The Doctors Prescribe A Remedy With Unpredictable Side Effects…

On my last trip to the doctor’s I was asked a few questions about my drinking habits…

“Can you drink Asahi Super Dry?”

DH: “Well, yes, I do sometimes drink Asahi Super Dry. Yes, indeed.”

“Ah so desu ka… How about Kirin Original Brew?”

DH: “Oh yes, I quite often drink that one.”

“What about Yebisu All Malt Beer?”

DH: “Oh, um, well yes, I don’t mind if I do on occasion.”

“Do you drink wine as well?”

DH: “Yes, I do like a little drop with my dinner.”

“Ah so ka! And you like cheese…”

DH: “Ooh yes, I am partial to cheese.”

“Ah yokatta! Good! We received many summer gifts. Please take some when you go home.”

DH: “Thank you very much.”

Having given me a thorough diagnosis of the situation I was immediately served the first of I forget how many Kirin Lagers from the fridge as the doctors felt that treatment was urgent.

I forget the details of the game. I remember that it was my fault that the mechanical table broke, when I shoved some tiles down the wrong slot because I was a bit slow to react.

I seem to remember that Mrs M won rather a lot of hands and that I came bottom. Well, after such good treatment it would have been rude not to!

The game finished quite early, early enough for me to save the hefty taxi fare by legging it to the station and catching the train. I envisaged carrying a couple of bags with some beer cans wine bottles, not too great an impediment. However, when I got to the door I was presented with three presentation boxes of beer and a presentation box of wine (two bottles) plus a slab of cheese the size of a breeze block… The junior doctor helped me cart them away to the nearest taxi!


I was drinking my way through my prescription medicine the other night and reading Peter Pan to my daughter when the tefelone rang and immediately clicked over to the answering machine. I heard the pleasant tones of my old pal (and reprobate) Mr Merin Waite dragging me away from Never Land.

At least, I THOUGHT the person who was telephoning me from England was Merin. After 3 minutes or so of chat, in which he told me he was in Guildford, which was news to me, I started to regale him with a detailed account of how we had been out on a boat fishing in the Inland Sea with Old Satoru, the herbal medicine voodoo doctor fellow, who sticks needles in people and sets fire to small pyramids of herbal extract on their buttocks and indulges, I doubt not, in other arcane and superstitious practices that a large number of the natives of these parts persist in clinging on to (even though there are perfectly kosher doctors such as the Doctors M in whose company I passed a merry evening of mahjong recently). When my “friend”, the supposed reprobate Mr Merin Waite, persisted in not knowing who I was talking about, I put it to him in no uncertain terms that he must be some lesser spotted species of a blithering imbecile…

… at which point the voice on the other end of the line pointed out that I must have the wrong person. It further elaborated in tones that suggested its owner was somewhat put out, that not only was the speaker to whom it belonged NOT this Merlin fellow, but that he had never heard of him, and that he was in fact a customer telephoning about a mahjong order… just as we had arranged a few nights ago in an exchange of email.

Ah yes. I remember now! It certainly put a new spin on the old phrase “caveat emptor”!!

I must take this opportunity to thank my customer, Mr I. F., for his long-suffering tolerance at the hands of that reprobate Merin Waite, who ever seeks after crafty and malicious ways to persecute me when I least suspect it.