Liam Farrell: Ho ho ho. Helping out at Christmas

The surgery had become very Christmassy; the Christmas tree, the presents from grateful patients, the blackmail letters, the obscene (and quite imaginative) messages in the suggestion box.

So when the smell of incense graced the air, I wasn’t altogether surprised when the receptionist told me that one of the Three Kings wanted to see me urgently.

He had a solemn demeanour, a magnificent moustache and wore a kaftan that would have been quite cool at Woodstock.
‘This isn’t more of this Movember shite, I hope,’ I said. ‘If you want to raise money, go out and do something more useful than growing a bit of fuzz on your face; a litter collection, clean up a few bed-pans or something.’

‘I know not of what you speak,’ he said, looking confused.
‘Balthazar, is it?’ I said, hazarding a guess, because his gear was all pretty generic Magi stuff.

‘I am Melchior,’ he announced, stiffly.
‘Why of course you are,’ I said, generously.

‘I am deeply unhappy,’ he said.
‘I’m not surprised,’ I said. ‘It’s the myrrh, isn’t it? Carrying around all that doom and gloom would get anyone down. You should have held out for the gold, you’d be a big hit wherever you go, especially with the gangsta rappers.’

‘It’s not the myrrh,’ he said. ‘My carriage has broken down; Balthazar and Caspar, they’re all right, they’re on camels. Can you help me fix it?’
‘I’m a doctor,’ I said, ‘not a mechanic.’
‘I know,’ he said, ‘but I thought that’s what doctors were for, you know, to help people and all.’
He suddenly looked a bit shifty.
‘I could make it worth your while,’ he ventured.
A small parcel of myrrh could be a novel gift for my mother-in-law, I calculated, maybe give her a hint of my true feelings for her.

‘Tell you what I’ll do,’ I said. ‘I’ll call the chiropodist.’
‘A chiropodist,’ he said, surprised and getting a little annoyed. ‘Here I am, in the teeth of Christmas, stuck by the side of the road, important messages to deliver, and you’re calling the chiropodist. What would they know about fixing a broken-down carriage?’

‘Not much,’ I admitted, ‘but they could give you a toe.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus