Here?s to your good health I hope you have some

Brian Rogers


This week we need to talk about good health. Mainly because there seems to be a bit of a shortage.

Maybe it?s the last throes of winter taking one last final swing, or maybe there?s just more bugs and nasties around, not just the swine flu but all sorts of odd ailments.

Whatever case, this week was my annual ?oh my god I?m going to die? week.

Of course, a quick trip to the nice people at the medical centre quickly convinced me that the re-write of my will at 3.30am was probably unnecessary and, a quick glance at the less fortunate sods around, confirmed I was relatively a picture of health.

Isn?t it amazing how you can feel really miserable, seated in the waiting room surrounded by really sick people reading a dog-eared copy of the 1967 New Idea? The music through the speaker system is playing ?Feelin? Groovy? and you just want to throttle the comedian who decided that was a good choice for a medical centre waiting room tune.

Of course, I?m not feeling groovy, I?m feeling goddam rotten, that?s why I?m sitting here with all these other sickies, waiting.

Then you take a quick glance around, realise that some of these people really do look ill. Worse, in fact, than yourself.

You feel like offering the guy next door the back cover of New Idea to scribble a few last-gasp Will and Testament details before he goes face down in his 1972 copy of Reader?s Digest.

?Mate, would you like to take my seat, it?s closer to the doors, in case they need to bundle you straight into the ambulance??

No, I guess that would be insensitive.

Come to think of it, he looks just like the sick old bugger that was here last year. And the year before that. Maybe this is some sort of bizarre horror movie, with these victims transfixed in a cruel medical merry-go-round.

Forever locked into the torment of doctor clinic hell. Any minute Harrison Ford or Sigourney Weaver are going to burst through the ceiling tiles to save them from perpetual orbit in the movie, ?Wait Room Doom.?

Another furtive glance at the oddballs seated nearby. You can?t help but think: ?Eww, I wonder what they?re in for??

Some of them look really strange. A smug little realisation flows over you, pondering quietly ?well at least I don?t walk like that?or I haven?t got a rash like that.?

You wonder if they wonder what you are in for. So you sit, trying to look like you?re not suffering from anything really bad or disgusting or embarrassing.

Which works fine, till you realise your copy of New Idea 1967 is actually upside down. You see them all thinking smugly ?his ailment is definitely mental?.

After seeing a few really miserable patients it dawns, it?s not so bad after all and your perceived level of health suddenly takes a major lift; compared to the poor sufferers grimacing, groaning, limping.

Nursing care

By the time a lovely nurse comes at you with various devices designed to extract your entire bodily fluids in a single suck, ?all symptoms miraculously lessen. (Come to think of it, she wouldn?t be the first woman to have sidled up with a wide smile, while quietly harbouring the sole intention ?of sucking the lifeblood from an ?overworked body.)

As she pokes and prods, trying to locate a vein, Bono out in the waiting room ceiling warns ?Still Haven?t Found What I?m Looking For?.

Does she know I suffer from a rare medical condition that shuts down my body whenever it senses an unexplained loss of oil pressure?

It?s a technical medical term called EWCS, or for you laypersons, Extreme Wimp Cowardice Syndrome.

Fortunately, Sandi knows exactly what she?s looking for. It?s a relatively quick and painless extraction from the arm. She comments that I must be Rogers Rabbits. (Did I squeal that much?) At this point, you really do wonder what these medical people keep on their files. What will the lab people think when little vials of dubious substances arrive labelled: ?Rogers Rabbits, taken from near the funny bone?, or ?Check for excessive carotine?.

At this stage, the sound system has Freddie Mercury announcing that ?Another One Bites the Dust? and you realise the sickest person in the building is actually the dude in charge of the music selection.

It?s time to leave, before the Animals chip in with ?We Gotta Get Out of This Place.?

Bounding out the door, careful to avoid the poor bugger in the walking frame inching his way in from the carpark.

I resist the urge to tell him be careful in there, it?s like the Hotel California. ?You can Check Out Anytime You Like, But You can Never Leave.?

(This column is dedicated to the lovely ?and gentle Sandi, who doesn?t look at all ?like a vampiress.)