Number CrunchingIf yesterday had begun as any other day, then perhaps the today George was presently cursing would not have ended in the way it had. In short, George had found himself in a predicament. The outcome of which, had put George in the sort of discomfort that would keep most men’s frown firmly the right way up. The pain killers had given some relief, but regret had been incessantly poking at the back of his brain, as if delighting in the particularly irksome position this unwelcome squatter had claimed for its own. So far no doctor had offered him something for that complaint.
George began to count the number of times the word “baby” was being used by the teenie-bopper pop-tarts that forced their way into his room via the hospital radio. He smiled for the first time that day as a pattern began to emerge. Stretching out his squat and hairy arms above him and gingerly placing his hands in between his pillow and head he assumed what he imagined to be a smug expression and waited.
As expected, in walked a nurse, George’s nurse to be precise. George had been a touch disappointed by her. Given the nature of his injury he had rather hoped for a healing angel, but he had been charged into the care of something more akin to a breeze-block that had, unlike most breeze-blocks, the evident ability to make itself obese. George took a deep, but silent breath and tried to sound blasé.
“Don’t you love making a discovery?”
“Eh…?” The nurse had to turn bodily to face him on account of her thicker than average neck.
“Don’t you love proving something new?” George tried to reiterate.
“Say what, my dear.” She rolled her eyes and resumed rearranging his charts.
“I’m willing to bet you…”
“Oi, now stop that! It’s that kind of talk that got you here in the first place!” The curtailer of George’s grand scheme took a purposeful step into the room. “I am special constable Veronica Brentwhistle. I am here to collect a statement from you. I would remind you that we know practically all the details at this point. Lying would prove fruitless, and would land you in more trouble than you want. Though, probably less than you deserve.”
The policewoman, at 5 feet 10 inches tall towered rather over the reclining George. With dark hair neatly bobbed and spotless uniform she managed to combine the image of authority with a strong air of fastidiousness. Her expression was taught. The slight smile was more a part of the uniform than any attempt at real civility. George, quickly deciding that offence was the strategy to employ here decided to take control of the conversation.
“Look here, I am in a delicate position and a fragile state. You are interrupting my nurse and further more if you think I’m going to talk to a…”
“A woman, Mr Stouton?”
“Exactly, given the personal nature of…”
“Mr Stouton, I am aware of your ‘injuries’. Believe me, I am deeply sorry for your loss, but I am here to do a job. Collecting your statement does not, correct me if I’m wrong, require the use of your testicles does it?”
“Good. Then despite their absence shall we begin?”
“I understand Mr Stouton that bereavement for ‘the boys’ must make this difficult, but if you will be careless with the financial details of your pimp associates then I think you can consider a boxer-brief filled with quick-drying cement quite a let off.”
“That’s easy for you to say! I have…”
“I know Mr Stouton, you have suffered. Well frankly, I’d call the doctor’s inability to remove the concrete ‘sans sex organs’ a poetic justice. A justice that makes me think there may be forces in this world that do a better job than us at giving you guys what you deserve.”
“Hey I don’t pay my taxes to be treated like…”
“Actually Mr Stouton, your 'talent' for numbers has meant you haven’t paid taxes for 12 years. You may not like the treatment, but in this life you get what you pay for. I would also point out that the more irate you become, the more you are what I can only describe as squeaking. Nurse Friar has already had to leave the room. She was quite unable to bear it, and I am no more fond of it than she. Now do be a good boy and tell me what I need to know.”