The power of elves, coffee and the SNMH


In which Our Heroine has another conversation with an internal organ and shares a deep secret.

All hail to the Power of the Coffee. Because my lower intestine (you really wanted to know this, right, because you’re here reading it, I am absolved and claim no responsibility for any subsequent trauma) my lower intestine has sluggishly awoken and said to me ‘Ungh, wha-? Was that … lactose-free margarine? What has the world come to oh, oh lawks’ but at least it is talking to me again, yes?

Obviously it was my coffee. I mean yeah, loads of fruit and prunes and nuts and stuff to put in my juice and salad and stuff may have been involved somewhere, but I do believe in the warm cockles of my bowel that there was more purpose to bringing my own coffee and plunger than making the nurses sigh jealously. Poor poppets.

I am currently at Maximum Stonediness, which is not a state for which I would pay money on the mean streets. I am not euphoric, I do not have a pleasant floating feeling, I am not out of pain and I am not experiencing any talking cockroaches or faces coming out of the walls (more’s the pity). I am just vague, dizzy and finding it difficult to focus on anything much, and every time I move my head even slightly the sense of movement continues for a while longer, so I am amusingly overcompensating for every movement. I look like a mime artist.

This is where Tallulah comes in handy, as needing to drag her with me everywhere gives me a bit of ballast, so I don’t drift into walls and topple down stairs.


Laura the Cassowary rides proudly upon her steed, Tallulah (oh lord what has my life become?)

So here are yesterday’s other menu items.

Caesar salad ‘trois jours‘ sans anchovies

Curried beef meurtre du colon with cous cous and vegetables de la maison

The salad was an unexpected treat as it contained plant matter with indigestible cell walls, which is good news for the lovely woman who cleans my bathroom. It did not contain anchovies, which normally bothers me for a Caesar salad, but in this case I suspect it may have been a mercy.


Sans anchovies but con roughage 

I have already encountered Hospital Curry in the past. In fact, as I recall, I continued to encounter it for at least three days after it was served.

So yesterday I treated it much like you would a ticking, unexploded bomb, which is entirely apt.


It could blow any second 

On the other hand, Hospital Cous Cous is an unexpected pleasure; soft and buttery and sweet. Note: always choose the cous cous as a side.

It was certainly better than the other vegetables, which fell apart from embarrassment when I tentatively prodded at them with my knife.

Bacon and egg pie with potato wedges and Chef’s Special vegetables
Secret Ninja Menu Hack

The other two items from which to select were curries, which made bacon and egg pie an easy choice. Tuesday must be Curry Day. Also, how hard is it to stuff up bacon and eggs?


And indeed, it was just fine (you thought I was going to say they’d stuffed it up, didn’t you?) It tasted of bacon, eggs and pie.

The ‘potato wedges’ were in fact one huge soft, floury deconstructed wedge, and again it is hard to get that terribly wrong, apart from being entirely cold, which is hardly the fault of the caterers who have to serve five floors of bored, hungry punters before they get to the exalted few on level 6.

The vegies consisted of carrots which were hard and dry, and beans which were soft and wet. However, see above re: indigestible cell walls.

However my Secret Ninja Menu Hack showed up (the power!) and put all else to shame.

For those who haven’t eagerly read my stoned ramblings before *, last time I was here I was chatting to one of the Floor 6 Regulars (of which I am now one, I suppose) and she spake unto me of the SNMHs, which revolutionised my hospital menu ordering.

The deal is this (shhhh): you can in theory add extra items to the menu. Not too many, mark you: the number of SNMHs you can add shall number no more than three. You Must Not make light of the munificence of the Menu Elves. You Must Not mock their generosity by expecting more than your fair share. SNMHs are not to be taken lightly. They are favours, not rights, and only the Elves know who is deserving. Ask for too many items, or the wrong ones, and your house of cards will tumble. Tread too heavily here and you may founder and be lost forever: it is a long, long, sad and painful fall from a sumptuous ladleful of extra gravy on your roast chicken to half a plate of charred silverbeet. Don’t be that person.

However, there is an interesting range of things from which The Deserving can choose, and more being discovered every day by enterprising and brave Floor 6 Regulars.

These include such delights as: gravy, custard, chips, extra puddings, dressings and condiments. But the SNMH that made my eyes light up (and my lower intestine say ‘Hmmm?’) was the Side Salad.

I am not inclined to push the generosity of the Elves so I do not ask for more than this, and not more than twice per day.

But when I add the words ‘+ a side salad please’ ** the following magically appears on my tray.


Now it may not look like much, but let me assure you, that little pot contains lettuce – not iceberg, mind you, but the good stuff, capsicum, tomato, cucumber and carrot. All fresh. All crisp and pure and glistening with the sweet simple dew of the morn, and also they threw in a little thingy of Italian dressing. It is utterly delicious. Pretty much exactly like the type of salad you would chuck together for yourself.

A great philosopher (or an actor or someone) once said ‘It’s the little things that count.’ This is one of those little things, and it counts a lot.

So, Know Ye of the SNMH and do not play silly buggers with this knowledge. Do not throw it about with gay abandon and ruin all the hard work put in by the Regulars. Ye have been warned, and I need my side salads.
* One of the benefits of not having children of my own is that I could write this sentence without the slightest bit of embarrassment.

** And a big ‘thank you’. And a little picture of a flower. Because do you reckon anybody actually gets up saying ‘Hurrah, now I shall go to work slaving in a hot kitchen scrambling kilos of curiously tasteless eggs for a bunch of sick, stoned, pained, bored people who will then complain on stupid blogs because their beef is overcooked and the curry burned a hole in their colon, I am so happy’?


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