Friday, August 30, 2013

Hercule, Hastings and “the little blue pills”.

A short time ago a commenter left a request to get in touch about a publication they were planning. It's to be entitled "In Rude Health" and was looking for tales of a slightly risque (yes I know but my HTML isn't up to accents) nature form the NHS. It's hoped it will be out for Christmas and I'd encourage you all to go look for it (though possibly with some caveats as to the content being intended for the adult audience). What follows was going to be a putative entry, but it took far too long to put together and so won't be. Still having made the effort, I thought why not go mad and double my output for the year anyhow. 

So gentle reader, with the same caveats, read on, or look away as befits your own personal circumstance.

Hercule was a dapper gentleman in his mid seventies. He had become accustomed to living alone after the passing of Mme H some years previously after a difficult final illness with disseminated cancer. It came time to “downsize” and so he chose to move in to a local retirement community of sheltered flats overseen by a warden. As is often the case in such communities, Hercule was in something of a minority, living surrounded by ladies of similar age and circumstance, but very few other men. Like some latter day Mr Darcy, this led to him receiving numerous invitations to call on his new neighbours for afternoon tea and canasta. Being well brought up he was happy to oblige and soon developed a wide circle of lady friends. One thing led inevitably to another and soon it was afternoons out to Thés Dansant.

After a few months of this new lifestyle Hercule came in for a check up, and after a routine review of medications he bashfully raised the subject of the little blue pills. He’d heard that such were available for gentlemen afflicted by “performance problems” and wondered if they might be suitable for him. A glance at his record showed no contraindications so we agreed he might give them a try, and he took away his first script for Viagra with the usual warnings about not taking them too often and not to exceed the written dose. It seems Hercule had, in modern parlance, a new partner.

Some weeks later he was back to report a happy outcome. The little blue pills were working a treat and he wondered if he might have some more. Well actually quite a few more. It transpired that Hercule had become something of a celebrity in his small group, and was in high demand with a number of his dance partners. It took some persuasion on my part to limit both the frequency and quantity of his prescriptions.

Captain Hastings was a bluff matter of fact ex Colonial type. He and Mrs Hastings had met in the Raj, and after a lifetime of service in the tropics had retired to live in our neck of the woods. The Captain’s blood pressure was not too good, and his arteries were none the better for a hearty diet of kedgeree and curries. This deadly combination had given him problems “in the bedchamber” much to the chagrin of the Memsahib. So we agreed a cautious trial of the wonder pills, all the more so because of his likely circulation problems, He understood he was taking a risk, but Mrs Hastings was his Queen-Empress and he was not about to disappoint her.

As it happened all went well and the Captain was back to request a regular, but entirely reasonable repeat prescription. Years passed and Mrs Hastings suffered a slight stroke and became confused and prone to agitation, but the one thing that calmed her was the easy intimacy she and the Captain still shared. Shortly after this he developed atrial fibrillation, and I had to tell him we really ought to revisit the suitability of the little blue pills.

The Captain would have none of it. Mrs H would be so disappointed if this one thing left her was taken away. He understood he might be taking a risk, but his son would be there to provide for her in the event that his ticker gave out and for the pair of them it was quality not quantity that mattered for the time they would have left. In the end he persuaded me to continue prescribing. Some time later Mrs H suffered a second and sadly fatal stroke, and from that point on the Captain allowed his prescription to lapse, living on for another few years, content that he had “done his bit” for Queen and Country.

1 comment:

Z said...

I completely misread your meaning regarding "provide for her" for a moment there. Good to see you again, anyway.