I was working in a very busy Urgent Care Centre in the ‘triage’ room. I’d been there for four hours and the flow of patients never stopped. One chap with not much more wrong with him than a dose of ‘man flu’ left the room to sit and wait to see the doctor and asked “Do you know how long I’ll have to wait now?”
“Sorry no” I said “I haven’t been out of this room since I started my shift, but the ladies at reception may be able to give you an idea”
“Honestly, I don’t have a clue, I’ve been stuck in here for hours, I really don’t know what it’s like out there” I said again.
“Oh go on, just give me a clue, one hour, three hours, four hours, just roughly please?”
“Well I could say something but I’d be making it up” I reasoned.
“I don’t mind, just a rough idea will do”
“OK, well three hours, but remember I’m making it up!”
“Great cheers. I’ll have to put some more money on the car then cos I only put in for two hours!” He trotted off with his imaginary time frame in mind perfectly happily.
A little later, when finally released from the triage room, I was able to see and treat my first patient; a wonderfully polite older man who been savaged by a squirrel!
The rat with a fluffy tail had gotten his head stuck in a bird feeder, and my patient had been nobly attempting to rescue the ungrateful animal. By way of a thank you for his efforts the pesky creature turned around and bit him on the hand. After treatment he left the department and I recounted the story to one of our GP trainees.
“I’ve never liked squirrels” she sneered, “They always look at you like you owe them something.”
“I’d never noticed that” I replied.
“Oh yes, they are the ‘delinquents’ of the animal kingdom” she added wisely “You can never trust a squirrel.”