The other day in the pub (where else?) I was cornered by the local bore into listening to the various bits he had earmarked for extraction when he popped his clogs to be made available for transplant purposes.
He sounded like he was reading from a spare parts catalogue.
Then he asked how was I today? The inference being that I could fill lots of bins in the hospital stores department and should reel off part numbers while I could still speak. So with some relish I gave him both barrels:
“Well, the gout has exploded both big toes and me piles make sitting down an ordeal without the patent pillow from the Happybum Corporation of Kowloon.
“I am alternately stricken with chronic constipation and diarrhoea, me lungs wheeze like the Dagenham Girl Pipers tuning up and I’ve got death watch beetle in me wooden leg.”
Warming to my theme I continued: “I have already made some arrangements for the funeral, stipulating a flat-pack coffin in pine-effect plywood with rope handles and the logo of the sponsoring brewery painted on both sides.
“The pall-bearers will have to be insured against ruptures, naturally.
I was delighted to see that at this stage his eyes were beginning to glaze over for a change. But I wasn’t finished with him yet.
“And then there are the tests I have to undergo. The glaucoma test is particularly refreshing, consisting as it does of a gale-force blast of air into each eyeball which always reminds me of topping up tyre pressures on a garage forecourt.
“Needles of various calibres are stuck up and in me and various fluids and solids collected for analysis. Both hips are scheduled for replacement. Why, I might even get one of yours. I’ll buy you a pint just in case...
“Furthermore, in case you’re wondering why I drink only 10 pints a session and eat a modest three or four bacon and egg butties with chips on the side for lunch it’s part of the misery of a diet imposed on me by the dreaded diabetes.”
He stumbled towards the exit before I could tell him about the various ‘itises’, also the DT’s (it stands for ‘delicious tremblings’).
My mate Charlie, who was propping up the bar and was himself in rude bad health, said “You forgot to mention the bubonic armpits.”
Well, I didn’t want to frighten the bloke, did I?