Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I've just endured what was possibly the most depressing experience since my accident -- the government-approved medical.

It was held at an office on the Euston Road which resembled a cross between a Victorian asylum, a TB ward and the headquarters of the Stasi.

The doctor assigned to decide whether I did indeed have an industrial accident at work (and am hence entitled to claim a few measly quid from the state) peered over the top of the glasses at me and asked "do you know why you're here, Mr Hughes?" (as if he expected me to reply, "No, I'm glad you asked me that. I went into a trance and before I knew what was happening I found myself here and thought I'd died and gone to Hell. What is this place, exactly?"

Thankfully, once we got down to business it was all fairly cursory. I told him what happened, he had a a squint at the leg, I filled out a few forms and then headed back out onto the pollution-choked streets of Camden, leaving the sound of the coughing, muttering unfortunates in the waiting room far behind me.

It's not an experience I want to repeat.


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