What Does the Doctor Think this month?

I am afraid that I might have been ungallant recently – “Most unusual!” I hear you shout. Well, it went like this: Deannie and I had met our daughter and son-in-law inLondonand we were travelling by tube to theWest End. We got on and I was sort of strap hanging with brain in neutral when I became aware that a young lady was trying to attract my attention from somewhere near the top of my legs, ie in her seat. Hello, I thought, what does she want? I nearly fell over when she made it clear that she was offering me her seat! WOT??!! I am only young(ish) in the prime of health and this came like a bolt from the blue. Do I really look that decrepit? (Watch it, dear reader!). Gathering my wits, I thanked her profusely but declined her offer, telling her that I had been sitting all day and was glad to stand. However, I do have to admit that the experience has rattled me a bit. I was brought up in a very Victorian fashion with respect to how to treat a lady (Deannie insists that I enter a room before her as I “protect” from the perils therein by doing so – I feel uncomfortable every time as the protocol is to open the door and usher her through!). I can still hear my father “Hold your dance partner gently with the side of your hand in her back and don’t pump the other arm! Never talk to an adult or superior while eating or drinking” etc. He never prepared me for the above scenario. Would it have been more polite to accept? Answers on a postcard, please.

Management and I have just spent another couple of weeks in our humble timeshare inIndia. As always, I took the local newspaper daily (The Navhindt Times at 3 rupees, about 5p) as I really enjoy the colourful language and hyperbole employed by the writers. I would like to share a few with you – they are reproduced verbatim!

Boy declared dead wakes up in mortuary – doctor suspended The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday suspended Dr…. in a case of medical negligence in which a 17 year old Rodney, declared dead by him, had woken up in the Muzaffarnagar mortuary ten hour later, just as the were starting the post-mortem examination.

Cruise boat hits a pillar of Mandovi BridgeShantadurga”, a cruise boat, suffered engine failure and hit the middle pillar of the bridge, giving anxious moments to the 68 young tourists and crew members on board. The staff at the nearby jetty could not do anything for lack of equipment and the Captain of Ports too was hamstrung as it has an old tug that is in a state of total disrepair and not seaworthy. A sister cruise boat, “The Santa Monica” was then drafted into service but could not tow the “Shantadurga” against the current. Finally, friendly trawlers came to the aid of the terrified tourists and towed it to a jetty. Eye witnesses pointed out that this is an extremely crowded river and it was criminal that the authorities have no equipment to deal with emergencies of any nature, including terror attack.

Chhattisgarh village in shock after 51 get life sentence A day after 51 villagers from the village of Nevari-Fulwari were sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case, stunned locals said life had come to a virtual standstill. There are 80 families in the village. In 2008, an argument had turned nasty and the villagers had set fire to the village sarpanch (Note: for days, I thought the sarpanch was the village hall – it turned out to be their equivalent of the mayor) aged 45yr. 79 people were named in the case and 51 have been jailed for life. One of the convicts’ wives said “Life has become hell for everyone. The only option we now have is to commit mass suicide because almost one person from each family has been given imprisonment”. Raju Sahu, who owns a small pan-gutka shop, becomes teary-eyed when asked to comment about the court judgement.

Train runs over youth in Vasco The body of an unidentified youth, who allegedly committed suicide by sleeping on the railway track, was found in two pieces on Saturday afternoon. The youth is thin with a wheatish complexion. Police had hoped to identify him from his cell phone but it was broken into pieces.

Suicide bid by Nigerian in Mapula lockup foiled An alert jail sentry was shocked to find the Nigerian attempting to hang himself with the help of his T shirt. The suicide bid was foiled and the accused was re-arrested and charged for attempting to commit suicide. More next month.

I still go to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Medical School to examine the medical students. These are serious affairs, speaking is in hushed tones and the General Medical Council invigilator wanders around listening behind the screens to the examiners and students. As you can imagine, it is pretty stressful for all concerned. Last week I was in one corner of a room with another examiner using the other corner of the room. We both suddenly had a 10 minute gap between students and, as you do, we wandered around the room looking at the anatomical models. I pulled back a sheet to reveal an enormous pair of hard plastic unisex buttocks, in the middle of which was a soft insert representing the “back bottom hole” as they say in children’s books. Inside the buttocks, there was a circular threaded area into which could be screwed plastic inserts which, to the examining finger doing the rectal examination, would represent enlarged prostate, fibroid uterus and goodness knows what else! Next to the buttocks sat a box of rubber gloves and some lubricant. The other examiner and I looked at each other, he screwed in an enlarged prostate, I did the rectal examination, not bothering with gloves or lubricant – after all, it was only plastic – and got my fingers stuck. It must have been a sight; he was unscrewing the prostate and I was encouraging him is a slightly frenzied fashion. Happily, the GMC invigilator did not appear and, eventually, I got free and, like a couple of sheepish schoolboys, we retired to our corners. Ah well!

Best wishes to you all – Ian Nisbet

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