Hospitals are icky places. Chock full of old people, venereal diseases, depressed surgeons and with every known deadly virus embedded in their very fabric, a hospital is not where I would want to spend my Saturday night. I would much rather waste it by gawking at this year’s offering of freaks on Britain’s Got Talent, or even by going out to Coventry, where the likelihood of encountering old people, STDs and deadly viruses is, well, sometimes just not worth the risk.
Knowing this, imagine my perturbation upon watching The Hospital. The first episode, based in a hospital ‘in the West Midlands’, focused on the logistical problems and fiscal impact that young binge drinkers have on the NHS. To my eyes, these children (as most of them were) were running a hellish gauntlet.
Amongst the patients admitted that night was a girl whose legs had been completely crushed by a taxi reversing over her. The voice-over tells us that she walked out onto the road at precisely the wrong time. My brain tells me that she was probably carrying either a bottle of Lambrini, a VK tropical or both. Why not? It was a Saturday. Needless to say, she almost died. But was it a good night? Well, she giggles a month on, it only cost her £20 of someone else’s money and she got a free taxi ride (read as: ambulance) home (read as: to the hospital). So, on reflection, she had a pretty lol night actually. Innit.
Someone who didn’t have such a good night was my favourite patient. Granted, we only saw five seconds of him but, well, he was a darling. I imagine that he entered the hospital at about two am and had to wait in reception for about an hour. He probably entertained the 15 year old girls who were vomiting up their very last scrap of dignity (and to think that they could have sold that precious moment to Big Brother! Oh, wasted youth…). His pain was so great that he should have writhed on the floor and screamed until he could scream no more, but he sat there in silence. In The Hospital, this man is The Man. So, I hear you cry, what was so wrong with him? Well, you know that ringing that you get in your ears after standing next to the speakers for too long? Yeah, he had that. And I wish him a speedy recovery, I really do. I mean, I’m not really paying taxes yet…
Ear Man may have visited The Hospital for recreation more than anything else, but so did over half of the patients (both featured and non-featured}. I did actually feel sorry for the doctors from the word go, so the program succeeded on an emotional level. But otherwise… well, come Saturday, you’ll see me risking life and limb in Coventry with my Lambrini and VK, just you wait and see. It’ll be lol.