Friday, December 7, 2007

Dave's Diary

An Extract From The Diary of David M. Restal

Monday August 10
Well, it’s two days since the, ahem, accident and Nigel has convinced us with his total lack of violent retribution that it is worth exploring the avenue of physiotherapy. A small cottage a few blocks away does a neat sideline in this particular treatment. However, as neither Andrew or I have either the ability or license to drive, we’ll have to walk up there. Nigel cannot walk and we have no wheelchair, so we were forced to strap him to a trolley.

The cottage was pretty small and cramped, and there were several other customers already waiting – mainly women over 70, though one of them could have been Uulungid Caloovin in drag, I don’t know. We were met by a pretty redhead called Rebecca, who immediately stirred Nigel’s... affection. It was probably best this happened, because the series of bone-crunching, muscle-warping massages definitely evened it out.

We wheeled Nigel home. Although in utter agony and with even less mobility than before, he is certain that there is that elusive “something” between him and Rebecca. The way he was going on about it, it was like they’d been married for years and he was reciting their original courtship to his adoring grandchildren. He’s on the mend, sadly.

Tuesday August 11
There’s this unspoken agreement between us not to mention the whole Psycho Karate Kid incident. Me, out of fear; Nigel, out of embarrassment; Andrew, because he’s found a new fact to remember: pearls melt in vinegar. Well, that’s interesting. Why would anyone want to melt pearls? Why would anyone leave pearls in vinegar in the first place? Who on earth would want pearls and vinegar in the same place?

And why does this bug me so much?

Wednesday August 12
Harry dropped by with a replacement for the broken hatstand: a shopping trolley. Definitely stolen from somewhere. I wanted to change it for something more conventional, but Andrew and Harry were already stuffing grotty coats, umbrellas and hats into it in no real order. I make sure my coat stays in my room from now on.

Thursday August 13
Nigel is becoming even more unbearable than before. Not sure if that’s an oxymoron, but it’s the truth. He now has the full use of his body from the waist up, which has given him the power to go the toilet on his own and thus made him cocky. I think he’s just gotten high off the relief of an empty bladder after three days of pressure.

He’s also mentioning Rebecca’s name whenever he can, inserting it into the conversation with the so-subtle-as-to-be-subliminal “And while we’re on the subject, what about Rebecca, eh?” He loves her smile, her walk, her hair, her voice, the way she curls the tip of her hair when she’s thinking, the way she pouts when he calls her “so good she’s illegal” and, of course, her clothes. Or rather, lack of them.

I sighed and reminded Nigel that he was only just regaining feeling back into his legs and had neither the ability nor the opportunity for wild monkey sex or tender Enya love with Rebecca. I should have shut up, but that was then he handed over an envelope full of polaroids. According to Nigel, she doesn’t suspect a thing – probably mistook the InstaMatik camera flashes for lightening.

Got to admit, Nigel could make worse choices for girlfriends...

Friday August 14
Nigel’s able to walk for short periods now, and has taken Rebecca for a date at Churchwell’s Venetian Cuisine. I think she had to pay for it, but you can’t have everything. When I got home I found Nigel showing off his pictures of Rebecca to everyone. Katy didn’t seem that offended, just said that Rebecca wasn’t a natural redhead. That puzzled me for a while, but I worked out the answer: Rebecca and Katy must have been at school together when the former wasn’t dying her hair.

I related my Holmesian deduction to Maurice today, but he just smiled awkwardly and tried to change the subject.

Saturday August 15
Nigel’s out on another date with Rebecca. Good luck to her.

Andrew dropped by Frontier Videos to just chill out and hang. He’s worked out how to set the timer on the VCR and so has left the vitally important Saturday-night-line-up in the hands of the machine to record. I was surprised; if it didn’t work, Andrew would be devastated: tonight’s The Bill has Cathy Bradford being transported through the seven orders of hell. [Note to self, suggest new script writers on Bill website]. Andrew insists that he is openly trusting the VCR to do its work.

Sunday August 16
The VCR timer has failed miserably. Andrew took his revenge by leaving the whole thing up on the roof in the baking sun. I had a look at the user’s manual and it turns out you have to switch off the bastard before it tapes anything. It took a while to convince Andrew of this, and we went up the roof to rescue the VCR. It’s warped quite badly. Might have to try and nick another one from work.

Nigel is getting worse and worse. He can’t open his mouth without bragging about how cool and sexy he is and backing up this argument with his long-term relationship with Rebecca. Long-term? He’s only known her for two weeks. On the other hand, the fact she hasn’t called the police definitely indicates there’s hope. Either way, Nigel is driving me bananas. He did this joke about Rebecca yesterday, right? “What a body! What a body! And her's was pretty neat as well!” Diary, I just sniggered. Not a laugh, not a chuckle, a snigger. That’s all. I swear! Now he’s strutting around the place like he’s the inventor of the Dead Parrot Sketch or something.

Thank goodness he’s not totally recovered and P-Æ.J. was able to trip him over the one hundred and thirteenth time he recited that awful joke. Andrew’s really getting irritated by Nigel’s continuing Rebecca-worship.

Monday August 17
Right. So am I. We both went to Nigel and told him in no uncertain terms that unless he shut up about Rebecca quick smart we would injure his body in such a way that from now on all he would know would be the physiotherapy cottage. He accused us of being “sad, lonely gits” and said he pitied us. Andrew slapped him in the face and swore that if he mentioned the name Rebecca one more time we will take desperate measures.

I said something similar, only it was about his “what a body” gag. Nigel promptly took a long, hard walk. However, this wasn’t so much a relief as a different kind of torture. Due his “frailty” he demands that one of us accompany him on such walks for his own safety. He promptly began a very, very, very long, long, long, long, loooooong, long tirade about how we should be happy for him to have found the right girl (to his credit, he named no names) and was fueled with righteous indignation at our behavior. Does he complain whenever I mention Lucy or Andrew wants to talk about Katy? Well... in a word... yes, he does, he complains long and hard and demands we change the subject.

Nigel admitted that this was a bad example, and then he laid this guilt trip on me. After all the crap Andrew and I (and life itself, I think) who was going to begrudge him happiness with a woman he loved? That kind of got to me, but I consoled myself that Nigel’s mental dictionary is mainly a thesaurus of euphemisms for the sexual act – “love” and “lust” get mixed up very easily. That, would you freaking believe it, lead to the I Am Not A Virgin conversation. I didn’t even accuse him of it! I just ventured the opinion that the moment they, er, consummated things, he’d feel different. Which is rather the point, after all.

You know, that walk took us a long way. We were down by the river and we definitely in the next suburb – there were just parks and factories around and everything was in this purple twilight. And it was getting cold. I suggested that we turn around and headed back, but Nigel was insistent, and was listing all the women he’d had meaningful relationships with. Another euphemism, I think – unless “meaningful relationship” is Japanese for “restraining order”. Anyway, we were just ducking under this low bridge for cars to cross the river (very low, we had to duck to get under it), when it happened.

He did the gag. The “what a body” gag. I should have left it. I should have just sighed and dealt.

We were in the middle of a narrow path – to the left, a fence and beyond that the river; not very far above, the rattling concrete slabs of the bridge; to the right the rough concrete wall and, oddly enough, a manufactured circular hole in it. I peered into the hole and saw it was a pipe that lead to the gutter on the road above. “Hey, Nigel,” I cried excitedly, “someone’s stencil-graffitied a picture of Jennifer Anniston au naturelle on the inside of this here pipe!

Where? WHERE?” shouted Nigel and shoved his head into the pipe.

It’s nifty how your head can fit into an amount of space, but can’t back out of it. Well, Nigel didn’t find it nifty. I think. You see, his head was jammed into the pipe and so blocked off the sounds of his screams. I chose to interpret the noises to mean that he was stuck and wanted me to get some help, but not to hurry as, after all, there was an extremely interesting picture for him to look at. Well, that’s what I thought he said.

I turned around and hurried down the path back towards town as fast I could. It was very cold and getting very dark and, by the time I was back on familiar territory it was starting to rain. I was (and still am) grateful for my coat, it really does fit all weathers. However, Nigel really should think more practical than a skimpy I AM WHAT WOMEN WANT T-shirt (to “show off his abs” apparently) in such weather.

It was bucketing down when I got back home, to find Katy and Andrew watching the new episode of Blake’s Legacy. They thought I was quite wet and should warm up in case of pneumonia. Or oldmonia. Anyway, they left me on the couch with the TV, some chicken soup and some cracking science fiction while they went to Andrew’s bedroom to talk. I had to turn up the volume because they had started shouting; Katy in particular. I hope they’ve resolved their argument, I hate a tense background. They shouted a lot for most of the night, but the next day (as I write) they seem happier than ever.

Tuesday August 18
Yeah, I know what I should have done. I should have at least told the others about Nigel. I should definitely have checked up on him when the rain stopped. But I was so comfortable, and the heater was making me drowsy, and that episode showing them save Servalan from her own side was serious drama. I was gripped through that to the repeat of Enough Rope and eventually dozed off.

This morning I woke up and realized I hadn’t sorted out either the garbage or the recycling and so completed it in a mad dash. It was cold and drizzly and I missed most of the garbage (both Nigel and Andrew’s rooms are locked). I had eventually got wet enough to say, “Sod this, I’m off to work.” Andrew can deal with his own garbage. It’s probably what he and Katy were shouting about last night.

Parker said I looked like a drowned rat when I got to work. A drowned rat in a technicolour dream coat, I replied tartily. Parker hasn’t heard of that particular story, which is just bizarre considering we’ve got five copies in the religion section. Maurice came in and needed to change into one of the shop T-shirts he was so wet. He explained that the rain was so heavy there had been floods down by the river. I was shocked – I had been there only minutes before and it was a lucky escape. I felt that kind of shaky relief, like that time when I found out that Doug’s ex-boyfriend had got arrested for kidnapping the siblings of his latest squeeze. A kind of “Phew, that was close” with a side order of guilty recrimination.

Looking back, that particular moment should have reminded me I had, mayhaps, left Nigel to drown. But it didn’t. I had absolutely no memory of it, I swear. Nigel didn’t enter my thoughts. I told Maurice of what I watched, what I did, what foul language I had to listen to from the others’ arguments, but until he asked about Nigel, I hadn’t thought about him once.

To my credit, the moment I realized what I had done, I got the hell out of there quick smart. Parker did that spooky thing and appeared in front of the doors. He told me in no uncertain terms – “One step closer, insect, and it’s back on the dole!” – that I wasn’t leaving without a price. I pushed past him and ran out into the swirling mists and sleet-like rain. I hope he’ll let me back like the last fifteen times he’s sacked me.

I dropped by the house on the way to the river. I needed to get down there fast and to do that I needed a car and for that I needed a driver. Andrew was making breakfast and, once he’d got me to explain things to his satisfaction, agreed to drive. He chuckled mightily when I told him just what I had done to Nigel. So did I, actually. Unfortunately, I realized that the path we used was for bipeds and bicycles and not cars! We had to try and navigate parallel to the river. It looks so different in daylight – and drizzle – so we had to stop and inspect every single bridge. We finally found the right one and discovered it was impossible to park there, so we had to park the car and walk there on foot. We hurried down under the bridge and found...

Nigel was gone. For a reason that need not be gone into here, his trousers had remained. Andrew told me to hurry upstream and keep my eyes out for Nigel, while he would go back to the car and “do stuff”. I headed upstream. The parks dwindled in number and the huge factories and warehouses grew more and more numerous and I felt more and more depressed, lonely and miserable. There were no houses or people and by now I was pretty sure I was entering the area that divides one state from another. Then, who d’ya think I saw stumbling my way?

Yup. Nigel. Apparently, the sheer water pressure in the pipe had popped him free like a champagne cork, and slammed him into the railings with sickening force. On the bright side, this had the borderline miraculous effect of completing the physiotherapy on his back and restoring him to full health. The down side was that, not only was he half-drowned, he had been back-flipped into the raging river with such force he had been ripped out of his trousers. The current had carried him a few kilometers upstream (or was it downstream?) and smashed him against the shore. He climbed out of the water, covered in slime, water, and shivering from exposure.

I’ll write the rest when I get a chance.

Wednesday August 19
Oooooooooooooooooooh, smeg.

You know people say, “Cheer up, it might never happen?” Well, they’re right. It might not happen. However, something else will happen instead. It’s a cruel world.

Since my last entry... Well, before it, but written well after both... I met Nigel. He glared at me and shouted, “You took your time you bastard!” before accusing me of making up the whole nude stencil thing. I began to defend myself – it was probably too dark for Nigel to see it, or his head was in the wrong position and either way, the rain had removed all trace of it. Nigel told me to shut up and take him home.

Well, I would have, seriously. However, Andrew was walking towards us. Turned out that Wynona had been stolen in our absence and we’d have to walk home. I thought about offering Nigel my coat to try and protect him from the elements but, well, the stuff he was covered in was probably retaining his body heat anyway. And I wasn’t risking my coat on that foul muck.

We got home to find Rebecca had been and gone and “was thoroughly disappointed” according to Katy, who had met her. Man, she looked exhausted. Had she got out bed that day? She was wearing less than Nigel, who immediately forewent the shower/clothing option and rang Rebecca straight away. Apparently, Katy was so sick of Rebecca she had claimed she was sleeping with Nigel herself (answering the front door in her underwear must have helped that impression). Nigel screamed at her and ordered her out of the house, and she left. Three hours later.

Nigel was furious, and was shouting “Why?” over and over and over again. We restated our “Shut the hell up about Rebecca” policy and Nigel began singing “Rebecca” like a million times a minute. He was jumping around the room, singing, shouting, whispering, squeaking it until it stopped being “Rebecca” and became a weird trio of syllables that had no meaning. Finally, he could speak no more and just folded his arms and stared Andrew right in the eye.

Andrew kneed him where it hurt and went off to make dinner. Nigel locked himself in the bathroom and finally emerged near midnight looking his usual immaculate self. He put his hair into that weird mullet machine and retired, swearing that tomorrow he would restore his relationship with REBECCAA!!! and then gain his vengeance.

The next day – Wednesday the 19th – I went back to work and Parker gave me a long, boring speech about responsibility to clients and bosses and how I had failed it all miserably. He never wanted to see me again and was already interviewing potential applicants. Translation: I’d return on Friday and there would be no questions asked.

I returned home around 5 o’clock to find the police had located Wynona and returned it. (Apparently, Rebecca had stolen it in full woman-scorned-mode). Andrew was sitting on the roof, wearing his smock and beret painting a canvas the colour of the sky, too busy to talk. In the living room, Nigel was sitting on the floor, hugging his knees and clutching his face. I asked him if he’d managed to convince Rebecca he hadn’t slept with Katy at all. Surprise, surprise, he had. But the relationship was now over thanks to Andrew. “Oh, Nige,” I said sadly. “You’ll work it out.

Doubt that,” mumbled Nigel in that muffled croak you get when you run out of tears.

Look, I’m sure Andrew didn’t mean it.

Nigel looked up at me. His eye shadow had run with tears and he looked like one of those zombies who bleed from the eyes. “Oh, yes,” he said, alternating between a whisper and snarling roar, “...OF COURSE he didn’t mean it! Yeah, he was JUST walking along the road when he saw Rebecca and me back together and he JUST accidentally had to come running to me and shout – what was it again? Oh yes. “Nige, the hospitals checked the tests again, it’s all confirmed, you definitely have AIDS!”’

I sniggered. Nigel told me to do something rude, so I left him alone.

Thursday August 20
Well, the first proper day off in ages and it was a real barrel of laughs. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, a smile in the heart of every true Australian. And we were all stuck inside the house. Nigel was watching a DIY show, sulking, and Andrew was just playing solitaire. I tried to get Nigel to open up, to embrace his newfound bacheloressness, but to no avail. I just got abuse from the twerp. “Fine! Sit there... on your own... be miserable all day, if that’s your attitude. See if I care,” I said eventually.

Fan–freaking–tastic,” Nigel replied.

I changed tactics and asked Andrew to apologize for the... incident. Andrew began quite well but Nigel refused to accept his apology. Andrew changed tactics and wondered why such a Cassonova like Nigel would be worried about losing one girlfriend. Nigel insists that Rebecca was “different” and “so... so...

Easy?” Andrew suggested. “Because if she was, it would explain a lot of things.

It went downhill from there. Andrew called Nigel pathetic for his pretence at not being a virgin. Nigel maintained he has had sex, but refuses to name any woman that he’s slept with. Or, indeed, any man. I quickly defused the situation and looked on the bright side. While Andrew was wrong to claim Nigel had AIDS Rebecca clearly wasn’t up to much if she believes the claims of any passing nutter. “Face it,” I said, “Rebecca wasn’t right for you and Andrew, for the wrong reasons maybe, proved that without a doubt!

Then, Andrew reminded Nigel that without him, he would never have met Rebecca in the first place. “Oh, of course! Just think! If you hadn’t let me break half the bones in my body, I would have never have had to suffer hour after hour of limb–crushing agony in that old cottage by weird subnormal freaks who couldn’t even pretend to spell the word ‘physiotherapy’!

Hey, it wasn’t my fault you went through the window.

Yes it was! If you hadn’t ducked, I would have been fine!

All this fuss over some floozy. I can’t credit it...

That was the dromedary that broke the straw’s back. Nigel crossed to the nearest occasional table and grabbed hold of one leg. Still completely devoid of expression, he began to pull the leg away with a loud snapping noise. I watched it all, very worried. Andrew didn’t notice, as he was watching the TV.

That’s it, Nigel,” I said nervously. “Yes, you do some DIY to take your mind off her...

Nigel turned and brandished the table leg viciously. “I think I’ll do some DIY on his head,” he whispered.

No! Nigel, you mustn’t!” I cried.

Dave, I must!” Nigel cried back, and swung the table leg down at Andrew – just at the moment Andrew turned to say something. Nigel missed, his momentum pulling him forward onto the couch. The table leg went flying and struck the TV, smashing it to pieces. Again! This is just getting silly.

At that moment, the doorbell rang, so I went to answer it, leaving Andrew to try and repair the TV and Nigel to collect the table leg. At the front door was Doctor Spoon dressed as a pirate, complete with a hook an eyepatch. His companion was Chamber, but it was hard to tell at first, as he was wearing a dirty white sheet he had stolen. The latter kept collapsing, and Andrew put it down to alcohol, but Doctor Spoon explained that Chamber had neglected to cut any eyeholes in his bed sheet. Due to a stuff up on Doctor Spoon’s computer, they believed it was Halloween tonight. Bizarre or what?

We returned to the living room where I found Nigel collapsed on the floor beside the table leg. “He attacked that table leg with his face and lost,” Andrew explained. I was thankful for small mercies that Nigel was still alive, but Nigel didn’t share that belief. As he slowly came to, he spotted Chamber’s ghost outfit and was terrified he had died and gone to hell. Looking back at it now, it was quite clear that Nigel was very badly concussed. It took a while, but Nigel finally twigged that he wasn’t dead or in hell, more’s the pity. However, when he saw the “fancy dress” he came to conclusion that there was some secret fancy dress party that he had been excluded from. We told him he was wrong, but he refused to believe us. He seemed deaf to our protests, like we weren’t there at all. “Nigel,” I shouted, “there isn’t a fancy–dress ball, honest!

Yes, there is! Yes, there is!” Nigel jibbered and crossed to Doctor Spoon, prodding him repeatedly. “Tell him, Doctor, tell him! Tell him there’s a fancy–dress ball and that we are all doing! Go on, tell him! Tell him!” Finally, Doctor Spoon gave up and ‘admitted’ it. Nigel was exuberant and promptly went off to cancel “that other party he was going to”: “Well, you know, being such a popular guy I get invited to countless parties, shindigs, gatherings, hootenannies, balls, gala events, bah mitzvahs, seances... I was going to one this evening, in fact. Hoards of celebrities are going there as well – not to mention me.

Andrew reminded us all of the last party Nigel didn’t gatecrash – my eighth birthday party, when my mum sent him an invitation by mistake. We still haven’t managed to get the stains out of the carpet yet. Nigel was having none of it, insisting he parties every Friday night, before going off to “phone the gang and tell them he would stand them up” as he was “famous enough to get away with it.

By now, we were all aware of how badly dazed Nigel had become and Doctor Spoon suggested that we “reverse the polarity of the concussion flow” by banging him on the head. Works the same way as amnesia apparently. Meanwhile, Nigel dialed “Wil Anderson” and told him he couldn’t make the party but promised to give “Corrine” a “good shagging before the next episode”. He hung up with a joke to tell Rove McManus and a message from “Will” that he liked Nigel much more than Andrew. (I’ve checked the number via redial. He rang Eve)

We got up and walked out at this point. Believing that we were going to a party without him, Nigel leapt in front of the door and blocked our entrance. “No! You can’t go without me!” he screamed.

Yes, we can,” Andrew said reasonably. “Chamber, if you’d be so kind?

Chamber beat up Nigel and slammed his half–conscious form into the shopping trolley. I don’t know if the coats cushioned his fall – it’s academic now. However, Nigel seemed to instantly revive and suddenly insisted that he pretend to be a charity collector on behalf of the Quadriplegic Albino Locally Allied Lesbian Association of Los Angeles, (or QALALALA for short). “I’ll sit in this trolley, all wrapped up as a quadriplegic albino lesbian and you ask people for money for the charity!” he explained. “Nothing can go wrong!” We had a quick discussion and decided to play along. Hopefully, this would keep Nigel docile while we, er, searched for the best way to un–concuss him. Even as we maneuvered the trolley onto the front porch it was clear this task would not be easy. Nigel was delirious. I can still hear him ranting:

I wonder how much I’ll make? It’s bound to be at least a hundred bucks... maybe even more... I might share the money with you lot, you know... but, obviously... since I came up with the fantastic idea in the first place... I’ll get, say $99.60 and you can share the 40c amongst you... Hang on... you owe me a couple of bucks anyway, don’t you? So that means you’ll owe meeeeeee –

We gave the trolley a good shove and it bounced down the stairs, thundered down the garden path and smashed through the front gate. Nigel continued to scream as the trolley ricocheted off the chain–link fence on the other side of the road and sent Nigel, reeling, over the bridge and down the hill out of sight. We could only listen as Nigel’s endless wail grew fainter and fainter, then was muffled by a loud crashing noise that made us flinch before being cut off by a sickening splat.

So, er, that’s the best cure for concussion, is it?” I asked Doctor Spoon.

He winked. “Worked like a charm, wouldn’t you say?

We hurried inside and I wondered how to broach the subject of collecting Nigel. I doubt he’s in much of a good way after all that plus his recent physiotherapy. However, Chamber is, as I write, handing out the beers and Andrew and Doctor Spoon are already working hard on repairing the TV. I’m sure Nigel will be fine – last time he worked out all right and he’s not even stuck in a wall and facing certain drowning.

Friday August 21
I woke up this morning at the sound of the doorbell and someone demanding entrance. I was slumped in the sofa next to Chamber and Doctor Spoon. Andrew had dozed off trying to fix the television. At first, I thought I’d just dreamed it, but I heard a voice shout “Open up! It’s the police! Open up!” and frantically roused the others. Andrew immediately grasped the gravity of the situation and I hurried to the front door. The cops had heard our voices and knew we were here. Andrew and I opened the front door and two butch coppers burst in. Andrew’s protests of police harassment went unheard.

The officers were looking specifically for us. I think I must have shivered or something when they said my name, because they knew I was “Dave Restal” right away. “We’ve got some bad news for you. You see, your friend Nigella Verkoff has been taken to hospital. He’s been badly injured – he was found badly concussed and inserted halfway through a wall near the local river and...

I’m always telling him to be careful when decorating,” Andrew inserted bluntly.

...and we are here to ask you two a few questions.

I quickly begged the officers to let us go and see “poor little Nigel” straight away and Andrew agreed that it was “truly terrible” with the passion of a man whose been told that a blade of grass has moved. The copper wasn’t fooled, and vowed to return this afternoon to question us. Luckily, Chamber chose that moment to fall off the sofa and distracted the police officers. Andrew quickly blamed him for Nigel’s predicament and we slipped quietly away as the coppers ran into the living room, wielding their batons.

Outside, we scrambled into Wynona and Andrew took the controls. Andrew wasn’t half as worried as I was, insisting that we had put Nigel in a place were he could receive proper medical attention. Andrew drove us to the casualty department of a hospital called The George A. Dent Memorial Hospital. I realized I had a morning shift and hurried off to Frontier Videos, leaving Andrew with clear instructions to bring home Nigel safe, sound and without a lawyer.

It was agony at work, going through the same boring old routine and knowing at any moment the cops could turn up and take me prisoner. I was torn between working an extra shift or running away and hiding. I’m not sure my nerves could cope a total lack of distraction, so I stayed at the shop until 9 at night. On the bright side, it should put some more money in the kitty. When I got home, Andrew was having a shower.

Yup. Having a shower. He could dissolve.

Later, Nigel arrived. His clothes were filthy and he was badly bruised and refused to speak to either me or Andrew. He just strode straight into his room and slammed the door. I tried to coax a reaction but there was nothing. After a few minutes I gave up and watched the Friday Night Movie. Andrew swears he will explain what happened in the hospital, but later, when he feels clean. I’m not expecting the answer any time soon, but he promises that everything was sorted out and we have no reason to worry.

Saturday August 22
Nigel still hasn’t emerged from his room. I hope the Christmas stuff hasn’t started again. Andrew is taking around six showers every hour – he looks startlingly pale without all the dirt, mud and dried blood. Between these breaks, he’s managed to inform me about what happened the previous day at Casualty.

Andrew entered the ward with a bag of grapes that he had eaten for dramatic purposes. He soon located Nigel when the latter was “twatted with a kidney dish” by an unimpressed nurse who was not willing to give Nigel a fifteenth bed bath that day. Andrew quickly sabotaged Nigel’s clothing, X–Rays, bed chart and blood samples, before telling Nigel he had been in a coma for two years, so any legal action was worthless. It took a bit of acting, but Nigel fell for it – and that proved to be a fatal flaw. He misinterpreted something a nurse said (“she’d seen it all before” or something similar) and quickly convinced himself that, while he was unconscious he had been gang–raped by lesbian nurses and quickly demanded a lawyer. Andrew didn’t dissuade him because it would have made any police complaint ridiculous and thus got us all out of hot water. He quickly fled the ward when the nurse accused Nigel of being insane and got the response, “I’m insane?? At least I don’t sexually assault comatose patients in an illegal lesbian orgy romp!” before he was restrained by orderlies

Andrew quickly convinced a passing surgeon that Nigel was a terminally ill and very dangerous, psychologically deranged man who was also an organ donor. He then went and “set off another paranoid attack” by offering Nigel a way out of the hospital and a possible lunatic asylum on the condition they stopped the whole fighting thing. Nigel agreed, but attacked Andrew the moment he was free. Andrew got him back by retreating the curtain and exposing a naked Nigel to the casualty ward. He was quickly over–powered, given a heavy dose of anti–insanity drugs and an enema. Then, Andrew revived him and repeated the offer. Nigel refused and emptied the bucket of after–enema over Andrew’s head. No wonder he’s been washing his hair obsessively ever since.

Things can only get better.


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