Monday, October 14, 2013


Dorothy is sitting forward on her chair, letting the first paramedic on scene do her blood pressure. The carer who called us in sits by her side, one hand resting on her shoulder.
‘Who are you?’ says Dot, peering up at us. ‘Are you the ones who’re gonna cart me orf?’
‘Don’t worry, Dot,’ says the paramedic, pulling the steth out of his ears and straightening up. And then to us: ‘Thanks for coming, guys. Funnily enough, I was just about to stand you down. There’s nothing acute going on as far as I can tell. This clown thing’s been an issue for three weeks or more. Hasn’t it, Dot? The scary clowns?’
‘Ye-es. Dancin’ about like they own the place. Baring their teeth. Horrible it is.’
The carer rubs her shoulder.
‘Dot has been having these hallucinations for a little while,’ says the paramedic, writing the BP down. ‘She’s being treated for a UTI, so that’s probably got something to do with it. But she’s also suffering from macular degeneration and they think that might be a factor.The carer here was a bit concerned tonight that Dot had got worse, but to be honest everything else is checking out, and she’s settled down since I got here. Haven’t you, Dot? Settled down?’
‘Ye-es. Well. The clowns are more interested in you now, I think.’
The paramedic shudders.

To be fair, Dot seeing clowns is not all that surprising. Even if she were completely well, she’d see at least a dozen. There are porcelain clowns gurning on the mantelpiece, a row of cloth clowns lain out  in clear plastic bags on the temporary clown mortuary of the sofa, and worst of all, a three-quarter size clown leaning next to the fireplace, its red glove up in farewell, a rictus of grief on its face.
‘I see kittens as well, you know’ says Dot, rubbing the spot where the paramedic unwrapped the cuff. ‘Playing around the sofa, like.’
‘Now kittens I can handle,’ he says. ‘Let's focus on the kittens.’

‘But it’s you the clowns want,’ says Dot. ‘I can tell.’


jacksofbuxton said...

Can Dot see a picture in her mind of a clown doing the Lord Kitchener pose?

Spence Kennedy said...

It's a shame they didn't publish that 'I want you' poster with a scary clown instead of Kitchener. No-one would've signed up, and the war couldn't have gone ahead.

tpals said...

Now that is just WRONG. Nobody in their right mind chooses to live with clowns. Shivers.

Spence Kennedy said...

Honestly, tpals. Five minutes in that room and I was scarred for life. :/

Sabine said...

Would you ever give us few tips on how to avoid UTI, this stuff is rampant.

Spence Kennedy said...

Sabine - We do see a lot of UTIs. I suppose it's because most of our patients are elderly, often with reduced mobility, catheterised or wearing pads. If you're active and drink sufficiently during the day, you should be fine!

Daniel - Those pesky kittens.

You've heard of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Well scientists have now established they were actually kittens.

If you go into a room and see a kitten in it, don't panic. Just back out slowly, close the door - then run screaming down the road.

petrolhead said...

I'm fine with the idea of a zombie apocalypse but show me a clown...!

Spence Kennedy said...

What about a zombie clown apocalypse? And the only thing that'll stop them is to hit them over the head with a big squeaky hammer.