So, how do you feel now?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the strangeness of the word magnet.

‘Good morning sir. Do you have a prescription?’
‘Eh?… No, but I have just been to the doctor’s.’
‘Oh, I see? So, what can I help you with today?’
‘Well, she said that I didn’t need anything, bloody fool that she is!’
‘Right… So, and, I hope you don’t mind my asking, but what is the trouble?’
‘Ah, that would be telling…’
‘Yes, it would. So, let me ask you this, why did you come into this pharmacy, sir?’
‘That would be telling too.’
‘I suppose it would… By the way, who is your doctor?’
‘I don’t mind telling you that, it’s Dr Smarm just up the road.’
‘Ah yes, Gwen Smarm, I hear that she is very good.’
‘So you say.’
‘Yes, I do… Look here, what do you want? There are other people waiting behind you in the queue flapping their prescriptions at me.’
‘Hm, stuff ’em! I’d like a placebo please.’
‘A placebo?’
‘Yes, an effective one – and be quick about it – I haven’t got all day.’
‘Well I…’
‘I don’t mind paying a modest sum.’
‘Now, before I go in the back and sort one out for you, I must ask you a question or two.’
‘That’s fair enough Robert, fire away!’
‘How did you, know my name was…?’
‘On your badge, on your badge!’
‘Of course, now, do you know what a placebo is?’
‘Of course I do Robbie, do you take me for an idiot?’
‘No, of course not. The idea of a placebo is that the patient is unaware that it actually doesn’t do anything.’
‘Will it be pills or capsules?’
‘…but if you know that it has no medical effect, my question to you would be, what is the point in taking it?’
‘I think small red pills would be my choice, have you any of those Bob?’
‘You seem to be evading the issue Mr…’
‘That’s just what my doctor said. You see, although my brain is certainly aware that the little red pills, if that’s what I get, are ineffective, the rest of my body will be in the dark on the matter.’
‘I see…’
‘I don’t think that you do Robbo. I mean, how could, say, my patella, or my duodenum, be aware of any of the ramifications behind the little red pills? Those organs are only connected to the old brain by a couple of spindly wires.’
‘You know, nerves and such-like – there are no memories of conversations, or reasoning, going chugging down those stringy things to the nether regions… are there?’
‘Well, I suppose not, you see when I did my degree in pharmacology we would often…’
‘Look Bobby, what other harmless coloured pills do you have back there in your cave?’
‘Alright Mr… What is your name?’
‘Call me Ishmael…’
‘Okay, Ishmael, let me put this to you.’
‘Put away Roberto!’
‘The colour of the pills – how would your patella, or your er, duodenum, know what colour the pills are? How’s that?…’
‘Do you play much cricket R? You look more of a chess man to me.’
‘You are evading the issue again, Ishmael.’
‘Not at all, you see the duodenum would certainly see the coloured pills descending through the old tubes, and might even sense that they had nothing much in them…’
‘What about the patella, how would it know whether the medicine was real or not?’
‘Easy, the duodenum would pass the word down the line…’
‘Bah!… You have just completely contradicted your own reasoning Ishmael!’
‘Not at all… the duodenum would probably lie to the patella, it’s a common occurrence in that strange dark world down there, and the patella might then improve and completely recover from its annoying stiffness, even after an arduous round of golf… Do you play much golf Robsie?’
‘No… Good… Right… I do have a bottle of very nice striped yellow and black pills in the back, like little buzzing bees they are…’
‘Oh, they sound marvellous Rob-bob! How much are they?’
‘I like the cut of your jib Ishmael, so to you, they are on the house!’
‘That is very decent of you my dear Bobbins, you know, I feel better already!…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in brain, conversation, existentialism, humour, surrealism, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to So, how do you feel now?…

  1. Dana Doran says:

    I don’t know about Dulltown, but here in the U.S. we are constantly exposed to cures in a pill….with 30 seconds of TV time explaining the side effects…..death, purple spots, you name it…….you seemed to have stumbled across the “alternative,” I like mine on the rocks, please.

  2. Oh placebos….the exilr of life! 🙂

  3. Jheron Bash says:

    Well, apparently some study has just proved that placebos do work, even when the patient knows they are placebos – but they don’t know how that works.

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