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international librarian of mystery

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Hole in my Retina

I was traveling home on the bus on Friday evening, stuck in traffic around the Basin Reserve, when, after a couple of minutes of as-per-normal bus silence, the driver suddenly took the opportunity to have a rant about the health system.

"You don't have to listen to this if you don't want to!" he announced, as if those of us in his captive audience without headphones had any choice. He then gave a short, politically obscure disclaimer to the obviously shocking story that was to follow, which eventually started with ...

"I'm now going to tell you about our Health System! I went down to the A&E this morning with a stabbing pain in my eye. I waited for two hours before I saw a doctor! And when I saw him I was told...."

Cruelly, I was near the back of the crowded trolley-bus, so when we got around the Basin Reserve bottle-neck, he throttled up and the whine of the engine drowned his spoken word medical drama out. All I got down Adelaide Road was...

"...two months..."
"...hole in my retina..."
"...had to go and see a specialist..."
"...all day..."
"...laser surgery!"

At which point I think he took out a couple of rear-view mirrors of cars parked illegally in the rush hour clearway, and just about rolled some SUV who had been stupid enough to think this mad (and vision impaired) bus driver was going to let him overtake and get into our lane before the lights. Straddling both lanes of southbound traffic, the bus barreled on towards home, and I got off at the next stop ('Good luck with the eyes!' I yelled as I leapt out the back doors) and did the last 2km on foot.