Kingdom of Parkinson’s. 8. The plumber, the neurologist and the WPC.

Kingdom of Parkinson’s. Part 8

The law book flutters around me. I leave her be. Mind you, I have read a page or two. And I have listened to her. That’s the good thing about a law book with a voice. If I forget something, or want to forget something, she’ll whisper softly in my ear. She sits herself down on my shoulder, tickling me with her wings until I’m finally all ears. I’m getting to know her better every day. And, the better I know her, the less I have to carry her. The more of her clever ideas I embrace with my mind as well as my heart, the lighter she flutters around me. Her little leaps are becoming increasingly bigger and sometimes, very occasionally, I lose sight of her. I treasure those fleeting moments of freedom, without rules and laws. Yet, deep down I’m always relieved, happy even, that she’s returned. My life on this side of the gate is still so new, so alien…I’m often at a loss as to what I should do…so yes, I have warmed to my little law book with wings, feet and a voice.

And she says:

Hey, you don’t have to understand what’s going on, you don’t have to deal with this by yourself. I’m your law book, trust me, I’ve got plenty of excellent ideas up my sleeve. I mean under…under my sleeve. Oh, whatever, you know what I mean. You’re likely wondering how I came up with so many good ideas? Well, she says proudly, some ideas were my own, some I picked up along the way and some are yours.

Huh? Mine? How come you can read my mind, my little winged law book?

She shrugs her winged shoulders innocently, shuffles her tiny feet shyly and smiles.

Well, she says in that soft whispery voice, I am your personal law book, you know. You and I, we’re on the same page.

Oh, I mutter.

“Come on” she continues, “I hear voices!” (Yeah right, I think, throw in the ‘I hear voices’ line, on top of a law book with wings, feet and a voice). She implores me to come and take a look.

Okay, I’ll carry you, little law book.

“Thought you’d never ask.”

I’m starting to get the impression that this law book of mine is rather mischievous.

Enter the voices.

(They sound familiar. Two male voices. Time for a good old spot of eavesdropping).

N: What did you tell her?

P: Oh, you know, the usual when someone has landed themselves in this type of situation.

N: Which is?

P: That she’s been sitting on a time bomb.

N: Just like that?!

P: Listen, she rang me in the first place. Although, she certainly took her time about it. She should have called months ago. So, as usual, it’s up to me to sort out the mess.

N: You scared the living daylights out of her!

P: Let’s hope so. There’s nothing else for it, if she ever wants to be able to flush that loo again. I mean, we can’t just sit back and wait, can we? So, I turned off the main water valve and told her that I take my coffee with milk and sugar.

N: Coffee?

P: Yes, coffee. Have you got any idea what my average day is like? Getting up at the crack of dawn, because some clown has got their loo blocked? She’s lucky I’m here.

N: Surely you’re not implying this is all her fault?

P: Well, you’ve got to admit, doc; if she’d taken just a little bit more care of that house of hers, none of this would have happened, would it? I mean, this lady, she’s a grown up, right? She could at least attempt to keep her drains unblocked.

N: Isn’t that supposed to be your job?

P: Yeah okay. But hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, doc. I did a fine job unblocking that toilet. I even replaced a few u-bends for good measure – so the Missus can flush her heart out for decades. I downed another cuppa, thanked her and left the invoice on her kitchen table. How would you go about that, doc? I mean, I don’t suppose you can just shove her into the MRI, unclog her veins (we could swap jobs, doc), force her to swallow 10 pills a day and then wave bye bye?

N: No, I can’t, the neurologist admits, I’ve taken an oath. I have to do my utmost to look after her.

P: So, what do you do? Try to put her mind at rest? Does she even understand what you’re saying?

N: I hope so, the neurologist says, but I do have to repeat whatever I tell her at least 3 times. Most of my patients are too stressed to focus. So, no, I wouldn’t tell her that she’s been sitting on a time bomb as it would drive her up the wall. Neither would I say that she should count herself lucky that I’m here. It simply wouldn’t be helpful. And, worst of alI, I can’t cure her.

P: Isn’t there anything you can do for her? Prescribe some pills or therapy for the sake of it? That would certainly bump up your fees, doc.

N: There’s a lot I cando for her, absolutely. I prescribe pills and exercise, and try to stop her from going under. You have no idea how often I come across balance problems in my consulting room.

P: Ssshhh doc, wait a minute, the plumber says, I think she’s coming our way…

N: Oh, yes, you’re right, poor thing, she’s still having a hard time coming to terms with it, I’d better tell her to try and let go…

P: Good thinking, neurologist, go for it!

The voices are now extremely close

The plumber can’t help himself: Oh dear, still tinkering about with that loo of yours are you?

The neurologist can’t help himself either and more or less says the same thing, although he chooses his words a little more carefully: Soooo, Mrs Robijn, how’s life treating you? Are you back on your feet yet?

Enter the law book

Wim Rozenberg fotografieMy law book giggles. She’s clearly in an exceptionally mischievous mood. She eyes the approaching plumber and neurologist closely. She flicks through her pages until she reaches the P for Plumber and the N for Neurologist. The neurologist entry mentions something about congresses. The plumber entry mentions something about BBQ’s.

She. Gets. The. Best. Idea. Ever.

My dear boys, she says to the Plumber and the Neurologist, I’ve bought you two a present! Tickets to the WPC! Isn’t that AMAZING?! The neurologist jumps for joy…wow…that’s that big, fancy congress that all my medical chums are attending…yes!!! The plumber quite fancies the idea of doing something fun with his mates too, although he’s not exactly over the moon about the idea of a congress.


But, as you already know, my law book is clever and mischievous. The neurologist and plumber have opened their tickets, and read and re-read what it says on the invitation…WPC clearly stands for World PET Congress?!! NOOO! They’d been looking forward to a big fun event with their friends…. World Pet Congress…??? They can’t hide their disappointment. It’s too much for them, they can’t take it in. Poor boys.

The Plumber stumbles: Pets? Are you serious? I’m a plumber! I unblock drains! 

So do I! Well, sort of! The Neurologist is almost shouting by now.

The Parkinson’s Effect

The law book is firm now.

Boys, get a grip. You’ve good reason to be disappointed, there’s no doubt about it. I understand full well what you’re going through and so does she (pointing at me now with her wing). Do you know what we call this in modern psychology?

It’s called The Parkinson’s Effect. It means that you have to give up something that matters to you, something that you’re rather attached to, something that you really need. It might even be something you’ve always longed for, but never possessed.

Let it go, boys.

Pets make lovely friends.

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