I’m in a waiting room at the Oncology Institute at St James’ Hospital sat next to Karen, or as the kids and I call her Ollie Beak.
I made up that nickname her years ago for two reasons. 1) She looks like an owl with her big glasses and little beaky nose, and 2) I’m a chuffing nutcase!
Karen has never had a term of endearment or nickname for me! It probably stems from when we were in Torquay when the kids were very young, after I screamed The brakes aren’t working” as we hurtled down a 1 in 4 hill!
She was so shaken when we got to the bottom of the hill she asked me to pull over so she could get out. Things were never quite the same after that!…… Some people just can’t take a joke!
The Oncology Institute (Bexley Wing) is a bastion of highs, lows, relief, despair, a bald nurse called Jeremy and a pleasant Costa coffee outlet. It has seemed like a second home for my little spouse and I in the last five years.
It shares the proud joint record of the least shark attacks per patient in UK oncology units. There hasn’t been one shark attack within the unit since it opened in 2008! It would have been an even prouder record if they didn’t share it with every other oncology unit on this sceptred isle, who can also boast a shark attack free record!
As we sit, Karen fills in a pre MRI scan form and I people watch with my good eye. Meanwhile my bad eye tries to make out what the vague shadows are in the distance. It’s telling me they are daleks but I suspect they aren’t!
As I said above, Karen is to undergo an MRI scan this evening. I have just read MRI is the acronym for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. That answers a lot of questions for me, as I thought it stood for Mickey Rooney Investigations. I could never understand why they would be scanning people to try locate the diminutive actor who passed away decades ago!
In the waiting room a middle aged woman in a pink sweater stares over at me. She has a look that says “What the fuck are you looking at?” I look back at her with a look that says “The cat can look at the King can’t it, big tits!”
She responds to this by looking back as though to tell me “Stop staring at my tits you fucking pervert!” And “Did you watch ‘Call The Midwife’ last night on BBC1”
I leer at her as if to say “No, I missed it as I was watching ‘Vera’ on ITV! You know the one with that old bird set in the North East.”
With a further look of disdain, her eyes admonish me as if to say “I won’t watch that shite, cos I fucking hate unrealistic cop shows! ITV is aimed at a demographic of unintelligent dickheads like you!”
“How do you know I’m unintelligent?” My glare told her in no uncertain terms.
With a cowering scowl like a crow that had been sucking sherbet lemons, her look displayed a reply of “You can tell from the existential cryanthosis of your overt demeanour! …… By the way can you recommend any nicer sweets than sherbet lemons?”
I didn’t have a clue what “existential cryanthosis of your overt demeanour” meant, but I guessed it wasn’t complimentary. However, as a lover of boiled sweets I could answer the second part, so gazed at her as though to convey “Aniseed Twists”.
At this point the woman in pink got called in for her scan and I thought I had the last laugh when I heard she was called Celia Flaps!
As she walked past me I’m convinced I heard her mutter “Twat!’ under her breath!
Shortly afterwards Karen was also called in for her scan. Coincidentally, as she walked past me she muttered “Twat!’ At me under her breath, as well!…… Looks like she did have a nickname for me all along!
Did I learn anything from this two hours in this waiting room? Well I’ve learned that a conduit via eye contact can very easily misinterpreted! ……. Oh and apparently I’m a twat!!