You know that iconic final scene in The Usual Suspects? The one where Keyser Söze limps off down the road and then slowly un-limps and jumps into a flashy convertible?
I feel like I am living that in reverse. I am walking down the street (looking for the flashy convertible – I’m sure I parked it around here somewhere) and am slowly commencing to limp. And the limp is becoming more and more pronounced.
I went to the doctors yesterday. The pain in my feet is increasing daily. Nasty, immovable corn. Bunions. Calluses. Toes that are folding over themselves like slugs making love. (Note to self: possibly film this for slug fetishists and make a fast (slow?) buck.)
But the entire endeavour was doomed from the start.
Going to the doctors is a lottery. The treatment you are offered is not standard. It depends on the temperament of the doctor you are seeing. As soon as I found out I was seeing Dr W my wife, Karen, groaned aloud, “But she won’t do anything.” She was right. But if I’d held out for the doctor I wanted to see I wouldn’t have got an appointment until the middle of next week and quite frankly I couldn’t wait that long (I was already starting to talk like Kevin Spacey.)
As it happens it was a bad call. I may as well have waited.
Dr W looked at my feet. Not examined. Just looked. And then showed me hers by way of comparison. Seriously. She was pleasant. She was urbane. She told me I had the start of arthritis caused by the bunions. She told me these things are to be expected at my time of life (eh? I’m 42. The very meaning of life, surely?) She told me, “if we were honest there is something we all could do to help ourselves in situations like these” (what, like go to the doctors?). She recommended supportive insoles for my boots but failed to specify which type. She recommended I didn’t go on 10 mile hikes at the weekend (duh!). She recommended I invested money I don’t have into a second pair of work shoes that I could wear when my duties didn’t require me to don my toe-tectors. Basically waste half an hour each day hopping into and out of different shoes depending on what people are asking me to do.
If things got really bad, she said, she could eventually refer me to a surgeon.
She then looked at my feet again and said, “actually, maybe arthritis is too strong a word.”
What? Too useful a word maybe? ‘Cos it might have to go on my record and get acted upon? Or I might demand a note for my boss recommending light duties only? So not arthritis? Just strong pain? Oh great. Yeah. I can live with that. Strong pain, not quite arthritis yet. That makes all the difference.
And that was it.
Consultation over. Nothing that will cost the NHS any money at all – which is possibly a good thing depending on which side of the health fence you are sitting on.
I did my best to reason with her. Look, I said, if this limp continues I’m going to have to shoot my wife and kids in the face just to prove to vicious Hungarian smugglers that there is no way they can ever hurt me. Worse, I may have to piss on Gabriel Byrne.
But she just looked at me blankly and shrugged. She didn’t give a gold plated turd.
So there you go: when the heist goes wrong and you guys all get shot to shit, don’t blame me. ‘Cos I’m the poor guy who’s going to have to limp away afterwards.
And continue limping away for the rest of his life.
Just remember: “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that my foot pain does not exist.”