I’m not panicking or anything, just need a quick word of advice: How can I tell if I’m  in a real hospital? 

Bedridden in Putnam 


Determining the authenticity of a hospital is a notoriously difficult affair. Unless the MD comes in and begins setting a collection of shiny pebbles on your blanket or obviously seasoning you in preparation for being cooked and eaten, your average layperson lacks the requisite knowledge to spot out an imposter. 

As such, try faking a new and exciting ailment. Do your best to cobble together symptoms in a sort of random fashion – for instance, you feel that you are running a fever, you are vomiting great piles of hair, and there are spots in your eyes. If you are observed by a team of students who keep suggesting more and more outlandish concepts, you’re probably in a real hospital. If, likewise, the doctor calmly tells you to stop eating stray cats, you are also in a real hospital. If they eye each other conspiratorially, then draw the drapes and have an animated discussion with the nurse about whether or not “He knows,” then the odds have gone markedly against being in any hospital outside of a highly unethical psychiatric ward attempting to convince you, for some reason, that you’re in an ordinary ER.