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Author Topic: PseudoPod 751: As Well as the Infirm  (Read 204 times)


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on: April 03, 2021, 02:20:26 AM
PseudoPod 751: As Well as the Infirm

Author: Scott Beggs
Narrator: Premee Mohamed
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

“As Well as the Infirm” was originally published in Dark Moon Digest, April 2020

Show Notes
From the author: “The title comes from a section in the Hippocratic Oath: ‘I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.'”


You get two shots at becoming a doctor after med school. If you match with a hospital straight off, bully for you, great job, give mom and dad a hug. If you don’t, you need to wait a year holding your breath while chopping off pig hooves for science even though you’re vegan. Then you pray you match the second time around. If you don’t, that’s it. You spent a quarter of a million dollars to disappoint your parents. 

That’s how I ended up taking a business card with only a phone number printed on it from a slick Wall Street-looking asshole with a bad cough while rounding my third shot of tequila. That’s also how I ended up covered in someone else’s blood in a knock-off Sesame Street bouncy castle, crushed by a murderer’s guilt and wondering if I’d survive to sunrise.

All I ever wanted was to help people.

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Álex Souza

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Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 06:34:28 PM
I really liked this one.

The MC not being able to become a doctor after the second time she didn’t “match with a hospital” resonated with me, and I think it will resonate with any young adult. It reminded me of the Law Bar exams in Germany, where you just have three chances: three strikes and you’re out, you just threw all those years of law school in the garbage. And you need to have good grades to enroll in law or med school. If you played too much videogame as a teenager, you pay the price when you’re an adult. Luckily, grades don’t count that much in my country. That would be the end of me (my grades are equivalent of a C in America). We also have a lack of doctors and med schools here so a graduate will always find a job that pays well (actually, they’re already working before graduation).

Even so, the thought is scary.

Just imagine having done something in your past that keeps you from achieving your dreams today. Imagine having to work part-time in Starbucks and McDonald’s, live off your parents until they die and you get evicted, become a hobo, get sick, die waiting in a public hospital queue, and be buried as an indigent in a mass grave full with college educated, yet unemployed people.


“The system is broken. The system breaks you.”

Like we discussed in a past thread, PseudoPod aims to go through all layers of horror (even scatology, don't matter how much I hate to admit it), and As Well as the Infirm makes you fear your own past and the actions that may condemn you forever. This hits hard.

Not much to say at this point, just that the meaning of the title should have been explained throughout the story (and not in a note), and that this really looks like a story I’ve written. Even the money counting part. (I can’t say anything else because I still want to sell it. Hopefully to PseudoPod. 8))

I thought the ending would be happy… until the last line. The haunting continues; the system is still operational. And it breaks us.

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.

Scuba Man

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Reply #2 on: April 16, 2021, 06:55:28 PM
When I couldn't finish listening to this episode (I found myself cringing too much), I switched to the transcript. Great story, eh.

I'm a stand-up philosopher until 2024. Then, I move onto my next gig. I'm a gentleman forester and farmer. I also enjoy jumping into Lake Huron and panicking the fish.


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Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 09:26:19 AM
As so often happens, the real villain is capitalism broadly, and specifically the American healthcare nightmare system.  Honestly, the only person I'm even mad at is the guy who got a real doctor job and still went to be an anesthesiologist for the black market too.