Russell, Jack and I had our injections for the India trip before we left New York. Nik declined jabs on account of his impenetrable immune system – though, as Russ pointed out, we lose Nik for monthly periods throughout the year when he’s knocked for six by such debilitating illnesses as the common cold. Anyhow, in the current climate of our every movement and spoken word being recorded for the documentary and website, it was decided (by Nik, now I come to think of it) that this ordeal should be filmed.
Prior to the jabs the doctor required us to fill out a form before he could write a prescription for Maleria pills. Part of this included a section of ailments and diseases that we should tick if applicable. There were the usual suspects, “chest pains, asthma” etc – but also some baffling symptoms that I found more tricky to respond to. “Decreased life enjoyment” – that’s hard to measure. Since this morning? No. Has my zest for life diminished since the euphoric innocence of childhood? Almost certainly. The form also read, “Thoughts of death” – what, ever? Well, when I was 7 my friend’s pet dog was run over and I did fleetingly ponder, what happens to us when we die? You did? Right, you can forget the maleria pills, it’s off to the asylum for you, you morbid pervert.
I don’t mind admitting that I do not relish injections. I come over all delicate and effete and am convinced that I’ll faint and embarrass myself further. Jack “Edward Camera Hands” Bayles was also having jabs so Suzi filmed the event. We decided that the actual incision of needles was a private matter between doctor and patient and should not be filmed, especially as two of the four were in our naked bottoms. This code of ethics was respectfully honoured by Suzi throughout Jack’s time in the bathroom and did give me a wave of reassurance as I prepared for my dreaded moment.
So, my turn then. Bless the doctor, he was aware of my anxiety and attempted a technique with me that I imagine is normally reserved for the under fives. “Count to three” he said and no sooner had I uttered “one” than the first injection was over. Phew. “I’ll be OK now”, I thought, “this system is full-proof! You’ve met your match, Mr Needle.” My new-found confidence even punched its way through the awkward arse show for the final two jabs and just as I prepared to reflect on a triumphant shame-free set of injections I heard juvenile sniggering from the living room, looked up and realised that Suzi was filming me through the crack (in the bathroom door, not my botty, you sickos) – “Nik, Jack, you bastards! Ouch – I didn’t count to three!”