PPTH: The place seems to be chocka block full of doctors who got their degrees from the 'Back of the Cereal Box' Medical School; Oncologists who never seem to actually have any patients; doctors who can either kill the patient if they are on their pain medication or kill the patient if they are off their pain medication; doctors who sleep in their offices and doctors who do the horizontal tango in the sleep lab. That's not even to mention the shootings, the way they chew through six million dollar MRI machines like candy and the fact the place grows wings faster than fast wing growing things.
No wonder Cuddy always looks stressed. How does she keep the place running? I have a suspicion she is taking out her frustration using retail therapy. Her wardrobe is extensive.
"As you can see – in addition to having state of the art technology – our MRI was only once again upgraded, Princeton Plainsborough Teaching Hospital is also being constantly renovated. We pride ourselves on both functionality and aesthetics," said Cuddy as she lead the Huntington-Smythes through the hospital.
She turned the corner and her heart sank as she saw just what she had really hoped to avoid.
House: standing in the middle of the corridor blocking the way like a big scruffy landmine. Fortunately the gods were smiling on her and he was totally absorbed in playing with his big red ball: bopping away to his Ipod while he bounced it again and again off the corridor wall, and hadn't seen them.
But the potential donors had seen him and were staring at the sight of a six foot two man playing ball in a hospital corridor.
"Psych patient," she said hurriedly as she steered them away from House.
"You let them roam around?" Mrs Huntington-Smythe looked around in alarm.
"It's okay. As long as we keep him properly medicated he's relatively harmless. He's been with us a long time." She shot a glance in House's direction to make sure he was still occupied. "And it looks like he isn't leaving any time soon," she added darkly. "He thinks he's a doctor, so we let him indulge his fantasy and it keeps him happy."
"Let's look at the sleep lab." Cuddy opened the door. "Or let's not," she said shutting it abruptly as she took in the sight before her.
"What's the matter," asked Mr Huntington-Smythe?
"I forgot. We have mice."
"You have a rodent problem in a hospital?"
"Laboratory mice. They got out and now they are just reproducing like bunnies." Mrs Huntington-Smythe's eyes shot up. "That explains the groaning you can hear. They were used in a fertility experiment," she improvised desperately.
"But it is okay. We have them confined to the sleep lab and I'll be dealing with them soon," she said loudly, pleased to hear the mice were indeed now squeaking. She ushered the Huntington-Smythes out.
"What's down this corridor?"
Cuddy looked carefully. That hadn't been there before. "I have absolutely no idea," she said. She took a deep breath. "Let's find out shall we?" She took a step and bumped into Foreman coming round the corridor. "Oh look, Doctor Foreman is down this corridor. And what are you doing today Doctor Foreman. Are you doing tests?"
"No. I'm going to break into a patients home because according to House I'm the most expendable on this case because it's not neurological," he said bitterly. "Have you seen Cameron? House said if I didn't come back by tomorrow he'd send Wilson to bail me out, but that he takes ages and I want her there with me for back up."
"Try the sleep lab," she said darkly.
Foreman gave her a look. "Not again?"
"Tell Wilson he's on bail duty today, " he said resignedly and Foreman continued on his way.
"Are you sure that man's a doctor," asked Mrs Huntington-Smythe?
"Do your doctors get locked up very often," said Mr Huntington Smythe?
"Yes: I mean no. Well there's just this one doctor…" This was not going well. "He's only been locked up twice, and not for very long." She laughed as if it was a joke. "It was all just a big misunderstanding." Quick Cuddy, change the subject now, she thought.
"Why don't we visit the clinic and you can see where all the real day to day work goes on. We are very proud of our clinic. Our doctors love working there and we never get complaints." She was so going to hell for all these lies.
House was sitting on the exam bed in room one, sucking a lollipop and making some sort of structure out of urine testing bottle and tongue depressors.
"What are you doing," she admonished?
He pulled his lollipop out of his mouth and waved it about as he spoke. "It was just a tumour pressing on the angio-anteric opteriteosious nerve so now I am working with structure and layers to create an aesthetically pleasing form," he said. "I learnt that in therapy," he added to Mrs Huntington-Smythe with a goofy smile.
"He's very verbal isn't he," said Mrs Huntington-Smythe.
This caused House to frown and Cuddy to attempt to smother a laugh. "Gak," said House as he stuck out his bright red lollipop coloured tongue.
"Behave, or I'll put you in a padded helmet," she said menacingly.
"Gar," replied House reproachfully, putting both the tongue and the lollipop back where they belonged. But he followed them as they headed out into the main clinic area.
"Go away," she whispered.
"You said help with the donors and I'm helping," he whispered back. "I presume you told them I was insane?"
"Naturally," she replied.
Then he drew ahead and loped along happily beside the Huntington-Smythes like a puppy. Oh God, she thought. She should have left him to rot in jail. She hurried after them.
Holding House down with one hand she waved to the clinic desk. "This is," she began. But that was as far as she got.
"Don't start with me," warned Brenda ominously. "I have vomit in exam room two and four. Two under five ear infections and Dr Limpy here has made off with all the testing bottles."
"Head Clinic Nurse Brenda," continued Cuddy smoothly. "Who looks like she is a bit busy so why don't we…" she looked around desperately.
"Look," she said desperately as here eyes settled on a door. "Here is one of our lovely storage rooms." She pulled open the door. "PPTH has the finest storage space facilities in New Jersey."
"Why is there a man sitting in the dark in your storage room?" Mr Huntington-Smythe pointed.
She looked in and stared in horror at Tritter looking up at her smiling. "Oh him. He's just what we call our 'cop in the cupboard'. He's… handy to have around. Like when one of our doctors needs to be locked up," she said pointedly to House.
"Gak," said House, but he stopped sniffing Mrs Huntington-Smythe's arm.
"I told you to stop hanging around in our cupboards," she hissed at Tritter. "Go to Florida for your holidays like everyone else." She shut the door on him and turned to find out what House was up to now.
A great cry of 'Wilsie' rang out through the clinic. Great, he'd spotted Wilson.
Wilson looked like a rabbit in a spotlight as he caught sight of House hurling himself full tilt towards him like an over excited Hunch Back of Notre Dame
He thumped into him, nearly sending Wilson sprawling, grabbed Wilson's tie and began dragging him over to the Huntington-Smythes.
"Wilsie," he said happily. Showing off what he had brought back by giving Wilson a big kiss on the cheek. "Ruff."
"And this is our head of oncology, Doctor James Wilson," she said slowly. Trying to ignore the fact Wilson was desperately trying to loosen his tie before he asphyxiated. House was thoughtfully not helping by thumping him on the back and muttering 'grobble' every so often.
Eventually Wilson stopped coughing and returned to his normal colouring. He held out his hand. "Nice to meet you," he said: only grimacing slightly when House hugged him from behind, his hands straying dangerously downwards. "We couldn't keep this hospital running as smoothly as we do without the generous help of benefactors like yourselves," he said as he firmly grabbed House's hands to stop them going any further south.
House peered over Wilson's shoulder and nodded. "Cat nip," he agreed earnestly.
At that moment there came a cry from the foyer. "Oh my God, what happened," cried Mrs Huntington-Smythe. "Isn't anyone going to do anything?"
House looked up at the ceiling and yipped 'grape'.
Brenda just sighed tiredly and hit the PA system. "ER team to the foyer. Grape related incident." Then she turned to a white board behind her and added another little stick figure to the many already there.
"Freak accident," said Cuddy looking daggers at the bits of House she could see as he tried to hide behind Wilson.
"Wa'mwuffle," came the reply.
"You!" Came a strangled cry. House's head popped up suddenly. "Gotta go." He smiled at the two potential donors. "Gotta lecture to give." He bolted just as Ron the janitor came barreling through the clinic doors, brandishing his mop like a pitchfork.
"Come back here you big limping menace," yelled Ron as he ran past.
"Twenty bucks you'll be pulling that mop out later," said Brenda to Wilson.
"You underestimate his cunning and knowledge of the hospital. I know him better then you. You're on," replied Wilson.
"Yeah, but I'm not the one with a lollipop stuck to my back," she muttered.
"What do you think dear," said Mrs Huntington-Smythe as they passed through the foyer sometime later?
Mr Huntington-Smythe waited politely for the posse of heavily armed terrorists brandishing AK 47s to pass. "I don't know dear. There seems something a little odd about this hospital – whoops, mind that grape."
They got out into the sunshine. "Maybe we should give them money for a bigger psychiatric wing Binky," said Mrs Huntington-Smythe.
"Look. There's that chap again. Why don't we ask him?"
"Oh hello again dear," she said as the couple approached a near by tree. "Did you get out?"
House smiled at the couple. "You are a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day." He waggled his arms as best he could. He was tied to a tree by an electrical cord. A mop had been threaded through the back of his jacket so his arms stuck out either side like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Someone had thoughtfully placed a 'Caution: slippery when wet' sign in front of him.
Mrs Huntington-Smythe patted him on the shoulder. "Why thank you dear."
"Do you find anything odd about this hospital," said Mr Huntington-Smythe?
He thought for a moment. "Nope, not a thing. In fact – I hear it has the best diagnostic department in America. It's headed by a world renowned doctor called Doctor Greg House. Brilliant man they say."
"Yes. I've heard of him. He cured my cousin a few years back. Saved his life apparently. It was a pity we didn't get to meet him."
"I'm sure your donation will be all the thanks he needs. And who knows – that money could go a long way to saving another life – your life, or maybe mine when Cuddy finds me."
"You are right. I'm going to make out a check right now."
"Just pop it in my top pocket."