, shook hands with Vorreli while Penknife shook hands with Harrison, and so on.

"I'm... cured?" the patient muttered, sounding dazed. "Yes... I'm cured. I don't have to come back here any more..." With renewed energy, he shook the hand of Dr. Penknife, who was still engaged in several other handshake exchanges. "Thank you..." He walked happily to the door, seemingly unaware that he was still in a hospital gown. On the way out he shook Stephen's hand as well. "Thank you," he repeated, and left.

Mr. Stephens buried his head in his hands.