The theatre was silent. The case had meandered along for over an hour. The orthopedic surgeon still hadn’t spoken a word to the student who stood on tip-toes peering over the registrar’s arm. The student was visibly nervous on his first day assisting in the operating theatre with his new team. He desperately wanted to make a good first impression.
Without warning the orthopod broke the silence and looked straight at the medical student, “what’s your name?”.
“Umm, Steve… its Steven, Mr. Symonds”.
“Right Steven… tell me the funniest joke you know.”
The scrub nurse and anesthetist shared a premonitory exchange of glances. Steven paused in thought trying to gauge the situation and come up with a joke at the same time.
“OK then… have you heard the one about the three dwarfs?”
“No, I don’t believe I have.”
Steven took a deep breath, then began:
“Well, there were these three dwarfs sitting around a table knocking back a few beers. The first dwarf stroked his beard and said to the other two, “Look at my hands. Look how small they are. I reckon they must be the smallest hands in the entire world.” The other two dwarfs nodded in agreement. The third dwarf said, “I think you’re right, you should go down to see the people at the Guinness Book of World Records and see if you get in.” The first dwarf smiled, “That’s a great idea.”
The second dwarf added “Actually I reckon I might pay them a visit too – look at my feet, they’re tiny. They must be the smallest feet in the world.” The other two dwarfs were startled by how small his feet were. The first dwarf said, “They’re tiny all right, you should come with me.”
The third dwarf, not wanting to be left out chimed in: “well I’ m going to come along as well – I’m certain that I’ve got the world’s smallest penis.” The other two dwarfs decided not to verify this claim but nodded, and the second dwarf said, “Well we’ll all go along together to see if we can get in the Guinness Book of World Records”.
The three dwarfs jumped to their feet and set off to the offices of the Guinness Book of World Records as fast as their little legs would take them. Once they arrived, the first dwarf was called into the assessor’s room. He was gone for almost an hour. Finally he emerged from the room with a triumphant grin, “I’m in! My hands are the smallest in the world.”
The second dwarf was called in next. He too emerged with a beaming smile. “I’m in too! These feet are the smallest in the whole world!”
Finally, The third dwarf was called in. The first two dwarfs grew concerned as the clocked ticked and tocked. At last, after two hours the door opened and the third dwarf trudged out looking despondent.
“What`s the matter?”, the first two dwarfs asked in unison.
The third dwarf shook his head in frustration then shouted “Who the hell is Mr. Symonds?!?!”"
The only sound heard in the theatre was the sudden jerk of the orthopod’s hand followed by the pulsatile squirting of a tiny fountain of bright red blood.
“A poor assistant is better than a talented opponent.”
— Rick Paul
[Names are, of course, changed to protect the innocent... and the stupid.]