Saturday, 29 September 2012

Bump Day...

Just what was it about Wednesdays anyway? And, shut away and doped to the eyeballs as we all were, how on Earth did we even know what day of the week it was?

I wonder if it's a collective consciousness. Ants have that, don't they? When one is threatened they all are? When one sneezes, they all say Gesundheit? How they know how to speak German is beyond me.

But a collective consciousness. A 'hive mind'. We're - or rather THEY'RE -almost there anyway. When one panics or throws a wobbler, there's a domino effect that has them all toppling over in one form or another. If one starts screaming uncontrollably for no other reason that the sun hit them in the eye through the window or the person next to them farted, the noise levels in the recreation room suddenly increase to levels only surpassed by standing next to an erupting volcano or under the Niagara Falls.

With the shiny walls, ceilings and floors glaring enough to make the air itself sometimes appear to be white, the room has the acoustic resonance of the Albert Hall. You'd never find the Proms being performed here, but there are certainly enough who feel the need to make their own music. Not that moaning and crying is actually anything close to being melodic, but the tune is often picked up and carried by the rest of the residents.

I prefer a little Snow Patrol or Eurythmics, myself.


Wednesdays. Bump day. The hike from Monday morning becomes the slippery slope to the weekend. In the outside world at least. Out there, where the sun shines and the grass grows and you can happily turn MTV over to Coronation Street or X-Factor - should you wish to -without fear of someone trying to rip your face off or, in the case of the orderlies, taser you.

In here, where the sun apparently shines and the grass probably grows and MTV is the only channel that the television has learned how to play, the weekend doesn't exist. Nor does the week. Or the month, year, hour or minute. Seconds and days are interchangeable. An hour and a heartbeat set to sea in a beautiful puke-green boat. A week and a day walk hand in hand along Tedious Terrace, pausing to look in the window of the old pawn shop where patients can swap their souls for an unhealthy dose of needles and neglect before continuing on the way to lunch at the Comatose Cafe.

Not a great menu there. They don't even do a decent bacon butty. And the coffee doesn't just taste like gnat's piss...

But Wednesdays. Once upon each Wednesday when the sun is high, whether or not it hits someone in the eye, one or another resident steps up to the mark and makes the Battle of Brian look like a walk in the park.

The Battle of Brian was a skirmish in the frozen foods aisle at Tesco one Saturday afternoon. There was only one tub of Cookie Dough Ben & Jerry's left and two men put their hands on it at the same time, with neither being willing to give it up. Both, by pure coincidence, were called Brian, though they didn't know it until the police informed them. It got very nasty. A bag of frozen peas can do a lot of damage, more, in fact, than an 8 serving cheesecake. The frozen chicken, however, is the weapon of choice, it has to be said.

That's going to leave a scar...

Oh yes, Wednesdays. Around ten-thirty in the morning, someone picks up a carelessly discarded wobbler and throws it. Or, to put it another way, they kick off. Randomly and for nothing evident to the pseudo-rational mind. I might have said at some point that I'm the only sane one in here. Granted there's Jeremy, so perhaps not the only one, but I assume you get my point. The door to chaos is unlocked and left ajar, and, like the cupboard under the stairs where all the junk goes, it all spills out.

Like clockwork, when the clock has been wound so tight it's almost ready to snap and poke you in the eye. Then it does. But not quite like the sun.

But, how do they know it's a Wednesday? Ask me another.

How do I know? That's when I have my weekly - or weakly - consultation with Dr. Connors. Although it seems to be getting more frequent for some reason. He wants to see me more and more.

And every day can't be Wednesday, can it?


  1. "Like clockwork, when the clock has been wound so tight it's almost ready to snap and poke you in the eye. Then it does. But not quite like the sun."

    Shaun, you are going to be famous one day and I'll be able to say, "I knew that fellow way back when." You are an amazing wordsmith, sir!

    1. Have you read your own work Allie? I think you'll beat me.