The Plastic Hippo

June 22, 2011

The hippo is unwell

Filed under: Health,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 11:08 am

To be fair, it wasn’t entirely the fault of the cats. It was very early, drink had been taken the night before and they only really wanted their breakfast. But the next time the malicious little assassins decide to trip up the hand that feeds them on a Sunday morning, they might just find themselves playing a starring role in a pie or a curry.

The fall itself wasn’t too bad. A low wooden bench successfully slowed the descent to the kitchen floor and only cracked two ribs in the process. Ouch, ouch. It was the actual landing that tore the tendons in the lower back. Ouch. Apart from the pain, the most annoying aspect was the attitude of the causes of a hippo and two bowls of delicious duck and rabbit chunks in gravy ending up on floor. With one bowl of gloop having landed some six inches away from the hippo snout, one of the little sods urgently pawed the bowl away so as not to have to share it with the prone provider. Given that the whole hilarious ballet came about by the objective of not standing on and squashing a couple of cats, next time, that moggy will end up as a tea cosy and his brother has a future as an oven glove.

Then came the Thora Hird Alan Bennett moment. The choice was to stay prostrate on the kitchen floor and cry like a girl, whimpering for help or stand up like a man. The alpha male instinct kicked in and only a few more tendons were torn in the struggle to regain perpendicularity. That’ll show those cats who is the daddy and, therefore, top of the food chain. Ouch.

The hippo is no stranger to excruciating physical pain and proudly carries the various battle scars of blackberry picking, Center Parcs and Bescot Sunday Market, so a visit to the local GP surgery seemed an over reaction. However, it was left to Mrs Hippo to point out that sustaining broken ribs in a rugby game played in 1976 is a very different kettle of delicious tuna and herring chunks in jelly inflicted in 2011. The evidence of bruising, roughly the same shape and colour and only slightly less than the actual size of Africa suggested that the alpha male might have to swallow some pride. So by the time any slight movement, cough, sneeze or burp produced oaths worthy of sailors and the agonised moans of the undead, it was time to experience the new NHS at first hand.

It was very, very good. A telephone call was returned by a triage nurse and an appointment booked for within the hour. At the surgery, a touch screen booking-in system ensured that the consultation took place within 15 minutes of the allocated time. The doctor conducted a thorough examination and carefully explained the medical diagnosis. In less than two hours from the initial contact, and now armed with pain management usually associated with dropping rhinos at 100 yards, the road to recovery is well established. Given this remarkable efficiency, good practice and obvious patient care, what kind of blithering idiot wants to screw around with the NHS?

There is no need for this humble blog to name the guilty.

Doing your back in after a run-in with some homicidal and barking mad cats is something of an inconvenience. Every tiny, automatic movement and action needs careful planning if one wishes to avoid the pain of Satan grabbing a handful of your insides and squeezing until you scream. The simple action of lifting the toilet seat, so as not to offend the female hippos, requires the assistance of a younger, bemused and male pod member. Walking to the kitchen, so recently the scene of a great fall worthy of Humpty Dumpty, becomes a trek of epic proportions. Even tapping a keyboard or cutting up food can be painful.

But, with industrial strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ice-packs and the care and support of those that are close, tendons heal, bruising recedes and some semblance of normality will return within a few days. Consider, though, those people with disabilities who suffer pain 24 hours a day, every day, with no hope of relief and only the prospect of further deterioration. Those, who through no fault of their own, cannot walk, prepare a meal, attend to personal hygiene or be safely left alone. What kind of heartless bastards would brand these fellow human beings as “scroungers” and remove their Disability Living Allowance?

There is no need for this humble blog to name the guilty.

There are those that talk of us being “all in this together” and the need for a “Dunkirk spirit” to ensure that banks and corporate interests remain free to profit and plunder. After more than a year of coalition government, the very people that invented the “Dunkirk spirit” lie neglected and abandoned, robbed of their dignity and their contribution to society, both moral and financial, ignored. With perverse, self-interest, the state is turning its back on those who pay for it. In this surreal bedlam, “U-turns” become progress, the armed forces are told to shut up and stick to fighting and those coming to the end of their lives after defending this country are described as an unaffordable liability.

With a nod of respect to the late Jeffrey Bernard, perhaps the Spectator, in the absence of anything coherent or sensible, should publish the headline “Britain is unwell”. There is not much time left, because pretty soon, the headline will have to read “Britain is dead”.

Ignoring the body sprawled on the kitchen floor, Cameron and Clegg are happily tucking into the duck and rabbit chunks in gravy.


  1. Get well soon …

    Comment by ziksby — June 22, 2011 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  2. I realise this is not going to sound sympathetic, and I’m terribly sorry, but your eloquent description of the incident made me giggle like a schoolgirl. I’m also appreciative of your kindness to the furry assasins, as I care greatly for the cat whose house I currently occupy, pay for, and staff.

    Of course, the real point is less amusing. Top notch again though. Hope the drugs work and recovery is quick. Experience has shown me that feeding our pointy-eared overlords first is the only reliable way to avoid a unwanted trip.

    Comment by stymaster — June 22, 2011 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

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