So there is was, isolated, disorientated and vulnerable in a small cubicle – presumably to make me answer all their questions. The Big Man with entourage came, then the gormless medical student and, eventually, the Bandage Nurse.
I had an overwhelming urge to call her “Sister” on account of her air of authority.
By the time she’d finished the bandaging it looked like I’d grown one of those comedy fingers you see in cartoons. You could imagine that if she removed the bandage the finger would pulsate and light up bright red.
“You’ll have to hold it up,” she said, “to stop the bleeding.”
I humphed. It had now taken over four hours since cutting the finger and all I had to show for it was a bad attitude and a comedy finger. Did I mention which one it was? Shall we just say that passing Americans looked at me aghast, unsure of what they had done to merit such an insult.
Anyway, they let me out of the claustrophobic cubicles and moved me to a chair in a dingy corridor with light-absorbing paint and a line of gloomy people that made American Gothic or Lowry look like tourist posters. Apart from one bloke, who was doing a passable impression of an idiot.
“Of course,” he said, “i’ve to them all. haven’t I Grace, been to them all?”
His daughter smiled in embarrassment as she sat there, small, pale and clearly in pain.
Then he went on to name all the local casualty departments he’d been to (many now closed) and all the uninteresting injuries he’s had. If I say he was the sort of man who remembers the names of consultants I’m sure you get the idea.
“She’s put her hand in a riveting machine.” he said.
If I’d have lived with him I’d have happily put my head in one.
When he left, smiles broke out what had looked like a line of professional mourners suddenly looked like a line of contestants in The Price is Right, though one of them did have an offensively raised finger..