Into the car park slinks a dark green car, crawling like an injured dragon or, let’s speculate here, as if the driver has had little sleep, and in the middle of a night-time crisis, is trying to find the correct car park. An impartial observer would have noted it was an old Rover, T-reg, and definitely in need of air in its tires.

The car park was empty, an occasional ambulance but that was it. Dark, eerie, is there anything more terrifying than an empty hospital car park at night? The dragon stops at the barrier and the driver takes a ticket. A heated discussion is taking place, the driver is gesticulating like a petulant child...

“Listen,” I said, “I CANNOT believe that we have to pay to park. It’s 3am, the car park is empty, my daughter is sick and these capitalist opportunists have the audacity to charge us two quid, DESPITE all my taxes and National Insurance contributions.”

“Now is NOT the time,” said my wife, so I shut up.

At the end of the day a couple quid isn't that bad. There are worse things to worry about. Mortgage negotiations for example, or buying a house off an old lady who is buying off another old lady and the contract exchanges are on hold while the two biddies bicker over who keeps which light fitting. Or getting a bit of chicken stuck between your teeth for three weeks.

So I stopped complaining.

Comments

How's your daughter?
.-= Jeanne´s last blog ..10 Observations From My Trip =-.

Thanks for your concern. Don't worry, she's fine now, just had a nasty bit of croup.

My first question was answered above - so, I'll just have to leave you with the thought that perhaps your real calling is marching about with a socialist placard, picketing such invasions of the wallet.
.-= Tristan Robin´s last blog ..Things You Need to See, Things You Hoped to Never See... =-.

Socialist? I'm no socialist, just grumpy when tired...

I'm so glad the little one is okay now. And I can totally understand middle-of-the-night grumpiness over being nickel-and-dimed for parking. Though I suppose you don't call it that.
.-= Cate´s last blog ..I'm Done Running =-.

When I'm nickel-and-dimed it makes me furious as I only carry Sterling.

I'm surprised you made it out with your clothes still on. My daughter took her daughter to the emergency room for a cut on her chin that needed stitches. $1200 for about an hour at the hospital and another $800 to the doctor that spent 5 minutes super gluing the cut together.

Glad to hear your girl is fine. Hospital visits in the middle of the night are no fun.
.-= ellen abbott´s last blog ..a job done =-.

Well that certainly puts things into perspective!

Glad to hear your daughter is OK.

BTW My BFF let me keep the light switch.
.-= Pseudo´s last blog ..Contest =-.

Very kind of the BFF, light switches are very useful.

I have never heard of a hospital that charged for parking. Go figure!!

I hope your daughter is ok.
.-= blueviolet´s last blog ..I'm NOT That Old! =-.

Sadly they do here, drives me nutty.

Lots of illogical thing in this world and a great deal of them makes us grumpy... glad to hear the little one is fine.
.-= Minka´s last blog ..Where? =-.

Nothing is more illogical than a piece of chicken's desire to cling on to teeth.

Listen pal, you bought that car off of me as strictly 'sold as seen'. Maybe try losing a few pounds fae around your waist would possibly lighten the load. Besides.. your BMW is for family use, the Rover was meant to be for your midnight kerb crawls, no mercy dashes with sick weans.
.-= Jimmy Bastard´s last blog ..The Apple of my iPod =-.

I have a BMW?!

Croup, yuck. So did they send you home and tell you to open a window?
.-= Captain Dumbass´s last blog ..Tastes Like Chicken =-.

Something like that and in their eyes they told me to get a new car.

Certainly glad that your daughter is doing okay. It is a shame how people will squeeze every bit that they can out of other people.
.-= otin´s last blog ..Fableton =-.

Next time I'll drop them off, shoot round the corner and park somewhere sneaky.

I work at a hospital and I HATE HATE HATE parking in the stupid garages. But they're free here, so there's that.

Hope your daughter is doing alright, dear.
.-= OWO´s last blog ..This way for attention =-.

Garages? Not sure I get it, you mean you each have a little garage? Or is this private indoor car parks? Either way, as they're free you have no sympathy from me...

No. I suppose what we call a parking garage, you call a car park. This one is 6 levels of concrete parking for our employees and patients. There are three garages that belong to the hospital, but I park in the one that SUCKS THE MOST. You know, because my job is super important.
.-= OWO´s last blog ..This way for attention =-.

I understand. Being super-important myself I can attest that the world is against us.

It's all part of the universal symmetry, you have national health care...we have free parking at the hospital. It's a trade-off.

Incidentialy, my doctor, Dr. Imah Butchur, informs me that a three week chicken chunk in your teeth is ok, unless it turns green...in which case you'll have to pay the parking fee, and get help.

Well currently the chicken is suing me for neglect and claiming squatter rights so I'm not happy about it at all.

I didn't want to say any thing, but this has been my exact experience with chickens...you always run afowl of them.

My issue with chickens is that they are all about take, take, take. You never end up on the receiving end of a chicken's generosity, I'm not on any chicken's Christmas list and none of the chickens in my road even so much as speak to me, apart from the one stuck in my mouth of course. Which is a flamin' nightmare. I'm thinking of becoming a chickenetarian.

K but I don't know what a Rover or T-Reg is? Dog? Dinosaur? but it needed air in the tires...hmmmm. CAR!

glad your daughter is feeling better sunshine.
.-= JenJen´s last blog ..Silk and Gravel, III =-.

Sunshine?

I see from the comments that your little daughter is better. Nothing harder on the spirit that when a child is not well, so not well that you must go to the hospital. I hope the chicken comes out of your teeth in short order.
.-= Cheri @ Blog This Mom!´s last blog ..For the Now-Twenty-Three-Year-Old Hero Who Survived the Assault of John Albert Gardner in 2000 =-.

Me too, me too

Chicken are jealous because they HAVE NO teeth. So then, it's quid pro quo.

That's good, so my irrational fear of being stuck in a chicken's tooth can be ditched.

I'm so glad she's okay. Midnight hospital runs are always stressful, especially when they involve our children. And paying for parking just adds insult to injury.

I hope your week and your daughter improves. (and that you don't get the crud. I feel miserable. I might be the one off to the hospital tonight)

I'm a mad flosser; I never let anything get stuck between my teeth for more than a few minutes. Eww.

I can imagine Alice now, as she meets the Mad Flosser

Oh I got mad flossing skillz, yo. Mad. Flossing. Skillz.

But, I'm way cuter than the mad hatter.

Cleaner teeth, fo sho.

Maybe you'll luck out, and the first old biddy will pass on, and her estate (greedy children) won't give a fig about the light fixtures. That would solve everyone's problems.

So a little more permanently than others, mind you. But solved is solved, I like to say.

Solved is solved.
.-= Scope´s last blog ..Say WHAT? =-.

It's always possible!

Jeeez Mo. You just pointed out something good about us Yank's health care system...free parking at the hospital. Thanks, I feel better now.
.-= Mr. Charleston´s last blog ..For Men Who Leave The Seat Up =-.

My work is complete

Well mo, seems like you know now that hospitals don't charge for parking here.

I know what you mean though, I HATE being nickel and dimed, I recently looked at my cell phone bill and saw all these taxes for different areas I don't even live in. I complained and they looked into it, then credited me $300 for all the taxes they took out that they shouldn't have over years and years.

I keep imagining your daughter getting seen, then you have to walk up to a hospital cash register while they ring you up for all the stuff that was used (like the wooden throat stick, band aid, tissue paper,etc...).

You're alive?

I was starting to worry that you had been captured by some trailer-park folk.

He lives in a trailer park. It's common knowledge over here.

It took me a minute to figure out the car park thing. Ahhh ... parking lot!
Croup is awful. My oldest son had to go to the ER for it more than once. Glad your daughter is better now!
.-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Aliso Beach =-.

The poor princess was just struggling to breath properly.

Took my (26 year old) daughter to the Emergency room a few weeks ago. A four hour wait, two prescriptions which we had to fill at a 24 hour pharmacy, and a bill for $600 later, and she still had to go home and wait for her condition to "present". (another way of saying "it's not bad enough, wait a few more days so we can charge you even more to treat it.")

But at least the parking was free.

And now that the health care bill has passed, I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for Rush Limbaugh to flee the country...
.-= Cactus Petunia´s last blog ..unsolicited advice... =-.

It would be ironic if you guys started charging for hospital parking...

Actually, here in the U.S. the emergency care is free and the parking is $6,000.
.-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..." =-.

Now THAT would make me cross...

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It could have been worse, I could have got a bit of chicken stuck in my teeth for three weeks

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  • PDOException: SQLSTATE[22001]: String data, right truncated: 1406 Data too long for column 'title' at row 1: INSERT INTO {aggregator_item} (title, link, author, description, guid, timestamp, fid) VALUES (:db_insert_placeholder_0, :db_insert_placeholder_1, :db_insert_placeholder_2, :db_insert_placeholder_3, :db_insert_placeholder_4, :db_insert_placeholder_5, :db_insert_placeholder_6); Array ( [:db_insert_placeholder_0] => In Which, Not Having Posted For A While, Our Hero Grabs Whatever Odd Crap He Can Off Of His Phone And Adds Some Words In The Vague Hope That Something Profound Or At Least Moderately Entertaining Will Emerge, As Will The Inspiration For A Pithy And Succinct Title To Encapsulate it. [:db_insert_placeholder_1] => http://gravelfarm.blogspot.com/2012/07/in-which-not-having-posted-for-while.html [:db_insert_placeholder_2] => [:db_insert_placeholder_3] => <br /><div style="color: black;">My 2 year-old daughter, Bonobo, enjoys colouring in.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Well, I say colouring in, but really it's scrawling random marks across any flat surface with anything that might feasibly make a mark. Crayon, ink, paint, snot, poo, blood, you name it, she seems to be able to incorporate it into her art, and will brook no criticisms,&nbsp;constructive&nbsp;or otherwise, about whether it is "good" or "insightful" or "talented" or "naughty".&nbsp; Just this morning, I found her outside making a delightful print on the patio with the juice from a disgruntled snail.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dkwNRpAx8VI/T_wNLDIiGYI/AAAAAAAABCU/-W1n9rbbJqM/s1600/banksy+wall.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dkwNRpAx8VI/T_wNLDIiGYI/AAAAAAAABCU/-W1n9rbbJqM/s320/banksy+wall.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Dear Jebus let that be chocolate spread.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">She's like Gilbert &amp; George only, you know, she occasionally does stuff I like.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Obviously, I want to encourage the artistic&nbsp;aspects of her character, but preferably whilst discouraging the&nbsp;accompanying&nbsp;random acts of vandalism to the sofa or fridge door. This involves the purchase of vast reams of paper and imperial gallons of colouring books for her to <s>waste</s>&nbsp;utilise.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">I don't normally bother looking at them, other than giving the occasional finished piece a quick glance, saying "well done Sweetheart, I shall treasure it forever" before placing it carefully out of view in the recycling box, but I did flick through this cheap one she got as a gift in a party bag:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: black;"></div><div style="color: black;"><span style="background-color: white;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XuI7ztZplfU/T_S59DE1dwI/AAAAAAAABBM/G_xOtKOw458/s1600/cullrin+3.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XuI7ztZplfU/T_S59DE1dwI/AAAAAAAABBM/G_xOtKOw458/s320/cullrin+3.JPG" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This will end in tears. </td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">It's pretty standard fare, really. A selection of motifs and tableaux of no particular ilk or order, ready for children to completely not keep within the lines on. It got me wondering how much thought and endeavour go into the creation of such tomes.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">They're basically doodles, which are then printed out in book form and sold. A starving artist whacks out a toad underneath a toadstool whilst some sort of large insect, possibly of the order Odonata wearing a bowler hat, sits on top trying to remember where it lost it's other pair of legs:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; color: black; text-align: center;"></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hpUH3tXyuPc/T_S75KnQeFI/AAAAAAAABB0/ptHfBJM7_Rk/s1600/cullrin+1a.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hpUH3tXyuPc/T_S75KnQeFI/AAAAAAAABB0/ptHfBJM7_Rk/s400/cullrin+1a.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Smuggest toad in Amphibiville.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Opposite, a fairy shows an old sock to a deer with oddly long front legs, perhaps hoping the fawn will be able to track the owner, lost in the woods these past forty-eight hours and causing concern as temperatures are dropping, what with the sun playing hide and seek behind the cloud there. </div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sticking with the toadstool theme, the next page had turned the whole concept on it's head by having the toad <i>on top</i> of the fungus, literally as a stool for the toad. Madness. It appears to be being addressed by a bizarre anthropomorphic rodent which sends chills through my spine in a way that Mickey never did:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WvRoUwsKImo/T_S6O67sWOI/AAAAAAAABBU/TCp-728ntG4/s1600/cullrin+4.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WvRoUwsKImo/T_S6O67sWOI/AAAAAAAABBU/TCp-728ntG4/s320/cullrin+4.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"Go on, let me lick you."</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">The chameleon on the opposing page was relatively lifelike, if one discounts the expression on it's face which suggests it has narrowly missed being caught doing something both immoral and illegal. Presumably with it's tongue.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">After expending vast amounts of efforts on the previous mouse, not only giving it a face but a set of clothes as well, the artist then runs out of time and, almost certainly, inclination for the next mouse-based piece. Here, they are sadly two-dimensional and lacking even a rudimentary&nbsp;mandible, sailing forlornly in some sort of leaf-boat 'neath a bright, croissant-lit sky:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ml9ou9aQTSw/T_S_L5GKeSI/AAAAAAAABCI/tiqdwJygIMk/s1600/cullrin+5.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ml9ou9aQTSw/T_S_L5GKeSI/AAAAAAAABCI/tiqdwJygIMk/s320/cullrin+5.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">In the kingdom of the deaf, the one-eared mice are kings.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">As if realising the obvious lack of talent demonstrated by the boat-mice, the artist ups his or her game and does a reasonable job on the flowers and butterfly opposite.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">On a roll now, the artist illustrates a good facsimile of a gnu, looking as if it is about to charge any child considering colouring it in pink. Other than that, though, things take a downward turn. The artist has now run out of animals to draw, and is reduced to portraying some sort of wallaby/teddy/dog hybrid about to be grabbed by a six-fingered, thumbless hand, presumably for the crime of simply existing.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--kstZBfzVns/T_S6biL8-II/AAAAAAAABBk/7Drr_TXSO4M/s1600/cullrin+6.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--kstZBfzVns/T_S6biL8-II/AAAAAAAABBk/7Drr_TXSO4M/s320/cullrin+6.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"What am I? WHAT AM I?"</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Towards the end of the book, impetus seems to be dwindling, and rather than draw another toad or existing creature, the artists wazzes off another example of whatever the hell that thing is, only this time the freak is attempting to hide it's shame behind an oversize flower. Good thing too:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mTDIO0bnls0/T_wOqDKVzDI/AAAAAAAABCk/cDOHcNs8QbQ/s1600/freek.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mTDIO0bnls0/T_wOqDKVzDI/AAAAAAAABCk/cDOHcNs8QbQ/s320/freek.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Don't look at me, I beg of you. Look at the whale. </td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">The finale of the book, which in my opinion you might expect to be one of the better pieces of work to leave the audience with, is of a stunted whale, gaping mouth half full of vomit, spurting juice out of it's head-hole like some sort of cetacean money-shot.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sadly, I do not foresee see many worthwhile accolades coming to this artist. Tracey Emin could have done it. </div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">From today's reading, many lessons emerge. I have learnt that I know two more animals than the artist responsible for this colouring book (camel and dog. I'm not showing off, just saying).</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">I have learnt that&nbsp; it doesn't really matter what you put on a page as long as children get to destroy it in the name of creativity.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Most importantly of all I have learnt that a snail can indeed look disgruntled.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sometimes, the level of profundity I achieve through writing this blog staggers even me.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Ooh, snail!</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">That's three.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><br /> [:db_insert_placeholder_4] => tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-917676458656665193.post-1618795888336161232 [:db_insert_placeholder_5] => 1341921120 [:db_insert_placeholder_6] => 10 ) in aggregator_save_item() (line 150 of /home/stoneskin/madd0g.org/modules/aggregator/aggregator.processor.inc).

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