h a l f b a k e r y
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The world is awash with Health Clubs, where you can sit
glowing over your spirulina yoghourt smoothie while you tell
your friend(s) about your plans to swim Ben Nevis or bungee-
jump across the Sahara.
However, at any one time, 7.7% of people are poorly -
a cold, or a bad stomach,
or a sprained ankle that's really
much worse than it looks. For these people, there are Sick
As you enter the club, you'll be greeted by a slightly
overweight northern woman who looks like she's been left
outdoors too often, with words to the effect of "Ooh, chuck,
you look rough. Are you comin' down wit' summat?". Once
you've explained that you've got a bit of a cold, you'll get
something like "Eeeh, y' poor lamb, y' look dreadful. Come
'ere and we'll get y' sorted."
On entering the Club, you'll find the members' lounge - it is
fact the only room in the Club - dotted with incredibly
chairs. Plomp yourself down in one of them, and wait for an
attendant to bring you whichever you desire out of duvet,
water bottle, warm foot-bath or hot honey and lemon drink.
Depending on whether you're feeling shivery or overheated,
you can sit in front of a roaring log fire, or in a cooling
breeze with a hint of lavender in it.
Relax, and share your miseries with other red-nosed, bleary-
eyed sufferers of minor ailments. Compare notes, swap
medical advice, and generally soak up sympathy from the
||The first rule of Sick Club is: do not make the obvious joke
about the first rule of Sick Club.
||Yes! Very good. Can there be a collection service
where they pick me up after work shivering and
miserable from a rainy bus-stop, plop me in a
super-luxury vehicle with duvet and hot water
bottle, and deliver me to the club?
||If you can afford it, a bus-sized mobile Sick Club can come to you, like Dial-a-Ride* ...
||*Not, however, the Buchanan version of Dial-a-Ride, which is quite different and unsavoury in the extreme.
||Bun withheld pending the availability of a good toddy.
||Toddies go without saying. A range of other comfort drinks
and comfort foods is also available.