Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good Clean Family Fun...

What it should look like, in time, if a shit-wipe oxygen thief doesn't wreck it in infancy; earlier today

In an earlier post, I made reference to my former incarnation as an APT.

I've watched the Baby P scandal unroll endlessly, with it's various references and suggestions with an almost surreal sense of inevitability.

You see, there are two species of Public Mortuary, those operated by local authorities which are properly funded and free of the petty bullshit politicking that bedevils the NHS, and the ones based in NHS hospitals (the vast majority) which enjoy neither benefit. What they both have in common is that autopsies are their stock in trade.

Autopsies fill the day. The Coroner's Court system requires autopsy as a statutory obligation in all cases of sudden or suspicious death, and the death of any baby will require autopsy.

I have seen many, and as a professional duty, I developed and pioneered new techniques in perinatal and neonatal reconstruction. That is, reassembling the little mites when the pathologist has done what must be done.

One of my last tasks before I baled out of the NHS in my unending (and so far pointless) quest for sanity in the public service was assisting at the second PM (in the case of suspicious death, the first PM is conducted by a Home Office pathologist under the direction of HM Coroner, and forms the basis of the prosecution case, a second may be requested by the defence team) of a battered baby.

I don't remember the details of the case, including the child's name. One doesn't unless the idea of A Rubber Room With No Sharp Things appeals, but I remember the injuries in forensic detail. I remember plugging the x-ray shots into the viewer and looking at them.

I remember the scorching rage that I felt as a man and a father that such a thing could be done, that such injuries could be inflicted by a full grown adult on something so tiny and utterly, utterly defenceless. I remember the sure and absolute knowledge, felt in my very marrow that if the perpetrator were given to me, that I would demonstrate my professional, clinical dissection skills, on him for as long as he could survive them.

And then I put all that aside.

It was my proud boast, that a normal adult subject of autopsy could be restored in just under twelve minutes. Babies always took longer. They're delicate, fragile and small; requiring specialised instruments and specialised techniques. When the pathological/police circus left town, I prepared those instruments, put some Bach on the tape player and marshalled those techniques.

I spent forty-five minutes, lavishing all my care, attention, patience and professionalism on that tiny, broken scrap of humanity. A being who enjoyed no love, patience or care in life. Who had, in fact, been systematically smashed to bits by a creature utterly unworthy of oxygen.

When I'd finished, I wrapped him in a clean sheet, placed him gently in one of my many refrigerators; and went for a cigarette and a cup of tea.

My point is this.

I had to suppress all emotion to do right by that dead child. I had to deploy and apply all my patience, skill and professional detachment to do the right thing by him.

When it comes to Peter Connolley (Baby P), will our masters do this? Are they capable of this?

Or following all the usual hand-wringing, bullshit and mawkish, goulish slavering; will we see the same old rush to judgement, followed by an avalanche of piss-poor ill thought out legislation?

Somehow, I lack any optimism.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On Balloons and Pricks...

A pissed-off, forestalled also-ran; earlier today

There are few things piss me off more than individuals who say what I meant to say, but infinately better than I could.

Like this insufferable smart-arse.

Of course, it is also "extremely difficult to monitor" whether any parent smokes in their own home but I've got some lovely marshland to sell to anybody who seriously thinks that a total domestic ban won't be the next step after this bullshit has bedded in. And that, of course, is what all this is really about. Once these corrupt fuckers have set out their stall by banning foster parents from smoking, it won't be too much of a push to ban natural parents from smoking

A man who is certainly ahead of the curve. Smart, concise and perceptive.

As if that wasn't enough, I have this enragingly well-written piece to swallow into the bargain.

The public buildings part is nonsense. Pubs are not public buildings. Neither are clubs. They are private businesses. Companies that own office blocks are not permitted to allow anyone to smoke in them, anywhere. Van drivers cannot smoke in their own vans, salesmen in their cars - even if they are self-employed. If you set up a smokers' club, employed only smokers and only allowed smokers to join it, you'd all be standing out in the rain to smoke while the club lies empty. That's how stupid it is to say 'it's to protect non-smokers'. Even if there isn't a non-smoker within fifty miles, a smoker cannot light up indoors, even if he owns the establishment.

I ask you, what fucking chance do I stand? Maybe if I spent more than thirty-five minutes a day sober...

A sweeping and courtly bow to The Filthy Smoker, and to Leg Iron.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It Shouldn't Happen to a Devil...

The Breakfast of Champions (moving in reverse).

Flying my daily mission over the hinterlands of Blogistan earlier today, I made my regular visit to hell, wherein I read the following...

Your humble Devil went for quite a lot more than a few drinks with PigDogFucker last night, and jolly good fun it was too. So, this morning I rose bleary-eyed and now, having fortified myself with fruit juice (alcohol leaches Vitamin C from the body) and coffee (ah, caffeine, beautiful caffeine!), I am ready to turn my jaundiced eye towards the news... it may well be that His Satanic Majesty was merely bleary, or it may be that he suffered a proper hangover, but I was shocked to note that he was working from such odd assumptions. Vitamin C indeed, tsk. tsk.

Hangovers are a much more evil beast than that. Not only are you suffering from an acute vitamin B1 deficiency, but you are dehydrated even unto monkeyballs. In fact, the booze will have blown your body chemistry to shitrags and knackered up your electrolytes into the bargain. This is why you feel like something the cat sicked up, you are suffering from a self-inflicted poisoning.

But why, I hear you ask, are you bollocking on in this vein Old Scrotum?

Well, to digress for a second. In my last job I was a Chief Mortuary Technician, or to give it it's proper title, a Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician. This basically involved dissecting corpses, but in order to obtain the wallpaper that permits one to do these things a certain amount of training is required. Four years of it to be precise, covering many diverse topics to illness and death related.

When I'd qualified I took up the Chief's post at a major hospital in East Kent, and as I was still living in London at the time my bosses lodged me in the nursing hostel from Sunday to Thursday night for the first six months. Needless to say, Sunday to Thursday nights were spent in the social club on the hospital campus.

I don't get hangovers anymore, they stopped dead when I turned twenty-nine. I think my body finally realised that firing warning shots at me had as much effect as telling Vlad the Impaler that he's a very naughty boy, and that whatever else I did, I'd be back the next night for lots more of the same. Don't get me wrong, I regard my body as a temple, it's just that I seem to get most of my kicks from defiling it.

Accordingly, watching the whey-faced zombies staggering around the nurses hostel every morning pricked my conscience; after all, I was always the instigator of these bacchanalia and never suffered the consequences.

Thus it was that I determined to find a practical application for all the stuff I'd soaked up from hours of reading Stephens, Seely & Tate, and Poulson's Clinical Toxicology. I determined to liberate mankind from the scourge of the hangover.

The key is prevention, not cure. After all, if you wake up with the feeling that someone has lavishly carpeted your mouth with Axminster, replaced your eyes with two pickled onions and substituted a slowly revolving hedgehog for your brain then the damage is done.

You need to replace the water and vitamins while you sleep, so that you wake healthy and refreshed. Impossible? Not with my blindingly-bloody-obvious solution.

Simply prepare a reasonably sized bowl of salad before you go out, and bung it in the fridge. All the watery, cellulose-ridden cack that any self respecting carnivore would be ashamed to have in his intestines. Shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. If, like me, you hate rabbitry with a passion, feel free to add a dressing or a nice thick slab of cold ham and a dollop of Branston. DO NOT get creative. One test subject reported a disastrous failure, but under interrogation admitted adding pulses and carbs which totally derails the whole concept. Simply scarf the lot before you climb the wooden hill to blanket fair and all will be well. As you sleep like a newborn babe, all that ghastly cellulose breaks down, time releasing all the water and vitamins you need. Simple but brilliantly effective.

This has been extensively field tested under battle conditions, and it works. Now, if they can dish out a Nobel to this mendacious tosser, I'm throwing my hat into the ring for next year's prize for medicine. I think I've done more good than Mr. Serial any which way you slice it.


If you're one of these inexplicable creatures who feels compelled to spend the evening necking Pooftahpops with Galliano and plasticine chasers on top of a bellyful of QC sherry, I advise you to make more than one salad. This because you will almost certainly spend a large part of your night kneeling in the bathroom while your upper gastro-intestinal tract pressure hoses the Twyfords, and may need to repeat the prescription.

Abnormal Service Will Be Resumed...

Something abnormal, earlier today.

I must apologise to my reader, Mr. Torquil Pissflaps of 'Dunthinkin', Thabo Mbeki Crescent, Staines. My absence is due to an acute attack of blogstipation coupled with an almost surreal feeling of despair at the antics of the Whores of Westminster and their assorted battery of stinking parasites.

However, my spleen is recharged and overdue for a thorough venting. Watch this space...