Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Basically Bla...

If you're looking to lose your dignity in a hurry, quick, head to the nearest hospital and ask for a procedure that involves a) some degree of nudity and/or b) some sort of organ involved in excretory and/or reproductive functions, and voila! You've got yourself a winner!

Having decided that there was no better way to spend a fun Saturday afternoon than make three wasted trips to a hospital while they sorted out their ultrasound appointments, software and radiologist's schedule, I finally found myself in the waiting room with Cousin Binky waiting for an ultrasound.

We found the only two available seats in a corner of the crowded room and settled in. I glugged down water at routine intervals since they usually insist on a full bladder before conducting the scan.

After a longish wait, the nurses yelled out, "Basically Blah?!" "Yes!", I hollered back, leaping to my feet, preparing to wind my way up to the desk. "Is your bladder full?", they shouted across the crowded room, while 40 people now hung at the edge of their seats to be informed about the state of my bladder. Feeling slightly flustered at having to share such information with 40 nosy strangers, I mumbled something about "Hopefully. I've been drinking water" before slinking back down into my seat.

Five minutes later, I hear the same chorus: "Basically Blah?!"

40 heads automatically turned toward me, obviously now well and truly intrigued by the well-being of my bladder.

-"Is your bladder full?"

Repeat the above shouting match about five times. My "full" bladder now had the fan following of a Colors TV soap. Step aside, child bride, BB's Bladder is the new star.

Having now convinced the nurses that I had a bladder worthy of being scanned by their tardy doctor, I was ushered into the examination room. The doctor threw me a look like I was a worm who'd popped out of a delicious fruit salad.

She barked, "Is your bladder full?" (Jeez, whatever happened to good, old-fashioned "Hello" ? Or should I have introduced myself as "Basically Full-Bladder Blah"?)

-"I think so. I've had a lot of water."
-"I asked you something, you're answering something else."
-"Yes, my bladder is full."
-"Do you feel like passing urine?"
-"Is it urgent?"
-"Then your bladder is not full." (Guess who got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning?)

Awkward silence ensues, during which BB curses her indolent bladder.

Doc Charming, nonetheless, condescended to scan me and my sorry excuse for a full bladder. Then there was the incident of the cheeky gall bladder.

- What did you drink? Coffee?
- No.
- Then why can't I see your gall bladder?
- Old gally ain't feeling too sociable today and is in hiding, deal with it.

A while later, I walked out of the room, results in hand, and exited the place with Cousin Binky by my side. As we left, an infant in the waiting room mouthed its first words ever...

You guessed right.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gibbering Over A Gecko

Anyone who has known me long enough or well enough would know my severe aversion to the common gecko. Although I am crazy about just about every creature great and small, geckos (and men?) are not on that list.

The little fiends have terrorised me for years now. The aversion really kicked in when I spent two years in Chennai - possibly the worst two years of my life (not counting the two wasted with Ducky, of course). Geckos would bide their time in the common bathroom, waiting for me to trot in. Once I was well and truly in the midst of my bathing routine, they’d hurl their writhing bodies into my bucket of water or, worse, land on my bare back.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve run screaming from the bathroom in terror. I once ran full tilt, clad in only a towel, into my hostel warden. She glared at me in disgust, eyeing me not unlike a smug gecko, before declaring, “You Ooty girls have no shame!” (I had spent ten years in Ooty before moving to Chennai). “We Ooty girls also have no courage in the face of geckos!” I called back cheekily, before scurrying away to safety - away from conniving geckos and seething wardens.

During a mandatory early-morning meditation session, I’d find myself face-to-face with a colourful garden lizard, replete with cilia-like spikes down his back, doing his morning push-ups, regarding me with a bright, beady eye while I looked on in mute horror.

Last night, the gecko brigade unleashed its horror on me again. While I scrubbed myself down with St.Ives’ apricot scrub in the bath tub, I heard a distinct “clink” beside my foot. Looking down, I spotted a young, pale-faced gecko eyeing me in the most disconcerting manner. In a split second, I was out of the bathroom. However, I have obviously developed some courage over the last decade. I returned to the scene of the attack brandishing WD-40. (Yes, it was the only thing closest and quickest to grab. Besides, it is touted as a versatile product with 2000 uses - I might have added #2001).

Then, standing six feet away from my tormentor, I spritzed like I’ve never spritzed before. My assailant first tried to dive for cover behind a giant bottle of strawberry bubble bath. However, I kept at him, like the cops dispelling a mob with a water cannon. Horrors! Completely disoriented (and possibly rust-free for life), he ran straight for me! I squealed, leaped over him and took cover in the bathtub again, keeping my finger down on the spray gun. I was GI Jane with that WD-40 I tell you.

This is when he breached the boundaries of battle, the unsporting scoundrel. He hopped into my bedroom at top speed like a highly caffeinated kid on a pogo stick. Too chicken to follow him immediately, lest he leap at me, I allowed him to skip under the bed before throwing on a bathrobe and dashing out for my weapons of mass destruction. Oh, yeah! Bring on the Baygon Multi-Insect Killer.

He was nowhere to be seen when I returned. “Fire first, ask questions later”, I reasoned with myself and doused the entire room with Baygon, spraying liberally under the bed, until I could taste the chemical on my tonsils. I swear I heard my neighbour, two blocks down, gag.

And just like that, it ended. I heard and saw no more of my attacker. What has become of him still remains a mystery this morning. Is he dead or plotting a more ferocious attack?

There was one positive thing to the entire episode. I am severely hematophobic - I’ve been known to faint, grow dizzy, break out in a cold sweat and clutch at inappropriate animate or inanimate objects for support at the sight of blood.

You can imagine my terror when I had to undergo a routine blood test this morning. However, five minutes after meekly offering up a vial of blood, I was trotting out quite normally with my dignity intact.

How did I manage to stay cool and calm this time? Simple: I kept my eyes closed and my mind firmly on the offensive gecko, reliving the horror of him making like a wallaby and scurrying under the bed.

One phobia to conquer another. And that’s how it’s done. *Holstering WD-40 and taking a bow*

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Monsoon Madness is Upon Us

As the Indian monsoon set in and the roads turned murky with suspicious flotsam and jetsam bobbing merrily into gutters, potholes and other unfortunate orifices, the damp air appeared to have affected the workings of otherwise rational human minds.

Monsoon madness, it would appear, is upon us.

How else could you explain why Bin would hurl a whole bottle of Bacardi Breezer in the Ant’s face, mistaking the figure skulking by her car to be a -- of all things -- a watermelon thief? Never mind that there may have been laptops, mobile phones, wallets and other valuables lying carelessly about -- oh, no sirree, that crouching form must most certainly have come for watermelons. This begs the question -- what watermelons? I have no answer to that one, simply because there were none in the vicinity. A more likely explanation would be that Bin has been afflicted by the monsoon madness.

The madness does not end there.

No doubt the deluge of Jamaican Passion upon the Ant’s face coupled with the shock of being pronounced a watermelon thief had a more damaging impact on the Ant’s brain than initially suspected. Some days later, in the midst of a mundane conversation, I mentioned something to the effect of “I will give her a call” or something equally bland. The Ant went saucer-eyed before exclaiming, “What! KO has nipple rings?”

I was completely befuddled. How on earth did a completely innocuous statement suddenly transform into something with earth-shattering implications? I mean, if KO sports radical pieces of jewellery, I can bet my bottom paisa that the pope would sport a tattoo -- if you get my drift.

KO reacted with the expected level of shock and horror when accused about her “dirty little secret”. The allegation, born out of a much mildewed mind, had a profound impact on the poor lass. She packed her bright red suitcase, wrapped a brighter green ribbon around it and presented herself at Oo’s doorstep in Ireland, calling herself an early Christmas present. I haven’t seen her in almost a month. (Read KO’s Irish escapades here)

The only apparently unaffected soul is BC, who appears to have pulled through the dreary weather relatively unscathed. However, considering that even BC has been babbling something about her being possibly kidnapped and taken back as a price bride for the Kikuyu people, I might just have to resign myself to the fact that I seem to be the sole survivor of this drizzly season.

I am Legend! Woot!

(As you can probably tell, Basically Blah has no material to blah about and is looking to incite a riot. My apologies to my regular readers, especially the ones who take all that time and effort to Google my blog every single day!)