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Independents' Day

Phil applies his unique straight-thinking to a reinterpretation of a well-loved Christmas song

Is everybody having fun?

'So here it is – Merry Christmas!

Everybody's having fun...'

Well, Noddy, my hirsute friend, I'm not so sure that everybody is having fun. The evidence tends to point

to the contrary. Why is it that I prescribe literally twice as many anti-depressants in November and December than in April and May? Why is my surgery packed with miserable sods who are dreading the coming festivities?

'Look to the future now,

It's only just beg-uuuun...'

I take your point about the future, which is indeed in its infancy in this neck of the woods. Your audience is, as you speak, taking your advice and anticipating those dark times ahead. We in our practice are going to be closed for a whole three days, and our punters are making contingency plans to cope with this intractable desert of unavailable primary care. Already this week I've had three people who have made appointments purely to secure repeat prescriptions a week or two early, in case they run out over Christmas. God forbid that they should.

'Are you waiting for the family to arrive?'

Why, yes, they are, and so are we – with good reason. When you see your mother or grandma just the once every year, one of the best ways to show you love her is to immediately call out her GP to deal with the deterioration that you have noticed since the last time you saw her. Because you care so much.

'Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?'

Temporary residents – we GPs love them. Memo to all temporary residents; REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR BLOODY TABLETS!

'Does your granny always tell ya that the old songs are the best?

Then she's up and rock 'n' rollin' with the rest!'

Here I feel that Sir Noddington Holder is losing his touch to a certain extent. Has he got a granny of his own? Noddy, my lad, this is how they go:

'You can't hear a word they're singing, and that one there I bet he's a nancy boy! It shouldn't be allowed! Ooh, me hip!'

'What will your daddy do when he sees your Mama kissin' Santa Claus?'

He'll beat the crap out of her, of course. And he'll beat the crap out of Santa, too, if he's quick enough

to grab his legs as he bolts back up the chimney. Then he'll take an overdose of Vitamin C tablets to show he too is a victim, deserving the clemency of the courts and maybe some compensation.

'Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?'

A stocking? A skip, more like.

'Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?'

With global warming? Fat chance.

'Do you ride on down the hillside

in a buggy you have made?'

I feel the Health And Safety Executive will have strong words on this subject. Has the buggy been properly evaluated? What is the gradient of the hillside? Will there be a responsible adult available to assess the risks?

'When you land upon your head

then you've been Slade.'

Well, yes we have, Noddy. Thanks for your innocent fun from the 1970s, and welcome to the joyless authoritarian world of the early 21st century.

Merry Christmas, everybody. That is, if I'm allowed to mention Christmas. Christ knows, I don't want to offend anyone.

Dr Phil Peverley is a GP in Sunderland and PPA and MJA Columnist of the

Year 2006

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