Nelson's Column, Bolg, Blog, whatever...

Betting on cancer patients more fun than online poker

Dead easy

I never thought I would have cause to be grateful to foreigners or the Daily Mail, but a happy conjunction of the two finds me in a state of some excitement. As you all know, my temporary GMC-inspired absence from clinical practice has forced me to diversify in order to keep me in claret and ex-Mrs Jerry in gin and fags. While I appreciate the Editor’s offer of a journalistic career, the financial rewards are fairly meagre (we need to talk about that Mike*), and I have referred in previous columns to a number of joint financial ventures undertaken with my mate Lenny Spudge to boost my income. So I was on the phone to him as soon as I read this.

I mean, it could be tailor-made for us! All you need is access to a load of dying patients (me) and a keen appreciation of the principles (if that’s the right word) of bookmaking (Lenny). I’ve got chums who work at the local hospice, so we just need slip a couple of quid to the relatives to organise some ‘visits’ for the punters and then with some creative odds-setting and a tweak here and there on the syringe drivers, we’ll be quids in.

In fact it occurs to me that although the Medical Director of the MboET is a complete tree-hugging arse, I do still have some Christmas party photos of him involving a particularly ugly midwife and a bottle of baby lotion which I had been holding in reserve. With those, and an offer of a backhander, we could get access to the geris Medicine-for-the-Ever-So-Slightly-Older-Person wards. Would be higher-risk than the hospice patients, because some of the old buggers live for ever, despite being left to sit in their own excrement and denied food or drink, but if we get the odds right, it could still be a good earner, given the higher volumes involved. Yes indeedy – things really are looking up.

Just like London buses

Openings for the opportunistic entrepreneur seem to come in twos. No sooner had I put the phone down after enlisting Lenny’s support in the death-gambling ring, I read this plea to legalise recreational drugs. Leaving aside the fact that the good Baroness bears a striking resemblance to a particularly humourless and incompetent theatre sister I once knew (I know they tend to promote senior nurses to jobs way beyond their competence, but it can’t be, surely?) I have to say, I like her style. This time it’s Dan the Fat Gasman I need to enlist. Give it a couple of weeks, and Lenny can have his team of salesmen offering ketamine and fentanyl on street corners, and all legal and above board!

There again…

As this seems to be turning into a catalogue of money-making schemes for temporarily financially embarrassed general surgeons, perhaps I should give sex therapy a try? (no! – as a therapist. Have you been talking to my ex?). Seems they are moving on from ‘talking’ therapy to a more hands (and genitals)-on approach, which sounds interesting. I suppose I’d have to do the training, but the fees would be tax-deductible, and the role-play would presumably be more interesting than the simulator sessions on the FRCS course.

I’d have to expect some cynical piss-taking from friends and colleagues, of course. I see that ‘Jane’, one of the patients quoted in the article, is surprised that ‘in the in the UK sex coaches generally have the unfounded reputation of being some sort of prostitutes by another name’.

Yeah, Jane. Right.


Now I know this is a topic which I keep coming back to, but with good cause. So, drinking red wine with red meat is good for you? Who’d have guessed it? – another case study for the British Journal of the Bleeding Obvious. Get a grip people – why do you think you are ruled by toffs with tweed jackets and well-stocked cellars? It’s because our regular intake of good-quality dead animal and fine wine means that we live longer than you shell-suited oiks with your diet of corn syrup, mechanically-recovered ‘meat’ and Tennent’s Extra, and have IQs in three figures.

It was only a week or two ago that we were being told that more than a quarter of a pint of beer per day was bad for you – more proof if more were needed that you don’t need to worry too much when they tell you that you’re drinking/eating yourself into an early grave. Just wait a couple of weeks, and you’ll find that you have inadvertently hit on a lifestyle that will see you living for ever.

* you wouldn’t want me to send Lenny round to negotiate, would you?

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