Sunday, 19 December 2010

French Farce at an English Hospital

This happened about a month ago.
The secretary (50’s) and her Admin Manager (40’s) are working peacefully together in their shared office.  The manager has just been explaining to the secretary that she is in some pain with her right ankle, and is not sure why.  The Prof (60's) opens the door and enters, exchanging a couple of pleasantries with the women and handing the secretary a brief but urgent typing job to do, promising to return in 10 minutes’ time to collect it, as he’s due at a meeting shortly.  He disappears back to his office.

A few minutes later there is a knock on the door and a strikingly handsome young man enters the room (20's).  He is an orthopaedic registrar, and he has come to collect the prize money for having won a poster competition at the recent annual scientific meeting organised by the Admin Manager. 

Taking advantage of this heaven-sent opportunity, she asks him for advice on her painful ankle.  He responds most solicitously, kneeling down on the floor and asking her to take her shoe and sock off, the better to examine it.  He concludes that some gentle manipulation might establish one of various alternatives, and asks her to lie down flat so he can get the foot at the correct angle.  As it is a small office, pieces of furniture need to be shifted and chairs cleared out of the way to enable this manoeuvre to take place in (very relative) comfort. 

The small office now rearranged to satisfaction, she lies down, proffering her right ankle, and the registrar goes to work.  The secretary meanwhile, aware that the Prof will return any minute and concerned in case she hasn’t finished the typing, tries to speed up what she’s doing, and inevitably becomes clumsy in her haste, knocking a valuable pen drive onto the floor, which disappears out of sight under her desk. 

Clicking her tongue in annoyance, she bends down to retrieve it, but finds that it is out of reach of both her arm and a probing foot.  Swearing under her breath she stands up, pushes her chair back impatiently and crouches down on the floor, cautiously introducing herself under the dusty desk, bottom protruding inelegantly.

At this point the Prof returns to pick up his typing, glancing first through the small high level window in the door before opening it.  He sees nobody at their desks and opens the door, puzzled.  He is met with the sight of furniture in disarray, the Admin Manager on the floor with one leg up in the air, a young man crouched beside her manipulating her ankle, and beyond, the unedifying sight of the secretary’s posterior with the rest of her under the desk.  The manager is moaning in pain, the secretary is sneezing and swearing obscenities.  He stands there, speechless.

The Prof arrives late for his meeting, apologising as he enters the seminar room, merely saying to his assembled colleagues that it would take too long to explain the reason for his lateness.


Photo Finish -
From Lonicera's non-digital archives

For those who glance at this blog regularly, it will not have escaped their notice that in this section there is a preponderance of images from Spain, and in particular of Valencia and its environs.  My parents retired to Chiva and lived there for many happy years before they died, and I have retained an enormous affection for the area and the kind people who live there.  We usually visited my parents twice a year; in the summer and at Christmas.  These pictures were taken one Christmas as we walked around Valencia in the balmy winter sunshine.

Life-size Nativity scene

Singing Christmas "villancicos" in the Palau de la Música

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Read said...

I can only imagine what the professor's first thought was - too funny - thanks for sharing. And the pictures are beautiful.

Matvi. said...

The whole episode could be part of a very funnny movie.
Beautiful non-digitals, as usual!
A merry Xmass to you.

Lonicera said...

Thanks Read and Matvi! - so glad you liked it.

I hope you have a very happy Christmas!


Vagabonde said...

What an hilarious situation. It does sound like a French farce for sure.

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