Saturday, 18 March 2017

A drop o' Scotch...

The Scottish press are having a field day around the prospect, or not, of holding a second referendum, so soon after the last one revealed the lengths the Scottish National Party will go to in order to alienate their fellow Jockanese. Theresa May has told Tsar Nicola to forget about petty politics and get on with managing her country’s public services which, by some accounts, fall well short of the milk and honey of the promised land of Caledonia. Having spat back the obligatory Braveheart-inspired soundbites, Nicola has decided she will not be found wanting, to which end she embarked on a tour of Scottish NHS hospitals.

At the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary she notices a sign on the outpatients’ clinic ‘The Great Escape’ and when she enquires is told “Ach, just a bit o’ fun. We name the departments after films. It brightens the place up and gives us a chuckle... and it helps to forget how underfunded we are, compared to the Sassenachs, ma’am.” Nicola is glad to hear a hint of animus towards their southern neighbours, Scotland, she informs the assembly of hangers-on, is tired of being the poor relation to England.

Next up, the Burns Unit (What Scottish hospital could be without one?) wittily named ‘Return of the Mummy’ where they tour the rows of heavily bandaged victims. It seems unusually crowded and Nicola asks why. “See, in England, where all the money is, they can afford central heating.” explains the nurse in charge. “Here, in poor wee Scotland, we have to rely more on open fires, so...” Further explanation is unnecessary; if Scotland only had the funding available to the English, went the argument, these dangerous practices could be avoided.

The tour continues: ‘Point Break’ where an elderly man is having a plaster cast applied to his arm. ‘True Grit’ where a young BMX rider is having his grazed leg carefully cleaned and dressed. ‘Gone with the Wind’, where gastric conditions are treated and the unsympathetically named ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’, the psychiatric unit. The doctor leading the entourage hurries on past the next ward without comment, but Nicola takes a peep inside. She is shocked; a male patient is masturbating furiously. "Oh my GOD!" she screams, “That's disgraceful! Why is he doing that?”

The doctor calmly explains: “I'm sorry you had to see that, but that man has a serious condition where his testicles rapidly fill with semen. If he doesn't do that at least five times a day, he would be in extreme pain and his testicles could easily rupture.” Mollified, she asks if there is any other, more seemly, way the condition could be treated. “Ah,” says the doctor, “if only we were in England, where they have all the money...” Nicola, purses her lips and allows the tour to continue.


As they pass quickly by the next room, they see a male patient lying back in bed while a nurse performs oral sex on him. Nicola gasps “Oh, my, GOD! D’y’see that?” she exclaims, “How in God’s name can THAT be justified?” The doctor, a little flustered, explains: “It’s the same condition as the last man you saw.” Nicola is undeterred and presses the point, “But how come he is getting.... THAT treatment?” The doctor points, sadly, to the sign above the door. ‘The English Patient’.

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