Yesterday evening over a sublime microwaveable tomato and garlic pizza Verity strapped John in the dentists chair and with no anaesthetic drilled away at his molars. She asked all the questions that I never dared and pressed John on points that I would have been too afraid to. I sat there taking a secret delight in watching John squirm, spy his fist clench up in anger and then relax. At one point he even took his glasses off and cleared his eyes. By 8pm he looked like a sixty year old gambler who had lost the lot. Of course he never revealed an iota of useful or honest information, but it was just a delight to see him under the kosh, someone relentlessly putting the boot in.

“So darl, whats going on with the legs? This paralysis? No physio.. no concern? It's not normal John. Someone who has just lost the movement of their lower body would want to get it fixed, yeah, at least know what the hell is wrong. But you, nothing. Whats the deal?”
“Fell outta bed.” said John stuffing a triangle of pizza into his gob.
“Well ok, you 'fell outta bed' but you don't just get paralysed like that. Millions of people fall out of bed each night, especially in Scotland, but they don't phone into work 'paralysed'! So you fell out of bed, and???”
“Don't remember”
“You don't remember. Great! Isn't that great Tristram?” Verity said acknowledging my presence in the surgery. “Fell out of bed. Maybe hit your head. Don't remember. But, I'll go with it... the bar of soap theory, huh. So OK, you wake up, BANG, reality check: you can't move. Then what?”
“What you needed the toilet? You was trying to get to the toilet, yeah?”
“No. Too late. The coach had already left the station. I could smell it. It was an accid....”
“Ok, ok, ok. Don't get upset, yeah, I'm not here to upset you. But we need some answers... Tristy too. We love you and part of that deal is helping you when maybe you can't help yourself, ok? So forget any mishaps, thats besides the point. So you're laying there, right? The doctors come, yeah? They lift you up and you cannot walk, and then???”
“Humiliated. Useless. Unsexy. I was soiled and naked and wanted to be covered. My penis seemed super ultra extra small and shrivelled. Really pathetic looking. Definitely humiliation, yes.”
“No, no, no. John that's not what we want to know. Lets forget the psychiatric hospital. You was in shock, not thinking well. Your legs didn't work but as far as you knew that was a temporary thing...”
“Yes. Exactly. Thats what I thought. Maybe its just a temporary thing brought on by the shock. That was exactly it.”

For a moment Verity gave up and just looked at me. I think she was wondering how the hell I put up with it. John had gone all like childish and retarded and was biting into a folded lump of pizza as if nothing was happening. It was like if he acted goofy enough he could get away with saying anything. He does that sometimes. Confuses his paralysis with brain damage. Rather than acting like someone who has lost their legs he acts like someone who has lost their mind.  After a few moments thought, Verity continued.

“Ok, JohnJo, hospital – not because of the fall, but because you have lost all feeling in your legs. The hospital carries out some tests, x-ray AND reflex. You fail them both repeatedly – the reflex on 15 separate occasions!. During the reflex test you actually move your leg out the way to avoid being tapped on the knee! So you're not paralysed. That's proof, no?”

“No! It's proof my legs can move, that there's hope. But it's not proof it's ME who can move them. That's as good as being paralysed, worse in many ways.”

“Fine, I'm with that. You're paralysed, yeah, maybe some kind of medical curiosity??? But that leads to the real problem in all this: your attitude. You just don't seem to care. No attempts to discover whats wrong. Signing yourself out of hospital. .Missing your appointments. Your acceptance to life in a chair is just staggering. No physio. No concern for any of the problems Dr Dennis says could afflict you. On the contary, on the same day you are told your contracted chest may lead to breathing difficulties you start smoking again!!! Jesus, John do you really think we can swallow that? And with no questions?”

“Don't know. Suppose not, but I have no answers, I can't just make them up. I suppose I don't care because I don't care about myself...  And if I don't care about myself how can I expect others to care about me? I suppose I'm lacking in self-worth.” john babbled, prooving my suspicions true that he's secretly been watching daytime TV.

Verity persevered a little longer, but never really got anywhere. When John kept needing the toilet every other question she finally gave up. Still, one good thing came out of it, Verity no more believes a word of it than I do. By virtue of a Morrison's Garlic & Tomato pizza and the nonsense of a pseudo-paraplegic, I had gained a very important ally. The evening was well and truly mine.


  1. Amateurs.

    I'd have him walking or paralyzed in less time than it took Jesus to turn loaves into fishes.

    'Millions of people fall out of bed each night, especially in Scotland'.

    That's not even the half of it.

    In 1999 the great prophet and brilliant businesman Pat Robertson said that Scotland was "a dark land" overrun by homosexuals.


    It is a Socialist state where anything goes.

    Compare with, say, Iran. As my dear friend President Ahmadinejad (such a lovely smile) said:

    "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country,"

    And why do we think this is?

    Zero Tolerance!

    Take heed The West.

    A day of Revalation and Rapture is coming.

    Fake paralysis will be the least of your worries.

  2. I am reading this half pissed on vodka and laughing my head off .. sorry but its my birthday and you know thats what you do on your birthday .. you get wasted.. in what ever way you choose.
    My other indulgence is to giggle at you waiting for John sucking toothlessly on his pizza ...
    You crack me up .. brilliant as always
    Love Ruth xx

  3. @ Mrs Winthrope: That line was for you! Oh the day of Revelation is on its way... you don't know how close it is. A black swirling mass of storm has been whipping up for a while now... X

    @ Wildernesschic: Drunks and the mentally ill are my biggest fans. But me personally, if it's not prescribed or more than 40% proof, I don't touch it. I've a vegetable who needs some TLC and I couldn't give him that completely smashed all day. Oh, if only I was young and free again... X


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