Saturday, 8 September 2007

Strange ideas...

Leafing through a magazine left on the train last night, I got sucked into the "ask the doctor/agony aunt/Mrs Mills" page. Same old issues - too much sex, not enough sex, he's cheating on me, I want to divorce him, my child is constantly arriving home in a police car, he is seventy years older than me but I don't think the age difference is a problem, my mother doesn't approve of the way I cook cabbage...

I used to think it would be fun to write one of these pages. Mine would go something like:

Dear Doctor,
My husband is losing hair from the top of his head and we haven't had sex for months. I read about chemotherapy on the internet and I'm worried he may have cancer. He obviously doesn't trust me as he hasn't told me this himself, and I think he might be seeking comfort from another woman. Our relationship is over. I hate him. I want him out of my life - should I leave him or kill him, or how would you recommend finishing him off?

Dear Tracey,
Your husband is probably just losing a bit of hair and sex drive. I suggest you cook him a nice meal and tell him to go out for the day with his friends whilst you take a long, hot bath. This won't actually fix his inherent ageing or make time run backwards, but it should mean that you are unarmed when the men in white coats arrive to take you away, and he doesn't have to witness the scene.
Best of luck,

and just for fun, I'd write to myself...

Dear Doctor,
My otherwise highly intelligent friend can't distinguish between a person (a particular person who is short for a human and has short hair) and a cat (which is normal size for a cat, and whose fur is a similar length to her friend's hair). I suspect the problem is one of the following:

  1. she has very poor eyesight;
  2. she has some abnormal brain chemistry;
  3. she has early dementia;
  4. (the thinking-outside-of-the-box-solution (and why would my brain be in a box, anyway?)) her friend is actually rather like a cat.

Could the symptoms be due to excessive consumption of Diet Coke? Should I encourage her to drink water instead, perhaps eat more oily fish, stop referring to her friend as Tiddles, and get the friend to stop climbing up the curtains??
But Why?

Dear But Why?,
Your friend's behaviour is very concerning. Could you tell me more about the symptoms?

Well, Doc, I was first alerted to this behaviour during a conversation this morning:

Stray: Thanks for the tea. Is Badger in?
Me: Erm, not sure. Don't think so - haven't heard her...
Stray: Oh, actually, I heard her squeaking earlier - yes, she is in.
Brain knocks this bit of information against a few other pieces collected that morning, in particular the notable lack of noise of squeaks, clicks, clucks, and collisions of head/limbs with immovable objects, and decides further questioning is required to ascertain the truth.
Me: Squeaking... Was she doing her 'Frank' [sex-pest ginger cat] noise, by any chance?
Stray: Yeah.
Brain digests this information. The evidence that Badger was in the house was that Stray had heard something this morning that sounded rather like a cat. However, Badger usually wakes me up when she comes in. I hadn't woken to the noise of a returning Badger. I can also usually hear the after-effects of tic-ing as her head or arms flail against the headboard/wall combination which is poorly insulated from my ears. And also, the lights left on for latecomers were still on when I got up that morning - Badger is rather good at turning lights off. The only hint that Badger was home was the sound of a cat miaowing...
Me: [Trying to phrase this in the most gentle way possible] That's odd - the lights were left on - she usually turns them off when she comes back... You said she was making her 'Frank' noise - might it be possible that you heard Frank miaowing and mistook it for Badger?
Stray: Erm... yes...

Dear Doctor,
My otherwise highly intelligent friend can't distinguish between a person and a cat...

Perhaps some of those letters really do refer to real situations...


trousers said...

I recall a spoof letter printed in a newspaper, something along the lines of:

Dear *agony aunt of your choice*

I've been getting concerned about my wife's behaviour lately. She says she's going for nights out with her girlfriends, which I don't mind at all: but when she gets home they've always dropped her round the corner so I never actually see who they are.

This in itself didn't bother me but she's very secretive about her nights out and never tells me who these girlfriends actually are. Then a mate of mine said he spotted her one night in the company of another bloke, and I also found some sexy texts on her mobile.

So, one night when she was out, I went and waited in the garage around the time that she usually comes back: I realised that through a tiny side-window I could see the spot where she would be dropped off by her "girlfriends".

As I was waiting I noticed there was a patch of oil on the garage floor which was dripping from the fuel distribution pipe of my motorbike. It was only a small drip - do you think this is something I could repair myself, or should I take it to a specialist?

KindaBlue said...

Stray seems to be suffering from what Scott Adams refers to as 'faulty pattern recognition' (e.g. "his last six wives all died in mysterious circumstances; I hope to be wife number seven").

Mothers are marvellous sources of this. Mine, for example, has a tendency to assume that I no longer enjoy certain foods on the basis that she hasn't seen me eating them in a given time period - despite all other evidence, such as my healthy appetite and adventurous palate.

Let me know if you ever find a cure.

Pixie said...

Dear But,
I think you worry too much about life and the universe, it's making my head ache all your thinking.
I need to lie down in a quiet place now.
I'll have to back to making your ears red at this rate to take your mind away from thinking!!
Yours very sincerely
Auntie pix

But Why? said...

Superb and hilarious. And I'm sure the leaky pipe is far easier to fix than the behaviour of the wife.

In Stray's defence, I should point out the Badger is in fact an amazing mimic, and I have the related problem of all too often finding myself telling the unseen but overheard Frank to shut up, or (in that stupid voice that I reserve for domestic animals) that it's breakfast time, only to find Badger creeping into the kitchen. The chicken noises don't confuse me so much (why would a chicken be in the house in the morning??) And then there are the noises that make me think the aliens have come to reclaim Badger.

Dear Auntie pix,
You are probably right, and I suspect that if I stopped thinking about the universe for a while, it would continue to exist. But I would have to replace the thoughts with some new ones. Any suggestions?
But xx (that goes for you all)