Somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant, USS Enterprise continues on its mission — minus Dr Beverly Crusher, who has discovered to her dismay that she seems to be the only remaining member of the crew. We pick up the story from Memory Alpha:

Beverly attempts to examine the phenomenon of disappearing crewmembers as she would a disease, proceeding from the assumption that she is not insane. Though she catches the computer in several logical contradictions (notably that she is the only crewmember, even though she doesn't possess the skills necessary to complete the Enterprise's mission), she doesn't come any closer to determining how to find any of the crew. Deciding that one of The Traveler's race may be able to help her, she sets course for Tau Alpha C, but immediately upon engaging, she discovers that the entire planet has disappeared. When she tells the computer to turn the view screen on, there is a mist in front of it, and the computer says it is an energy field. She knows there is nothing wrong with her and figures something is wrong with the universe.

Dialogue ensues:

Dr Crusher: Here's a question you shouldn't be able to answer. Computer, what is the nature of the universe?

Computer: The universe is a spheroid region, 705 meters in diameter.

I bring this up because my own universe seems to have shrunk quite a bit in the last year, during this period of debatable convalescence. About a dozen magazines show up here every month: I don't think I've read more than a half-dozen individual issues since October. This feeds on itself: I see that stack of paper, and I lose my desire to cook, so something gets thrown into the microwave and I end up eating it at my desk, wondering if I should try to get further discounts on the normally pricey Stouffer's line.

Newton's laws of motion don't seem to apply in this shrunken universe of mine. As a male of the species, I have inevitably been subject to what we shall delicately call propulsion issues: liquids find their own landing place, regardless of how much effort I exert to regulate their trajectory. I suppose I should have expected this, what with all this recently discovered nerve damage, and surely it's a poor rifleman who blames the barrel. Still, I quail at this thought:

A 2006 cost-effectiveness study found that 5 mg solifenacin had the lowest cost and highest effectiveness among anticholinergic drugs used to treat overactive bladder in the United States, with an average medical cost per successfully treated patient of $6863 per year.

CFI Care (not its real initials) picks up most of the tab; I fork over $420 per annum. But if this is the best I can get in terms of "effectiveness," I'm definitely overpaying for the stuff.

And the adjustment to the new 705-meter universe — of course, without Gates McFadden — manifests itself in peculiar ways. Holidays tend to screw up my internal accounting, Labor Day included, so while I was getting ready to leave one morning, I took a quick glance at the calendar in the kitchen.

Which, it turns out, was still on the February page.

The Vent

  18 September 2017

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