The Social Secretary and I are so pumped full of viruses - in the last few days we've had flu, tetanus, polio and diphtheria jabs - that it's hard to know whether we're well or not. K had the flu one too, and we've all had unexplained headaches, until it dawned on us why. I've been putting off the tetanus booster for years - I reckon I snag myself on sheepy barbed wire so often that I get boosters from the bacterium itself.
At the flu one, in the village hall, K got the giggles when the administering doctor confided, "Just a small prick." Mine said, "Let it hang," but I think he was referring to my arm and the slightly camp hand-on-hip pose that I'd helpfully adopted. Afterwards we had to fill in forms. Sex, age, no problem. Then came, "Ethnic Origin". Sounds straightforward, except I put 'White Caucasian' and the SS put 'C of E'. Then we spotted an advice sheet, and crossed those out and obediently wrote 'White British' as instructed. Probably Caucasia is now an independent former Soviet republic, but ethnicity to me is not equivalent to 'nationality'. Next time I'm going to write 'Sudanese Ginger' and see what they make of it.
Along with her second jab the SS also had a routine smear test (not in the village hall). This was made more awkward by the fact that she was meeting for the first time the nurse whose dog she would shortly be walking twice a week (times are hard). She probably now knows the SS more intimately than I do. I passed the time playing with the new do-it-yourself blood pressure machine in the waiting room, which prints you a read out like those fortune-telling machines in fairgrounds. (I'm 'optimal', which is a lifetime first for anything; I may frame it and hang it with my sub-optimal certificates in the downstairs gents).
My non-twin sister-in-law once importunately fell for a hot doctor at Guy's who was involved in administering and assessing the results of her barium meal test (she described it as like consuming and passing a bowl of plaster of paris). Although on the scale of barium meal test attraction I'm sure sister-in-law scored highly, she didn't get a date out of it. Sometimes the odds are just stacked against you.