Magazine article The Spectator

Second Opinion

Magazine article The Spectator

Second Opinion

Article excerpt

the waist and had two large, gold earrings. I couldn't help but recall what a taxi-driver had said he would like to do to football hooligans:

`I'd hang 'em up by their ear-rings.'

`How is she, doctor?' asked her solicitous jaw-breaker.

I muttered something and crossed the ward to another bed, in which there was a man with what is sometimes known as a lived-in face, that is to say it was heavily scarred, with a nose which had been broken many times. He looked like one of those carved figures on a Gothic cathedral after a Protestant iconoclast had been at it. It required comparatively weak powers of observation to deduce that he was an alcoholic.

'I see you've been attacked a few times,' I said.

`Yes,' he replied. `My best friend attacked me with a machete. I needed 19 stitches and a steel plate in my skull.'

`If that's a friend, what are your enemies like?' I asked.

'I forgave him, he'd been on the weed all day so he didn't know what he was doing. …

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