For this reason, and also because of my inborn aldermanic dignity and because I am good at shouting, I usually get minor authority roles, such as the judge or lord of the manor.
One medieval drama demanded the wearing of tights. I'm cool with that, but on the first night there was a reception beforehand. When we GPs get involved with anything we inevitably get voted in as chairperson (folks seem to think it's a big deal that we belong to an ancient and noble profession, revered for its wisdom and scholarship) so I was required to mingle. This left me little time to change for my performance, so to save a few minutes, I wore my tights underneath my trousers.
And it was an epiphany; the almost imperceptible susurration of tights against trousers was unexpectedly sensual, almost sinful. I felt like a cross between Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, more aware of my own body, the beguiling curves, the rippling muscles, my walk became a strut, my movements, panther-like. The tights had the curious effect of seeming to firm up my buttocks, giving them more definition, making them look harder, more toned. It also seemed to have a significant effect on the ladies present; I caught quite a few sideways glances, unashamedly checking me out, as if they liked the cut of my jib.
'Have you been working out?' asked one; 'Nice buns,' said another. I looked good, I felt dangerous, lean and hungry as Cassius, the fatal glamour of the stage the ultimate aphrodisiac.
So, lads, try on the tights at least once before you die, and as physicians we must try to remember their value as a therapeutic tool. Any man who comes in complaining of low self-esteem (let's face it, we all suffer from this, it's only real losers and mammy's boys who have to go running to the GP whining about it), don't reach for the prescription pad or the referral letter, don't bore them with lectures about lifestyle, just advise them to slip on a pair of tights.
Maybe try it at home first.
- Dr Farrell is a GP from County Armagh. Email him at GPcolumnists@haymarket.com