My life as a patient


2017 has arrived with a whimper while 2016 has gone the way of the dodo while making a rude gesture, pneumonia.

I’m almost a week into this thing, and I’m growing tired of it.

Of all the things to get? Pneumonia? I feel like I ought to be in cottage hospital at Downtown Abbey. The doctor will have said there’s no hope for me–I should just cough my way into the world that is to come.

It’s clear to me that in Downtown, I would be the chap who mucks the stalls not the guy who drinks champagne and sleeps in the guest room. The storyline will have needed something “earthy” to balance out the sheer ebullience of life in a family that wants for nothing and managed to create a society ostensibly designed to meet its every need.

Of course life in contemporary America is nothing like, so ever now and again there needs to be a working lad thrown into the story.

Matthew Crawley’s annoying mother would, however, not permit me to shuffle off this mortal coil. Armed with some half-remembered remedy her late husband had once used, she would surreptitiously swan into my room and inject me with some unknown concoction that would, within the confines of the episode, restore me to health.

Gratefully, I would return to shoveling manure grateful that what’s her name from “the family,” had condescended to save me so that I once more might smell the sweet aroma of horse crap.

The story line would then move along to something infinitely more interesting like the seduction of the heiress by an Turkish diplomat or the delightful Maggie Smith issuing one-liners that eviscerate an opponent without seeming impolite.

I didn’t think real people got pneumonia. It’s known as “the old man’s friend,” because generally as one approaches death, pneumonia slips in and finishes the job started by some other illness.

Apparently pneumonia is typically contracted after something else, in my case the flu. Yes, 2016 really did give me a special send off didn’t it?



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