Private Medicine in Australia

July 1985 – 19.30 pm


A mildly senior citizen, a bean counter of Sagittarian sign, sat himself down for a TV dinner.

It was a slightly aged fish –probably a whiting. On his second bite a tiny object embedded itself in his gullet.


After unjustly accusing his wife of homicide he decided to chew on some dry bread, swallowing some rum and coke and when this did not work he decided to bypass the Public Hospital System and imposed himself on his aging healer, who was ever so grateful for his tireless efforts to minimise his tax and who tore himself away from his Scottish beveridge to come and attend to his problem. He proceeded to spray his throat with some deadeners and when this proved to be of no avail he rang his specialist friend, assured him that his accountant, the second most important person in his life, needed his attention.


An appointment was arranged for him to see the patient at the Wesley, the poshest hospital of the day. No problem, the nursing staff all pleasant, young and fresh, enquired jovially about the taste of that offensive fish and “was it worth it”. He settled down, waited for the specialist and was supplied with up-to-date information on the (dying) second test. The specialist arrived and asked for his tools of trade, only to find that the hospital was not fully equipped for this situation. He then proceeded to spray the same muck the doctor did into his throat, could not see much, realised he had left his glasses at home and asked the patient for his. These were of no help and he then pontificated that if the offensive object can’t be removed easily, the patient would have to go under, as the missive could not be left there all night. He then proceeded home to collect his glasses. When he returned he carried on spraying and probing, whilst holding the patient’s tongue wrapped in chucks. He congratulated him on his exemplary behaviour and announced that he can’t see anything, that he should be rung in the morning, that no food or drink should be taken in case of the need for an anaesthetic in the morning and that Aspros should be taken for relief.


The patient departs for home, reaches for Aspros, debates with himself whether he is allowed to wash it down, and finally grabs his left-over rum and coke – and swallows it.


The bone is gone instantly.


End at 22,00 hours



Copyright © Henry Zehr 2013