11 May 2006

Chat Brat

Warrior mum back from Athens: *five* rather than three days' tests, poor thing.

Naturally a little frail after almost a week in bed and no appetite for hospital food.

She is unloaded from the plane in a wheelchair which adds to the drama.

We drive straight to the restaurant during which I am regaled with the week's dramas; once seated and with large whiskeys before us, I am regaled again, after which I hear the same stories told for the first time to the restaurant staff and pals who happen to be there.

I can't critique because I am always repeating myself, and The Spitfire got all too used to growling out "Dad! You said that!".

In fact, no tales of note or amusement worth sharing here, although Mum's surgeon seems to have a deadpan way with words:

Describing mum's end-of-May heart operation, Dr Aroni demonstrated the precise route and length of incision, solemnly pointing where even a millimetre over length would mean "Eenstant demise." Gulp.

The Dottore is reckoned among the top 10 heart cutters in the *world*, so I am confident, "demise" point notwithstanding.

Anyway, Mum highly impressed and full of praise and I have emailed details and contact numbers to my demanding and critical brother for whom not only is no one good enough but whatever they propose is almost certainly wrong etc etc.

On P's side, they pack a battery of medics and advisors to whom he passes details and bios for checking and approving.

Poor Dr Aroni, MD, FACS, FACC, FCCP - Cornell qualifications notwithstanding: she has been careless enough to hail from Ericousa, thus branding her in bro's eyes as an obvious recipient of nepotism who would never have got near mama were it not for local Corfu pals tipping her the wink.

Pain in the derrière and time consuming to shout down, but I am comforted to find that everyone else here just rolls their eyes at such grizzlings and dismisses them with a fond and very large doling of salt. Sanity is preserved.

Back to the subject of repeating oneself, there really should be an accepted 'code' of responses.

I find myself in the position of being the first audience of Mum's new hospital saga and can hence monitor further tellings.

My own responses have been along the lines of:

First hearing - interest and enthusiasm:

  • Wow. Interesting
  • Gosh!
  • How funny/awful/dramatic/frightening

    Second hearing - wary but still polite:

  • Yes indeed
  • So you said
  • I remember it well

    Third hearing - beginning to wane:

  • "Yes indeed - this if I'm not mistaken is the one where ... [swift summary]
  • Vigorous nod. "And I like the bit where ... [swift summary]

    Fourth Hearing - leetle impatient, flicker of testiness:

  • Curt nod, eyes averted lest eye-contact inspire wordiness.
  • Gaze silently into drink.

    Further tellings: Rise, pat pockets for baccy and lighter and, with charming smile, explain that this particular telling is too familiar to risk causing offence by my reaction.

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