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In my indefatigable quest to dig out and digitise my ‘juvenilia’ for posterity, prosperity, asperity and anything else like that, I discovered this little piece what I wrote for my kid sister, Karen, when she went into a cottage hospital in Nottingham to have her tonsils removed, c1971. I’d have been around 19, so I have no excuse.

I seem to recall that the nurses (whom I think were all nuns), found it hilarious and took copies, so my scrawl may not be the only copy in existence. Until now, when it is released into the wild of wordpress…


Carmelia Spillsby’s Tonsils

xxxLittle Carmelia Spillsby was quite glad of the change when she went into hospital. All the nurses were nice and friendly and the doctor who was going to take out her tonsils kept giving her sweets when Sister wasn’t looking. And she had plenty of books and jigsaws, jigsaws and books, and still more jigsaws to keep her happy.
xxxBut on the day of the operation, she was also glad to forget about all those endless jigsaw puzzles.
xxxThe operation was straightforward and successful. Carmelia slept through it, dreaming she was a jigsaw. The surgeon, who was as fed up with tonsils as she was with jigsaws, got the operation over quickly and efficiently, and put her tonsils in a specimen jar. Carmelia was wheeled off to her bed, where she soon woke up to see the friendly faces of the nurses smiling down at her.
xxxFor the rest of the week, cards, flowers, grapes and presents arrived from her family and school friends, as well as regular visitors. Soon Carmelia was thoroughly settled in, and of course that was just in time for her to go home again. She got dressed and off she went with her mother to catch the bus home.

xxxBut meanwhile, what about her tonsils? Left all alone in their jar, they soon became lonely and throatsick. Then they noticed that the lid on their jar had not been replaced properly. Freedom beckoned! They climbed out and then — they couldn’t believe their luck! The door to the laboratory was open.
xxxOut they crept, just in time to see Carmelia and her mother disappearing round the corner.
xxxQuickly but quietly (have you ever heard of noisy tonsils?) they followed them to the bus stop.
xxxNobody noticed them as they got on, not even the conductor, so they didn’t have to pay any fare, which was just as well as they had no money. Neither did anyone see them get off the bus and follow the Spillsbys home and up to the doorstep and into the hall.
xxxUntil Mrs Spillsby turned to close the door and looked down at the floor. There, on the lino, she saw two small red things, quivering with (though she wasn’t to know what they were quivering with) excitement.
xxx“Eurgh!” she exclaimed. Carmelia turned and looked too. Neither of them had ever seen tonsils out on their own before, so they didn’t recognise what — or whose — they were. The tonsils were just about to say, “hello; we’ve come back,” which Carmelia wouldn’t have liked much, because they’d been hurting her for months, when Mr Spillsby stamped on them and squashed them flat.
xxxCarmelia went to fetch a dustpan and brush. She helped her mother sweep them away and put them into the dustbin, and was never bothered by her tonsils again.

the end

(So how did you expect me to finish the story?!)