Mid Somerset Festival 2013 - Senior Creative Writing overall winner
The Consultation, by Brian Weaving
Scene: A Doctor's surgery
DOCTOR: So, Mr Smith, what seems to be the problem?
SMITH: It's me eyes, Doctor. They'm getting worse.
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DOCTOR: The cataracts troubling you?
SMITH: All that glare, and reading is right hard.
DOCTOR: You know the current situation, Mr Smith. We did go through the NHS Questionnaire; you didn't score very highly.
SMITH: I know there's no money for us poor folk but I reckon they'm a lot worse.
DOCTOR: And, looking at your record, there hadn't been much change from the month before that.
SMITH: Just 'cause they reckon you're past it, you're expected to soldier on. Is that it?
DOCTOR: They do have to prioritise.
SMITH: (BELLIGERENT) I hears what yer saying, doctor, but I'd like to do it again, please.
DOCTOR: Well, all right. You probably know these questions by heart.
SMITH: So, how many has I to score?
DOCTOR: At least sixty out of a hundred.
SMITH: And what gets you a hundred?
DOCTOR: You have to be completely blind. And, if I can remind you, you scored seven the last time we did this.
SMITH: I reckon my cataracts is the fast growing sort.
DOCTOR: Really? Well here goes. Can you read a car number plate at twenty metres?
SMITH: How many points do I score if I says 'No'?.
DOCTOR: How about fifteen metres?
DOCTOR: Before you ask, that's twenty points. So how about ten metres?
DOCTOR Thirty points. So how did you get here today, Mr Smith?
SMITH: In the car. But very, very slowly.
DOCTOR: I see. If you'd look at the chart, and tell me what letters you can read?
SMITH: What chart?
DOCTOR: That is another thirty points.
SMITH: Ain't that it then? Sixty points?
DOCTOR: Quite true.
SMITH: So I can go on the List?
DOCTOR: Oh, I'm afraid not.
SMITH: But you said, 'Sixty points were enough to get on the List'?
DOCTOR: Unfortunately, the rate of deterioration of your eyesight is so alarming that I suspect a brain tumour.
SMITH: Brain tumour? But that's ridiculous.
DOCTOR: At this rate, you could be blind by the end of the month.
SMITH: What are you doing?
DOCTOR: Ringing for an ambulance and arranging for a neurologist to be on standby.
SMITH: Hang on. Happen it's not as bad as I said. I can read the top four lines on the chart now A L Q P S / Z T R K.......
DOCTOR; / Having flashes of relief is another symptom, I'm afraid. It proves that it isn't a cataract problem at all.
SMITH: Look, I'm sure it ain't as bad as I were thinking.
DOCTOR: The operation is quite painless. You are left handed are you?
SMITH: No, right.
DOCTOR: Pity about that. Still, you can do a lot with one hand.
SMITH: Hows about a second opinion?
DOCTOR: There may not be time.
SMITH: Oh look, I can see the door. Afternoon, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Goodbye, Mr Smith. (CALLS) Next.