'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Spring 6, or Nursing story 1

Mollie, trainee nurse, with her brother.

When my Mum was about 17 she left Cowplain School in Portsmouth and came out to New Zealand under the 'Assisted Passage' scheme, enrolling at Waipukurau Hospital in Hawkes Bay as a trainee nurse.  

My many memories of her are punctuated by her giggles and stories about larks she and her fellow nurses would get up to.  These were revived and retold often due to frequent (it seemed to me) 'Nurses Reunions' which she always attended with great enjoyment. But then my Mum always seemed to be laughing about something or other most of the time.

One story involves a very difficult patient; a man who seemed to enjoy making life miserable for the nursing staff and the other men in the ward and who complained a lot, despite not being very ill at all.  

Mum and her crony hatched a plan.  They explained to him that he needed an enema, and pulled the curtains around his bed.  They asked him to lie on his front, and wheeled in the equipment. The next bit usually involves a tube and a stand and a bottle of warm soapy water.  Except that being on his front, the man didn't realise that instead of the tube, he had inserted in his bottom the stem of a daffodil, it being spring.  Then the curtains were pulled back with a flourish, revealing his indignity for the amusement of the patients in nearby beds, while Mum and her friend left the ward for ten minutes.  


  1. This reminds me of something similiar. I don't know whether you have seen the original movie 'Mash' (1970s) (Army hospital tent city Korean war 1950s) on which the very successful TV series was based; well there is a scene along a similiar vein. Nurse Hot Lips Hullahan goes into the shower. In the midst of her showering the whole side of the tent shower room is let go - the whole army camp is seated in chairs watching, cheering and laughing. It was very funny, a bit cruel, but very very very funny.

  2. Oh I used to love M.A.S.H. I don't think I ever saw the original movie, but it sounds the sort of thing that would have made the Major spit tacks for weeks. I expect it was Hawkeye who organised it?

  3. Ok our NHS is bad enough without giving them any ideas !

    The only flowers I want near me when in hospital should be firmly in a vase.

    I'll be good. Honest.

  4. Can't tempt you with a sprig of wisteria Ian?


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