When I realized that I had had the ‘flu for almost four weeks and that a midday cigarette was no longer helping to clear my phlegm, I reluctantly made an appointment to see our family physician.
For quite some time I have had a rabid mistrust of doctors. It always amazes me when I hear of somebody taking himself off ‘for a check-up”. If there is nothing wrong, your man is hardly going to say: You are in extremely rude health, off you go, no charge.
No, they have spent many years in a secret sect, where they have been indoctrinated with the discipline: You Must Diagnose. That is why, when you have an earache, say, or an ingrown toenail; they will tell you to disrobe and lie down. Although they know full well that a bit of salt-water gargling will set you right in no time, you end up in a queue at the chemist for a bag of tricks the equivalent cost of a purebred horse.
They will never allow you a common cold or call you a hypochondriac to your face, they will scare you or indulge you by Making Things Up and you will leave their consulting room with the evil and sore-sounding Brucellosis. (On the upside, they are very game about writing letters to your boss; which effectively allows you to watch television in your nightie all day and not do the dishes).
Having thought all this through, I think I’ll stick to Merlot, cancel seeing doctors ever again, have a nice lie-in when I feel ill and go for an aromatherapy massage afterwards. It’ll certainly be cheaper.