Reader tube detail

A reader tube in action, or was it one of De's Pall Malls?

Unidentified Tubular Medical Instrument orTweezer with Colored Lights is a medical device used for extracting objects lodged subcutaneously, or under the skin. Generally this device appears in the penultimate act whereby some nosy parker or some other Mary Worth type will practice medicine without a license in order to save an individual from the self-inflicted folly of allowing an alien to implant some pain-giving device or other very near the brain. It was used by an alleged ship's surgeon to remove the Instrument of This Will Hurt Me More Than You from yet another reavealingly-dressed high priestess. (But the Planet is Empty and I Have Felt the Atmosphere)

Background and Apocrypha Edit

Reader tube

It was in the damn book that Roddenberry co-wrote!

Detailed drawings of this device (a "field reader tube") were published in the Starfleet Technical Manual of Non-Canon Stuff Once Authorized But Later De-Authorized, as well as a photograph from Edgar Allan Whitfield's The Big Book About Making S--- Trek, in which the prop was seen in "But the Planet is Empty and I Have Felt the Atmosphere", "The One Before 'The Wrath of Khan' Affair", "Ticket to Ride", and others. It was also in the Koenig's cartoon episode where a cloned Spock is ten times better than the original because he is ten times bigger. But that was not canon, so to hell with it.

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For canonites with no sense of humor, Memory Alpha has created a so-called article on Unidentified Tubular Medical Instrument.