“Are you sure this hip replacement will work? It feels funny.” Nikola Jokic asked, still somewhat dazed from the anesthesia.
“That’s just the medication talking, dear.” replied the nurse, who was busy entering data into a computer next to Jokic’s bed. “The horse who we got the hip from lived a long healthy life, winning many races and siring many foals. So you don’t have to worry.”
Nikola sat up in his bed and grimaced, still caressing his replaced hip. “A horse… medical technology is further along than I thought. Tell me, nurse, at what point do I stop being human and start being horse?”
The nurse rolled her eyes, gently pushing Nikola back down on the bed. “Honey, don’t start thinking about that. As long as you have that brain in your head, you are Nikola Jokic.” With a final few flourishes of her hands on the keyboard, she stood up. “Maybe you don’t want to hear it, but while you were still coming up from surgery, you were saying all sorts of crazy things. But the main theme seemed to be ‘You-suff nerk-itch’. Is that a person?”
“Well, you seem lucid enough now. I’ll get the doctor and he’ll talk to you about rehab plans and such, if you have any questions he’ll be happy to answer them. Close your eyes and relax. He’ll be here shortly,” the nurse said as she walked out.
Nikola laid back and closed his eyes. A horse hip… strange, but he was promised the best medical care coverage, and that must be what qualified as “best”… thinking about his nature as a human, he drifted off.
When Nikola next opened his eyes, the doctor was already there, back facing him, looking at some charts and papers. He was rather tall, Nikola thought blearily. The doctor must have sensed his awakening, as he grunted out an unintelligible greeting, quickly shuffling through his documents. “We are having much to discuss.” said the doctor, thrusting several pieces of paper onto Nikola’s chest, still not looking at his patient.
Nikola looked at the pages curiously. He was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, and couldn’t make any sense of the various numbers and categories on the first page. Deciding to save energy, he looked at the bottom of the page, where the was a section for handwritten doctor’s notes: “Patient feels no one liking him, which is understandable as he has no friend.” Feeling uneasy, he put that one down and looked at the second, which appeared to be some sort of chart. Instead of a straight line or a curve, though, there appeared to be a crude drawing of a face performing fellatio on a penis. Underneath the “graph” was another note: “There is 100 percent chance of patient liking penis in mouth. Urgently treatment required.”
“What is…” Nikola managed to spurt out before the doctor turned and faced his patient.
“I hating you, Nikola, I hating you so much!” yelled Jusuf Nurkic, ripping off his white coat and launching himself at his prone teammate. “Now I will be favorite in Nuggets, when baby Jokic get injured so bad that he can never play again!” he exclaimed, banging on the recently replaced hip with both hands. Nikola howled in agony, trying to fend off his enraged teammate but, in his compromised state, he had no success at all. As the assault continued, his attempts to escape the blows grew weaker and weaker, Nurkic redoubling his attempts to destroy Nikola’s hip, yelling all the while. “Jokic has no friend, no one to save him now, Nurkic will be featured center on Denver team! All ladies adore Nurkic, and…”
The pain was too much, and Nikola could do nothing now but close his eyes and slip away, Nurkic’s enraged ranting growing fainter and fainter…
Nikola opened his eyes again, surprised that he felt no pain, nor heard any sound at all. He looked over and saw the nurse again, who was sitting and smiling.
“Oh good, you’re awake again. We took away that man who was assaulting you, well not “we” really because I wasn’t involved, we got some of the burlier technicians to deal with him, was that the You-Suff you were talking about? Quite the character. He ranted and raved all the way out to the police car.”
Nikola, still feeling anxious, sat up in his bed. “So that horse hip must have done the trick? He was hitting it very hard, but I don’t feel a thing.”
The nursed snorted. “Horse hip? That was just a joke, I thought you were still so out of it that you wouldn’t remember! No, honey, you just got a regular replacement. Only the highest quality alloys and plastics, but still, totally artificial. You thought we could fit a horse hip in there? You’re a big boy, but that’s beyond even Dr. Richardson’s capabilities. Speaking of which, should I bring him in? I’m sorry about last time, I don’t know how that wacko snuck in.” She put on an exaggerated sad face.
Nikola glanced around the room nervously before shaking his head. “Maybe just peace and quiet for now.”