My wart. A big lumpy thing that's grown on my left forefinger. After a couple of years of ownership I've sort of become quite attached to it. Bit unsightly but no real problem. However, it gives other people the heebie-jeebies. Sister seemed quite shocked when she saw it a few months back. And neighbour Isabelle regularly remarks about the damned thing. Even whipped my teeshirt up the other day to see if I had any more on my back. Spotted a couple of moley things and said I should get them looked at. Next thing I know, she's telling me I have to come round at 8pm on Thursday. Something about some bloke visiting. Maybe a doctor?
Duly arrived at her place as the church bells clanged eight, freshly showered and shaved and reeking of some foul-smelling stuff that's supposed to make women go weak at the knees. No sign of a doctor chap. Bit confused as Isabelle ushered me into her car and whizzed off towards Felletin. Bless her, she doesn't speak English and rarely understands my garbled French so I hadn't a clue what was going on.
Parked up outside a Felletin town centre house and followed Isabelle inside. Immediately confronted by a magnificent old hallway with a huge granite staircase. Didn't look much like a doctor's surgery though. Then recognised the lady of the house (Ann) as being Isabelle's co-server at the fruit'n'veg market stall. Gave Ann (a charming lady) a good old handshake and followed them both down the hallway into the kitchen. Warmly greeted by the chap sitting at the table (Cocou) who runs the fruit'n'veg business. Suddenly twigged that he and Ann must be hubby and wife. I'm very slow about these things. Also at the table were a young girl, a teenage boy and another bloke. I presumed the kids belonged to Cocou and Ann and the bloke was the doctor. Could be right about the kids (still not sure) but I was definitely wrong about the bloke. Turned out he was just a visiting neighbour.
Cocou poured me a large scotch (and I mean laaaarge - these French chappies are extremely generous with their hospitality) as the other bloke said hello goodbye and headed for the door. Still hadn't the foggiest what was going on. Presumed the doctor would arrive quite soon. But why I should see him in this house rather than at Isabelle's, or even at his surgery, remained a confusing mystery. Mind you, I've been totally confused for nearly 64 years, so situation normal. Besides, after a couple of swigs of scotch everything made sense - i.e. no sense. Decided to just sit back and go with the flow. Bit worried about seeing a doctor while reeking of alcohol but I'm sure he'd understand it's purely medicinal.
Was just about to request permission to smoke (recently departed bloke was smoking so I presumed it wouldn't offend) when Isabelle told me to drink up and get in the car. Even more confusing. Downed the scotch (must have been at least a quadruple), said goodbyes and wobbled off down the corridor to the car with my chauffeur and the two kids. The two kids? Why were they coming with us?
Headed off in the direction of Crocq. Was rather hoping the kids spoke a smattering of English so I could work out what the hell was going on. But they didn't. Still confused as ever. Then realised that the boy had a wart on his finger and the girl had a veruka (spelling?) on her foot. Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. Seemed a bit late in the evening for visiting a doctor's surgery but no matter. Then noticed the boy was carrying a box of tissues. Noticed too that his wart had a bit of dried blood. Looked nastier than mine, poor lad. Suddenly thought that this doctor fella would be operating on the three of us tonight. Hence the tissues to mop up the blood after the lad's wart and his sister's(?) veruka had been chopped off. Agh! I ain't ready for this! No way! If some damned doctor comes at me with a scapel, I'll deck the bastard. And that's final.
Arrived at the village halfway to Crocq that Isabelle had previously mentioned. Then turned left up some lane, back into the countryside. Stopped at a little stone cottage in the middle of nowhere with ducks and geese. No way is this a doctor's surgery. Realised it must be the home of some local quack. Probably one of these witch doctors I've heard about who can get rid of warts and stuff by using black magic. Oh brilliant! Another fine mess I've landed in! Before I'd even got out of the car I'd decided to forcibly curtail proceedings the moment this witch doctor came within spitting distance of me or the kids with knives, scalpels, bottles of bubbling lotions, powdered snakes and frogs, or whatever. At which point he or she might turn me into a bat or cockroach but I ain't havin' it. No question.
Isabelle knocked at the door. Little old man with a walking stick invited us in. Isabelle gave him a bottle of wine. Seemed harmless enough. Sat around his kitchen table as Isabelle nattered away, pointing out our three ailments. Had a quick look round and didn't spot any surgical instruments or signs of witchcraft so felt quite relieved. Spent most of my time fussing the old boy's friendly terrier that was chained to the bannister. Had a bell on his collar and kept jumping up and down as though on springs. Television was on in the corner. Everything seemed perfectly normal apart from the fact that nothing was happening.
Ten minutes later, we were back in the car and heading back to Felletin. Still hadn't a clue what was going on. Dropped the kids off, had a quick supper with Isabelle and Christian, then went home. Totally confused. The whole exercise had been about nothing. Absolutely nothing. Complete waste of time.
Couple of days later, Isabelle asked how my wart was. Told her that some of the crusty bits had dropped off and it was looking a bit smaller than before.
Taking a pause
1 month ago