Monday, August 01, 2005

Readings at Random: How the Doctors At Last Agreed

How the Doctors At Last Agreed

A patient with a rope twisted tight around his fee was brought to the Sociologic Hospital. His skin was chafed and bruised by the cord, and fever burned him so that he was like to perish outright.

Said Dr. Divine: "We must first make you and your fellows religious, so that you won't come to such dreadful straights."

"No," said Dr. Socialis; "first do away with competition, which makes men enemies, then if the patient needs religion, it may be administered."

Dr. Charitas said: "Good homes would prevent all this. Now here is a plan for improvements------"

"Too much animal food," said Dr. Vegetaria; "he must learn to live on oatmeal; then wounds will readily heal--indeed, no one will inflict them."

Says Dr. Monomet: "Take the gold cure, my good man--one pill after-----"

"That's just the matter--too much gold now," remarked Dr. Coin. "But here are some silver-coated pills. Take sixteen-----"

"Nonsense," said Dr. Ballot. "When the complexion is all right, your whole body is well. I have here an Australian wash which will fix you right up."

"First take this aqua pura to steady your head," cried Dr. Prohib. "Here is a prescription, the effect of which combined with-----"

"Nonsense," said Dr. Legis, "he needs a law forcing him to have less of that fever which is eating him up."

Cried Master Freedom: "Cut the rope which causes-----"

Then all the doctors united in yelling: "Anarchist, Visionary, Crank, Quack, Radical, Utopian, Revolutionary, Fool!"

Meanwhile, the patient died, and the coroner's jury decided that his death was due to natural causes.

from Even As You and I, by Bolton Hall, 1897

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