“This is going to hurt me a lot more than it’s going to hurt you”is a phrase that is only vocalised when the exact opposite is true. Had I been in Sidney Carton’s shoes, that thought would have correctly passed through my mind just before the blade of the guillotine did. What it means in “nowspeak” is that we’re very much better at bearing pain in others rather than in ourselves. although we’re only too ready to volunteer a “I know how you feel” whilst trying to avoid looking at our watches at the same time. How much we dread a detailed answer to the rhetorical greeting of “How are you?” whilst being utterly demanding of sympathy and a painless cure at the first sign of personal discomfort. Fuck women and children first, I’ve got a headache.
During a hospital visit this morning, my eye chanced upon this handy leaflet announcing none other than a new dawn in diagnosis. With this Assessment Scale at his disposal, the steely eyed medical practitioner would not take long to spot the lack of humour in my serious flat face. A quick glance at the scale would show me for what I really was, a number 2 who could be ignored. No more malingerers with Messrs Wong and Baker at the helm. The Health Service would be back on its feet in no time. Very few beds would need to be occupied as only a moaning and crying number 10 would warrant bed rest and as such a patient would have tightly closed eyes, it’s unlikely they’d find the hospital in the first place. Result