Sunday, September 3, 2017

Paradigm shifting

Once again I have been surprised by the Hatchling's ability to listen to me talking (ok, ranting) to my Smaller Half and distill from my words the true essence of my frustrations. I had been carrying on about a pet peeve of mine - that some patients find it nearly impossible to follow instructions. For example, I may ask them to have a blood test done and come back within a week for a long appointment. And then I don't see them for a month and they come in for a short appointment and they haven't had any tests done. And now they have a new problem or three as well.

So the Hatchling digests all of this and comes up with two great suggestions:

1. That I point over their shoulder and say, "Oh look, a beautiful butterfly has flown into the room!" And when they turn around to look, I should quickly lean forward and attach (using a clothes peg) to their shirt a list of written instructions for them to follow.

2. That if despite my efforts they don't follow my instructions, I should just solve all their problems in one appointment and say to them, "Seriously, why don't you go and buy a tablet or something to make you better?" And then I won't ever have to see them again.

And after she had made these suggestions she came up with a great idea - I should just invent a tablet that stops people getting a blocked nose and make it so good that you only have to take it once a year AND it tastes just like your favourite food. Then I can come home from work early and play!

This girl - she's a thinker!

Monday, August 28, 2017


I only enjoy cured salmon. The thought of eating a sick fish is very unappealing.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I'd have to think about that

I am guilty of often feeling frustrated, annoyed,  - nay, even contemptuous - at my patients who are unable to give me a clear description of their symptoms:
How long have you had this for? Oh a fair while now. 
So do you think days, weeks, months or years? I'm not sure, but it's quite a while. 
And does it affect your left leg or your right leg? Oh I'd have to think about that. 
What medication do you take for it? A little white one I think. Or maybe not. 
And so on. 

So it was a character-building exercise for me to get a haircut recently and find myself incapable of understanding and answering the questions that the hairdresser was asking me, despite having had my hair cut in the same way now for about 15 years. It was quite humbling. 

Do you have it square or tapered at the back? Mmm, square I suppose. I think. 
Do you want me to feather it up to the part or leave it longer? Oh I think leave it longer. Oh, actually now you've done it, can you feather it instead?
Is this where you part it? Yes I suppose it could be. 
Do you want me to trim your sideburns or just trim your sideburns? Ummm, just ... trim them?
Is your hairbrush runcible and if so would you like me to not frapp your kokks? Ummm, just ... trim them?

Honestly, I felt like a moron. 

What I don't understand is why, presuming my hair grows X millimetres a month, why I can't just turn up to a hairdresser every 6 weeks and ask them to shorten each hair by 3X/2 millimetres. Is there some kind of hair growth/cutting hysteresis which distorts the whole process into a chaotic nonlinear shambles? Actually, looking in the mirror each morning that seems pretty likely. 

How long has it been since your last haircut? Oh a fair while now. Or maybe not. 

Monday, July 3, 2017


I fired up the barbecue (seppos: think "grill") tonight to do some jerk chicken.  It tasted pretty good, even though I didn't actually have any rum in the house so I had to use French brandy instead.  You know how I'm one of those guys who just happens to have some old French brandy stashed away in the back of the cupboard.

Anyway, it turns out that brandy instead of rum gives the jerk chicken quite a different taste.  Imagine that Admiral Villeneuve triumphed at Trafalgar rather than Admiral Nelson - and the West Indies were dominated by the French from that day forth.  That's what it tasted like.  Quelle magnifique!

The Hatchling liked it too.  She's pretty good with weird tasting food - it's really only chilli that she draws the line at and we're making progress there too.  Although I suppose there is a difference between eating something and actually enjoying it.  She was full of compliments tonight once I'd fired up the barbecue though.  "Mmm, that smells amazing Dad!"

I had to break it to her that I hadn't actually put the chicken on the grill yet - the clouds of fragrant smoke pouring out were simply the incinerated remains of the last twelve things I've cooked on it, since I don't put much effort into cleaning it.  It's the Australian way.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Say what

Bring bring!  Bring bring!

PTR (into telephone)
Speak - I listen.

Receptionist (via telephone)
Did you just ring Jesus?


Do. You. Syringe. Ears.

Oh, other people's absolutely.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Impossible for us to be dismembered

Please refrain from rhetorical questions
You are already aware
Of the deep affection I feel
For your valuable cardiac tissue.

I was upright on my lower limbs
You were in the vicinity
The orbits of two planets intersected violently
And it was impossible for us to be dismembered.

Our lifespans could exceed the norm
By a factor of ten or more
But if you sustained an injury for which I was causally responsible
I'd prepare an alcoholic beverage from your ocular secretions.

I informed you of the possibility
Of aerial transport
Because everybody has wings
But a number of people remain ignorant of the reason for this.

I was upright on my lower limbs
You were in the vicinity
The orbits of two planets intersected violently
And it was impossible for us to be dismembered.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

This bouncing life

I bought a trampoline.  It's a big one, so big that you might think there's some kind of Freudian Trampoline Complex which I am unconsciously acting out.  And perhaps if there isn't, there should be, because I've got a big one.

I found an ad online for this used trampoline and got interested, which is a feat in itself.  It's not until you start reading ads for other people's second hand goods that you realise that the majority of people are idiots.  People will post ads without prices, without pictures, without salient features of the goods or even without a goddamn description of what the stuff is.  "Sale on Saturday. Many things."  Jesus.

So I texted the guy late at night and he got straight back to me - he wanted the trampoline gone pronto so I agreed to buy it and go pick it up on Saturday morning.  I was pretty chuffed with myself, but my Smaller Half was innately more suspicious.  "Why are they selling it? How old is it? Has anyone ever vomited on it? What does their house look like?"  She seems to go through life half-convinced that homeless people are trying to sell her old beaten up trampolines that they've been using to strain their vomit, perhaps to make a delicious clear vomit broth in the French style.  And why not - we all have our peccadillos (peccadillo: an armoured chicken).

On Saturday morning I drove to the guy's house, and out the front is a sad looking kid.  It occurs to me for the first time that only people with kids own trampolines so I am going to be snatching this kids trampoline away from her.  I feel bad briefly but then see the trampoline.  It is, as I've mentioned before, pretty big.  I'm stoked at the bargain price I'm getting on this baby so my qualms pretty much evaporate.

I double check with the crying kid that I'm at the right place - she tells me her dad said that I could start taking it apart.  So I get out my collection of four thousand Allen keys which are all the same size and discover that they are all the same wrong size.  Luckily I can work my way around this because I have a screwdriver which I can misuse to take this thing apart.  It takes me about 90 minutes to knock it down and shove it into my car.

Because there are some bits which I can't figure out how to separate, I end up having to drive home with the trampoline safety net draped over my head and shoulders like a demented beekeeper.  I hope I don't have a car accident or I might strain my neck.  I'm almost home when my phone starts ringing - it's the guy who sold me the trampoline letting me know that I've left some pieces behind in his driveway.  But I reckon they're mostly superfluous safety devices, included only as a regulatory requirement, and certainly not expected to impinge on our fun by their absence.

By the late afternoon I have reassembled the trampoline in my back yard and it is bigger than it looked in the old owner's yard.  By some miracle of geometry I have put the same pieces back together and ended up with a trampoline which is nearly twice as big as it was before.  Awesome.  I'd be keen to get on and have a bounce around but the mat is soaking wet from my Smaller Half having spent an hour hosing off all the vomit.  I hope it's a sunny day tomorrow.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


I can type.
I can type English.
I can put the words in a line and they make a sentence.
They tell a story.
Tell tell tell.
I have been away.
Not really.
I have been here with me all along.
And here with you in your heart too.
I have been away from this blob.
But now I am back.
And now I am front.
I am back.