How Betadine Almost Got Me Arrested


I often joke around with my co-workers. I just find that it makes the day go quicker and messing around every once in a while sometimes makes it seem, well, not so much like work.

Wouldn’t you know it … some people just can’t take a joke.

One of the administrators at a clinic where I used to work used to try to razz me quite a bit. She had all kinds of smart-aleck nicknames for me and would make up wacky patient complaints just to try to get my goat. I would give it right back to her. One day, I got to treat her mom during one visit and repeatedly told her mom how much I respected her for having the courage to with her daughter for all these years.ย  By the end of the visit, her mom was rolling her eyes and everyone in the clinic was laughing. Silly stuff like that.

One day the administrator was out sick for a couple of days with “stomach problems.” She called the clinic to see how things were going, and, when she found out that I was working, told the nurses to tell me that she would bring me a present in a bedpan when she returned the following day.

Oh really?

I figured that I would beat her to the punch.

As I’m sure that some of you [soon to be all of you]know, Betadine and toilet paper can be mixed together and molded into some pretty realistic looking … um … shapes. I grabbed a bedpan out of the utility closet, put on some gloves, and used the Betadine/toilet paper combination to create some pretty good looking … shapes … if I do say so myself. Well, you judge for yourself. To the right is a picture of the actual bedpan and offending shapes that I created.

I went to the super secret location where keys to all the offices are located, grabbed the key to the administrator’s office, and snuck into her office when no one was looking. I left the bedpan on her chair and then pushed the chair under the desk so she wouldn’t see it until she went to sit down. Then I snuck out of the office giggling like a little schoolboy, imagining what the administrator would think when she came to work the next day.

I never got to find out.

It turns out that the cleaning lady came that night. The cleaning lady had keys to all the offices. And the administrator’s office was a mess. So when the cleaning lady pulled out the chair to vacuum under the desk, she nearly puked.

Then the cleaning lady called hospital security. Because no one supposedly had keys to the administrator’s office, the event was treated like a break-in.
The security guard called the head of hospital security. Then he called the police.
Then the head of security called the clinic administrator.
Then all of the clinic staff were called one-by-one to find out who would leave a bowl full of excrement on the administrator’s chair. No one fessed up.
One of the nurses remembered the statement that the administrator had directed at me earlier in the day and wondered whether it may have been related to the incident.

So I get a call at home from the head of security.
“Did you happen to go into the administrator’s office today?”
[Already rolling my eyes, sighing, and wondering what the heck happened] “Whyyy?”
“Did you happen to see anything … unusual … while you were in there?”
“Um. Whyyyy?”
“The police are looking to arrest someone for disorderly conduct for putting a bedpan full of [feces]in her office, that’s why.”
“You have got to be kidding me. It wasn’t [feces]! It was Betadine … and tissues!”
“Yeah, well the cleaning lady said that it was [feces]. What’s the matter with you, WhiteCoat?”
“Birth injury. Tell the cleaning lady to smell the bedpan. It’s not [feces]. I’m serious. It was Betadine.”
By this time, the cleaning lady had donned a haz-mat suit and had disposed of the offending Betadine sample. Fortunately, the head of security took my word for it.

Multiple phone calls later, the situation was officially … decontaminated.

For the next several weeks, I was razzed by security, by the local police, and, much to my chagrin, by the administrator. Handcuffs on my desk during the next shift. Harr harr. Very funny.

I left a box of Imodium with a bow on it for her the next day.

Somehow, it just wasn’t the same.

If I put some plastic poo inside the Imodium box … now that would have been funny.


  1. As Iโ€™m sure that some of you [soon to be all of you] know, Betadine and toilet paper can be mixed together and molded into some pretty realistic looking

    Oh my, the things you can learn in medical school!

    Outstanding, LOL! A little levity in the workplace is a good thing… ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Personally I think it was a dumbass thing to do. Thanks to you WC, the time of the police and hence money of the taxpayers was wasted on a joke gone wrong. There is a such thing as taking something too far.

    • Happiness in the workplace increases productivity. Large corporations spend a lot of money on “team-building” (creating events that will make people like each other and want to work together).

      I think this episode spread the happiness beyond the walls of the hospital and gave all the law enforcement personnel something to lift their spirits as well, making them more effective at their jobs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Great team-building, Doc WC!

    • It was an extremely unprofessional and immature thing to do. You can argue all you want, but if you didn’t want the possibility of it ending so badly you shouldn’t have done it in the first place. That’s what separates children from adults…adults can think of the potential consequences.

  3. seriously, anon 10:09? What was taken too far was the cleaning lady not recognizing that it didn’t smell like poo, nor security or admin on call not realizing the same.
    I have witnessed many things get out of hand, taken too far, etc…and it is usually totally unneeded to escalate things to that level. Not the fault of the jokester, more the fault of someone who didn’t get it.
    And I know a lot of police officers…they would have smelled it to see if it was crap before they put out an ATL on a poop-perp.

  4. Pingback: When the Shit Hit the Pan! | Scepticemia

  5. Ohhhh …WC … *sigh* …you KNOW I LOVE your pranks and paybacks, etc., ..I do ..I do. But, THIS time …you really *did* go too far and I have to say ..I agree with the first anonymous comment…but not the second. Look at the angst you caused …not to mention as anonymous pointed out the waste of time and expense. What if the cleaning lady did puke (downright MIRACLE she didn’t!), gasped and choked and died on it because no one was around to help her? How funny would the joke be then? And as you have often pointed out regarding people who abuse the ambulance service, police AND the ED …the EMT,police,staff time could’ve been better spent helping someone who *really* needed it.(Waste of valuable resources) You also did a disservice to your professionalism if …well ..never mind get my drift. And with hospital supplies so costly these days …more than ever …how do you justify the waste? (no pun intended) Frankly …even tho a LET DOWN for you …I think you are getting your JUST payback because now sounds like YOU are the perpetual BUTT of the jokes around there. Good for them. Maybe it is because of my aversion to anything rectally connected that I am reacting with such dismay. Sorry if coming on strong. I know you are usually quite funny. With all due respect WC …*Think* before you act the next time.

    Further more …WC …I was drinking coffee when I began reading this and thankfully bypassed the coffee nasal lavage …JUST time …although I made sure not to drink anymore until finished with this post because for sure …I would’ve spewed said coffee out all over the place because…

    GOTCHA WC!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (If only I could’ve made the GOTCHA WC in BIG bold print)

    I BUSTED out laughing at your HILARIOUS prank and post!!! I laughed *all the way down* to the END! Hahahaha!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I finished my coffee. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Seriously …it’s one of the funniest hospital pranks I’ve heard of! FRICKIN HILARIOUS I tell you! Same for the post. Your face must’ve been PRICELESS when you got that call. Thanks for sharing it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and anonymous …seriously …lighten up! Everyone needs some levity in their life and certainly ..medical people and police do. Our ED staff often played jokes and they were also funny. Remember M*A*S*H*? Thank God for laughter and the ability to diffuse the stress and sadness. I guarantee you the police are still laughing about it. Probably made their night/day ..whatever.

    They would also be glad to know it wasn’t some perv on the loose …just WC. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m linking to this one WC. ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS That really is pretty gross looking. I would’ve freaked if I pulled my chair out and saw that. I’d be ready to get a new chair and sanitize the entire office! And then …once I knew what it really was …you would be the first to come to mind ..since you already have the history. And payback know what they say, although you’re getting that for sure. Now you HAVE to TOP that one when least expected. ๐Ÿ™‚

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