Story by Big M
Nurse Betty was convinced of the bowel-brain connection, that the entire alimentary canal was essentially an extension of the nervous system. If one was dysfunctional, then the other suffered. With this in view she had taken a rather unorthodox approach to the coma patients in her care. Naturally they were all being fed a commercial mixture of water, glucose polymers, medium chain triglycerides, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals via nasogastric tubes.
Nurse Betty had started to add in her own concoction of probiotics, herbs and extra vitamins. She had taken particular interest in the big fellow in bed three, and had just administered an old fashioned enema: ‘high, hot and a hell of a lot’.
Mr Merv had started to groan.
“Dr Lancet, the patient in bed three is waking up!” Cried Nurse Betty.
Lancet leapt to his feet, messily dropping his cross stitch under the nurses’ station. “Sir, do you know where you are?” He yelled into Merv’s ear whilst trying to shine a torch into his eyes.
“Hospital, I guess.”
“Yes, yes, now, who is the prime minister?” Lancet was banging Merv’s patella tendon with a reflex hammer.
“OK, who’s the treasurer?” Lancet was trying to elicit a Babinski reflex from Merv’s foot.
“’ockey. Can you stop all of the hammerin’ an’ scrapin’?”
“The minister for agriculture?”
“Look, fecked if I know.” Merv retreated under the bed sheet. “Where’s Granny?”
“Big man wants his Granny! This man has severe brain damage. We need an urgent CT, MRI, MRA, MRV, then a psych consult.” Lancet was now transcribing his findings into Merv’s notes.
“Doctor, I think you have the bull by the horns, or perhaps the tits. He’s given the correct answers for when he went into the coma, and, Granny is the name of the woman who comes in with the dilapidated gentleman with the Fedora, old suit and brogues!” Nurse Betty was trying to sit Merv up so that he could take a sip of water.
Merv looked down at his withered muscles. “’ow long ‘ave I been out?”
“Since the last episode of ‘Foodge’.” Nurse Betty had never had one of her coma patients survive, so was quite excited. “Can you sit up a bit?” As she flicked on the telly.
‘Prime Minister Bullturner, and Treasurer Morrison refused to answer questions from the press club…’
“Christ, what ‘appened?”
“Coup. There’s been a string of shark attacks, so the Libs have been encouraging Abbortt to go surfing every day, and Hockey’s going to be the US Ambassador.” Betty expertly removed the nasogastric tube from Merv’s proboscis.
“’e’s got the physique for it….hey, look who it is!”
Granny was at the door to the private room, with Janet and the twins, who noisily leapt onto the bed. “Daddy!!” Merv was in tears, as were Janet and Granny.
“I thought I’d lost yer, yer great lump.” Bawled Janet.
Granny simply kissed Merv on the forehead. “Me boy’s back…ah knew you would.”
Betty shooed them all out for a few minutes whilst she changed his PJs and combed his hair. Soon the twins were snuggled up in Dad’s great hairy arms, whilst Janet sat in a chair, crying. “So what’s the news?”
“We’ve kept the pub going, everyone has put in, making meals, cleaning, tapping kegs, you name it, nearly everyone has done it, except Foodge, who is the self-appointed manager.”
“What about them terrorists?”
“There have been some more attacks.”
“Bloody Church of Isis!” Merv grumbled.
“Not them, Merv, don’t you remember, they were exonerated.
“Well Merry Feckin’ Christmas, then!”