The chemists at Euston station isn’t perhaps the best place to buy Thrush cream, but I thought I’d give it a go. It was not a social highlight.
My initial approach was cheery. I smiled, and said clearly, but not too loudly, “Good afternoon. As a side effect of antibiotics, I’ve developed Thrush.”
The assistant then repeated this, loudly, to the colleague beside her. “He says he’s developed Thrush. (theatrical pause) As a result of antibiotics.”
Her colleague leans over the counter, “What do you say you have?” He cups his hand to his ear.
“Thrush,” I say, loudly.
“Thrush!” he booms back. “Is this cream for you?”
Good grief, I think – does this mean that people send their partners shopping for their clap cream? “Yes,” I repeat, “I have thrush.”
“What symptoms do you have?” the little man shouts.
I am now aware that there is a queue behind me. I open my mouth to answer, but he doesn’t give me a chance.
“Oh my god! Discharge? No! No. None of that.”
“Visible fungal infection of the genitalia?”
That did it. “No. All I know is that my arse is flaking like a freshly baked croissant. Now, can I have some Canestan, please?”
The packet of Canestan, when I finally get it, has a pastel drawing on it of a straight couple shagging. There’s a pink line snaking from the man to the woman. The clear inference is, “It was a beautiful, tender moment wasn’t it? Bet you hate him now.”
The next day, I accidentally leave it behind in London, and have to buy more when I get to Cardiff.