Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

The Futility of Quackery

Frustratingly, the shortness of breath I was experiencing yesterday still envelopes me as I write. The amateur quackery I’ve undertaken to shake this off, including the use of Germolene antiseptic cream (a catch all remedy of my mater), thus far proved ineffective.

My other attempted actions, the use of leeches, drinking hotter tea and the unconvincing admonishment of the bug with a rant of “For flip’s sake give me a break!” equally as futile. As my aunt Flo claims these remedies worked for her grandma a century ago, I can only assume in this current era not all old wives remedies of yore are fit for purpose.

Before I go any further, I wanted to clarify that I’m not stupid enough to try to cure a respiratory or circulatory problem with antiseptic cream, leeches, warmer tea or bug admonishment. They were included purely for dramatic effect, along with the fact I lacked of a better epiphany at the time.

Anyhow, I’ve secured a doctors appointment within the hour so hopefully trained medical knowledge will remedy the affliction my quackery couldn’t. My local surgery thankfully able to shoe horn me in after I’d explained the extent of my symptoms over the phone.

It’s very rare I succumb to physical ailments, so am finding this current dip in my wellbeing deeply frustrating. Only time will tell whether I’ve a chest infection or something like the seemingly more prevalent ‘not very well at all disease’. However, whatever’s causing my malaise I hope it’s tenancy is brief.

Currently I’m sitting in the dining room armchair with scarf around my neck, a thick sofa throw and hot water bottle. Although to be honest, with the throw or hot water bottle currently not touching any part of my body, their use at easing my symptoms is akin to attempting a cure with antiseptic cream, leeches, warmer tea or bug admonishment.

Consequently, at the moment only the scarf around my neck offers any tangible assistance at keeping me warm. All I need is a smoking jacket and a cigarette holder and I’d look like a fatter, less posh David Niven.

Perhaps understandably, as you get older the thoughts of your own mortality are more frequent visitors to the conscious mind than previously. From personal experience, this rise in morbidity the consequence of increases in aches pains and overnight toilet sojourns. Not to mention the frequent presence of a guy with a black top hat and tape measure inside our fridge.

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Joking aside, in the last few years I’ve tried to subscribe to 19th century French writer Victor Hugo’s existential wisdom of “It’s nothing to die. It’s frightful not to live.” The Les Miserable author highlighting the importance of focussing energies on making your life as good as possible while you have it, not worrying about what it’ll be like when your pushing up the daisies.

A few years back, I became embroiled in a conversation with an acquaintance about what happens to us after we pass from this mortal coil. During this exchange, yours truly opined I wasn’t overly bothered about the location providing it’s uniform wasn’t the dreadful fleeces worn by contestants on TV show Bargain Hunt.

Categories: Blogs, fiction, humour, parody

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