Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Time Out


Shlock and awe by Pants

We are all too tired today to think. Barney and the question Why are sleeping off a marathon session with the vodkamisu last night. I was left to deal with all the phone calls and emails. It is clear from today's inbox that other people are doing plenty of thinking so we don't feel we need worry too much about a depletion in the zeitgeist. It appears we are in fact just like a gigolo, in that life goes on without us.

Niece Pants emailed to say she loved the drawings I did for her school project, which I posted by express mail to her on Friday. She wondered if I would do some more please. We had already had a long phone conversation on the weekend about how she might fill in the actual 'story' part of the story she was writing, which I had agreed to illustrate. I was conscious of the fact that I had already done more work on this than she had. Somehow this felt entirely wrong. I'm afraid I dealt with this request via a bit of tough love. I simply re-delegated back. I doubt she'll stay mad at me for very long.

Ma Pants has been in hospital for a week. She is eighty and asthmatic. She usually ends up in hospital as either an emergency or near emergency. Sis Pants and I have gotten used to this and accepted it. It's much more of a problem for Sis Pants who lives close by and is the one who has to drop everything. We do agree however, that any alternative living strategy would diminish Ma Pants's quality of life to an intolerable extent and very possibly shorten it.

Every other winter there's a perfect storm of symptoms which result in none of the treatments she can administer herself (oxygen, Ventalin, anti-biotics etc), being effective and she quite literally runs out of air. She is known to emergency services and the three local hospitals, so she gets fast-tracked into the appropriate treatment regime with usually impressive efficiency.

Usually I call her in hospital for a chat when she's up to receiving phone calls. On Sunday I rang the hospital number continuously for over two hours. After the first four or five times that it rang out I thought something might be wrong with the switchboard so I emailed the hospital to ask for an alternative number. I kept trying to phone and eventually got through.

On Monday morning, eighteen hours after my email, I got a response from the hospital with that alternative number. I emailed back in the form of a complaint. I don't like doing this because it's a small service and one always worries there might be resentment. It turns out that the weekend office staff went home at one o'clock on Sunday and forgot to transfer the phones to the main nursing station. It is a bit surprising that no one noticed that, in a hospital full of sick people, there were no phone calls from the outside world for over two hours.

There was an astonishing number of emails to do with my announcement of my intention to re-engage, albeit to a limited extent, with humanity. Please be assured that I am not 'at risk'. I just don't find most people very interesting, yourself excepted of course lovely reader.

Ms O'Dyne sent me several funny links and relayed a newspaper caption she'd discovered that described people attending a function as 'well healed'. She said she was very glad they'd gotten over whatever was ailing them before going out. I suspect whatever they have is still contagious but never mind. I was listening to the Australian Parliament on radio yesterday - perhaps I am 'at risk' after all. The Leader of Her Majesty's Australian Opposition made this damning accusation of his opponent,

'The Prime Minister will use whatever words are available at the time to emphasise his real commitment.'

'Whatever words are available at the time' - does this mean there are temporary suspensions on particular words in Parliament? If only the question Why would regain consciousness. It will have to wait.

Well, must go now. I'm very much in danger of turning this into an actual post.