In bloody Ambridge, that’s where! He’s been here for a week and he feels rotten. Julie’ has chucked him out, and the prospects for a rapprochement seem pretty slight given that she’s about as far away from here as it’s possible to be and still be in Blighty. Nothing about this oft repeated scene should be that surprising. After all we live in the age of the disposable relationship, so it hardly matters how long they’ve been “stepping out together”. And anyway we’ve all been there at one time or another. It’s a developmental stage entirely normal in adolescence. Even couples we know damn well are going to get back together inside a fortnight have to have the plate flinging, hair tearing, I-never-want-to-see-him/her-again split if their relationship is to be taken at all seriously.
Except that today our Romeo is the far side of seventy and, being male and a bit unrecontructed, to make it to this age he has ended up on a regime of anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic meds that would stun an average sized elephant (and an African Elephant at that). Of course he still feels sixteen on the inside, and for at least the last week has been getting by on caffeine and adrenaline in pretty much equal quantities without the balancing effects of sleep or a decent meal.
The final upshot of all these shenanigans sees Romeo come within an hairs breadth of a close encounter with the frayed and aging Ambridge Surgery Carpet. You see, not actually being an average sized African Elephant, the combination of anxiety, heartache, anti-hypertensives et al, has left him feeling a bit odd, and in mid consult he comes over all wibbly and threatens to faint.
Twenty minutes later after fifteen of those with his feet up higher than his head, and following a NAAFI strength tea with half a bag of sugar (yes, I know his blood sugar will go up a bit more that would be healthy in the long term, but we're talking emergency resuscitation here-- ask your granny, she'll tell you all about it...), he is restored to something approaching equilibrium. He’s gone off home now for a bit of a rest, a decent feed and the company of a mate. And without most of his anti-hypertensives.
If this story has a moral at all, I guess that it’s this; eighteen or eighty, male or female, if you absolutely have to chuck your significant other, spare a thought for the other poor souls in their GP’s waiting room and let them down gently. It takes a bit more than ten minutes for us to mend a broken heart, and the rest of the queue aren’t always that understanding. *
Thank you all for listening.
* though it is noteworthy that despite all having to tell me about how busy they were and how inconvenient the tardiness of the morning surgery was, not one of them elected to rebook for another occasion. Perhaps they think poor old Romeo will be back….