There's always one


Many years ago, like the year 2000, Kris ended up in the hospital for the first time in our relationship. It was terribly stressful for me, being my first time heading into the hospital, not knowing what to expect, what was happening with Kris, what I should do. I had never been in the hospital for anything but a visit here and there, certainly never overnight, huddled on the guest chair, passing out at 5:30 am, two hours after Kris had.

Kris stayed three days that first time. The first night, I was too exhausted to notice much around me. The second night, however, I was more aware, and noticed the hospital noises. I heard her first around midnight.


But it sounded more like "MaaaAAAaaare reeeeeee!"

Across the hall from Kris was a very old woman. At the top of her lungs, she would cry out every minute or so for Mary. Sometimes she would call out "Help me!" but it was consistent.

Consistently frightening. This woman was in need! She was calling out! Why was no one helping her?

I know! I'll help her!

Yea, clearly a retarded thought, but hearing this old lady call out every minute for who knows how long was clouding my judgement.


So, I wandered over. As I was leaving Kris' room, he looked at me, and called out to me. "Don't go. Kitt, don't go. It won't help." I ignored him, and went across the hallway and into the calling old lady's room.

"Do you need help?"


"No, I'm not Mary."

"Help me, Mary."

"I'm not Mary. What help do you need?"

"Mary, help me!"

I clued in and left. Hustling back into the room, I tried to avoid Kris' gaze.

"I told you."

"Yes, you did."

"There's always one."



He then went on to tell me about how each and every time he was in the hospital (and that number was more than two), some person was calling out. If it wasn't "Mary!" it was "Help me!" or "Betty!" or "Charlie!"

Each time after that, when we were in the hospital overnight, we'd hear the lone caller serenading us, and we'd laugh about there always being one.

Today, in one of the sessions, one person kept asking questions that were well below the technical level of the intended audience of the session. The questions were starting to irritate other participants, with the exception of one other person, who joined the session hijacking attempt. The two of them went off on a theme editing tangent that clearly indicated their lack of Drupal experience, much less theming experience.

Yes, I agree that there needs to be a balance between helping new users and advanced users, developers and themers. But, I was frustrated by the first person asking questions (well, the same question in fourteen different ways, even though it was previously answered thirteen times).

I leaned over to Mike, "There's always one."

He replied back, "But usually two."