The cafe in the building where I work has a TV permanently tuned to Sky News near the coffee machine. I was standing there idly the other day, watching as the barista made my latte, when the news scrolled across the bottom the screen that Ivan Milat had sawn off a finger and been "rushed" to hospital.
Some might like to believe that all our prison staff wish to keep Milat happy, alive and comfortable for the rest of his days, but I am enough of a cynic to think that "rushed" might not have been the operative word.
We have been told that Milat took 20 minutes to saw off his finger (he'll never get invited to join the yakuza), and then sat down and called a guard because he wasn't feeling well.
I imagine the scene in the guard's office went something like this:
Two guards are sitting at a table, playing chess. A third strolls in the door.
Strolling guard: "Hey fellas, Ivan's lopped off one of his appendages".
Chess playing guard: "Please tell me it was his head".
Stroller: "No such luck - he's only short a little pinkie".
Chess playing guard: "Bugger. I knew I should have left him with a bigger knife".
Stroller: "He's complaining about not feeling well and wanting to go to hospital."
Chess: "Well, I guess we'd better organise an ambulance for him. Anyone know the phone number by chance?"
The other two guards look at each other and shrug.
Chess: "OK, in that case, I'll go look it up".
Other chess playing guard: "Not 'til we finish the game. Your move".
Half an hour later........
Stroller: "Gee, that was exciting to watch. I've never seen anyone take half an hour to make one move".
Chess: "Yeah, well he had me at check-mate just as you walked in the door, but I wanted to make sure there was no way out of it. Righto, where's the white pages?"
Moaning can be heard from down the corridor.
Milat: "Where's my ambulance? Have you bastards called one yet?"
Stroller: "We're getting there Ivan - keep your socks on. And your fingers too."
Chess: "Har har har. I'm sure the white pages are around here somewhere. Anyone seen them lately?"
Milat: "It's triple-zero, you ignorant bastards. I'm dying in here!"
Chess: "Triple-zero - that's where the white pages are! Room triple zero, down in the basement. (sticks head out door). Thanks Ivan! I'll go down and have a look for them! Back soon!"
Stroller: "Before going down to the basement, have you studied the safety checklist for working in underground spaces?"
Chess: "Bugger. No, I haven't. Anyone seen that checklist?"
Milat: "You pricks! It's triple-zero!"
Stroller: "We know Ivan, we know. But we can't go down there until unless all protocols are strictly followed. I'm sure you understand."
Milat: "Wankers. Bastards. Fucking murderers."
Chess: "Oh, Ivan - that's a bit rich. Just hang on deary, we'll find that number for the ambulance soon."
......ambulance arrives 3 hours later.
Chess: "Righto Ambo, Mr Milat wants to go to hospital, and he's in a hurry."
Ambo: "Oh, the poor little lambikins, did he hurt himself? Did he specify which hospital he wanted to go to?"
Ambo: Good-oh. We'll have him there in no time".
Ambulance goes through gate of prison. Instead of turning towards Goulburn, which is 10km away, it goes in the opposite direction at 100 miles an hour.
Ten minutes later....
Milat: "Hey, shouldn't we be there by now? The hospital is just up the road."
Ambo: "Yeah mate, it's just up the road alright. About another 300km and we'll be there."
Milat: "You dirty bastards! Where are you taking me?"
Ambo: "Cootamundra. And try not to bleed on the floor will you."
Milat: "I insist on going to Goulburn hospital! Take me there this instant, or I'll sue you for everything you're worth."
Ambo: "Well, you've got me scared. We'll take a shortcut."
Ambulance turns off the Hume Highway onto a gravel road.
Milat: "You (bounces off ceiling of ambulance) bastards! I'm (slams into wall) not going (hits roof again) to forget this!"
And that is how he was "rushed" to hospital.