Monday morning...a 'Public Holiday' here in the UK...the third day of a long weekend...
...and because our core customer base is poor , most of the town seems to have chosen our waiting room, with its free cold water dispenser, and Sky News, as the place they want to spend their holiday.
I've been thinking of selling postcards and candy floss but our esteemed leader,Blodwyn-from-Wales thought that might be against the spirit of the NHS.
Just before lunch, Granny the Triage Nurse asked me to see a young man who only wanted to be seen by a male nurse.
My heart sank.
Just before I'm about to eat my 'fuller/longer' spaghetti-and-meatballs ready-meal you saw me pop in the microwave?
He was 22 years old, with piercings to every visible surface...
...and to some invisible surfaces as I was unfortunately about to discover.
He was pale and spotty with a few scattered hairs on his pale chinny chin chin.
And he was wearing one of those stupid knitted tube hats so beloved of Coldplay devotees.
"Right Sir...what can I do for you today? What great emergency...what catastrophic event...what overwhelming health calamity... brings you to my Unit then?"
Well what it is...obviously...is that my right ball is swollen.
"Uh huh...when did it start to swell?"
Well what it is...obviously...is since when I went through my puberty at nine, is that every month, for about a week, my right ball swells up....
(Puberty at nine....I don't think soooooooooooo....I'm South African and mine only started at 11!)
"Right...so let me get this correct...every year for the past ,-what-,13 years, your right testicle has swollen up for a week and then settled back to its normal size?"
"Uh huh...and why have you chosen to come to see me today then?"
Well I'm worried about what it could be....
My girlfriend thinks it may be cancer....
So can you do an x-ray or something...?
"No...Alas...What I can do...and legally must do I suppose...is to examine your testicles..."
*oh happy day*
He stood up and dropped his already low-hanging jeans and displayed 'Mickey Mouse' fake silk boxers...
I sat there in front of him, put on a surgical mask, sighed, slapped on two pairs of gloves and stared to examine him.
Really...this is what my life is reduced too...?
Here I am in my early forties sitting in downtown Armpit , England handling the testicles of a complete stranger...
...okay...in my late forties...
...okay...in my early fifties...
There was nothing to find.
"Okay...have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?"
"Are you in a monogamous relationship?"
What does that mean...?
"Are you only having sex with your girlfriend?"
"Okay...I need to check your temperature and then I need you to give me a urine sample so that I can test it...Okay?"
I gave him the container and showed him the toilet , which is about 10 meters from my office.
"Okay....I just need a few millilitres...just come back to my office when you're finished."
He nodded and walked to the toilet.
I sat and sipped my coffee and caught up on some notes.
I had some more coffee and finished a second set of notes.
I rooted around in the disaster cupboard for some digestive biscuits and dunked a few in the remains of my coffee.
I finished a third set of notes.
Fifteen minutes had elapsed.
I walked down to the toilet and knocked on the door...
"Yo...buddy...is everything okay in there...?"
He sounded breathless .
"You've been in there for 15 minutes...how long does it take you to have a pee? I only need a little bit of urine to test..."
"Jah...urine...what did you think I said?"
*take me now Lord, take me now*
I referred him to the urologist...
...and the audiologist.