Saturday, August 04, 2012

Invalids 'R' Us

On Monday evening, at about eight, when the jail is more or less winding down for the day and people are starting to think about getting their showers prior to retiring for the night, I was called to the wing office on the tannoy. One of the governors - I can't name him, because that causes palpitations of the security nerve that prisons have running through their veins. Anyway, the governor in question had brought a bird with him, a white fantail which had been severely savaged by a cat - blood all over the place and flesh ripped from its bones but still alive, just.

"Can you save it?" says he, to paraphrase.

"I'll have a go," said I.

"It's my favourite dove," said he.

"I'll do my best," said I.

He had brought a cage and all manner of medical stuff - antiseptic spray, cotton-wool and the like.

Off he went, and left myself and Naked to administer to the bird. We cleaned it up and settled it down for the night knowing full well that it didn't look good. However, if it could survive the night then it had a chance.

The bird was still alive the next morning and started drinking like a fish - always a good sign. By Wednesday morning it was starting to eat a bit and attempting to preen itself - another good sign. By Thursday morning it was all dried up, its wounds that is, and eating perfectly well, drinking well, preening and starting to grunt and try to pick fights with Naked every time he went into the cage to feed or water her.

On Friday morning, I had to go to the hospital to finally have my umbilical hernia done. I went down to theatre wearing very fetching paper knickers and anti-embolism socks and woke up a few hours later, all done. I came back to the shovel and pick at about six that evening and was still as high as a kite from the drugs that the hospital had filled me with.

They had asked, "Do you want pain-killers to take with you?"

"Nah," said the idiot. "I can't feel a thing, I'll be fine."

Back to my cell and Naked told me to go to bed, so I did - and that was me comatose until the following morning, when I woke up with several medieval torturers working steadily on my stomach and Naked fighting for his life in the corner with the dove, now renamed Lucky - although that didn't impress the governor.

Well, it's Sunday evening now and the bird goes from strength to strength while the only pain-killer I can get out of the medical people here is paracetamol - a lot of good THAT is. So, there's Lucky in one corner being tended to by Naked and there's me in another corner being tended to by Naked - and let me tell you, Nurse Of The Year he ain't. Rude, that's what he is. Any ladies who want a huge fellow for a boyfriend, let me know in a hrown envelope and I'll sort it out - no fees, just enough to cover my expenses, ho ho.
Actually, he's not doing a bad job - we'll both survive the ordeal. Okay, Lucky won't be so pretty as she was - and I never was. Luoky has got a limp - and I'm not too steady myself - but we'll survive, thanks to Naked. Patients 'R' us, I suppose - and Naked makes a lovely nurse, if you like your nurses about eighteen stones with fifty-four inch chests and a grin like a congenital idiot. Lucky and I will be fine by this time next week. Naked will never be fine. I'm not a medical doctor, but he's too far gone in my opinion.

Finally, how did he get the name Naked? It's a long story - I think it's better left to him to tell whoever may be dim enough to get him for a boyfriend. He wears girlie­-girlie socks sometimes - but I can't say much after spending two days wearing anti-embolism stockings. Very nice too, they were - blue. I joined the blue-stocking brigade for a while there.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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