Wednesday, 17 November 2010

the royal engagement, death and drugs

Maybe all the drugs I'm on are fighting each other, because I feel weird and can't get very excited about the fact that Prince William, second in line to the throne, has proposed to his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton. However I'm not so out of it as to lose all vestige of cunning; the plan is to hook lots of readers simply by alluding to to the royal engagement. See how you can be manipulated by media? Mind you, the engagement does prompt questions. What kind of society are we that our head of state is unelected? Why devote thousands of words to the fact that a 'middle class girl' will become a princess? I know it's November and wet, but isn't there any other kind of fun? Back to the drugs.

I'm on Night Nurse for nights and Day Nurse for the day. I seem to remember there was a reggae song about the former, which may tell you something. Anyway you can get them over the counter and they work. This is just as well because I have an actual real world task to perform beyond the bounds of FMC. I have to go and get a copy of Uncle Bob's death certificate (you don't want to know) and I have to get it done by midday. Feeling poorly, I go by bus. Unfortunately the driver is making sure he doesn't leave any stop early. Also no-one's got any change. It's already 11.20. Tick tock. There's a man wearing too much denim and a special hat who knows when this bus is supposed to be where, how this connects to every other bus, how long any of this it should take and could take, and how everywhere connects with everywhere else. Maybe he's on the Day Nurse too, and it takes him differently. Anyway, he's got the total stranger next to him on a knife edge of boredom and terror. Tick tock.

I make it. The Register Office - Births Marriages and Deaths is a metaphor just waiting to happen. It probably counts as an allegory. It's really busy for one thing. You have to go to a little hatch. OK, then you have to fill in a form (red for marriage, black for death), but there is definitely something about it that feels like an ante-chamber in a bureaucratic pre/afterlife. As something of an expert on bureacracy though, I can tell you that this place crackles with helpfulness. When I say we don't know how old Uncle Bob was because the mad old bastard was hiding from the law and devoted his life to being invisible, they smile and say it's OK. I hand in the form on the tock of midday, thus ensuring the solicitor will get it tomorrow. You still don't want to know. Tick tock.

Luckily the drugs don't prevent me from promptly catching the next bus back to Fruitcake Miniature College. They do though , I suspect, explain why I find a poster outside a church advertising 'light lunches' very strange. What exactly is a light lunch? Where can I get a heavy one? What was the mess I made on my desk at lunchtime when employed? Also I'm fascinated by a van owned by a company called SnacksDirect. A genius in marketing copy has been at work. Emblazoned on the van is 'always delivering retail snack solutions'. How many of the words apart from 'snacks' do anything there? Is there some retailing puzzle only solved by endlessly mobile peanuts and crisps? It was lucky for the lady who was next to the man in denim that she didn't get me too on the way back.

The verbal elation didn't last. In case you think redundancy is all lying about with the cat, despite the Head of Animal Care's valiant efforts with soup and chocolate, back at FMC I fell into a pit of gloom about my pitiful pension and continued lack of employment. This evening I got some bottles of Speckled Hen to augment the various nurses. So you see, redundancy leads to drink, drugs and death certificates. Now I understand why Captain Hook was so terrified of the crocodile that had swallowed a clock. Tick tock.


  1. I heart Alec Turer and hope his nurses and drugs do him a power of good so he can keep up this lovely blog. Horray from the Left Coast!

  2. Thanks Jane. Love to the Left Coast AT XXX