choco horror

SCENE: The early morning scrimmage at the big desk, taking down care calls, re-ordering caseloads, planning routes.

‘She said I had a nice personality. She said I was refreshing.’
‘Like a hygienic wipe’
Personality, Tom. Would you like me to spell it for you?’
‘I don’t know, Tara. Did you bring your crayons? I know what a personality is, thank you very much. Just because I don’t choose to wave it around willy nilly.’
‘I’ll leave the willy waving to you.’
‘Okay then. How many thank you’s have you had this year?’
‘I’ve had my share.’
‘How many? Go on.’
‘It’s not always about a card or a box of chocolates, Tom. Sometimes it’s just a smile or a kind word.’
‘So that’s none, then.’
‘Why? How many have you had?’
‘This year.’
‘Who from? Your mum?’
‘No. Mrs Camden…’
‘Well that’s not saying much. How did she address it? Dear Prime Minister…
‘…and Stuart Groves.’
‘Come on! You’re having a laugh!’
‘No. And chocolates. Which, by the way, I hardly had any of. I put them on the desk, handed my patients over to Michaela, and when I turned back there was just a pile of wrappers.’
‘You’re not serious.’
‘I’m perfectly serious. Nothing left but the strawberry dreams.’
‘Stuart Groves?’
‘He liked me, Tara. What can I say?’
‘The Stuart Groves who put that horrible complaint in against Alisha? The Stuart Groves with the creepy shrine to Daniel O’Donnell?’
‘His musical tastes have no bearing on the issue.’
‘What did you do? Sing Danny Boy?’
‘No. I was the consummate professional.’
‘Competent would be a start. But seriously, though. How did you screw a thank you card and chocolates from Stuart Groves? That’s like getting a bunch of flowers and a sloppy kiss from Mussolini.’
‘I think that’s a bit extreme, don’t you?’
‘He’s a douche bag.’
‘Oh dear. What happened to Miss Refreshing Personality 2016? Didn’t last long, did it?’
‘Well. I mean. Poor Alisha.’
‘She can look after herself.’
‘I wouldn’t have had any of those chocolates. I can just imagine him sitting there with a needle…’
‘You’ve got a surprisingly warped imagination, Tara. Anyway, if you were going to inject chocolates, you’d have to do it to one of the creams. A toffee wouldn’t take it. Your truffle might, but you’d really have to go for a strawberry dream or a coffee creme. So I’d have been all right, ‘cos I hate them. I only ever go for the toffee finger.’
‘So I’ve heard.’
‘Cheeky. Look – I can’t sit around wasting my life with you losers. I’m going out to do some good in the world and I bid you all a fond farewell.’
‘See you later, Tommy.’
(after he’s gone)
‘He didn’t really get two cards, did he?’
‘I think so. Yep.’
‘Where are they? I want to check the handwriting…’

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