Lucky BagThe "Having-it-done-for-real" Remix.
The year was 1997. Mrs Duck and I sat down and earnestly decided that we had had enough Scaryducklings for one lifetime, and that, for various practical reasons, I should go and have The Snip.
I would present myself at the hospital and allow a perfect stranger to cut a hole in my ballbag and do strange, unnatural things with my plums until they didn’t work anymore. It seemed totally fair at the time, after all Mrs Duck had gone through the pain of child birth twice AND endured a lifetime of marriage to me.
Following a visit to the doctor (who actually tried to talk me out of it), I put my name on the list, and waited, knowing full well that such was the state of the Health Service, it would be upwards of two years before they got round to me. Six weeks later, I got a cunningly worded letter asking me to present myself at Battle Hospital in Reading, and don’t forget your gonads. Arses.
Despite my morbid fear of blood (my own) and incredible pain, I bravely faced up to my ordeal. I am, after all, the son of a doctor and a nurse, so what did I have to worry about? An entire lifetime of regular supplies of “The Lancet”, the journal of the medical profession, for starters. Every month it would flop through our letter box, and every month I was introduced to a new kind of skin condition, hideous disease or bizarre injury, all in glorious Technicolor. It put me right off following in my father’s footsteps, and I have steadfastly pursued a career path that has taken me as far away from these knife-wielding goons as possible. And now I was going to let one of them loose on my bollocks. Doom.
Bright and early I awoke on that Monday morning. I showered. Then I shaved. And shaved again, a process done with the utmost care so as not to cut any more holes in the scrote than was absolutely necessary. All this was done in a bathroom resembling Piccadilly Circus, with people from a five mile radius bursting in to use the lav, surreptitiously checking out how I was getting on with the ‘nads.
With the kids packed off to relatives, I took the short journey down the road to the Battle Hospital. It was deserted. Not a soul to be seen. Like the Marie Celeste, there were signs of habitation, a half drunk cup of coffee, a coat on a hook, but no-one present. Eventually, after a search of the hospital’s empty corridors, I collared a passing nurse and asked where everybody was. She told us.
It was Monday morning. Princess Diana had forgotten to do up her seatbelt during a frenzied Saturday night in Paris, metamorphosing from “Sex-Crazed Royal Tart flounces round Europe’s capitals with Egyptian Boyfriend” in the early editions of Sunday’s papers to “We’ll Never Forget You, Princess of all our Hearts. Oh, and Dodi as well” by the following lunchtime. The entire hospital staff was allowed the day off to go and have a good cry over it.
“Even Dr Norris?” I asked.
“Especially Dr Norris”, she replied, “Though I suspect he’ll be remembering Diana with eighteen holes of golf.”
It was all the excuse I needed. I took to my heels and ran, Mrs Duck struggling to keep up. I got out of the hospital building, and kept running until I reached the car. My gonads were safe. Dr Norris was hacking about with his mashie niblick on the golf course instead of hacking away at my crown jewels, which was a situation I could live with for the rest of my natural life. I jumped into the car and sped away, never to return. Except to go back and pick up Mrs Duck.
After all the national grieving, the crying, the media hyperbole and the fucking awful Elton John song, I feel the time has come to finally pay my respects to Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales, who died saving orphans, poor people, kittens an’ stuff:
“God bless you, Your Highness”, I say, “You saved my bollocks.”
A fitting tribute to a great, great woman. It’s what she would have wanted.