Found myself in a head-spinning scene while undergoing a medical procedure at a facility deep down in Brooklyn this morning.

I’ll leave out most of the who, what and where because I have to go back for another round of fun and don’t want to jinx the next step but here’s the basic framework:

Report time was 5 AM. F to the Q. The F crawled and stalled all the way from Rosie to Herald Square. That part of it took an hour and I knew I was gonna be late as I watched the colony of rats run amok at 34th while waiting for the Q.

My ten minute tardiness wasn’t held against me when I reached the doc’s but the surgery took way more time and was way more invasive than I expected. I was there for more than five hours.

The Fox News channel appeared on flat-screen televisions in the waiting rooms and even in all the operating rooms. At one point while waiting in between tissue removal and testing for the need to excavate more, a newscaster working the Fox and Friends show narrated a story that included mockery of the concept of consent in a romantic relationship. She giggled about the re-working of a Christmas song to reflect current emphasis on consent. She implied that this was somehow overly PC. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Later, one of the hosts tossed out the claim that ISIS exists on “streets of American cities.” The Fox host said this to counter the current President’s recent assertion that the US had made progress in the fight on terror. Fox News apparently is not content to revel in Trump’s victory. Watching this morning, it’s clear they can’t resist parting shots as Bam goes out the door.

Those in the waiting area getting the same procedure as me were on average 30 years my senior. Almost everybody was speaking Russian. I had been dropped into a Scared Straight screening. There were wails and groans from rooms as I waited.

I walked out with bandages covering one side of my face and drew curious stares on the street and in the train.

There are lots of great bagel places in this particular Brooklyn neighborhood near the doc’s office so I stopped in the first one en route to the subway and I picked the wrong one. The lox spread on my toasted onion was colored an unnatural bright pink and had very little lox flavor or chunks.

I told the job I couldn’t make it in, went home and tried to go back to bed.

-Times coverage of the tragic Oakland warehouse fire that killed a still unknown number of artists, residents, performers and visitors to the off-the-books DIY space not unlike those seen here has been well measured. Instead of a knee-jerk inclination to point fingers, the Times has done a good job explaining why priced-out people live in buildings with obvious deficiencies. Strict enforcement of government code on such spaces carries with it further displacement. The reporting has indicated the on-site overseer of that Fruitvale warehouse exhibited traits of a cold-hearted jerk. But it’s heartening that the Times at least has demonstrated some wisdom about why people accept risk and discomfort in exchange for a roof overhead – especially when there is a feeling of community and artistic spirit within.

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