zondag 20 mei 2012

English Patient

E N G L I S H   P A T I E N T

by Gert Vanlerberghe

- Mr Harris, I'm afraid we have a little problem here.
- Is it that bad, doctor?
- Quite the opposite actually.
- So it's rather good news? I don't see the problem there, doctor.
- It's more complicated than that, Mr Harris. You see, we went through every possible disease that the present symptoms might suggest and, when that didn't lead us anywhere, we tested you for any possible disease that the present medical world has knowledge of, and still all results were negative. We simply don't have a clue about what is wrong with you, Mr Harris.
- And what about my diarrhea?
- I'm very sorry, Mr Harris.
- Every night I have to get out of bed and vomit in a bucket. Every single night!
- Sorry to hear that, Mr Harris.
- My backache is getting worse every day.
- I'm at a loss for words, Mr Harris.
- I cough up blood.
- Still no clue, Mr Harris.
- And when I sneeze, pus oozes out of my ear.
- Pus, Mr Harris?
- Pus.
- We didn't find anything, Mr Harris.
- When I lift my left foot, there's a sudden rush of blood to my right little finger.
- Rather odd, Mr Harris.
- Every time I jump out of the window...
- Good God! How often do you jump out of the window?
- I'm sorry, doctor.
- Yes?
- I'm sorry, but I'm not in the habit of being interrupted.
- So sorry, Mr Harris. Please continue.
- I just cannot believe you just interrupted me, doctor.
- Do continue, Mr Harris.
- I have to do this for work, you know.
- You have to jump out of your window daily? What are you, a stuntman?
- Not quite, doctor.
- Well, what are you then, Mr Harris, if you don't mind my asking?
- I'm a private eye, and it is my business to investigate stuff.
- I see. And that involves jumping out of windows, Mr Harris?
- It most certainly does.
- Well, as a doctor, I should advise against such a practice, Mr Harris. It is not very healthy.
- As if I don't know that, doctor.
- I gather that you rather enjoy jumping out of windows then, Mr Harris?
- Good God, doctor, what in heaven makes you think that?
- Why else would you do that, Mr Harris, if you don't mind my prying too much into your business?
- I just don't see any way around it, doctor. I have to jump out of windows in order to complete each case in a successful way. You as a doctor should know that.
- I'm sorry, Mr Harris, I should indeed. But how do you cope with this rather unpleasant part of your job description, Mr Harris?
- Well, I'm Church of England.
- Are you, Mr Harris?
- I most certainly am.
- Well, that explains one thing and the other.
- Doesn't it?
- It most certainly does. 
- So I don't have cancer, doctor?
- Not a chance.
- No STD. I mean, not a single one of them?
- All tests were negative, Mr Harris.
- I don't have jaundice?
- No, Mr Harris.
- What about MS?
- Not at all.
- Lyme disease?
- You don't have Lyme, Mr Harris.
- How about malaria?
- Nope.
- Tuberculosis?
- Of course not, Mr Harris.
- Hepatitis?
- Neither B nor C, Mr Harris.
- And despite my liver failure, constant pain, chronic fatigue, bodyspasms and trouble urinating, I can conclude that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me?
- Nothing, Mr Harris. All tests are negative.
- COUGH COUGH!
- You just coughed blood on my shirt, Mr Harris.
- I am perfectly aware of that, doctor.
- I mean, are you okay?
- Of course I am. What makes you think I'm not?
- You're absolutely right, Mr Harris. All tests are negative, so there is nothing to worry about.
- That's great, doctor. Hey, is that an open window behind you?
- It most certainly is, Mr Harris.
- Can I...?
- I thought you'd never ask.

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