Helps You Work, Rest and Play


It happens every so often to most of us, I suppose. I went shopping yesterday, having run out of trousers which I didn’t have to undo when I sat down. It was then I had to admit that I’d gone up a size. A year of not walking to-and-from the station, going into town, walking to work and then walking to-and-from Marks&Spencer Simply Food (this is just not any sandwich bar…) has taken it’s toll on the waistline.

Substituting endless worry and rowing with endless cups of Starbuck Latte (extra shot) and never-ending packets of Foxes Whipped Creams biscuits (Sinfully Strawberry)  has inevitably meant I’ve gone from a Grande Regular in the trouser department to a Venti Short (yes, it seems even my legs have shortened).

Yes I’ve often sat here on my Apple iMac Desk Top computer (iThink, therefore iMac) and shared with you my concerns with my weight, but this was the first tangible evidence that something has gone awry. It all came to a head, as it were, when I had a reaction to my new pills. The Docs, in their wisdom took me off Warfarin and put me onto something called Clopidogrel, which sounds more like Bill & Ben’s (BBC1, weekdays at 3.45) name for their pet spaniel than a drug, but apparently these were the pills to rid my brain of the blood clots that have been giving me all the fally-over-sicky problems.

I suffered an allergic reaction to the new course of tablets which manifested itself as a swelling. In fact several swellings. Swellings in very uncomfortable places. The only plus-side was it enabled me to use one of my very favourite one-liners on my doctor. When she (yup, she) asked me what I’d like her to do, I retorted “Take the pain away and leave the swelling”. Nothing. Not a titter.

And that’s as good as it got.

Now, when you’re starting to outgrow your jeans, and your favourite pieces of anatomy are expanding like a couple of GU After dark hot chocolate souffle  (now £2.00 @ Sainsburys ) something’s gotta give.

The chaffing was something shocking. It made sitting in my luxuriant DFS leather sofa (SALE ends Bank Hoiliday Monday)  somewhat painful. Watching your favourite shows on your Sony Bravia (Colour Like No Other) with your body held at an angle of 27 degrees in a vain attempt to easy the throbbing and the scraping from your zipper is not what I had in mind (nor indeed had The Incumbent) when we moved in together.

So, as I say, something had to happen, and three things did: New strides (size to your discretion); a return to the comfort of blood-thinning, dizziness-inducing Warfarin; and a family size tub of Sudcrem (Sooths and Protects).  Splash it all over. Or is that Brut ?

Now that things have calmed down, as it were, I return to my trawling of the news agencies and notice that the twin brains of Rio Ferdinand and Katie Price have been cleared of blatant advertising of Snickers bars on Twitter. Its the thin end of the wedge, made for financial gain and poorly disguised as genuine Tweets to their “fans” (never has the word Twits been more apt).

I suppose Rio and Katie benefited from cash payments and probably a year’s supply of Mars Inc products. There’ll be snickers coming out of Jordan’s arse, which I suspect wouldn’t be a novelty for her. Anyway, the whole practice of subliminal advertising, product placement or any breaches of the codes of the Advertising Standards Authority is surely wrong and immoral, especially when such “adverts” will be seen by the young and vulnerable.

Anyway, I’m off to drive down to town in the RAV4 (which has seen better days, to be honest) to see what I can pick up for lunch at Waitrose (Quality food, Honestly priced). It really is my favourite place and there is, of course, ample free parking.

Simples

Handlebar’s Water Music


(The story so far: Mike has had a stroke at the tender age of 48, and many tests ensue)

I’d had enough of this falling over shit. My Doctor had had enough of me moaning about this “I’m dizzy” bollocks. It was time for my MRI scan. What was going on up there in that alleged brain of mine ? Why did my head keep exploding, which resulted in me sitting on my arse, blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.

I washed and shaved early, trying out the Honda handlebar moustache for the for the first time. Shoehorned my ample frame into one of the few pair of trousers which I both own and still fit me. Thank Allah that my appointment came when it did – any later and they may have had to grease me up to slide me into that scanner.

The literature which the hospital had sent along with the appointment told me to leave all metal bits n pieces behind. Phones, watches, keys, belt buckles (haven’t needed one of those for a while) plates in my head and piercings in my nipples, none of these would be allowed within a UNISON picket line of the MRI scanner.

When the day came, we (I was ably accompanied by The Incumbent) arrived at the hospital, took advantage of the Costa Coffee in the foyer, then headed off for the MRI dept. We entered, gave my name and, virtually free of metallic objects, sat in the waiting room. The silence was broken after just a few minutes.

“Mr Bealing?”
“Er…yes, here” I even put my hand up like a boy at the back of the class.
The nurse looked me up and down. “Those trousers got a metal button?”
“Er, yes. yes I think they have” I replied (well after all, I had paid over fifteen quid for them at Sainsbury’s. No rubbish here, mate).
“Well they’ll have to come off. You can’t wear them in the scanner. Come with me you can change in there [points to room up the corridor], then you can come back, give your trousers to your wife (sic) and wait to be called.”

I went white. A cold sweat came over me. Although I was still able, unaided, to have put my Sainsbury’s trousers on, wearing underpants underneath them had become a bit of a luxury. My burgeoning waistline and arseline leave no room for boxer shorts. Jockeys or Y-fronts are a distant memory and so I had arrived at my local hospital a la Commando. Sans trolleys. Born Free. Without knickers.

The thought of the nurse handing me a gown to get into and me having to walk back to the waiting room with my bare arse hanging out for my fellow patients’ entertainment and enjoyment filled me with fear and dread. I shared my fears with The Incumbent who nearly imploded with laughter. I wasn’t laughing.

I followed the nurse to the changing room and was relieved to see a pair of sky blue cotton drawstring trousers hanging there. They were huge, fortunately, and I managed to slide into them. Indeed so big were they that the drawstring didn’t pull tight enough to hold them up. I had to clench wads of material with one hand, and keep my thighs and buttocks together to ensure they stayed up at a decent level, sparing my blushes.

I rolled up my own, now discarded strides under my arm and left the room to return to the missus in the waiting area. On the way I noticed a handily-placed WC and thought this would be a good opportunity to get rid of the tepid Primo Latte which Costa had provided me with earlier. I was due to be in the scanner for 90 minutes and I didn’t want to be caught short while I was in there. In my half-clenched, bent-over state I shuffled my way over to have a pee, carefully ensuring my arse didn’t take a peek out the back of my slacks.

There is a type of cotton (cheap chinos are made of it) which, no matter how hard, how vigorous or how many times you shake your willy after urinating, will soak up every little speck, each and every drop of pee it can and show the evidence of this so-called “willy drip” to one and all in the form of a huge dark patch around your goolie region.

I have to tell you now that these hospital trousers were made of this very same material. And I wasn’t wearing pants.

There is nothing one can do about it. 2 tiny drips had hit the cotton and were now joined together and were spreading, leaving a dark blue patch the size of a CD in the general area of my penis. Can you imagine how mortified I was ? I left the loo. Picture the scene of me, hunched up, buttocks and knees together, one hand holding the flystring of my newly-acquired blue leg ware, the other holding a perfectly good pair of Sainsburys drills in front of a big blotch of wee. With my new face fuzz I must have looked like a balding, fat Fu Manchu with a bladder complaint. Oh happy days.

As luck would have it, I was called in to be scanned way before the patch dried. I had to pass my old trousers to the still-giggling Incumbent and resorted to hiding my moist nether regions with the front tails of my shirt. I entered the scanning room.

The nurse greeted me and said the scan would be in three stages.
“And Once in Evening Dress ?” I offered, trying to be witty. And titter came there none.
“No. Head, neck and then blood flow” she informed me sternly.
“Oh, ok then”.

She then explained that I’d be in the scanner for well over an hour and it’s a really boring experience, when you “must MUST” keep your neck and head still throughout. She went on that also, as brilliant as this technology is, it’s really very noisy as the scan goes through its phases, so she popped a pair of headphones on me which act as both ear mufflers and through which they would talk to me and play music throughout the procedure- to give me something to take my mind off it.
“Is there any music you don’t want us to play ?” she asked.
“Rap or anything by Morrissey” I replied, quick as a flash (it’s a knee-jerk reaction).
A blank look came across her face. “I don’t think we’ve got anything like that anyway” she said. “What about anything you’d really like to hear?” she asked.

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks or Old Shep by Elvis” I quipped. But by the stoney look I received, my joke had, again, fallen on deaf ears. “Classical will do” I told her. Christ, she was a tough crowd.

I climbed onto the machine bed, and lay back onto the head rest. She brought down a plastic grid over my face, and put wedges either side to prevent movement. I knew how Hannibal Lecter felt at that airport. As the bench slid half way into the machine, I lay head and shoulders inside, torso and legs al fresco. I half expected to hear John Mills or Hardy Kruger to shout “Fire One” and I’d shoot off out of the scanner, in the general direction of Orpington.

Nursey explained she needed to inject me with some chemical or other (thankfully my words not hers) in order to track my blood flow. As I lay there, wedged into in my cage I felt her pull a tourniquet around my bicep, then grab my hand in readiness for the injection.

It then dawned on me, as a chirpy Strauss waltz drifted across the airwaves, that if she was leaning down to spot a nice bulging vein in the back of my hand, her head would be a matter of inches away from my urine-soaked winkle.

“Now you might feel a little prick” she announced.

Did I ever.