Friday, February 17, 2006

Thank you Dr Siddique and Friends, Mariam Nursing Home, Darjeeling, India

“Ahhhm fecked in the heid, man, ye ken?”

I didn’t ken. No.

Excuse me?” I asked politely.

I knew as I said it that this was a mistake. I should have just got up and gone over to the other bar. Sometimes I kick myself for having always run away from fights at school. But at 13 I preferred to miss the finer arts of fighting, sodomy and the all male bonding game of “soggy biscuit”.

“AHH SEHHD AHHHHM FECKED IN THE HEID, KEN?” he shouted with a not-so-subtle hint of a drunken slur.

This nasty little man wasn’t going to simply go away.

He was pulling up a chair as he was shouting and then he promptly sat down.

Bastard!

If he had sat any closer then he would have been right on my lap. An unpleasant enough thought as it was, but as I took a closer look at him, it became quite clear that this crazy guy was actually foaming in the mouth.

This was not a good sign.

He was drunk and he had rabies.

It’s moments like this that I clearly remember why I stopped spending so much time in pubs.

He started to drape himself over me as though I was a long lost buddy and then he started slurring aggressively about his fighting skills.

His message was simple – humour him or fight him.

Gah!

I didn’t want to do either; I was kind of hoping to talk to my friend about a work project.

This wasn't likely.

I know these guys - men who systematically remove choices from the other people they meet. Control freaks. Nasty business.

One day a woman with sufficiently low self-esteem will be owned by this guy.

And she'll apologise to him everytime he hits her.

So I peeled him off me as I was a bit scared that I was going to get covered in the abundant oral rabies foam.

I’ve seen dogs with rabies in India (and I’ve seen the mess an Indian Enfield rifle makes when a sensible policeman shoots the rabid dog from 25 yards away – it really is quite astonishing what happens to the dog!).

As an ex-nurse I’ve seen a man die from rabies too, it was many years ago and was spectacularly unpleasant and most definately not something I ever wish to see again.

My many trips to India taught me extreme caution with the crazies. In 1998 I nearly died from Typhoid fever.

I’ve kept all my immunisations up to date ever since.

The thing is I was immunised against Typhoid – everyone asks it with glee – “Ha! Didn’t you get your shots?” Well, yes, I did which is why I nearly died.

At the time I figured that I couldn’t have anything really serious so I chose to ride it out hoping that I’d get better.

As I got sicker from the infection, I lost my mental marbles and found myself somewhat delirious in the middle of Wherethefuckami high up in the mountains. I think I was trying to demonstrate to some baffled locals how to dematerialise oneself through a wall when a group of men grabbed me and forced me into their truck.

I snarled and lashed out whilst utterly baffled as to what was going on. I thought I was probably being abducted and being seriously outnumbered I did as I was told but only after biting one guy on the hand with quite some force.

They put a blanket tight across my lap and a man sat either side of me on the ends of the blanket.

I don’t recall if they used a muzzle or not.

The only bit I really remember of the actual journey was when they stopped briefly at a roadside shack and made me eat a hard-boiled salted egg. I learned later that they had actually driven for 6 hours through the mountain passes to get me to a small hospital clinic. I remember when we got there they asked me if I had 37 rupees (about 30 pence) for petrol home again. I think I snarled my teeth again at that moment.

By the time the infection had cleared, I’d lost precisely half my bodyweight. My rectum had prolapsed, my hair came out in clumps and the nails to my left hand and left foot fell out. It took me a full year to recover.

So, knowing full well what the ravages of infection can do to both man and beast, I was determined that this drunken maniac who was now telling me about the sexual relationship he used to enjoy with his younger sister and brothers was not going to infect me.

Punching this toxic individual in the mouth would probably be a bad idea. After all, he might drool on me.

If Official Housemate reads this, she’ll now understand where her packet of rolling tobacco mysteriously went. I must confess, I’d in fact pinched it as I left the house (I fancied small one…honestly…just the one!)

I handed the assorted smoking apparel to Mad Foaming Boy who suddenly exclaimed, ”Och! Geargh! Gis!” which I think roughly translates to, “Oh, thank goodness my good man, I do believe that you have some smokable drugs upon your person. Please would you be so kind as to hand me some? Thank you.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was Official Housemate’s plain old Golden Virginia, but I knew that he wouldn’t notice. So I made my exit as he struggled to roll himself the mildest joint he’s ever smoked. I’ve not touched any illegal substances for some years now.

I do hope he wiped the foam away from his mouth before he passed it onto to the next doper.

Rabies is quite infectious you know.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sally W said...

If the universe did start with a bang - when God loved and the angels sang - one of the sparks that flew - chased time to become you :) xaNax

1:55 AM  

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