Parasites - whipworm, ringworm, tapeworm...those horrible spiny things that swim up your thingy when you're pissing in the Amazon. It is a well known scientific fact that such parasites ordinarily affect common, lower class people who live amongst their own shit and have no concept of the use of soap.
Basically, parasites affect dole scroungers and layabouts, so there's irony for you.
Hello there. My name is Dr Adolphous Bongo, five times winner of the Golden Stethoscope for Medical Excellence, so you might just want to save yourself the trouble of a smack in the mouth and pay attention to me when I'm talking.
I say 'five times' winner, but following an embarrassing incident at this year's Royal Physicians Society Awards, the most recent prize has yet to be confirmed. I was all set to take the podium to make my characteristically modest acceptance speech, when the nth-list celebrity who had been hired to hand me the prize inadvertently read out somebody else's name.
A certain Dr Reg Downey rose from his seat to what a gentleman from the press later described as a 'thunderous ovation', but which to my highly trained medical ears was rather more like a faintly bemused ripple of embarrassed muttering. And quite rightly so - Dr Downey is an arse. I got up to take the stage regardless, and felt quite sorry for old Dr Downey as I pushed him aside and proceeded to make my speech.
Anyway, this is by the bye. We were talking about parasites, weren't we? Most parasites, whilst being unpleasant, are relatively harmless. There are one or two that are capable of sucking your body inside out overnight, but there's really no point worrying about these, because by the time you know anything about it, you've already got your legs tucked up your back passage and are breathing through the back of your neck.
They are extremely rare, anyway. What are becoming more common, however, are moles. These nasty little creatures can burrow into the body practically unnoticed, then cause horrific outbreaks of unsightly molehills on the surface of the skin.
What's more, if they are allowed to spread, their tunnels will eventually undermine the physiological integrity of the human frame and cause the patient to collapse in on himself. This is extremely nasty.
There is a sophisticated surgical procedure which can reverse the process, but it is dangerous, expensive and involves the painful insertion of sterilised scaffolding. More often than not, we find it simpler and more cost-effective to just scoop the patient up, pour him into a bucket and leave him outside in the car park.
Irritating little pustule
Coincidentally, this is very similar to what I promised to do to the head of the Royal Physicians Society judging panel. The irritating little pustule took to phoning me up two or three times a day, claiming that the award was not mine and demanding that I return it forthwith.
Ha! I thought it was a done deal: I made the speech, I collected the trophy. I even managed to get a standing ovation out of the crowd, after a little bit of playful coaxing. But this tit that kept telephoning me insisted that the rightful winner was Dr Downey.
I explained to him several times that they had made an awful mistake, but the panel persisted in their ridiculous fantasy. What can you do with these kinds of people? Well, I'll tell you what I did: I explained to them that if they continued to pester me in this fashion, I would personally visit each of the panel in turn and boil their first-born children.
These people are insects, worms, and deserve to be treated as such. Which brings me back to the subject of parasites.
You're probably anxious enough by now to wonder how it is possible to contract moles. At this point it is traditional for doctors to tell you not to worry, and reassure you that the chances of catching moles are very slim.
Thankfully, I am not a traditional doctor, and I am happy to tell you that the odds of catching moles are extremely high - in fact, the chances are you've got them already. And it is with something approaching childlike glee that I add, for your information, that this is an extremely painful condition, and that there is very little hope of a cure.
The process of infiltration is a long and arduous one - for the mole, at least. Most moles grow on trees in Cyprus and parts of Turkey. They drop off in the autumn and make their way across Europe, strapped to the undersides of dogs.
They reach Great Britain by late January, where they smuggle themselves through customs disguised as Bosnians. You might expect them to burrow into the first person that they see, but this is not the case. Not any more, anyway. There was a time when a mole would just crawl up your arse when you weren't looking, and you'd be none the wiser. These days, however, most moles are a good deal wilier and - because of the abundance of fast food in their native homelands - a good deal fatter.
Trust me, if one of those things tried to invade your nether regions, you'd at least suspect something was going on.
Lie low until the heat is off
No, the first thing they do is lie low until the heat is off. Often they will take menial jobs and rent apartments in less fashionable parts of town. In order to do this, they have become masters of disguise.
You may even have passed one in the street without knowing. Next time you see a short feller in a big hat and a raincoat with a turned-up collar, don't just walk on by without a second glance. Take a closer look and see how hairy his face is. It may just be a mole waiting to strike.
Of course, when they do decide to strike, you probably won't know anything about it until it's too late. Relatively speaking, moles' brains are roughly equivalent in size to that of a sales rep, or someone who works in retail management. Whilst this means that they will never be capable of rational thought as we understand it, it has enabled them to evolve a number of schemes for invading the human body.
One favourite is to disguise themselves as doughnuts. Moles, it must be said, do not make very convincing doughnuts, even when they go to the trouble of sprinkling themselves with sugar and oozing jam. Nevertheless, their victims rarely prove to be all that fussy.
Other tricks include abseiling down the back of the victim's throat whilst he's asleep, burrowing into the ear and firing themselves up the nostrils from a circus cannon. The last one is seldom ever a successful means of penetration, but it can be a spectacular sight if you're lucky enough to witness it.
I once had one woman - let's call her 'Mrs Brown' - who came to see me, claiming that moles had entered her using a cunningly constructed glider, fashioned from balsa wood, hairy string and a pair of her old curtains. Of course, I refused to believe her ridiculous cock-and-bull story, but she started wailing and crying and creating all sorts of fuss, so I sent her for an x-ray just to shut her up.
Amazingly, when the results came back, she did appear to have a large glider lodged in her small intestine. She also had a submarine in her stomach and a double-decker bus wedged up her colon. There was, however, no sign of moles, so I can only conclude that they had moved out when Mrs Brown became too congested.
Doddering old twat
I should imagine that if she had gone to Dr Downey, the doddering old twat would have just given her a couple of aspirin and told her to lie down for a bit. The man isn't fit to be practising and yet they - his friends at the Royal Physicians Society - they want to give him a bloody award. What would he want with it? He doesn't know where he is, half the time. They wheel him around in a chair and he shits in a bag.
What about my mole research, eh? Up until now, it was thought that if you suffered from moles it was incurable. Oh yes, they've tried tempting them out with sponge fingers and fishcakes, and in a few isolated cases the moles have taken the bait - but, by and large, your average mole is happy to stay where it is.
My experiments are working towards providing a reliable, effective and permanent cure. Admittedly, I haven't been successful yet, but the work is progressing well. First, with a help of a couple of sacks and a cosh, I selected a group of random 'volunteers' and deliberately infected them with moles. Then I confined them to a small, padded room and blasted them with loud music to drive the moles out.
Constant audio bombardment
The results so far have not been promising. After three weeks of constant audio bombardment, three of my volunteers have collapsed and the remainder are suffering from perforated eardrums. As yet there is no sign of the moles leaving their hosts, but I think I'll give it another fortnight before I write the idea off completely.
I'm more confident about my second experiment. I have selected one of my more heavily infested volunteers - again, purely at random - and sent in a pack of hounds to chase the moles out. It wasn't easy, but I thought it rather ingenious, and it does seem to be proving effective.
However, the man is clearly in great pain and I have grave doubts that he will survive the treatment. I'm pretty sure that the moles have gone, but I'm very much afraid that he is now suffering from bad case of 'dogs'. Still, serves the bastard right for demanding my Golden Stethoscope back.
Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2005