Proctor : July 2019
63 PROCTOR | July 2019 Winter is come BY SHANE BUDDEN I have a confession to make: I have neither read, nor watched, any of Game of Thrones. All I know about it is that Boromir is in it and winter is a factor. I realise this puts me out in the cold (see what I did there; winter really did come!) and completely on my own, but that is OK. I am happy to suffer for my entertainment choices, and indeed have done so before. For example, I once went to see a movie called Conquest of the Earth which was so bad there is no way it could be made today without involving Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey. Fortunately that gathering would clearly constitute a crime against humanity and the United Nations would prohibit it. Unfortunately the UN’s only power is to issue strongly-worded statements against countries that don’t technically exist, such as the Principality of Hutt River, Narnia and New Zealand; so it might be best if as a precaution we sent all four of them to Neptune. I know I would contribute to the Kickstarter page. Anyway, the movie was so bad that I was the only one in the theatre, so cold and alone is not new to me. Actually, I appreciated it at the time, because being caught seeing that movie may well have made me so socially alienated that I would have had to move to an uncharted Island in the pacific with Elvis, Harold Holt, the millionaire and his wife. Conquest of the Earth was actually a semi- sequel to the late ’70s TV show, Battlestar Gallactica. That series had been made to cash in on the Star Wars phenomenon but without access to expensive things such as good special effects, competent actors and a plot – but compared to Conquest of the Earth, it was Lord of the Rings. Conquest of the Earth was so bad that none of the original Battlestar Gallactica actors (even those whose careers had been reduced to appearing at kids’ parties, doing late- night infomercials and robbing convenience stores) agreed to appear in it. I suspect it was eventually cast by kidnapping people off the street and not letting them go until they had filmed their scenes. Somewhere in an abandoned studio in Hollywood, locked away, are those who simply had too much integrity to do it. The point is that I am not too concerned about not knowing anything about Game of Thrones. In fact, I felt kind of good about it when I saw ads on the TV for other shows discussing the episode that had just been broadcast. It was as if it were a previously undiscovered paper by Albert Einstein containing a theory of everything, and not just a way of watching porn without acquiring an incriminating browser history. I am glad I wasn’t a part of that. It did leave me out of a lot of conversations at work, however, but this actually proved good preparation for my hernia operation. As those of you who have way more time on your hands than is good for you will recall, I was going to tell you what happened at my hernia operation. The reason being left out with no one to talk to was good preparation is that around 90% of the awake time I spent at the hospital was hanging out alone, waiting to be taken somewhere else. Again this proved to be a good thing, however, as before surgery doctors feel it is important to remove every scrap of dignity you have, and it starts with your attire. You have to put on a comical gown that does up at the back, a shower cap and shoes made out of paper. When you see yourself in the mirror in this get-up, you laugh yourself sick – or at least you would if you had any blood supply, but you don’t because you are also wearing compression socks. These are socks of the same overall diameter as a drinking straw but which are made of stretchy material so that they can, with a little effort, be expanded to the diameter of a slightly larger straw. They do for blood flow what independents do for the Senate, although statistically the socks are more likely to pass legislation (or, for that matter, grade three maths). Doctors will tell you that this attire is required due to sound medical reasons, but they never tell you what those reasons are. I suspect the truth is that they don’t want you to sue them if something goes wrong, so they threaten to release pictures of you in surgical garb unless you sign a waiver. Trust me, that plan would work, unless you have a job in which comical attire is accepted, such as barrister or the Pope. Eventually I was wheeled off to the operating theatre, where I became concerned as there were far more medical personnel and expensive-looking machinery than I would have deemed necessary for an allegedly simple operation. I was going to ask about this but then the anaesthetic hit and I woke up, as near as I can figure, yesterday. OK, so it was only a couple of hours later, but man that is one good sleep! If you slept like that every night, I reckon you could be mellow and relaxed about any development, no matter how bad – war, global warming, your daughter’s boyfriend announcing he has just been appointed Donald Trump’s press secretary. I suspect Mike Brady had access to industrial quantities of this stuff, and so when Greg confessed that he had inadvertently started World War Three, Mike gave him a calm talking-to and had him whitewash the fence. All in all, my operation was a success, and I am back to full speed, despite no longer having a belly button and not – as I had been led to believe by many comics in the ’70s – having acquired super powers from radiation emitted by medical machines. I do applaud the fine men and women of our medical profession, and – quite seriously – give thanks to the fact that I live in a country with magnificent medical care. I would also urge you to donate to support their efforts every chance you get. I know I will; they still have those pictures... Martyred by my entertainment choices SUBURBAN COWBOY © Shane Budden 2019. Shane Budden is a Queensland Law Society ethics solicitor.