The Other Side...

“Sorry, she can't come to the phone right now; she's removing a spleen. Oh hang on, the patient's flatlined. I'll pass you over.”As the opening gambit in any conversation, that has to be a bit of a stopper.

Dominic Castle

“Sorry, she can't come to the phone right now; she's removing a spleen. Oh hang on, the patient's flatlined. I'll pass you over.”

As the opening gambit in any conversation, that has to be a bit of a stopper.

Small But Fierce of Ipswich has become Dr SBF, thanks to the marvels of technology. It was her birthday last weekend and eschewing the usual boring gifts of perfume and Turkish delight I bought her a computer game which allows the user to perform life-saving (or otherwise) surgery.

She's now in heaven, as are many of her unfortunate cyber patients.

Some of what goes on is frankly too gruesome for my lily-livered tastes (although lily-livered may well be one of the operable conditions that is covered by this digital hospital of horrors. Perhaps I'd better get a consultation.)

Most Read

She is busily scanning, lasering, diagnosing, misdiagnosing, slicing, stitching and defibrillating, while the Ginger Ninja and I watch, glad that in the real world SBF's ministrations are confined to the animal kingdom.

She got terribly excited the other day when her friend Carrie appeared and asked if the curly one could pop round and remove a tick from her cat, the cheerfully-named Mr Jingles.

SBF was gowned, masked and snapping on the latex gloves before you could say “It's only a tick”. She delved into one of the many boxes of treasure that fill our little home and emerged with what looked like a fairy burglar's tiny crowbar.

“I've been wanting to use this tick remover thingy for ages,” she said, which explained why she'd been making the Ginger Ninja and I walk around in shorts in the long grass, the minx.

Off she went, returning triumphantly with the news that the tick was extracted safely and is now the star of it's own internet photo gallery ().

Better than that, she picked up fees for her veterinarian work of two potatoes. What, I rather unwisely asked, would she be charging for a home castration?

And now, a cautionary true tale.

Our friends are on the move, heading off to the countryside. During packing operations the man of the house - let's call him 'Paul' - decided to check out the top of the kitchen cupboards.

A tall fellow, he still couldn't see to his satisfaction, so he cast around for something to stand on. A large paint tin was handy and judged to be the right height for the task.

Up he went, standing on tippy-toes to get the full scan. Students of low farce will have already spotted the danger and sure enough the paint can lid, designed only to be impossible to open, found the thirteen stone pressing down on it too much to bear and, with a soupy plop, it gave way.

The scene was chaotic. Picture a six foot one inch tall man shin-deep in a tin, magnolia paint splashed lavishly up his legs, the centrepiece of a kitchen display which could have been styled by Jackson Pollock during his beige period.

Hearing the commotion his partner - let's call her 'Rachel' - rushed in to be confronted by what looked like a giant genie emerging from a pot of Dulux.

'Rachel' is a nurse, a compassionate, gentle and kind person used to handling traumatised accident victims. “I laughed 'til I bled,” she confessed.

The moral of the story? Moving house can make you an emulsional wreck.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter