Monday, 22 December 2014

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Hostile Hospital, Chapter 11

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm having to write this on my Kindle as opposed to my laptop because I was an idiot and forgot to bring it home with me at the weekend. If there's anything a little bit weird or screwy with the formatting of this post, that'll be why.

What Happens?

Olaf's associates announce that Dr Tocuna and Nurse Flo will perform the operation on Violet, so Klaus and Sunny try to stall for time in order to give Violet time to wake up. They delay things for a little while by pointing out that all the paperwork needs to be checked. Unfortunately Esme shows up with the pale-faced ladies who are also pretending to be Dr Tocuna and Nurse Flo, revealling to everyone assembled that they are the Baudelaires everyone is looking for. And just when things can't get any worse, Hal shows up with some bad news about the Library of Records.

Thoughts as I read:

There's a long picture on this page that stretches from the top to the bottom, showing Violet lying on the gurney at the centre of the operating theatre with lots of people sitting in the seats above her waiting for proceedings to start. I think I can see Olaf and Esme and there are a whole bunch of Volunteers, complete with balloons, up there as well. Because after you've had your head chopped off, a smiley face balloon will definitely help you feel better!

We're told that operating theatres are not as popular as other types of theatres. I suppose it depends on the sort of person you are and what you're into I guess. Operating theatres are clearly bad places as people can be made to hurt there, it could be argued that there's usually a good reason for someone being there and hopefully the operation will help them to not hurt. Unfortunately Heimlich Hospital's operating theatre is not one of these nice fluffy operating theatres. If you're in there, well, good luck.

As Dr Flacutono is pioneering this fantastic new operation there are lots of doctors sitting around waiting to watch history being made, there's also a host of Volunteers and nurses as well. Bizarrely, everyone applauds when Violet is wheeled into the room, it's a little more like a movie theatre rather than an operating theatre.

The two associates have taken on the roles of Dr Flacutono (who will be cutting off Violet's head) and Dr O. Lucafont (who will be hosting the event). They get everyone warmed up and then introduce Klaus and Sunny as Dr Tocuna and Nurse Flo. Look, more anagram fun! The hook-handed man actually refers to them all as performers, but no one notices this and they're allowed to continue, rather than being arrested for attempted murder. I don't think much of the medical schools in this world!

They even go as far as to tell the assembled crowd that there is a fair amount of risk involved in the procedure and that the patient might die, but it's a chance they're willing to take. Then comes the revelation that Klaus and Sunny are expected to perform the operation. I wonder if this means that they're actually on to them, what better way to make them suffer than by making them take responsibility for killing their big sister.

When Klaus asks Sunny what they should do Sunny, ever the quick thinker, says 'Stall' which is translated as 'We'll try to postpone the operation as long as we can, Klaus.' So Klaus starts wracking his brains trying to think of something he's read in the past that might be useful in this situation, at this point Snicket points out that we don't always read the information we need at the time we actually need it:

You might read a book on how to have a successful marriage, when the only woman you will ever love has married someone else and then perished one terrible afternoon.

Snicket really can't let go, can he?

Klaus decides that the best way to delay the decapitation of his sister is to give a little lecture of his own. He's going to tell everyone about their surgical tools. Sunny's response is 'Knife?' For a moment Olaf's associates are annoyed, telling them to get on with it, but Klaus explains that this is essential to fool everyone into thinking it's a real operation and is allowed to continue reciting what he read in A Complete History of Surgical Tools. He goes right back to what the ancients used knives for as well as how they were made, with Sunny joining in with 'Teeth' to help with his explanation.

While Klaus and Sunny are explaining, Violet starts to stir a little bit. They need to keep everyone distracted for long enough for the anaesthetic to wear off, though what will happen then I don't know. The bald guy is starting to get twitchy now, but Klaus has moved on to talk about What Happens to Wet Metal as he explains all about rust. As everyone applauds this latest bit of information Sunny says 'Clap!' but they're starting to lose the crowd and Olaf's associates are getting suspicious, in part due to the fact that Sunny has been nibbling Violet's neck in an attempt to wake up her sister.

After looking at Violet for a moment and wondering how he can cut her without hurting her, Klaus says that he can't do the operation yet. Sunny helps him out and says 'Paperwork!' After all, they can't complete the operation until all the paperwork has been completed. A doctor in the audience immediately calls for Hal as he's the one who has to verify all the hospital paperwork. Olaf's associates at getting quite annoyed now as none of this was part of the plan, although the rest of the room are willing to go along with anything that Klaus and Sunny say.

Of course mentioning paperwork hasn't helped the sticky situation get any less sticky, especially as at this moment Esme Squalor shows up with the real fake Dr Tocuna and Nurse Flo. Things start to get a little confusing in the operating theatre now. Klaus claims that Esme has clearly lost her mind, then Esme mentions that the people pretending to be a doctor and nurse are actually the Baudelaires, which piques the interest of The Daily Punctilio reporter.

In order to help clarify things, Esme explains that all of her associates are proper medical personnel as they are wearing the correct clothes. Sunny helpfully points out 'Us, too!' This might have been a good argument if Esme didn't then rip their medical masks off, revealling them as two of the Baudelaires.

"They are the Baudelaires!" a nurse exclaimed in astonishment. "I read about them in The Daily Punctilio!"
"Me, too!" cried a doctor.
"It's always a pleasure to hear from our readers," the reporter said modestly.

This prompts someone to ask where the third Baudelaire is. After one of the bad guys attempts to conceal Violet's identity, Klaus points out exactly where she is. His story is soured somewhat by the fact that he is still holding the knife that was going to be used to cut off her head, this just cements the idea that the Baudelaires are in fact murderers. Sunny shouts 'Tweem!' which Klaus translates as 'We're not murderers!'

And then Hal shows up to explain just why the Baudelaires snuck into the hospital. If there was any chance of him helping, I think we can kiss it goodbye. He's discovered that the children switched his keys and he doesn't look very happy about it. He explains that the children pretended to be volunteers to gain access to the Library of Records, then switched his keys so they could destroy their files.

Klaus starts to correct Hal but Hal doesn't let him speak. Instead he drops another bombshell. The Library of Records is on fire!

How will the Baudelaires get out of this one now?

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