Like most well brought up English people, I would do anything not to ‘make a fuss’. No, really, anything. I recently had flu, and stumbled out of work early to crawl into a taxi. The taxi driver had a penchant for Enrique Inglesias. On repeat. At high volume. I imagine most people (well, Americans) would have politely asked him to turn the music down. I opted to conduct an entirely fictitious telephone conversation, where I pretended loudly that I ‘just simply couldn’t hear’ the other person. Enrique continued on unfazed by my excessive acting. Desperate not to be rumbled, I continued to talk to my non-existent ‘friend’ for the rest of the journey. I got quite into it by the end, and was happily chatting away to myself (while Enrique offered to be my hero in the background)
Well, that was reasonably odd, but I did realise I might very well have some kind of problem when during a recent A&E visit (where I arrived in a fair amount of pain, and in need of pretty immediate medical assistance) I insisted a woman who ‘felt a bit funny’ moved ahead of me in the admittance queue. And the doctor definitely looked at me oddly when I apologised for ‘making such a fuss’ as she asked for a further consult. It was when I asked the nurse if there was ‘anything I could do to help’ that they moved me to the front of the admittance queue. All I want to say in my defence is that the nurse looked very busy- and I’m sure under instructions I could administer IV fluids to those who needed them. Even attached to my own IV drip. (Which I obviously apologised profusely for needing). I think we should remember that if hospitals were filled with patients with my condition (overwhelming aversion to ‘making a fuss’), then there would be no bed shortage problem at all. Everyone would be continually hopping out of their own bed to offer it to a neighbour. Whilst apologising, obviously.