Sainsburys pharmacy. I ask to speak to a ‘medical advisor’, as helpfully suggested by a laminated sign on the counter. I am involved in half an hour of tediously difficult conversation with a girl who looks like she’s recently sprung from Mizz magazine, smells like candy floss and has so much glittery make-up that it’s hard not to get distracted by my own reflection. She is not helpful. At all.
“Is that everythin’ then?” she asks in a low pitched drone.
“And a bottle of Calpol please.” A wry, uncomfortable smile begins to spread across her face.
“Is that for yourself?” she goads. “Have you used this product before?”
I feel like I’m at some kind of AA meeting. “Errm, yes,” I reply, getting a little hot under the hoodie. “Yes, I have.”
“And would you like the over six or the infant suspension?” she smirks. “And do you like the strawberry or blackcurrant flavour? And is it the FAMILY pack you wanted?!”
It’s a step too far for a girl with a raging temperature, plague-ridden family, and an overwhelming desire not to miss The Inbetweeners.
“Yes. Please. The big bottle of Calpol. In the strawberry infant suspension. And I will be drinking it alllllll.”
Last day of holiday in Italy. Looking tanned, feeling linguistically invincible. In the past week I’ve booked a fishing trip, discussed a jellyfish infestation and come up with many reasons why I would not be participating in water aerobics. So far at the spa we have discussed beauty treatments, special offers, and what kind of aromatherapy oils my mum wants for her massage. I’m feeling pretty chuffed as we head off to the showers.
“And, um, possiamo avere un, um, un towel?” Our Italian masseuse looks perplexed. “Eh, um, you know a you know a *insert arm rubbing motion*”
“Eh, a massage?” our Italian lady helpfully proffers.
“No, ah, you just gave me one of those I mean a, um, a, you know a *insert horrendously embarrassing drying action, which at the time seemed to represent me toweling my back, but may have looked like some kind of spontaneous belly dancing performance. Ms. Italy and I awkwardly part ways, sans towel.
It had seemed, in theory, like a nifty, 30cm nip from shower to open dressing gown. My mother had already completed the maneouvre with Olympic-like finesse. However, the Laws of Fate are unkind, and on exiting the cubicle I narrowly miss, nakedly springing directly into Ms. Italy’s alarmed face. Queen of Oils snickers something in Italian which is once again beyond my reach. Think it was “you could have asked for a towel”. Really need to look that word up.
My birthday. I am a happy bunny. My housemates have bought me a wunderbar Birthday Dress to wear, and with my newly received Chatimal (Google it), I’m feeling like the bloody Paris Hilton of Heslington. Smooth. People are drinking, people are talking, people are kissing goodbye to my £300 deposit. After a couple of O’Renishi’s in town, it’s off to The New Club. “Happy Birthday to CHARLOTTE!” announces the DJ, and the crowd goes wiiiild. This is ACE.
Suddenly, I slip on the newly installed stage blocks and am catapulted onto the dance floor, in most undignified manner. It is a proper video game type fling 6ft up with nooo adoring fans to catch me.
York A+E, 11.00 the next day. “And you said you fell off a stage Miss Hogarth-Jones? Had you been consuming alcohol?”
“Um, well, yes I had had a bit, but I wasn’t actually drunk at all.” Belinda the nurse raises an eyebrow. “No, honestly, I promise.” Belinda lowers her eyes. “This form says it was your birthday last night … but you weren’t drinking …”
“No. Look, I can see how this would all point to the fact that I was drunk, but I wasn’t, I’m just clumsy,” I insist. Belinda clearly has me down as a lying hobag as she produces a small dish of giant pills. “Yuss,” I sigh, “those look really good.” Belinda’s eyebrows look like they’re about to fly off her forehead.
“Oh nonononono, I mean because my foot hurts! I mean for pain relief! I mean good for my FOOT!” I plead, as I hop along to the corridor, but it’s too late. Belinda has already absconded and I am left hopping to the X-ray room, meekly muttering about tap water and hoping not to be forcefully diverted to the psychiatric ward.