The badger is not looking good. No one has moved him, though gravity has pulled him down the bank and back towards the road that killed him. He looks more like a haggis than a badger now. And no one has buried him and nothing has carried him off for food. At least I am not that badger. Not yet.
Lots more dog walking today. In the morning I could see the gossamer threads spun by spiders overnight stretched across the path. I had no option but to walk through them and destroy the delicate work. Did the spiders scream in dismay as their work fell apart? Was this spider 9/11?
As it happened it was. But every day is 9/11 for spiders. And yet they’ve never learned not to construct their webs over pathways. The dicks.
I didn’t care, because I was laughing at the word gossamer. Which you have to think when you see a spider web, but also makes you think of condoms. Because I saw the word gossamer on a condom packet before I saw it in a poem and so still think that gossamer is just a word for prophylactics.
Once again my awe at the intricacy and beauty of nature is ruined by my childishness.
We signed up to the local GP and I had to fill in a couple of forms. One had general health questions. The first was about smoking, fair enough. Do you smoke? If so, how much? Obvious stuff.
The next one was about drinking and I expected that to be along the lines of units per week, but the question was
"How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?" - with a list of options ranging from never through to Almost daily.
Seemed like an odd thing to ask and weirdly specific. Is that a big thing? I mean for alcoholics, sure, but it seemed a bit on the nose. You could work up to that.
But they were working their way up to something else
There was another alcohol questions. “How often during the past year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of drinking?”
I feel I drink quite a lot, but these two questions seemed aimed at even thirstier people than me
But they weren’t done, next up was “How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?”
I mean come on. Might they not just ask one question - “Do you think you might be an alcoholic? with the options, “no, not likely, I don’t think so, possibly and definitely”.
It’s not like this is a clever code that the patient won’t see through. Hey, I’ve put "almost daily” to all the questions so far, do you think that means anything?
But it didn’t let up, next was how often have you felt guilt or remorse after drinking (I put that I had only felt remorse after I had failed to drink - the doctor is going to think I am Oscar Wilde), how often you’d been unable to remember what had happened the night before, if you’d ever injured yourself or anyone else because of drinking or if anyone had expressed concern about your drinking and suggesting you cut down!
I mean it was 7 questions all just asking the same thing. Do you have a huge drink problem? And they hadn’t even asked about units. It made me feel like they knew I did and were trying to crack me and make me admit it. I mean yes I can’t stop drinking, can’t work the next day, have a drink in the morning to try and make me get to work, have black outs, remorse and everyone tells me to stop drinking because I am an embarrassment. But I don’t think that means I have a problem does it?
It was enough to drive me to drink.
There would be more walks. Having completed another draft of the second script of Everything Happens (For No Reason) - though I have to take one more pass at it - I had a beer to celebrate and then took Wolfie for her six o’clock walk. The countryside was bathed in crepuscular light which looked amazing under the influence of a big bottle of strong lager. The countryside seemed an awful less shit and much more exciting when I was inebriated. I understood now why a country doctor mainly asks those questions. Once you’ve laughed for a few years about gossamer, seen a hundred sun rises and picked up three dog shits a day with your hand, the only thing left to you is to drink yourself to death. I look forward to my inevitable future.
No wonder no one is cleaning up dead badgers.
And no wonder there are dead badgers everywhere.