Soap

Soap, as keen followers of conspiracy theory will know, is manufactured by agents of Beelzebub, based on an ancient Rosicrucian formula that was encoded into Da Vinci's Virgin and Child with St Anne using mirror writing. It contains self-replicating nanobots that were brought to Earth by ancient astronauts and buried beneath a pyramid in Peru before poltergeist activity revealed their location to the citizens of Atlantis, who used them to drain the aura from bigfoot and turn it into a big furry zombie. Oh! And the moon landings... it's something to do with faking the moon landings, as well.

At least, I think soap is made like that. There certainly seems to be something nasty about it anyway, or why else would the reeking crap-stained rabble that drag their begrimed bodies into my surgery day after stinking day go to such lengths to avoid it? I must have the only waiting room in civilisation that has a tide mark.

Hello there. My name is Doctor Adolphous Bongo, and yes that really is me you can see on your televisions advertising Professor Lungo's Medicinal Cough Tincture. Now, I'm sure I hardly need remind you that, being a man of absolute integrity, I would never put my name to anything unless I was one hundred per cent convinced of its efficacy. Before agreeing to lend my support, I insisted on being introduced to Professor Lungo himself and was immediately reassured by his professional and authoritative manner, his extremely expensive and immaculately pressed suit, and the patchwork of framed and obviously genuine certificates that covered one entire wall of his office. And if that wasn't enough, as soon as he handed me a cheque for £25,000 I knew that this chap was on the level. Anybody who can merrily distribute that kind of currency with a flick of the pen and a crafty wink of an eye is bound to be all right.

He certainly created a more pleasing impression on me than the tick-infested specimens that present themselves at my surgery, their puss-swollen palms thrust forward in anticipation of my being witless enough to shake them by the hand. I'm not a cowardly man. I have within me reserves of courage that will see me through most situations. I have even, on occasion, stared death in the face - I once went to Disneyland Paris. But even I stop and think twice before coming into physical contact with a patient without first ensuring that I have had the appropriate inoculations.

Considering what I have to contend with, I think I can be forgiven for not visiting my surgery more often. Not that I'm seeking your forgiveness. Frankly, it's none of your concern, and keeping your damn nose out of my business presents you with your best chance of avoiding a slap. But believe me, I have sometimes walked into that waiting room and seen dirt physically rising from those sweaty bastards like steam, and the atmosphere has more than once caused the fishmonger's next door to complain about the smell. On the rare occasions when I have been unable to avoid treating my clientele, I have taken to doing it in the car park - where I feel considerably less besieged, and where my patients, going by the look of them, are considerably more at home.

Recently, however, I've hit upon a novel solution. I have got hold of one of those bomb disposal robots from an army friend of mine - I know people, you see. With this machine I am able to take someone's temperature whilst standing twenty feet upwind of them, behind a blast proof screen. Controlling it can be quite tricky - one wrong twitch of the thumb can send the damn thing careering into a ditch - but I think I'm starting to get my eye in. Which is more than can be said for the now sadly half-blind Mr Richards, who lost one of his baby blues to the business end of a rectal thermometer when I sneezed, dropped the control box and sent the "Bombuster 4000" off on a trajectory of its own devising.

I don't know who was more distressed by the incident: Mr Richards, kneeling in the middle of the car park with his trousers around his ankles, clutching his bleeding face and insensible to the cost benefits of exchanging his spectacles for a monocle; myself, who not only had to contend with rescheduling the blasted man's appointment, but was also quite concerned about the possible damage to an extremely expensive thermometer; or my remaining patients, queued up in the driveway, waiting for their turn - one or two of whom were anticipating procedures considerably more complex than the application of an anal measuring device. I recall that I was pencilled in to do something rather tricky with a spleen, and my confidence had taken something of a knock. In the end it was perhaps fortunate that the majority of my victims suddenly decided that they had urgent business elsewhere.

One or two of my less innovative colleagues have criticised my use of military robots in the treatment of my patients. They claim it 'lacks the human touch', which I find wonderfully encouraging, considering that touching humans is precisely what I am endeavouring to avoid. Yes there are problems, yes there may even be casualties, as my slightly sprained thumb is testament to. But in the end, these people are only patients - there are enough of them floating about and it's highly unlikely any will be missed.

I think I have a duty to carry on with this pioneering work. Now, does anyone know where I can get a remotely controlled aerial drone? I have this wonderful idea for gastric endoscopy.

Return to Doctor Bongo's Casebook

Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2012

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