Archive for January, 2009


January 8th, 2009

Following on from Musing #37:

Panektoproctologist: (n) a doctor who deals with all areas of medicine except proctology

Which comes from the Greek:
pan = all
ektos = except
proktos = anus
+ logy (English, but from the Greek logos, meaning “word” or “thought”)

Fly, child of mine! Be free!

Death of a tycoon

January 7th, 2009

The Mirror on-line has reported the death of Adolf Merckle, a German tycoon who committed suicide after losing £2.4 billion in the credit crunch.

It’s a common mistake to think that people commit suicide because they are weak.

Putting aside suicide bombers and those who sacrifice themselves to save the lives of others, people kill themselves because their ability to appreciate their own value or their ability to understand the relative value of things in the world have become corrupted. Under severe stress, some people convince themselves they are such failures that the world and their loved ones would actually be better off without them.

Others experience psychological pain, which often expresses itself as acute physical pain, so severe that they become convinced that the only escape is death. Suicide is the ultimate expressing of self-harming.

Mr. Merckle’s sad case shows us how detached from reality many very rich people are. Apart from some notable philanthropists such as Bill Gates (yes, it’s fashionable to hate him as the face of Microsoft, but the man donates billions to good causes) and Warren Buffet, so many billionaires seem to see the amassing of wealth as an end in itself.

Think about it. What was Bernard Madoff planning to do with $50 billion? The number is so beyond normal comprehension as to be meaningless. It strikes me that it was not the money itself that was important to him, but the thrill of hoodwinking so many supposedly clever people.

And that brings me back to the late Mr. Merckle, who was not left destitute, by the loss of £2.4 billion, something which might test anyone’s sanity.

No, Mr. Merckle lost £2.4 billion of his £8.6 billion fortune, leaving him with a mere £6.2 billion on which to scrape by. Clearly a man who lost all sense of value a long time ago.

The real losers are his family and the poor driver of the train in front of which Adolf Merckle  threw himself. I don’t see that train driver feeling much sympathy for a man who was left with enough money to give everyone on the planet a pound.

Musing #37

January 5th, 2009

If a proctologist is a doctor who specialises in ailments of the of the anus, rectum, and sigmoid colon, what is the term for a doctor who will deal with anything but that?

Getting value for money from your doctor

January 5th, 2009

This morning I was chatting to Rowan Manahan about the state of the world as we head into 2009.

Rowan lamented the fact that, for whatever reason, customer service seemed to be lacking in so many areas, not least in doctors’ surgeries. He bemoaned the fact that receptionists and nurses seem not to make eye contact any more and that the examinations themselves seem even more impersonal and cursory than ever.

As he spoke, it suddenly occurred to me that if we cannot get better service from our doctors, we can at least get our money’s worth.

I am forty-five and any man of my age who says he has never had a rectal examination is either lying or is too stupid to live. Anyway, the first time I was rectally examined, I felt quite embarrassed. The second time, less so. The third time (“You’re not REALLY here for the hunting, are you?”), it dawned on me that however unpleasant it was to be on the receiving end of a rectal examination, it was surely even less of a picnic for the doctor, who not only had to examine my nethers, but also the puckered orifices of countless others. I cannot imagine a worse job.

So if you aren’t happy with how much attention you get from your doctor, this is what to do.

Next time you visit your doctor for a sprained thumb, or a rash on your earlobe, when he has finished prescribing whatever drug the pharmaceutical rep has persuaded him to try on you in exchange for a jolly to a “conference” in the Bahamas, you say:

Jaysus, doctor, I’ve an awful itchy hole on me. You wouldn’t just have a quick look, would you?

After he has probed around and declared your rectum healthy, you then say:

Doctor, I have great faith in you, but m’ brown has been driving me round the bend lately. Could I trouble you to ask one of your colleagues to come in and have a root around in there and maybe offer a second opinion?

Then as he trots off to get some other poor bastard to come and take a peek at the ugliest part of you, call after him:

And send in a couple of the more experienced nurses to see what they think!

By the way, in Britain they have also noticed a deterioration in the quality of service received by patients from the NHS.

Hmmm… I’ve just remembered that two of my cousins are MDs. I hope they learn a lesson from this.

Final note: if I were a doctor, the sign outside my clinic would say:

The Great Nobby, MD

“I don’t do arses.”

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2009

It’s January 1st 2009 and I wish all three of my readers the best of health and happiness for the coming year.

However, I think I will start campaigning to have New Year’s Day moved to December 22nd.

Think about it.

December 21st is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. On December 22nd the days start getting longer, so what better day to start the new year?

I appreciate that it’s the other way round in the southern hemisphere, so all of you on the other side of the equator should celebrate new year on 22nd June.