It was teatime, and the holy ritual of the temperature probe had already begun. I joined the craning necks to see what the aluminium tins had to offer, and tried to work out how the patients with their backs turned to the monstrous machine could still stare at it with both eyes. My Pavlovian salivation started in earnest as I viewed the fish and chips, but I plodded on gamely and ignored the hunger pangs, skating expertly on the soup when necessary, and rather looking forward to my hard-skinned peanut butter and jam sandwich (saved from lunch time). Mysteriously, there always seemed to be more food deposited on the floor than we ever received in the tins to start with, and today we could have done with a bulldozer to clear a path through it. The usual late arrivals gave a thespian performance about neglect and abandonment, and we were treated to one interesting episode of horizontal vomiting, as a rather determined gentleman filled his mouth beyond its capacity, sneezed, choked and disgorged the blockage like a rocket across the table….www.windowsofmadness.co.uk


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