Connoisseur of the abscess

I used to work with a nurse who can only be described as a connoisseur of the abscess. 'I think we'd better lance this today,' I'd say, although this was just foreplay.

'Mmm, I don't think so,' she'd muse, eyeing it keenly, maybe fondling it a bit (a bit too much, I reckon; certainly more than was entirely decent), like Ernest and Julio Gallo checking out their grapes. 'It will be pointing in, I would estimate,' she'd muse, squeezing it, 'in about three days.'

And sure enough, when the abscess returned in three days, her prediction would be accurate.

'Just look at the poor little thing,' she'd say, purring with satisfaction and salivating with anticipation, just a hint of drool hanging on the angle of her mouth, her lips moist and wanton and come-hither.

'It's as ripe as an apple waiting to be plucked.'

One-two, one-two, and through and through, the vorpal blade went snicker-snack, and the laudable pus would come spurting out. 'Would you look at that,' she'd say, in an almost post-coital tone, after which we would feel compelled, for some inexplicable reason, to nip out the back for a languorous smoke.

But this unusual consummation was only the first part of the process; she also took extreme and very personal offence at any pus that remained unexpressed, so she'd return to the site of battle, put Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries on the CD player and squeeze and squeeze like her life depended on it.

And if the abscess was out of the patient's eyeline (as abscesses often are, preferring as they do to inhabit the nether and often embarrassing regions, what Samuel Shem's Fat Man might have called the 'Congo of the body'), she'd give a running commentary to keep them informed and us entertained, all of this counterpointed by the patient's anguished screams.

His agony was on account of us not using enough local anaesthetic (when do we ever?).

'You should see the stuff coming out of it now, Lordy would you look at that, what a rich and glorious colour, what a vibrant and unforgettable bouquet, it's amazing, it's incredible, it's fantastic, just one more squeeze, maybe another one or two, don't worry, we're nearly finished now, just the last wee bit,' she would murmur.

'Oh my God, can you believe it, there's loads more, buckets and buckets and buckets of it, where is it all coming from? Ah now I see, there's another cyst, it's not ready yet. You'll have to come back next week.'

And then, to the audience: 'Always leave 'em begging for more.'

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