Nearly An Armful?

I didn’t get a chance to write a blog yesterday. The 2-3 hours a day it ordinarily takes me to write them taken up while queueing/receiving a blood test at the GPs, along with elongated attempts to get my mum’s house alarm malfunction resolved.

This blood test linked to my recovery from last weeks contraction of the H pylori virus. The removal of claret from my vein going as drama free as it could. I suppose…… Although, I thought a drum roll while the nurse approached to insert the needle was unnecessary!

After the samples had be acquired, I asked the nurse when my results would be available. She smiled, responding “You’ll have to wait until next week for the blood results….. Although, there’s some detail I can advise you now..”

What’s that?!” I enquired

“Well your blood pressure and heart rate are fine….. However, I’m sorry to tell you you’re officially a big soft sh**e for crying during the drum roll.”

I left the doctor’s surgery two vials of blood lighter, my ears ringing from the drum roll. Walking southbound along Selby Road towards School Lane, manfully ignoring the enticing aromas of fried fish and chips from the Skyliner Fish Restaurant, I pondered all things hematological.

Well, not all things – Moreover, the fact when I was admitted to hospital last week my hemoglobin levels had dropped so low from the H pylori virus a blood transfusion was possibly required.

This further manifesting thoughts of Tony Hancock’s famed blood donor sketch. The 1961 comedy routine where, after being informed a pint of blood was taken during donation, the hangdog faced comedian complained “I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint! That’s very nearly an armful!” 

In the sketch, on returning home Hancock accidentally cuts himself on a bread knife, leading to him being rushed back to the same hospital. On his unscheduled return ironically receiving a transfusion of his own blood — The only pint the hospital had of his rare blood type.


The elongated attempts to get my mum’s house alarm malfunction resolved occured late afternoon following our return from her weekly food shop. On opening casa Strachan senior’s front door the pre-alarm beeps alerted as normal, indicating I needed to input a security code to disarm the main intruder alarm.

Sadly, with what I later learned was a faulty keypad, I was unable to fulfill this simple task. Consequently, for the next hour and fifty minutes the main alarm cacophonously alerted a Wakefield neighbourhood that Mrs S may have an intruder. A few concerned residents came to check out the alarm, but seeing me stood supporting my mum returned back into the warmth of their abodes.

The lengthy delay in resolving the incident predominantly caused by the first ten minutes after the alarm bell rang frantically trying to get the flaming keypad to recognise the code. A set of numbers I knew for a fact were being correctly entered.

The next fifty minutes after realising the keypad wasn’t going to play ball, was spent trying to find the vendor’s support number. Contact details which were incorrect on the service documentation sitting adjacent to the faulty alarm control; not to mention being wrong on the box label. A barely legible number handwritten in my dad’s impeccable printing over two decades ago. The ink departing with my old man’s existential presence, leaving just a faint pen nib imprint.

In an agitated state, after unsuccessfully scouring the internet for forty minutes looking for a support number, almost an hour after the alarm first triggered I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around I saw my dear old mum. Looking sheepish, she handed me a wad of paperwork retrieved from the living room cabinet, informing me “The phone number for the alarm company is on this documentation if you need it, Gary.”

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