Plain tales from the surgery


A partially-sighted man came to see me about an incident related to his various long-term sick benefits. He had apparently been standing by a lamp post collecting money for a charity when a dog had walked up, cocked its leg and urinated on him.

'The social service people were watching me, doctor. Some bugger had reported me for claiming Disability Living Allowance,' he said.

A few weeks later he received a letter from the 'Social'. They informed him that they had filmed him reaching into his pocket to give the dog a biscuit, and that they believed he could see.

'They even said I had been kind to the dog,' he added.

'You know I can hardly see, doctor. That dog's done that before. Once he took the biscuit I knew where his head was and I kicked him up the arse.'

Based on this story, he wanted me to back him up in his defence against benefit fraud.

Dr Peter Rowan, Diss, Norfolk

Stick to the good stuff
A 60-year-old, rather burgundy-faced gentleman was overjoyed that his heartburn had improved with only a slight change to his alcohol consumption.

'I found that cheap wine burns and leaves me reaching for my heartburn tablets, but if I stick to the good stuff, I'm OK. Now, I don't buy anything under £3,' he explained. I dread to think what he used to drink.

Dr Andy Cohen, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Dry your eyes, dear
A young female patient attended with the main complaint of excessive sweating.

On further questioning she reported that her father suffered from the same condition, generalized hyperhidrosis.

She requested a tablet for it and reported that she had been taking the one her father had been prescribed. I did not quite expect her answer when I asked whether it worked.

'Yes,' she said. 'Last weekend when I was upset, I couldn't even make the tears come.'

Dr Srishti Dutta, Chapel-En-Le-Frith, Derbyshire

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