Every year I vacation at the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my lady friend, my brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids. As a beachside community, roughly 95% of the businesses have some variation of beach or a beach related word in their name:
“Captain George’s Seafood Buffet.”
“An Old Guy Tanned to a Crisp Sells You Overpriced Sunglasses and Flip Flops Because You Are a Dumb Tourist Who Didn’t Buy Them in Your Hometown for Normal Prices.”
I made that last part up, but you get the point. So if you’re driving around looking for a shop, store, or restaurant, the odds are good you’ll find one with beach, sand, wind or surf in the name. My brother and I even have a running joke there will be one businesss with all the beach buzz words in the name where no one knows what they actually sell. “Captain Billy’s Po Boy Beach Sandal Surf Shack Sandal Shop Water.”
I get it: they’re trying to convey how their business is congruent with the laid back beach lifestyle. But there’s one that always makes me do a double take whenever I see its sign:
“Surf Pediatrics and Medicine.” Below is their logo for proof.
Having “surf” in the name makes me nervous, because that’s the last place I want everyone to be relaxed. When it comes to medical stuff how about we take a break from this easygoing beach narrative and get down to business, shall we? No one wants to hear a melanoma is malignant preceeded by the words, “Bad news, bro.”
All I can picture is an entire doctor’s office full of Spicollis from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. You know what doesn’t inspire confidence in a doctor’s diagnosis? If it’s delivered by a person wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Doc, this infection is getting much worse, will I need antibiotics? “Nah dude, antibiotics are like super un-chill. Roll a splif and text me in the morning.”
Shouldn’t I at least take medicine? “Naaaahhhhh, I’ll just send you good vibes. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve gotta go catch this sick wave while wearing a stethoscope.”
If I had to go there I’d demand to see copies of the doctor’s diploma. In triplicate. Scratch that, quadruplicate. “Is this…did you get this online? You printed it out yourself, didn’t you? I’ve never seen a diploma that said, ‘Page 2 of 4’ at the bottom.”
The “Pediatrics” part is even worse. I can think of no greater fear for a parent than having to rest your child’s well being in the hands of a guy wearing a puka shell necklace.
The hospital name is more formal: the Hospital of the Outer Banks. Even so, what if a physician from Surf Medicine and Pediatrics has to go over there to see a patient? What if that facility is just as laid back? Imagine going into surgery and the last thing you see as you look to the floor before succumbing to the anesthesia is a gnarly foot hanging out of a flip flop.
“Doc…is having your feet out…sani…sanitary?” Then right before you pass out you hear: “Uhhh…what’s ‘sanitary?'”
So if you visit the Outer Banks, be extra cautious. You don’t want a broken bone getting infected because a discount version of Keanu Reeves doesn’t know how to set a compound fracture.