Saturday 23 February 2013


The doctor looked up from his notes. He tried to avoid house calls but in this case there was little alternative. Michael - all thirty-five stones of him - lay sprawled out on an oversized sofa.

"It's not your fault. It appears you have a syndrome."

"I do?" asked the patient, "What's it called?"

The doctor looked at his notes again, searching for a clue. He cleared his throat and attempted to sound authoritative and reasonable. He hated to lie, but it was his job.

"It's called" [checking] "Michaelmotor syndrome." The patient pondered the phrase, trying it for size, as the doctor continued, "You can't get motivated but it's really not your fault. Something must be done." Notes were scribbled hastily on the file before he forgot his diagnosis. "You may also be suffering from depression, brought on by can't-be-arsed-itis."

"But what can you do, doctor?" asked the patient  I've been sitting on this sofa with my sponge on a stick for years."

The doctor looked sad as he tapped a message into his smart phone and pressed 'Send'. Silence descended as doctor and patient waited for what seemed a long time but was probably less than half a minute. A stranger entered the room in handcuffs and reluctantly stood at the doctor's side. The doctor gave him a look of sympathy as he dipped a hand in his pocket and removed the man's wallet.

"Here," he said to Michael, "have some of this man's money." He extracted and handed over a large roll of notes. "This should keep you going until we find a cure."

Michael looked pleased but slightly confused as he pocketed the money.

It's not my fault. I have a syndrome.

"Why this particular man?" asked Michael

"He doesn't need his money." said the doctor.

"Why not?"

"Because he has nothing wrong with him. Yet."

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