I don't know how I feel about this cartoon. That is to say, I have mixed feelings about it. While I really love that passage of Walter's -- it's so evocative! -- I don't know if I have interpreted it correctly. It's just a guess. Maybe Walter found his father's office particularly alarming for some reason -- as opposed to doctors' offices in general -- or maybe he was just dicking around and didn't find it threatening at all. I mean, I would have taken the chance to write "bake a baby" if I had thought of it, even if the terror evoked by that phrase wasn't real visceral terror that I had experienced. But I do like to give Walter the opportunity to portray his actions in a humanitarian light, because that's how he did portray them, at least some of the time. You cut some nerves, the patient goes home! What is the problem?
I wonder if Walter really did find his father's office terrifying. Do you suppose that's why he kicked up such a fuss when Jim Watts insisted on properly sterilizing everything, and why he liked to perform surgery in unorthodox locations, like on a stage (with a carpenter's mallet on at least one occasion), or on the floor? Because doing things the normal way reminded him of the medieval terror of his father's office?