Friday, April 14, 2006

How to vet a doctor

The circus I worked for employed both a doctor and a vet, and I could choose to visit either one. I generally preferred the vet, who was an amiable eccentric called Hugo “Smacker” Ramrod, so named because of his predilection for whacking horses on the rump after treating them. Smacker was a cheerful young fellow who hummed stirring tunes, such as Men of Harlech, while treating his patients. He had no qualms about sticking his fist up an animal’s rear end, which seemed to happen quite often in the line of duty. He knew better than to try any of those tricks on me, of course. I usually went to him for dental treatment, and he was always very careful to tell me what he was doing before he did it. We had a good relationship based on mutual respect and a certain amount of fear (on his part).

The doctors employed by the circus never lasted very long in the post. Being a physician to “artistes” is a high-pressure job and few are up to the challenge. I soon lost count of the number of these characters that came and went, and have a good recollection of only one of them: a Dr Felix Boobenstrausser from Dortmund. The circus hired him after an incident that occurred when we were performing in his home town.

What happened was this: A large female guest, watching the show from the ringside, fainted when one of the clowns accidentally fell on her during his act. Boobenstrausser, who was also in the audience, took immediate command of the situation and revived the woman with some smelling salts in his possession. He then convinced her that she had suffered no lasting damage, and should not blame the clown for a harmless prank which had brought everyone much pleasure. After the show, we gratefully offered him the vacant position of circus doctor, which he accepted on the spot.

When we returned to England, our suspicions were aroused by his unorthodox treatment of the knife-thrower’s assistant, a striking young woman named Doris. After she came to him with a severe migraine, he promptly took out his stethoscope to listen to her heartbeat.

“Hmm, it seems you have some kind of problem in ze chestal area,” he diagnosed. “Remove ze upper garments, if you please.”

He then proceeded to give Doris what he called a “chest massage”, to which she consented in her desperation to have her malady cured. After returning to her trailer, and finding that the remedy had not been effective, Doris began to suspect that the good doctor had actually been treating himself rather than his patient. The news of the illicit groping quickly filtered out after she had spoken to her friends, and we decided to check Boobenstrausser’s credentials by getting our copy of his German degree certificate translated. The next day we got the following fax message from the German consulate:

We are pleased to inform you that Dr Felix Boobenstrausser’s degree certificate is entirely genuine. He holds a doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Dortmund.

The job of dismissing Boobenstrausser was given to Smacker Ramrod, so the impostor would get his marching orders from the nearest thing we had to a real physician. Smacker went straight into his trailer and said:

“The game’s up, Boobenstrausser! We know you’re not a man of medicine, so just pack up your things and clear off by tomorrow morning.”

To Smacker’s astonishment, the cosmological quack took this statement as an invitation to begin an impassioned tirade:

“Unt who are you to say vot is a man of medicine, you shtoopid animal-inspector? You who have only examined ze hindquarters of donkeys and cows! You zink some dumpkoff in medical school can teach me anyzing? I who have studied ze formation of galaxies unt ze lifecycle of stars! I am fully self-taught in ze mechanics unt dynamics of ze human body. I am aware of ze exact location of every bone, every fibre….”

He went on like this for a minute or so until Smacker left the trailer and came to see me with a crestfallen look on his face. We quickly hatched a plan to rid the circus of the turbulent Teuton. The initial phase began when I jumped onto the roof of his trailer and hopped around a bit to create a disturbance below. An irate Felix Boobenstrausser soon emerged from inside and beheld me with a mixture of surprise and indignation.

“So! Zey send an ape to do a man’s job!” he shouted. “Come down at vunce you cheeky beast, I have no fear……”

But he spoke no more, for he felt a sting in his backside. Cursing loudly, he pulled an object from his rump and fell drowsily to his knees as he began to examine it. His head hit the ground a few seconds later, for the tranquiliser dart had contained enough sedative to put a full-grown lion to sleep. After congratulating Smacker on his good shooting, I removed the dart from Boobenstrausser’s hand and poured half the contents of a whiskey bottle onto his face and neck. We then carried him to a waiting taxi with instructions to drive him to the nearest police station.

Yet again, Mr. Nanas, I have to congratulate you on your apely cunning and problem-solving techniques. I certainly hope that Ramrod fellow wasn't free enough with his hand to smack your noble bottom.

I grew up thinking that Barbara Windsor's boobs were the ultimate in enormous big'uns but they were really just normal size, looking at them now. Perhaps it was her perky carriage or her cheeky baring (sic) that made us all think so.

I loved Carry On films. I wish we could get them over here. There's nothing like tea and toast on a Sunday afternoon with a lovely old "St. Trinians"/Carry On Something" double bill.
Zat was...erm that what was a most engaging story. You must miss the whole circus life very much GB. I miss the countryside. I recall a vet we had, a rather arrogant young chap straight out of college who arrived in our yard to check over our hunter after she tore her withers on a nail. He arrived and proceeded to march up the yard bristling with efficency and snooty 'tisks' when we warned him that she could be a bit testy.
'I'll take her out of the loose box.' I offered.
'There's no need.'He said looking at his watch. He put his upper arm on the stable door.
My father offered to get the titch for her and he said, 'that won't be necessary, a simple head collar will do it.'
'She doesn't like strangers-'
But before my father could finish her ladyship's head snaked out, eyes rolling, ears flat and she clamped down as hard as she could on this young mans's shoulder and hoisted him about three feet in the air and shook him until she ripped his jacket, shirt and some of the skin off his shoulder. Then she released him and disappeared back into the gloom.
Needless to say he was very shaken and was incapable of carrying on his rounds that day. The old vet came out the following day, waited patiently sucking on his pipe until we had her roped, twitched and hobbled before he cleaned the cut and stitched it.
'How's the young lad?' My father asked.
'He'll not be bowling much for a while.' The vet said.
'Aye.' my father said.
And that was the end of that.
I don't see why Boobenstrausser's credentials were so unacceptable to you, GB. After all, he was a doctor to the stars, and I thought that's what you all were in the circus.
I've never been groped by my doctor, worst luck, coz he's a dish. Why are the dirty gits always pig ugly?
Mourn no more, Beth - my tongue depressor is always at your service...
As I have stated many times I have no medical qualifications. Yet some people seem determined to believe otherwise. On more than one occasion I have been approached by people asking for drugs to treat their various ailments. A few sickly looking people people keep turning up at the institute and and asking for drugs and 'Charlie'. When I tell them there is no 'Charlie' at the institute they look most crestfallen. Maybe they're confusing the institute with somewhere else?
Whoops! I've just accused you of being a medical doctor over on my site, Dr McCrumble. I withdraw this vicious slander unreservedly and trust that relations between us will remain cordial.

this is another way of dealing with unfortunates. Not as diplomatic, but more kung-fu.
There's alot of stuff about doctors on the blogs at the moment, isnt there?
there's also a lot of stuff about the human Gnome in your links, GB. Are you branching out from anthropology? I did a post earlier today about how stalin wanted to make half ape half human supersoldiers, but it was unsuccessful as human females cannot process monkeyman sperm(duh).
FE: See my reply on your site. As I am not a man easily moved by slander, and as you have speedily retracted your (self confessed) slanderous accusation, I have instructed my solicitors to remain on their leash. Cordiality is resumed.
The gnome stuff is not really under my control, Jagd. I'd been wondering about it myself.

A vet that arrogant should have been a doctor, FMC.

Sam, I get the impression that most men preferred Amanda Barrie (as Cleo) to Barbara Windsor, big boobs or not.
I am informed it is known in the trade as a TUBE (totally unnecessary breast examination).

I had always suspected this but had never quite worked up the courage to challenge the filthy letches in question.
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