for reasons that i'm not particularly inclined to discuss or delve into, i have of late been spending considerably more time within hospitals than i normally would. any time could, look you see, be the amount of time that i would not normally spend, but so it goes, you can only play the hand you are dealt.
despite my preference or wish not to discuss the finer details much, i over the last few days came across a tale from that place which was, to me, comedy gold. i could not, then, let it slide to the oblivion like nature of my memory, and thus am recording it here.
i was on a ward where the residents, or if you insist patients, are rather close to going home. in order to be satisfactorily judged to be able to cope at home, however, they must first pass a test.
what sort of test, you ask? ah, yes, quite, here's where my beloved the English way of doing things comes to the fore. in order to prove that they may go home, they must make.....a cup of tea.
no, that's note one that i or any sort of patient made to pass this test; it's a Fortnum & Mason one which was made last month. the image is being used purely for illustrative purposes. as, you know, pictures usually are.
oh, there's more to this than that which you have read. i became aware of this testing in part from overhearing a conversation whilst there, but at most from an account of an impressive effort to get a patient to take the test.
here is the conversation as relayed to me, followed by a random picture of me, just to keep quiet all of those who moan when there's too much text and not enough visual. the first voice, so to speak, is that of a nurse, whilst the second is the, as it were, patient. this is all, by the way, around 8pm at night.
"come one, wake up, it's time to make a cup of tea!"
"but I don't want a cup of tea?"
"that doesn't matter, you just need to make one, now"
"but why would I make a cup of tea if I don't want one now?"
"you just need to come with us and make one please"
"I don't want a cup of tea"
"please come with us and make a cup of tea"
"no, I don't want a cup of tea"
apparently this conversation went on for a little bit along these lines. the conclusion, lest i leave you in any sort of suspense, was that the patient most decidedly did not make a cup of tea, and thus was not discharged or returned home.
yes, Richard enthusiasts, that is indeed Richard at the forefront upon the couch, whilst i stand towards the back, looking most stylish with some vibes on the go. it is my way.
i'm trying to work out if, going back to the tale told, i've ever heard a more incredibly English situation than this one. from all around the world i've been quizzed about just what is it with the English and our tea, so it all makes sense. why wouldn't you use making a cup of tea as an astute means of determining the well being of someone, and why would you release someone who was not prepared to make tea?
whilst i shall continue to report on episodes and incidents of the English way of doing things here, i think it's fair to say that - short of a war declaration inspired by tea - we're reached some form of zenith or zeitgeist in terms of the subject.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!