Written by Big M
Foodge had tried his best. He’d contacted Janet with the offer of acting as mediator between her and Merv. She seemed fixated on the word ‘mediate’. “Mediate, mediate, you couldn’t mediate at a piss up.” Foodge had absolutely no idea what this meant. He was under the gun, coffee wise, so went back to brewing.
FOW had been listening in between pouring glass canoes and operating the EFTPOS. “Sounds like it’s over, but she may be happy to speak to a man of the cloth.”
“What cloth?” Foodge was as sharp as a bowling ball.
“You know, a minister, such as myself.” FOW pushed the bottle of South Sea Islands Irish whiskey along the bar for Foodge’s Famous Irish Coffee, which had become popular amongst the Night Duty Nurses.
“Oh, I don’t know, I think she’s a Callithumpian.”
“You know there’s no such religion as Callithumpian?” They were interrupted by Big M asking for a tray for the Irish Coffees.
“Youz aren’t Callithumpian, are you? We’ve had no end of trouble with back home.” Big M interjected.
“No, mate, just chatting.” FOW replied, as he replaced the whiskey bottle on the top shelf.
Foodge grinned. “See there is such a thing!”
“Whatever.” This wasn’t a battle worth fighting over. “Are you going to take Granny to see Merv?” Granny had responded to her favourite nostrum and was in fine form brewing a batch of Granny’s Pale Ale.
“Yes, indeed. I was hoping to give Merv some good news regarding Janet, but I think I’ll be hooking him up with a Family Solicitor.”
“Can’t you handle stuff like that?” FOW was wiping and stacking a bunch of trays.
“I’ve never handled a divorce, all criminal law, me!” Foodge hasn’t appeared in a court for three years, which may be more of a reason. “Oh, here’s the lady herself. How’s the brewing going , Granny?”
“The wort has been boiled, cooled and pumped into a fermentation tank. It just needs to cool down by a cuppla degrees then I’ll toss in some yeast. I heard youz talkin’ ‘bout Merv and Janet. Any hope?” Granny nodded to FOW who slid a canoe across the bar.
“Well, she doesn’t want to talk to me. Father wants to talk to her, but I don’t think it will help.”
“No, them Callithumpians keep to themselves. Very intolerant of other faiths.. I wouldn’t bother.” Granny skulled her drink and nodded for a second, which followed the first one quick smart.” I’m going upstairs for a shower, are you still happy to take me to see Merv?”
“Yes, O’Hoo will take over while I’m gone.”
The hospital visit went as hospital visits usually go. Twenty minutes of driving around looking for an overpriced parking spot. Then ten minutes of trying to find the ward. At least that gave one time to try to acclimatise to the smell of disinfectant, which failed to disguise the smell of urine. Eventually they found the ward where they were pleased to see that Merv was no longer manacled to the bed.
Merv had assumed that MRI-Brain was some sort of brain biopsy so had been getting worked up over the idea of a big needle, or blade, going into his brain. The nurse had allayed his fears by telling him that it was a brain scan using big magnets and shit. The scan, according to a verbal report, was unremarkable, which is medical speak for normal. He’d eagerly conveyed all of this to his visitors.
“So, what’s the next step, son?” Granny was stoic, but in reality was pretty worried.
“Well, they’re considering an orchidectomy, which seems odd, because we don’t grow any flowers!” Merv exclaimed.
“No, well that sounds good, love, we’ll push off, I’ve still got wort that needs my attention.”
As they wandered through the maze of hallways and tunnels Foodge whispered to Granny. “Why do they want Merv’s orchids?”
“I suspect it’s just some medical thing.” Granny replied, nodding knowingly.