It’s over. Today was my first ever visit to the inside of a courtroom and it’s an amazingly tedious place. Not like the ones in films at all. The rules of jury selection mean they have to have at least 30 from which to select a jury and I wasn’t picked. Phew. I was home by lunchtime.
The relief is wonderful. Not least because they call out the names of those picked out of a hat (actually, a goldfish bowl) while the accused is in the dock! What? He was a strapping bloke accused of violence. I wouldn’t want him to know my name if he was found guilty.
Anyway, he doesn’t. I am free of the spectre of jury service for another five years. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow so can’t celebrate tonight. A glass or two of wine, one nip of the remaining Ledaig and then some much-needed sleep.
Then there was a phone call this afternoon. Well, two. Boss wants me to do a few extra days because the morning temp has quit and left without working her notice. This seems to happen a lot and it shows an appalling lack of foresight. You need job references for your next job. Well I don’t but the younger ones do. Also, if she had completed the temp contract she’d have had a week’s holiday pay at the end of it. Effectively a week’s pay for free while you hunt down a new job. Still, people are, on the whole, pretty stupid. I’ll get some overtime next week.
The other call was about some possible microbiology work. Perfect timing. If they had called last week I’d have had to say ‘Stuck with jury service, sorry’ but they called mere hours after that particular chore had expired. As my contracted hours at Local Shop are all on Saturday and Sunday, I now have Monday-Friday free for either extra hours at Local Shop or proper work if it should really appear this time.
Last night, the one night I had to be up proper-horribly early, my ribs decided to play ‘no, you can’t lie that way – nor that way’. Swines. They let me drop off to sleep knowing I was certain to move and then they would wake me up with what felt like a hefty kick. Good thing I wasn’t on the jury. It’s illegal to fall asleep on duty. Now the ribs have gone quiet again, or maybe I’m just too tired to feel any pain. Tomorrow I don’t have to be up until 8 am – and I never thought I’d ever use a phrase like that!
I’m also far too knackered to bother shredding leaves for tomorrow’s smokes tonight. The only recourse is to bite the bullet and buy a pack of ten on the way to work tomorrow. Four quid won’t break the bank but it’s soul-destroying to know that nearly all of it goes in tax. As soon as I’m home tomorrow night, the shredder comes out.
I have a letter from the hospital. Okay, I was peeing blood for a couple of days but that had stopped by the time I visited the GP and was quite clearly very strongly linked to the agonising pain in my kidney. I think one of the broken ribs might have poked it. That’s all healed up now as are the scuff-marks on my face and the other various cuts and bruises. Only the damaged ribs remain.
The letter wants me to attend for a bladder examination. Understandable, probably triggered by the red tide flowing into the sewage works for a couple of days, but the reason for that was pretty clear and has now grown back. There’s no need for – I can barely bring myself to say it – a camera insertion the wrong way up a one-way pipe. And, at the risk of sounding overly self-effacing, it’s not a very wide pipe.
There is a form to fill in. One of the questions was ‘Would you like to be visited by a priest?’ Huh? What the Hell are they planning to do to me? Are there some risks they aren’t mentioning? I can’t be visited by a priest. My head might spin around and they’d want to experiment on that next.
Nobody mentioned this willy-camera thing at the hospital. No mention of it when they let me go. Just ‘take some painkillers, you don’t need prescription ones, and leave those ribs alone to heal’. No mention of further torment. Well, they wouldn’t, I suppose. I’d have moved and changed my name by now if they had told me what they had in mind.
They won’t need a very long camera. One sight of the machinery and the old chap’s going to do a quite remarkable impression of a walnut whip. If they can even find the end of it they should be awarded an ‘A’ in anatomy. They could have Kate Bush in a skimpy nurse’s uniform with no underwear bending over at every opportunity and it wouldn’t straighten a single crease.
There is a line at the end of the form which translates to ‘Get stuffed and leave me alone’ but I have to wonder if the scan and X-ray showed up something of concern. I am at the age where things do start to break down, you know. It could not be more painful than the rib/kidney combination that made a huge bruise entirely painless and some quite nasty face-cuts not even noticeable. And they claim to splatter the area with an anaesthetic gel… but then they gave me three shot-glasses of liquid morphine when I was in there and it made no difference to the pain at all. Over-the-counter stuff has always been useless. Maybe the anaesthetic won’t work. I’d better take some whisky along. It doesn’t actually kill the pain, you just stop caring about it. The risk there is that the docs might say ‘Your bladder is fine but your urine smells like peat smoke, so we need to do more tests’.
They also say that afterwards, there’s no issue with just going home. It will be about an hour on the bus. With a numb knob and a bladder full of saline. This does not sound good.
No reason has been given, no contact other than the out-of-the-blue and into-the-bladder letter. I might phone them and ask for a reason, but I doubt I’ll get more than ‘just in case’. In case of what? In case I’m not in enough pain any more?
I could write a horror story about this but nobody would believe it.
On balance though, it was a good day. The bad parts weren’t all that bad and the weird stuff doesn’t happen until next month. I no longer have to worry about jury service.
Now I have to worry about the Attenborough documentary that goes where nobody has gone before – and where nobody in their right mind wants to go. Up the plumbing. The future of passport photos… you can change your face but how will you change your bladder?
Oh well. Time for the last dram of the Ledaig and then sleep (ribs permitting). I’ll visit Aldi tomorrow after work to see if they have Glenfarclas back in stock yet. Yes, I am working Sunday but that doesn’t start until 12 so it’s an easy one.