A brief moment of panic was had when the party I was supposed to be attending tonight was slightly sullied by the fact that the attendant Imperial Four-year-old had just contracted chickenpox.
I'm fairly sure I've had chickenpox, but it would be awfully nice to be sure. I have managed to eradicate the vast majority of my childhood memories, and all the other ones happened to somebody else, so it's difficult to tell whether or not somebody who has my name once had a specific disease that would render me immune to any subsequent infection by it. However, in today's recorded society, it should be fairly easy to check.
A brief drop-in to the doctors' turned into a twenty-minute bureaucratic nightmare when they decided not to show me my own records. I was all ready to utter the arcane cantraip that would force their minds to my will, but eventually the receptionist took a look at my face and made me an appointment instead.
Bending the minds of receptionists to my will with nothing but a look is somewhat gratifying, but I think it would have been rather cooler had I just walked in and said
I'd like an appointment in five minutes time, please
. Admittedly, I don't know the cantraip for that, but it worked anyway. We spent the requisite five minutes flicking through the yachting magazine in the waiting room, then I was called through to be informed that the NHS didn't know whether or not I was immune either.
I suppose it was whimsical of me to expect that the NHS might keep accurate, or even adequate, medical records.
There was only one other place to try in this Epic Quest Into My Own Past. I had been trying to avoid this, which I why I just spent that much of everyone's tax money on bothering the NHS in the first place. Still, better a two-minute discussion with a doctor than lingering mental illness and pain. The discussion with the doctor was fruitless, so it was on to the mental anguish and pain.
I suppose it was whimsical of me to expect any kind of straight answer from my mother. Nonetheless, it took four phone calls, innumerable conversational pleasantries delivered through clenched teeth, five cigarettes and a double vodka and coke to find out that she
didn't know whether or not I'd had chickenpox, either.
Any claim by my mother of ¬X entails that a fairly safe assumption is X. (There's a representation of this in modal logic, but now is not the right time to check that I've got it right.) So I went to the party on the basis that I was unlikely to contract lurgi from the Emperor, especially since I was unlikely to see him.
The party was marvellous and I had a lovely time. I have been feeling slightly itchy since I was there, but then I've also had an uncontrollable urge to clench my fists and to drink obscene amounts of alcohol, so it's difficult to tell what caused what.
I had a pretty good conversation with the Emperor, too, albeit carefully and from the other side of the room.(A note to verdandiweaves: before you even start, stop it. You hosted a marvellous party and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I wouldn't have missed it for anything less than my own yacht (thirty feet or greater). My internal problems are mine to deal with and the fact that there may have been, in this instance, a vague relation between those problems and your invitation is neither here nor there.)(And a Happy Birthday to you.)(A note to stormsearch: much of the above goes for you, too.)(But not the birthday bit, obviously.)
 For those of you who are curious:
Data Protection Act Subject Access Request
. Use with caution.
 She knew that my brother
had had chickenpox, six years before I was born, but was apparently unable to recall anything more recent than that. She forgot my name for the first two minutes, so I suppose I shouldn't find this surprising.
 Those two minutes were the least unpleasant part of the entire debacle. Unsurprisingly. For very small values of
 Original typo of `entrails' possibly somewhat Freudian.