What the hell are so many people doing leaving work early? Slack bastards, it’s not even twenty past four and Dyce looks like a bloody car park. Which isn’t good enough -- I want to be in the centre of town before five, so I can buy some fish and get a nice relaxing pint in before my appointment with the Otolaryngologist.
But no: all these lazy, lazy bastards have clocked off early, so they can beat the traffic. Thus making more, pre-rush hour traffic, when people are in a hurry to see their nose doctor. Which means that it’s well after five when I pull into the car park where Googling Brother works. Well, he doesn’t actually work in the car par, but he works in the big building it sits behind, so that’s near enough for the purpose of this narrative.
Stuart parks and walks round the block to the front door: locked.
Stuart looks for the doorbell. Someone seems to have stolen it. There's not even a hole with a couple of wires sticking out of it. It’s like the doorbell never even existed. So Stuart tries the knocker* BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Then stands about like a twit in the freezing cold. And eventually tries again: BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! And waits, and waits, and waits... Then gives up and marches all the way round to the rear of the building. And goes through the whole BOOMing thing again, with the back door.
Of course, eventually I give up and start shouting -- obscenities mostly -- and at last Googling Brother appears. I subjected him to a grumpy tirade on the need for doorbells in civilised society and shooting everyone who leaves work early to avoid the traffic. Bastards.
A small period of calming down occurs in the Howff -- a basement establishment where they serve beer and frown on full-frontal nudity**. Talk turns to health insurance and GB’s hunt for a nursery. And then I trundle off to Albyn Hospital where an overly cheerful woman offers me a seat and a form to fill in. I think she’s been at the medicine cabinet – no real person smiles that much and does the happy blinky thing at people she’s never met before. Unless of course she’s recognised the name: Stuart MacBride! Global celebrity and all round bearded raconteur.
It’s that or she thinks I’m a bit ‘touched’ and need humouring. Everyone else in here looks like they've got some sort of ‘executive illness’. They’re wearing suits and ties. I’m wearing a saggy pair of £4.00 jeans from Tesco, a sweatshirt with finch feathers and cat fur on it, and have been guddling about under the truck all morning. So everything is ingrained with a mixture of dirt, oil and rust. I am Beardy Scruff Monkey Boy.
I sit in the corner, so no one else catches it.
Eventually I’m shown into the offices of Mr Hussain***, who has slicked-back hair and a ready smile, and ushers me straight through to the examination room, where it’s all ‘hop up onto the table, Mr MacBride’ and ‘this won’t take a minute...’ I would feel a lot happier if he weren’t lubeing up an endoscope while he's telling me this.
Any medical examination that involves lubricant isn’t going to be fun. That's a universal truth, and no amount of easy smiling and slicked-back hair is going to change it.
This is when the attending nurse leans in and says, “Don’t worry, some people don’t mind it at all.” And then Mr Hussain sticks a lubricated drain-rod up my nose and I’m left wondering: WHO? Who the hell doesn’t mind someone ramming a wiggly metal snake up their hooter?**** A wiggly metal snake with a light on the end.
If you’ve ever been really, really sick and a bit of carrot’s come out of your nose, this is the same thing, only going the other way. And there’s someone peering up your sinuses at the same time. So if anything it’s slightly less pleasant.
“Hmm,” says Mr Hussain, and “Oh,” and “Yes... yes... yes...”***** And then he pulls the wiggly snake out****** and gives me the verdict, which I can’t hear as I’m too busy sneezing my head off. So he repeats himself – I have a deviated septum. And as an added bonus, he’s going to throw in something wrong with my sinuses and a couple of other things he’s going to want to hack out of my nose with a big pointy knife. Doesn't that sound like FUN?
Knowing my luck I’m going to turn up for Left Coast Crime looking like I’m in the process of inhaling a watermelon.
* If in doubt, always try the knockers – it’s my life philosophy and I’m sticking to it.
** Well, one or two Babychams and we all loose our inhibitions, don’t we?
*** No relation. Not that I know of anyway.
**** Hooter – nose. So don’t go making up your own smut.
***** Worrying enough in a nasal examination, but more so during a prostate one.
****** Of my nose, it's not a euphemism, you dirty, dirty-minded people!