If you are allergic to prawns, never eat them, is all I am saying. Because I decided my seafood allergy was a one-off and chomped down prawns last Saturday night in Camden. To give you a broader picture and back story to the prawn situation, in 2005 at the Edinburgh Fringe I ate sushi and ended up in the Edinburgh emergency room two hours before my show. It wasn’t fun and the adrenaline stuff they gave me made me insane onstage, though I did get a stonking review for a show I don’t recall doing. Who knew I could do stuff about pregnant junkies appearing in the Bayeux Tapestry?
Anyway back to Saturday last week and the Camden prawns. After eating the said prawns I hopped on the 88 bus back to my flat in Westminster. My head really itched and my ears were burning and all the way on the journey I could feel lumps appear on my cleavage and upper body. I tried not to panic.
Just when I got off the bus at Marsham Street and entered the building, the concierge bloke looked at me and said “You ok Janey?”
I ignored him and ran to the flat getting the keys out quick, I looked in the mirror and there was Snippy the Lobster Woman staring straight back. I gulped down some anti histamines.
I ran back out to the concierge and he pointed the direction to St. Thomas’s hospital over the bridge.
Now emergency units are never fun on a Saturday night, I know this because I am from Glasgow and used to own a pub.
Nowadays the queuing system is high tech, you simply take a ticket from a machine like in the deli section of Tesco’s, watch for your number on the big digital board and you either get coleslaw or a doctor.
There was a wee box thing where a nurse sat and took the initial story from you. There was a big odd looking bloke sitting in it and he was quite well looking and happily swinging his feet and his relaxed manner indicated that he wasn’t sick, but wanted a woman in uniform to talk to. This was confirmed when I wandered near and heard him say “So, in 1987, I went to Australia”.
The nurse looked bored and I was getting red and lumpy so decided to indicate to her behind his back that he was a nutter and should be thrown out. But all she could see was a lumpy red blotchy woman making hand signals behind her patients back. Therefore I was the scary nutter and not him. After all he had been to Australia, he can’t be mad can he?
The other people in the waiting room sat patient (that’s why they are called patients I realised for the first time in my life). They were all too English to complain about the chatty fuckwit who was taking up far too much time. I got shouty is all I am saying.
“How long is his story?” I yelled.
The nutty man turned his head and stared at me, he looked angry and if he did have a mental condition and had a penchant for slicing people with a Samurai Sword (why is it always a Samurai?) then I was his next victim, at least in his head.
Finally the nutjob left the box and it was my turn to tell her a big story and I was excited and red. The waiting room got busier and I sat down in the plastic seat with my back to the crowd. I quickly explained to the bored nurse about the prawns and immediately pulled down my jumper to show her my boobs covered in red welts. She merely pointed above her head. I followed her finger and above her on the wall facing the waiting room was a big flat screen for security that had me on it showing off my lumpen tits to the people behind me.
I quickly turned round to the folk and shouted “I have a rash, I am not here to flash my tits, and I am not mental”
The nutjob who had been in before me tutted and pointed at me “She needs mental care” he said. I glared at him and he sliced a finger across his throat, just so I know he is going to kill me, because clearly my panicky rash wasn’t bad enough for me. I stuck two fingers up at him and the nurse stared at me. I needed to calm down she explained quietly.
The nurse assured me that the anti histamines that I took would work, or I could wait two hours to see a GP, but if I was going to die in an anaphylactic shock thing it would probably happen in that two hours, so it wasn’t worth my while.
I ran out of there and belted it across the bridge back to the flat. I had a gig in an hour’s time up at The Hob in Foresthill and had to pull myself together.
All in all it was an unusual night, my rash calmed down and the gig went great.
This time I spoke about Jesus being embedded into my cellulite when I was in New York. Weird things happen when I eat seafood…didn’t I tell you?_