Head Office and I visited one of our granddaughters (aged 7) at the weekend. Lying on the kitchen table was a Barbie doll dressed in a male army uniform and an Action Man soldier wearing a dress. Now, my granddaughter is overtly and uncontrovertibly “girlie with attitude” and, with some trepidation, I explained to her that, although I could understand why Barbie was wearing camouflage fatigues (perhaps she was going to do some decorating), I was at a complete loss to understand why Action Man was wearing one of Barbie’s dresses. She explained that a friend had been visiting and that she had cross-dressed the dolls. I thought it best to terminate the conversation at this point without enquiring further into the young girl’s personality. This episode reminded me of the old Barbie joke:
One day a father left work and, on his way home he suddenly remembered that it was his daughter’s birthday. He dashed over to a toy shop and asked the sales person:”How much are those Barbies in the display window? The salesperson returned: “Which one do you mean, Sir? We have Work Out Barbie for £19.95, Shopping Barbie for £19.95, Beach Barbie for £19.95, Disco Barbie for £19.95, Ballerina Barbie for £19.95, Astronaut Barbie for £19.95, Skater Barbie for £19.95, and Divorced Barbie for £199.95.” The amazed father asked: “How much?! Why is the divorced Barbie £199.95 and the others only £19.95?” The annoyed salesperson rolled her eyes, sighs, and answered: “Sir, the other Barbies only come with an outfit. Divorced Barbie comes with: Ken’s Car, Ken’s House, Ken’s Boat, Ken’s Furniture, Ken’s Computer and one of Ken’s best friends.”
Ethical dilemma: In medicine, we have to deal with ethical dilemmas all the time. Happily, there are usually well documented ways of doing this but, in real life outside the surgery, life can be more difficult. 30 years ago, I noticed that one of our daughters, in her early 20s, had a very dark mole on her arm. She had left home so I told her to see her doctor urgently. She failed to do so. Next time we visited, Management and I went armed with local anaesthetic and scalpel, removed the mole and sent it for examination at the hospital in King’s Lynn. It turned out to be a very nasty malignant melanoma which required further therapy. Left untouched, would surely have killed her. So, parents bully the daughter and save her life – OK so far. The next dilemma occurred while we were walking in the South of France. In front, walked a young lady with a particularly nasty melanotic lesion on her shoulder – Should I stop her and tell her to sort it out? After consideration, I failed to do so and I often wonder how she fared and if she is still alive. The most recent dilemma concerned our new house in Worcestershire. All the other occupants on the new development seem to be in their 40’s, with young children and a 4X4. The couple opposite are pleasant. He is very approachable but she has the reputation of being distant and difficult to get to know. I was loading my trailer for the return journey when she appeared opposite and put her children into their car seats. I could not help but notice that her skirt was tucked into her knickers! Should I tell her? Friends with whom I have subsequently discussed this matter fall into two well defined camps a) Ladies who say I should definitely have told her, regardless of the consequences, one even saying that she would have gone over and set her skirt free, and b) Men who, without fail, would not have mentioned it. My decision at the time was to say nothing and let some other person tell her! Coward or what?
Definition of smoking: For ten years now, it has been an offence to smoke in a public place or to fail to prevent smoking in a public place. The definition of smoking according to the Health Act 2006 is as follows: “Smoking” refers to smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance. “Smoking” also includes being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked. So, now you know. I was informed of this by the Diocese of Ely who concluded “It is not our understanding that this could be interpreted to prohibit the burning of incense”. Mmmm!
A member of the congregation spoke to his priest, telling him that he was quite convinced his wife was trying to poison him. The priest offered to help and telephoned the wife. Later, he spoke to the husband and told him that he had just endured a three hour conversation with the wife. “Do uou want my advice?” he asked. “Yes please” replied the man. “I should take the poison!” said the priest.
An attorney arrived home late, after a very tough day trying to get a stay of execution for a client who was due to be hanged for murder at midnight. His last minute plea for clemency to the governor had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed. As soon as he walked through the door at home, his wife started on him about, ‘What time of night to be getting home is this? Where have you been?’ ‘Dinner is cold and I’m not reheating it’. And on and on and on. Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he went and poured himself a shot of whiskey and headed off for a long hot soak in the bathtub, pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks as he dragged himself up the stairs.While he was in the bath, the phone rang. The wife answered and was told that her husband’s client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution after all. Wright would not be hanged tonight.Finally realizing what a terrible day he must have had, she decided to go upstairs and give him the good news. As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband, bent over naked, drying his legs and feet. ‘They’re not hanging Wright tonight,’ she said. To which he whirled around and screamed, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON’T YOU EVER STOP?
Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet