Stop right there! Before we go any further…

GPs baffle me.  Not the terminology they use – I’ve got some books and I know how to Google – but rather the awesome  capacity they have for condescention, superiority and supercilliousness.

I’ve lived with medical students and it was little short of terrifying that these idiots would, in the space of a few very short years, find themselves making life or death judgements regarding a small child or somebody’s helplessly infirm granny.  To a man they were beer-soaked buffoons incapable of operating anything more complex than their belt buckles, in whose blunderingly incapable hands you would no more place your health than you would trust it to a poorly-trained cocker-spaniel wearing oven gloves.

But regardless of this youthful ineptitude, by the time you encounter those crashing incompetents in their own little surgery rooms, they have not only passed some exams and (probably) killed a few folk in Accident and Emergency, but have also morphed into the most patronisingly condescending know-it-alls and developed egos bigger than Staffordshire Hospital’s mortality rate.  During the same period, it transpires their poor opinion of the general public has merely shifted from ‘bloody people coming between me and the student bar’ to ‘bloody people coming between me and the wine bar’.

We do have one deceptively genial little GP in our local practice but his superiority complex is merely disguised behind a jaunty bow tie and some David Dickinson half moons, to lull you into thinking he’s a jovial eccentric, not a spite-ridden megalomaniac with a chip on his shoulder about not being a surgeon who couldn’t care less if you lived or died as long as the prescription he writes for you gets him a good lunch from the drugs rep.  My friend calls him Doctor Loop-de-loop.  And, delightfully, Dr Loop-de-loop has been the gentleman most interested in my contraceptive needs.  Oh joy.

On my first check-up after having my second child, Dr Loop-de-loop drew me into an uncharactaristically (for me) emotional conversation about how I was coping with two kids and even managed to make me cry a little (not exactly an arduous task when confronted with any mother to a newborn).  Having established my fragile state, lack of libido and tendency towards depression, he then prescribed a contraceptive pill different to my old one.  Suspicious as ever of drugs rep influence on the change, I asked whether there were any side effects.

“Nothing out of the ordinary”, was the helpful reply.

A few hours later I had read so many horror stories in so many forums from women bemoaning the effects of this pill on (a) their mental states and (b) their libidos that I deduced it to be an unwise choice for me.  I ignored the prescription and Husband No.1 and I  continued to get off at Haymarket*.

At my next visit to Doctor Loop-de-loop, on an unrelated matter, the subject of contraception reared its ugly head again.  His Groundhog-day obliviousness to previous appointments means he often begins conversations that have been held before and rarely consults patient notes, or else he’d see that I’d spurned his prescription and was still in danger of expanding the gene pool through irresponsible copulation.  So, not checking the notes or remembering about his prescription, he asked afresh what form of contraception I was using.

“Er…condoms”, I lied, hoping to end the discussion.

“Well, there’s a word for people who use condoms you know”, says he.

“Er…parents?”, I guessed.

“Parents!”, he answered delightedly, ignoring my anticipation of his punchline, “Would your husband like a vasectomy?”

I doubt it, thought I, wondering if he’d meant that to sound like an offer.  But before I could form a suitable answer, Doctor Loop-de-loop launched into what I can only describe as the most jaw-dropping discussion I’ve ever had with a member of the medical profession.  And I’ve broken bones in Italy.

“Well, just a word of warning if he does”, he began, ready to earn his nickname.  “If he does, make sure you tell no-one in your family.  NO-ONE, I say!”

I found myself unenthusiastic about where this conversation might be heading; I only came in with an ear infection!  But I couldn’t help myself.  During his pregnant (excuse the pun) pause, my eyebrow raised involuntarily and I let out an inquiring, if slightly strangled, ‘hmm?’  Shit.

“Yes.  Keep his vasectomy between yourselves.  You’re a young, attractive lady.  I’m sure you still have a social life.”


“So, just imagine the scene; you go out one night, perhaps you have a little too much to drink and you meet a flattering young chap and, well, one thing leads to another and you find yourself in the family way.”


“So you and your husband talk this through, decide to raise the child as your own – an admirable decision but there, you see!”

There?  What do I see?!  What’s happening?!

“Your whole family know the child isn’t your husband’s!”  This last sentence was uttered with some triumph.


“So if he does have a vasectomy, keep it to yourselves.  That’s my advice.”

“Right. Hang on”, say I, “I stepped in here with a sore ear and in the space of ten minutes you’ve given my husband the snip, got me pissed in the local whereupon I’ve picked up some random bloke, shagged him, got myself up the duff, agreed with my hapless and seedless husband to keep the child and raise it as our own, whereupon the entire family shun us because they know it’s a bastard.  And all because of that Vasectomy Party we just had to throw.  Well, I don’t think that’s on, Doctor Loop-de-loop, in fact, I’m quite sure  this kind of advice is rather frowned upon by the BMA.”

Of course, what I actually said was, “Um…well, I thought perhaps…the coil…?”

And so I left, with a pamphlet, and a niggling sense of undeserved shame.


*For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase; ‘Getting off at Haymarket’ is a euphemism for the withdrawal method of contraception, Haymarket being the penultimate station for many trains into Edinburgh which then terminate at Waverley.


The Perfect Man

Evil tag-mongering chain-letterer, Mr Shev, has tagged me to write about my Perfect Man.  Given the enthusiastically detailed results he came up with in his post (somewhat uncomfortably also about the Perfect Man) and the clever posts his other tag-ees came up with, I doubt my ability to maintain standards.  But everyone enjoys an ego-stroking and being called a ‘giant…ess’ at 5′ notverymany” provided the impetus for me to make an attempt, even though it means writing more than one post in eight weeks.  Oh, the agony.  I will have to recuperate afterwards with a wee lie down in a darkened room and a cold flannel on my forehead.  Then I’ll adopt similarly flattering tactics to foist this task onto five more unsuspecting bloggers I pester habitually.

So.  To summarise.  The Perfect Man, it is said, sprang from the ground upon which dripped the spittle of the hell-hound Kerberos and was carried up to Earth by Hercules, wrapped in a golden fleece.  He can be captured only by full moonlight, employing a golden lasso like Wonder woman’s and a virgin.  So, not for me then.

My Perfect Man is far more accessible, assuming we can avail ourselves of some cutting edge (and possibly not quite invented yet) medical technology and practitioners, plus several well-known male figures in society willing to donate body parts.  No problem there, so.  We shall employ a method inspired by the offhand cookery of Jamie Oliver, the careful planning of Sarah Beeney and one of my granny’s knitting patterns to mould a total peach.  We’re going to have our work cut out for us, so pop your hard-hats on, wheech your kecks down past your arse-cracks and clear your throats for some hollering at lady pedestrians as we construct my Perfect Man…!

Right. Er.  Feet first, I think.  We’re going to require hooves that’ll cope with a lot of walking.  This guy will be clocking up serious mileage exercising his slavish devotion to my every whim.  There’ll be countless trips to the shops for chocolate-covered foam bananas, red wine and Pringles.  He’ll be wearing a shiny groove between couch and kitchen for top-ups of Lady Grey and/or Merlot, and nary a meal he prepares will contain under seven courses, adding another few miles between stove and table.  I toyed with Bear Grylls (fwip) but he really gets on my tits, so instead leant towards hobbit feet.  And it’s much easier to find a picture of Bilbo’s stompers online.

Legs next.  Given the aforementioned distance to be covered, we shall require pins of marathon-esque endurance and so I ruminated over those of Tsegaye Kebede and Forrest Gump.  But Forrest’s were always clothed in boring slacks and it’s surely not possible that the twiggy physique of a long-distance runner would be muscularly developed enough to support someone’s body weight for an entire Sunday afternoon’s pleasuring beneath the shower.  So I plumped instead for the thighs of an all rounder and Chris Hoy‘s definitely look up to the job.  And he’s a fellow Scot.  In ridiculous shorts, to boot.

Sooooo.  Mid-section.  Total no-brainer.  Say hello to my little friend…it’s Jooooohn Holmes, ladies.

Right now.  On to the upper bod.  My Perfect Man’s torso should have been easy considering the volume of himbos on the interweb flashing washboard stomachs, that have been Photoshopped to blissfully plasticky perfection.  But – and call the cops because here’s a confession – some of us girlies like a little bit of fuzz.  Not this guy, obviously:

Something subtler, methinks.

Getting there.  We’ll have arms of the type one can snuggle into during a blizzard, lying on a sheepskin rug before a roaring lion fire…blah, blah, blah.  They must definitely not be weight-lifter knuckle-draggers as seen protruding uncomfortably from the trunk of steroid freaks, like the Macdonalds arches.  They should be sleek, yet defined.  Bizzarely, I noticed whilst thoroughly enjoying (bite me) the Journey to the Center of the Earth remake tonight that Brendan Fraser’s fit the bill perfectly.  Must’ve been all that vine-swinging during George in the Jungle.  I lopped a pair off Andy Murray posing with those chunky Wimbledon 2010 biceps but Scotland’s already represented and I can’t help feeling the hugs they’d produce would be less reassuringly cosy than morosely belligerent.

And…finally.  The head I found troublesome.  Mostly because that’s where (some) chaps keep their brains.  And given my Perfect Man will be funny, articulate, handsome, quirky and culinarily – yep, it is a word – adept, I’m plumping for three heads to cover all the bases.  Two won’t cut the mustard.  No Zaphod Beeblebrox for me (although I do have a bit of a thing for him and would have enjoyed squeezing him in, so to speak).  Anyway, it got whittled down to Dylan Moran (articulate and funny), Johnny Depp (handsome and quirky.  Also a pirate: a randy bonus), and Rick Stein (I love fish.  So shoot me.  In a barrel, even.).

And there we have it.  But the proof is in the pudding.  The Doozers have been all over it like a rash as I type, the scaffold has been removed so all that remains is to whisk off the mental red satin sheet to expose…My Perfect Man:

Johnny looks a bit surprised doesn’t he?  But I’m psyched about the free toucan…!  Yay!

I now bestow upon the following victims the above task, to post about Their Perfect Man (I think it may be The Perfect Partner actually):

1. NotWavingButIroning – who is the Queen of Funny.  And I noticed had Bear Grylls in her tag cloud although sadly she hadn’t directed a deliciously scathing remark his way.  She saves those for herself.  Go on over and place an order for her oven mitts today.

2. Angelsandurchins – who is probably a bit too busy and whose blog is perhaps a tad too professional for this type of frippery, but let’s see…

3. KnackeredMothersWineClub – who may have special dispensation to change it to ‘My Perfect Wine’ as that’ll be to the benefit of us all…    [and here it is..!]

4. Softthistle – if I can’t meet you for a Jagerbomb, then at least accept this tag…!  x

5. MTJAM – too funny.  But possibly too busy too.

What’s your fanny called?

During a recent discussion with friends, the topic of genital nomenclature for the under-fives came up and we – as many mothers do – were bemoaning the plethora of alternatives to ‘penis’ versus the near wasteland of naming conventions for the ‘vagina’.

Aggravating this dearth of alternative names for ladies’ bits is an inherent squeamishness we feel on uttering (and, I can attest, on typing) that word.  Whereas ‘penis’ is jaunty and chipper, ‘vagina’ is just so…well…in your face.  Sorry. Bit of imagery for you to cope with there.

The word ‘vagina’ feels inexplicably onomatopoeic and, it cannot be denied, sounds far more brutal in a Scottish accent. In particular, voiced in a Glaswegian accent it’s positively aggressive (though very funny).  My cousins from North Ayrshire are the progeny of a medically-trained mother, therefore ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ were drummed into them from a young age (sorry again). There was none of this childish ‘willy’ and ‘front bottom’ nonsense for them.  However, ‘vagina’, at the end of the day, is a three syllable word and what parent can expect their four year old daughter to get it right every time?  Cue cousin, playing at the beach, some distance from her mother. She is possibly digging a hole (sorry), constructing a castle or – more likely in her case – knocking someone else’s down. She stands up from her work, a spec at the shoreline to her sunbathing mother and, clutching her gusset uncomfortably between her splayed legs,  yells distinctly in her Weegie accent, “Mum! Mum!  Ah’ve got sand in ma bajina..!”

A generation later, and Bajina Girl’s niece (ironically her spitting image too and with a mother who followed Granny’s footsteps into the medical field) is in the Glasgow Science Centre, feeling blindly around a ‘Guess the body part’ exhibit.  Hands in the box, touching the various bits and bobs of human anatomy, Granny suggests it’s someone’s lips they are examining.  Disagreeing (depending how you interpret Granny)  in a clear voice to everyone present, the niece states with firm conviction “No, Granny, it’s definitely a vagina”.  Well, at least in this case the pronunciation was faultless.

So. We have established the chipper-ness of ‘penis’ and the potential for cringeworthiness associated with ‘vagina’.  And even young boys sensible enough to have reservations over shouting about their own “penises” in the playground are presented with such an array of alternatives that the scales are clearly tipped in favour of the willy.  So my friends and I were all in agreement that we could find nothing….nothing…suitable to replace ‘vagina’.  There’s the aforementioned ‘front bottom’ which I will not even dignify with further mention.  There’s ‘flower’, but anyone who calls it that is likely to remain with theirs intact until their dying day, when they explode from over-consumption of chocolate and are eaten by their own cats.  Then we have pussy (too American), snatch (vile), fanny (silly, and also too confusing for Americans), poontang (a trashy American car), minge (some bloke came up with that because it’s a combination of moan and whinge), punani (Sacha Baron Cohen probably has that copyrighted) and the King of Inappropriate Names for the Vagina, the c*** (just, NO).  I do have a certain sentimental soft spot for ‘fud’ however it’s too obscure and Scottish for mass-consumption and Warner Brothers probably have a phoenetic copyright on Elmer’s surname.  And if you think these options are bad, check out the other choices here, which are – to a (wo)man – revolting.

So I proposed a solution, nicked from I-can’t-remember-where.  Some woman had called hers by the name of her first Art Teacher (in this case, Mrs McKenzie).  Now, “My Mrs McKenzie” has a certain ring to it (sorry and no, it doesn’t literally).  So I suggested that we all follow suit.  There was a brief pause in the conversation while us women gazed skyward and cast our minds back to our first Art Class, during which my friend’s husband chimed in delightedly from the kitchen, “What, your ‘Clatty Houston’…?!”.

And there it is. The solution to the problem instantly shot down in flames thanks to an unpleasant nickname attributed to one unfortunate Art Teacher at our academy, who presumably suffered from body odour, runny nose, large blackheads or a similar affliction invisible to adults but bold as an archery target to twelve-year old midget tormentors. If you didn’t get all that, you may need an interpretation of ‘clatty‘.

Thankfully, my first arts and crafts teacher was Mrs Beverage.  I’m not entirely convinced that’s a good thing but it has a certain homely ring to it, so I’ll stick with that (once again, apologies for any inadvertent imagery).

Oh, and for the men we made it your Maths Teacher.  It’s a good pub game to play when the conversation’s lagging. I found out my ex-boss (oft likened to Lord Farquaad in ‘Shrek’ due to his rampant ambition and overwhelming wee man syndrome) would be naming his, ‘Mr Derbyshire’.  Soooo appropriate.

So there’s a meme in the making; what have you named your genitalia?