Wednesday, June 25, 2003

scenes from the waiting room at the hiv testing & support services at the health department.

4 people are waiting, all in their twenties.

a good looking, dark haired straight bloke, reading the day's paper.
a queer bloke, wearing flip flops, shifting in his seat, being impatient and bored.
a couple, consisting of a tall, blonde nervous looking bloke who keeps fidgeting with vaccination leaflets, accompanied by a completely unfazed, blonde gal with bruised knees and elbows, who keeps looking at the info material around, snickering at inaccuracies and misses "these idiots have missed out on hpv in this brochure!".

nervous bloke, looking for something to take his mind off the needle ahead, grabs a leaflet from the table next to him. it's a little info book for men and boys, full of info on anatomy and related issues. he starts reading the introduction, and the first paragraph reads

"in this booklet you will find out, among other things, why it is in some regards better to have a small penis..."

"what?!" nervous bloke shouts in shock, "what is that about?".

his blonde chica grabs a booklet, too, and starts reading as well, breaking out in laughter when she realises which sentence upset the male by her side. she gently pats his head: "don't worry, they're just saying it to make those with low self-esteem feel better. you really don't have to worry about anything at all. it's all fine and dandy and working just right, so stop stressing."

nervous bloke stays slightly agitated though. "but in the first sentence? hitting you over the head with something like that? telling me something is wrong about me?".

the blonde chica by his side keeps laughing.
the laughing and amusement on both their parts grabs the attention of the other two people in the waiting room.

flip flop bloke reaches over to the table next to nervous bloke, and grabs the same booklet he and chica have been so amused about. he starts reading the introduction. seconds later, doubtlessly straight after finishing the first sentence, he breaks out in loud, hearty laughter, grinning at nervous bloke and his chica, who breaks down laughing in return again.

as a result, straight bloke next to nervous bloke reaches for the same leaflet as well. blonde chica encourages him "come on, read it, too, we can start a group discussion on the issue then!", while nervous bloke exclaims "oh, yeah, come on, read about my worries."

straight bloke starts reading, and breaks down laughing as well. the door to the examination room opens, a woman comes out and flip flop bloke can walk in, to pick up his result, breaking the little laughing circle the four had formed.
doubtlessly, there has rarely been that much laughter in that waiting room before.

moral of the story? you never know where fun and laughter and snickering with people you've never met before can happen. the waiting room in front of the examination room where you'll get your hiv test or its results might be one. yet another reason to get tested, regularly.