Considering what has been happening in Kenya these last few days, this column will not be the first choice of reading matter for most Nation buyers on Sunday.
However, I need to explain my absence from last week’s online platform (sorry, folks, but it was the first in many years) and to assure those loyal followers who expressed dismay and concern at my disappearance that I am alive and kicking and still able to hit the computer keys.
The fact is I was in hospital, where I have learned a few lessons, some good, some bad, about our famous National Health Service: Lovely nurses, marvellous ward care, great food, but …
Back on March 9 (the squeamish can skip the following) blood appeared in my urine. There followed over ensuing weeks … a CT scan, a non-anaesthetic cystoscopy (ouch), numerous blood tests, consultations with the cancer department and a cystoscopy under anaesthetic.
This latter revealed nothing malignant and I was discharged with an appointment for four months hence.
Great! Except, for one thing: I was still bleeding! Didn’t they notice?
To cut a long story short, by late July, I was so weak and my haemoglobin figure was so low, I was readmitted to hospital and given four blood transfusions.
There followed an operation to cauterise areas of my bladder. Result: bleeding stopped, golden pee again!
I can’t pretend to know why what happened happened and I’m not about to second-guess the decisions. However, an email from me is on file and, if it saves some other poor guy from weeks of pointless discomfort, then I’ll take that.
Caught in the act! Ex-prime minister David Cameron, who once described himself as a former smoker, was snapped at a Wilderness Festival with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Now out of the public eye, he seems to have turned to tobacco again.
Few ex-smokers would criticise him. It is a struggle many people know about: Have a few drinks and you’re puffing away again.
Cameron is not alone among national leaders. Former deputy PM Nick Clegg has confessed to being a secret smoker, and Barack Obama, too, has fought the good fight.
The former American President started smoking as a teenager but promised his wife he would give up if she would allow him to run for president.
“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes?” Obama asked. “Yes! But am I a daily smoker? No! I’m too scared of my wife.”
Deborah Arnott of the charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) said it was vital that adequate public funds be provided for programmes to help smokers stop, “whether for a plumber or a former prime minister.”
He was aged 18 and caught shoplifting a shirt, tie and socks. When a policeman arrived to arrest him, the young man explained that he tried to steal the items because he was going for a job interview and he had no decent clothes.
The officer decided that arresting the youth would help nobody. “He had no resources, he was trying to make his way.” So he bought the clothes for him and let the boy go.
It happened in Toronto, Canada. Don’t you wish your cops were like that?
The patient, eyes bloodshot, hands trembling, reports to the doctor that he does not feel well. After a searching, 30-minute examination, the doctor tells the man, “I am very sorry, I cannot find anything specifically wrong with you. I think it must be the drink.”
“That’s OK, doc,” replies the patient. “I’ll come back when you’re sober.”
A scientist goes into a chemist’s shop and says, “Give me some acetylsalicylic acid tablets, please.”
Pharmacist: “You mean aspirin?”
Scientist slaps his forehead: “That’s it! I can never remember the name.”
Two hikers are camping in the bush when one is bitten on the backside by a poisonous snake.
His friend rushes back to town, but the doctor is busy delivering a baby and can’t come. “Don’t worry,” the doctor says, “just cut a cross over the bite area, suck out the poison and spit it on the ground.”
Back in the bush, the snakebite victim asks, “What did the doctor say?”
Replies his friend, “You’re gonna die.”