Children from single parent families earn less and have fewer friends, a new study suggests. Is this true?
27 May 2017, 20:52
If you are considering contracting an MRSA bug for kicks, don't.
For all I know, licking hospital corners is what the kids are doing today to get high.
They may have exhausted the possibilities of smoking baked banana skins and snorting grated nutmeg, and are bored with the delights of ingesting bath salts and garden fertiliser and are after the sort of buzz that can only come with a good dose of a highly aggressive communicable disease.
If you are thinking: that sounds like a fun weekend, please allow me to share my personal experience of contracting an industrial strength bout of an antibiotic-resistant infectious agent.
I have a tale to tell of the havoc it can wreak to, not just your insides, but everything around you, especially if you do not quite reach the toilet in time.
I was visiting my father, who is in hospital, where you would think he would be safe.
My dad is on a ward that a nurse said has had "some tummy bug problems". This understates the case by some considerable degree.
It is like saying that wearing a centre parting, a cardigan, sandals and socks would somewhat work against you becoming a sex object.
The phrase "tummy bug" implies some benign infection that can be treated with a nice cup of tea and a good night's rest.
What I contracted was the Mount Etna of stomach infections. A great gushing flow of hot lava that exploded out of every orifice I knew of, and some I was not even aware that I had.
It started, as these things often do, in a mild room spin, but not in a good way. This proceeded to a distant rumble of the crisis to come.
Sleep came fitfully, until in the dead of night I was seized by the urge to get up. Two feet from the bed, this urging became the warning bell of imminent catastrophe and exactly one foot from the toilet, all Hell broke loose.
Unfortunately, the toilet seat was down, in the polite manner, and so what ensued covered every surface of the bathroom. In fact it may have covered every surface that Man has ever created.
The volume that a single stomach can hold is really quite remarkable. Mine seems to have held on to every meal I have ever eaten. I am sure I spotted some Farley's Rusks.
But a cursory glance through a fog of dizzy horror revealed that, contrary to popular belief, there were no diced carrots present at all.
I hate diced carrots, an intense dislike that has stayed with me since school dinners. I don't mind carrots; it is the dicing I can't stand. And how much otherwise perfectly usable carrot is discarded simply because it can not be reduced to a perfect three dimensional solid object of six square faces?
There were no cubes of any kind but the roiling intensity of the blasts breaking out from me continued into the night. I tried to quell the grief with a Rennie. This was like placing a damp towel over a meltdown in a nuclear plant.
Time was the healer, and lots of water, which I would always recommend, even when you are well, assuming there is no alcohol at hand.
I am fairly fit and suffered a 7 out of 10 on my personal pain-ometer. If someone who is already in hospital were to get it, where would the ambulance take them?
This column comes with a warning.
WARNING: do not enter a hospital under any circumstances unless specifically advised to do so by your doctor, in which case, you should change your doctor.