Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Scrotum in the Corporate Box

Now, which author does that sound like? Early Agatha Christie? One of Lovecraft's less sinister visitations - "The Lurker in the Groin"? One of the forgotten adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The case of the speckled scrote?"

Anyhow, part time I work at this youth-friendly service in the depressed southern suburbs. We service all the surrounding area - Gehenna, Gehenna Heights, South Mordor, Morbing Vyle, Innsmouth, Slytherin Glade, all the way up to Sheol and Fang Rock. I'll call the practice Hogarth House. It's young people (12 - 25), aboriginal, gay/lesbian/etc friendly, into harm minimisation and so on. It's government run, because private enterprise isn't young people (12 - 25), aboriginal, gay/lesbian/etc friendly, into harm minimisation and so on.

Anyhow, current doctor population is three. By some miscarriage of justice, I am in charge. Underneath me is the Paediatric registrar, a man with vast knowledge of obscure genetic defects but little experience of fourteen year olds on speed, and the junior medical officer, Doctor Bill.

Doctor Bill is excellent - energetic, knowledgeable, committed, caring, and well on his way to a reactive psychotic episode if he keeps on like this. He cares deeply, which is good, and he is empathetic, another good point, and he tries to see things from the patient's point of view, and helps as much as he can. Which means from nine to two he sees eight children (and that's what they are) in a row, of whom six are suicidal, five are on drugs, four are confused about their sexuality and one of whom appears to be confused about his, one is pregnant, two are hearing voices again, one has been kicked out by her dad, one had been groped by his uncle, four of whom cut themselves with razors or glass or bread-knives, and four of whom are in prison.

I am worried I might have to put him on some other thing for a while. Maybe get him to do a research project, prepare a fifteen minute powerpoint presentation: "how many people can I help if I end up crazy myself?"

Anyhow, this is what happened to Bill. He was at the football, watching the local team getting hammered by Hawthorn*, drinking bitter and getting rowdy. he'd been invited there by his mate who had a seat in the corporate box. Plentiful alcohol, oystery kind of refreshments at quarter time, the works.

So Bill and Ben are getting slightly voluble and some guy says "Who's your mate" to Ben, and Ben says "This is Bill, he's a doctor"
A murmur went through the (smallish) crowd and several drunks pressed near.
"Wonder if you might take a look at this" said one, showing Bill what appeared to be a completely normal nasal passage.
"My mum had her cancer cured by eating nothing but walnuts" said another
"I've put on twelve kilos since Christmas" said a man with a meat pie in each hand "reckon it's my glands"
"Haven't felt quite right since 1964" said a pale woman with staring eyes. "It's the birds".
And then, and Bill swears this is true, and I've never known him to lie, a large, hirsuite man in shorts hoiked up the leg of his shorts , jiggled about a bit, and protruded his scrotum from his pantsleg. Bill reckons it slowly bulged it's head out, like a shy baby potoroo emerging from a burrow in one of those David Attenborough shows
"My left ball..." began the man, then paused. "Where'd he go?"

Bill reckons he was half way down the stair before the weirdness of the whole thing hit him, and
he had to lean against the wall and laugh until he cried. Passers by in their team colours on their way up to the corporate box regarded him strangely. But he reckons it's cold meat pies and a seat out in the rain for him from now on. And if anyone asks, he's unemployed.


* all football teams have been heavily disguised


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