Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An NS Boy's Earnest Attempt at an Excuse


Time and Place: Sunday morning, in P3 (Priority 3) clinic

Quirk: Instead of the usual mix of elderly and young people looking genuinely sick, all the patients lined up to be seen were:
  1. 18-19 years old who were supposed to be ghettoed inside National Service Camps (NS boys)
  2. dressed up so well that they should have been in a mall instead. And also wore perfumes.
  1. pink rosy cheeks
Me: struggling hard to spend more time on genuinely sick patients while sifting through a pile of NS boys flocking to the ED to get medical certificates to delay going back to their camp after a long weekend.

Me: cough? colour of phlegm?

NS boy 1: yes. green.

NS boy 2: yes. slightly greenish yellow.

NS boy 3: yup. tinge of green.

NS boy 4: cough so much that my throat hurts, and the phlegm i spit are all greenish!!
. (patience wearing thin)

NS boy N: yes. the sputum green in colour loh!

Frustrated at the same predictable answers to all my questions, as if they were all using the same ’NS Boy’s Handbook to Getting Medical Certificates’, I slammed the table and blasted.

Me: Why all the NS boys are coughing out greenish sputum?!

(NS boy N was shocked by the sudden hostility, hence a pause of few seconds, looking contemplative)

NS boy N (sheepishly offered) : err... maybe water in Tuas ... not clean?

I fell off my chair.

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