I had the privilege to visit my mom in hospital every day of this week and yesterday, when she was released, I waited 97 minutes for a wheelchair to arrive to take her down to the car. Well, it was either waiting or carrying her out and waiting seemed more fun as I made sure to get a coffee downstairs in the lobby and observed the crowd.
You have to say, private hospitals are busy and must be making record profits and good luck to them too. It is a good business product and if you read the legal crap in their admission forms you will never sign it as they cover themselves from doing an impromptu circumcision to ensuring they get paid. The last bit is by far the most important but that is also fine to me – they do good work. I am also mentioning it because I noted something interesting on who is able to afford a good enough medical aid still working in December. Mostly, the patients are wealthy looking by which I am politely saying fat as pigs, really obese and the reason why they are in hospital and they go in age between kids (thin) and the elderly and then the newly rich with the CANCER t-shirts and extremely expensive mobiles, watches, sunglasses and the flashing the Mercedes key rings. Mind, I get why they want to live long, they got it made here. Most of the patients though are in a terribly bad mood which also goes with being ill. As one of my fiction book characters’ states, she is a terrible woman when “otherwise” and often put the fear of God into me, “if you can eat you are not ill!” But I wonder now if she is that correct (not that I will dare to argue), obviously some of these patients ate a lot. Also contrary to perceptions, the food I have seen in left overs, are good at that hospital, you would feel bad not eating it. Even my mom, not known to eat a lot, got stuck in.
On a more serious note, no one in his right mind wish to get old and frail and be in hospital. Really not, it is rather strange how people cling to life long after they should have gone home and what is more, most who says they want a long life die young, is that tempting God? I wonder. In the Bible a long life is promised to those honouring their parents, well I get that. If you misbehaved with either my mom or dad your life may have been cut short on the spot, so we did the right thing and I suppose most are like that. But it is sad, to see the elderly arrive and leave, and since they are suspecting they may be leaving (I am sure) to a better place than this earth, they are dressed neatly, ready for the final journey to the morgue where we will all end up one day.
And then we have the old double cab brigade parking onto the pavements in the hospital parking area. God knows why since there are many parking spaces available and yet, we park on the pavement because we can. I am shaking my head, this repulsive behaviour includes all double cab makes and of course, the wannabee Fortuner brigade who cannot afford a Land Cruiser Vx and so proves their manhood or sisterhood by parking on a pavement. I have no sympathy for this type of thing, it is barbarism for there is no emergency. This is plainly “I am above the law” and in the coming holiday many will roll on their way to the coast and hopefully die. And no, I shed no tears for an ass driving at top speed, way above the legal limits and crashing when needed. He can die next to the road and I will not stop to assist or even offer a prayer. Such people should not even be on the roads to anger everyone else with their boorish behaviour.
Another fellow who found out yesterday he is not above the law is Oscar Pistorius, now a murderer, officially and that is the end of the road which should never have been walked legally. What is sad is how people are now bringing in race into it, I read the original judge, a black woman, is an idiot and worse in some comments. Look, we don’t take kindly to judges being insulted, don’t go that route. I can tell you, when the Appeal Court overturns your verdict, it is a professional disaster and not easily lived down, let it go. She had her reasons and they were good reasons even if totally against what every legal handbook says and every legal professional was astonished. What we can learn from this is never to corner someone and shoot them through a closed door. Unless you are under attack, do not shoot. It is that simple and that complicated. Pistorius will now serve a much longer term and justice, for once, was done.
I noted something else yesterday in the crowds. It is the older nurses, middle age and upwards who are the kindest, less stressed and always noting everything. No less than three asked me what I wanted and that I suppose means I either looked suspicious or lost, take your pick!
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a practicing commercial law attorney for eight years. He also wrote several books on business, law, counter terrorism and security issues. He is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.