It was R's turn to visit the Doctor's today. Apparently she's been told to lay off the housework for the foreseeable future. I have appealed.
Apart from that things are looking good in this wonderful democracy of ours. I had my penultimate meeting with Mr K the Chemist today. He was back to his chipper old self but was going a bit heavy on the pro-government propaganda – all very suspicious given today's elections.
“How long have you been off smoking now?”
“Three weeks four days and about two hours.”
“Ah well that's good. According to the government you've already given up.”
I was a bit confused by the original question – I thought the whole thing was a carefully timed course of treatment and he had a huge sheet of paper with all my notes right in front of him, so why was he checking how long I'd been off the cigarettes? Perhaps I should have answered “Two days” and seen what he said. (Not a good idea when you're trapped in the Anusol chair. He might have thwacked me with some latex gloves for being impertinent or something.)
As for the fact that the government had designated me a non-smoker? I might write something about that when I've completely recovered.
“So I suppose you approve of the measures to ban smoking in pubs?” he said later. This was getting a bit menacing now. Sweat began to break out on my forehead.
“Well, er, my thoughts on this, er, have moved towards a more, um, positive stance.”
He seemed to swallow it.
“Vee vill zee” he said. “Get up! You are free to go!”
“We” had already decided that I should start to go on the lower strength patches (there are three strengths of nicotine patch used in the course: Stage One, Stage Two and Ultra Lights.)
He thought giving up smoking was "all very psychological" and started sounding off like one of Richard and Judy's guests. This was an improvement on the Commissar routine. He gave me a month's supply – three weeks on Stage Two and one week on the Menthols.
I realised this was the last time I would be handing him any money. I could tell by the vacant look in his eye that he had realised it too.
“So...er..do I come in again?” I asked “Do I come in a month or...er..”
“Oh...yes...come in...come in...why not?...let me know how you're getting on...yes...let me know....well...goodbye Erik”
“Well...goodbye Mr K...goodbye.”