Posted tagged ‘Jaws’

Saturday Night at the Casualty

May 1, 2010

It occurred to me the other day that I had never been sick in some forty years. No days off work, no heavy colds and no serious sports injuries. The latter is a strange one; I play a lot of football, tennis and cricket. The cricket I play is without a ball as I bowl imaginary fast yorkers in imitation of Brett Lee. Yet, no leg knocks, tennis elbow or shoulder strains do I own. Definitely I have not been a drain on the NHS.

My healthiness began to irk me. Illness garners a lot of sympathy and I felt I was missing out on pity big time; pity is an under rated emotion in my book. It is widely popular this ailing, feeling unwell business and I wondered if being under the weather is all it’s cracked up to be. Before you die you should try everything once so I hoped to be not well sometime soon.

Hanging about the local bar with some friends and in deep thought of sickness I launched from my seat with a meaty run-up and bowled another 90 MPH invisible cricket ball down the pub. None of the regulars batted an eyelid as they are used to – what they call- my harmless tourettes moments. There’s no swearing involved, no windows smashed, no wickets taken, as it is all just a bowling impersonation.

Conversation turned to the shark game. The shark game is played in bars up and down Scotland. In a famous scene in the film Jaws the shark hunters show off their scars in a modified version of the Miss World competition. The winner is the one with the deepest wound and most painful looking disfigurement. The voting can be subjective and sometimes new scars are inflicted during the event. My jaw sank; as a great white coward my cursed healthy body is free of blemishes. This is not my game.

The boisterous participants in the impromptu contest were lifting their shirts and dropping their trousers to reveal past mutilations. An appendix scar was ruled out as it was a premeditated cut; rules just get made on the spur of the moment. Big Al was proud to reveal a lengthy gash on his arm, the legacy of catching his limb on a fence when climbing, which kind of takes the glory away from his beloved blemish. Another explained a mammoth bite on his leg as the result of being attacked by a hippopotamus, but nobody believed him.
And now it was my turn.
Desperately I had been examining myself for the hint of a cut. Nothing. No acne, no rogue freckles, no moles, no badgers, no ferrets, nothing. Deliberately I decided to do my tourettes party piece and hurtling along the length of the bar I hurled a harpoon at the gantry…and something clicked…in my shoulder. Pain. So this is what it feels like. It’s a bit sore.

Not wanting to make a fuss I called a cab and went to the accident and emergency department. The ward was full of patients with their heads hanging off; these guys should enter the shark game. As for me I didn’t want to be a drain on anyone and about turned for home. The shoulder was getting better and I could see myself bowling in a day or two.