Thursday, 19 February 2009


My father was admitted to hospital on Sunday, February 8th after suffering a minor stroke, no doubt exacerbated somewhat by the extreme heat of the day (43, 44 degrees in Sydney). He's been there ever since.

They run tests. Constantly. "How are you?", I ask. "They're running tests", he replies, barely able to speak through his horribly strangled breathing. "What tests?", I ask. "I don't know", he says, "they get me to swallow things and run tests and take x-rays."

I thought about flying back to Sydney for a couple days, but was discouraged from doing so, my mother thinking it would make him paranoid in an "end is nigh" type of way.

Fair enough.

And, no doubt many of his current health problems would be as a result of smoking cigarettes for most of his adult life (he gave up about 7 years ago) and I'm sure many snitty little twerps, the usual suspects, would take great pleasure in thinning their lips and narrowing their eyes to slits and bending over his prone body to mutter, "Serves ya right."

In which case, I would happily and most enthusiastically shove a chainsaw up the arses of said snitty little twerps and take them for a quick spin.

For he started smoking in an age (early 1940’s) where smoking was acceptable in all walks of life, in all professions and places and, as a commercial artist/signwriter, spent his entire working life in barely ventilated factories surrounded by wood dust and shavings, asbestos (very probably) and fumes from paint of all varieties, methylated spirits, turpentine and so on. Back in the days when "O.H & S" sounded like an honour dished out to the upper classes from a King. Or a Benson & Hedges knockoff.

I spoke to him this morning. He sounds awful. Not deadly, or quite knocking at that door, but not too good.

A friend of mine, someone I've known for 20 years now, had a friend of his die of lung cancer a few weeks back. He was 28 years old.

He'd never smoked a cigarette in his life, and worked outdoors, in the leisure industry, farting about on boats and such.

And he was 28 years old.

My father was born in 1928. He's 80.

What may we glean from this?




Nothing at all.

No comments: