I pen this narrative from a waiting room in the nuclear medicine department of a state of the art oncology institute in a burgeoning West Yorkshire metropolis.
As I sit awaiting Karen returning from her scan, the soothing music of a grand piano emanates from the main reception area, calming the soul and providing a pleasing backdrop to my penmanship.
A lady opposite is sat chatting to her elderly father and sister. Their verbal interaction ensures my short period of cheeriness is only a fleeting companion, as they start talking about music suitable for funerals.
In particular, the conversation centres around whether Samuel Barber’s hauntingly melancholic ‘Adagio for Strings’ (famously utilised in the movie Platoon) was an appropriate bedfellow to a cremation. My personal response would be an emphatic no! Why make a dreadfully sad occasion even more depressing?
Comedian Frank Skinner once proffered that he wanted the song ‘Return to Sender’ at his funeral. It wouldn’t be my choice as I’m not an Elvis fan, but it was a good gag nevertheless.
I’ve absolutely no idea what I’d choose as part of my plans. I would suspect that thinking about your funeral isn’t part of the positive thoughts my therapist advocates.
I know you can pre-plan it all to take away the responsibility from your loved ones, but its not something I want to think about…… Or it wasn’t until the woman opposite started banging on about funeral music.
If possible, I attempt to avoid negative or sombre topics of conversation while sat in waiting rooms. I’m not advocating a constant flow of tasteless gags, moreover I like to throw in the odd or random quip to lighten the atmosphere.
For example, I was sat earlier with Karen and a nurse going through her pre-scan documentation. During her medical history questioning, the nurse asked my spouse “Do you still have your tonsil’s?”
Karen responded “Yes.” A comment I couldn’t resist adding to with “She keeps them in a jar above the fireplace.”
Not the funniest gag ever, but it raised a laugh from my diminutive missus and the nurse. A wee oasis of light heartedness in a desert of pensiveness.
Of course bearing in mind the severity of some peoples conditions, some won’t want to be subject to the inanity of fellow waiting room dwellers. For example a wistful looking older guy sat opposite is wearing a t-shirt that proclaims ‘Don’t subject me to inanity in the waiting room’. So I’ll respect his wishes and avoid telling him my gag about the parson and the ferret.
Instead, I may attempt to perk up the gloomy looking young lady in ‘I occasionally like a laugh in waiting rooms’ or the trite middle age man in ‘I’m partial to gags about parsons and ferrets in waiting rooms’ t-shirts.
Anyway, enough of this inanity, Karen has just come out from her scan. I’m off into town to get a ‘My wife keeps her tonsils above the fireplace’ t-shirt for our next visit.