Mick's Shout: A trip to the skin cancer clinic

Just a bullet to bite on...

IT was a fretful time.

This correspondent left this office fearing the worst. We had to undergo what we decided was major surgery. And the hour had come.

"Farewell,'' we said emotionally to our colleagues.

"If we don't meet again, remember all that we've taught you.''

Our colleagues were moved to indifference.

"Whatever,'' replied one while trying to work out the sudoku puzzle.

In retrospect we were perhaps over-dramatising the situation, as dire as it possibly could have been. We only had to get a skin cancer seen to. We probably wouldn't have even worried about it except the skin cancer place was open one day as we were heading to the hotel so we decided to make an appointment. Call it a whim if you will.

However, this correspondent is a stranger to medical procedures. Why, the only time we even go to see the doctor is when we need a script for anti-gout tablets

So when the day came to go to the skin cancer place we made sure we had everything in order...our will, bar tab and syndicate money. We made the required phone calls to family members and close friends the previous night where we received a sympathetic hearing.

"You're getting a skin cancer cut off, not your arm amputated,'' said one.

"That could be next,'' we replied ominously.

We were met by the friendly staff at the skin cancer place when we finally arrived and were directed to the required room.

"Now,'' said the lass accompanying us.

"Strip down to your undies. You can leave your clothes on the chair.''

This left us a touch perplexed. We started to wonder if we'd come to the right establishment.

"Um... it's a skin cancer. On our hand. Why do we have to parade around in our undies?'' we asked, quite reasonably we thought.

It was explained to us, using sock puppets, that we'd be getting a check for any other potential skin cancers. In the end it made sense.

After that was complete the skin cancer doctor turned his attention to the task at hand, which was getting rid of the skin cancer on our hand.

"No local anaesthetic,'' we said in our best John Wayne drawl.

"Just give us a bullet to bite on.''

"That won't be much good for your teeth,'' he replied.

We can report the whole thing was over pretty quickly.

"This shouldn't hurt, you'll just feel a bit of pressure. If there's any pain, let me know,'' the good doctor said at one point, possibly not appreciating that this correspondent has a very low pain threshold.

"If there's any pain they'll hear me screaming in the slums of Mumbai,'' we assured him.

There wasn't any pain and eventually that was that. Operation over. Mission accomplished, as that dope George W Bush once famously said, although we hope the removal of a skin cancer is more successful than the operation he was referring to.

We headed home to Struggle Street via this office only to find our 'work mates' pillaging through our desk.

"Oh,'' said one. "We didn't expect to see you back this early. If at all,'' she said while making off with our copy of Rugby League Week.

It's good to know we were missed.

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