To a non-suit wearer, all suits look expensive, and there were several suits sitting around the table.
"We're sorry to call you," said one of his friends. "We think he's just had too much."
As I approached the table where he and his colleagues had hidden in the corner of the pub, the patient looked up and stared. His eyes were glazed and his look wavered as he probably tried to stop the room from moving.
"Oh. Good. You're here. What took you so long?" The fact that it had taken less than four minutes from the call coming in had no bearing on his skewed sense of time. "I pay your wages, you know!"
Oh. That one again. Red rags don't normally set me off, but this one did.
"You do? How's that then?" One of these days, I'm going to come across a patient who actually works for our payroll department. Then, at least, they'd have a point to that claim.
"Yeah, I do. My taxes pay for your job. So now, you can just do your job."
"I'm doing my job sir," I said, as I started to check some basic observations. "And what, may I ask, is your job, sir?"
"I'm a city banker!" He even told me the name of the bank, just for good measure. I guess I was right about the suit.
"Oh. Then I think we're quits."
"Your taxes may pay for my job, but my taxes saved your bank and your job. And right now, sir, I'm trying to save your dignity."
Just in time, I recognised the signs of a drunk about to eject the contents of his stomach, and side-stepped the impending eruption. Seconds later, his suit didn't look quite so expensive.
"Ah well. There goes the dignity."