AUTHOR: James Dowen

The Art of Conversation

I have an old friend, an on-course bookmaker by the name of Mick Crombie,
who has always said to me that his favourite art, is that of conversation.

I, today, met one of his fellow artists.

In order to save my right-hand-man, Gaul Wood, from the punters and staff,
should I snuff it out of the blue, I have organised an insurance policy that
will leave him plenty of ammo to crack on with. As part of obtaining this
insurance policy, I have had to have a full medical, carried out by an
experienced doctor, just in case I might try and hoodwink him! Would I?
Would I ever try and do something like that to an official?! What an
afront!! 🙂

Anyway, this morning, at eleven ‘o clock, Dr Afzal Hossain of ‘Harley Street
Doctors’ came to my home to carry out the said inspection of my being. When
people watch the likes of John Francombe inspecting a horse they speak of
him being a ‘horse-man’. Of absolute knowledge and judgement of the animal,
and at one with it. Dr Hossain appeared, to me at least, to be the same but
with the human body. I was given a full MOT and what ensued was a
fascinating hour of checks, balances, blood test, knocking of knees and
stretching of limbs. In addition to this, was produced some extremely
interesting and thought provoking conversation, that digressed at times to
his charitable work in Mauritius, horse racing in the same country,
autopsies he performed at medical school, and his beliefs in a God or a
creator that are afirmed by his professional knowledge of the creation that
is the human body.

He told me the following interesting medical facts:

I am twelve and a half stone (I’ve lost a bit since my brutal tonsil
operation) and my BMI is recorded at 27, being two units over the
recommended level. In short, I am a stone over-weight.

He said that, in laymans terms, if your tummy sticks out further than your
boobs, your life expectancy is reduced by 25%. I immediately challenged
this as being rather extreme as that means that even slight porkers struggle
to get through sixty, and he just nodded dead-pan at me. He said it is a
proven medical fact that has stood the test of time. When looking down at
the tragectory of my body, this will at times, from now on, be a rather
worrying fact to carry in my mind. Note to self: act upon this information.

I said that I run an hour a day, six days a week. He said he was amazed
that I was thus over-weight and should see a thyroid gland specialist. I
failed to advise him to read my blog ‘Arriba Espana’, where I was referring
to myself as ‘El Gordo’, because of my roast beef eating performance at
Rules Restaurant. I must be honest to myself in admitting that by not
informing Dr Hossein of these Olympic level eating skills, it was bordering
on telling him an untruth and I withheld essential information from him.
Apologies, doc!

He said that you should have your sight checked when you get new glasses,
even if you don’t think you need to. Your lenses not being strong enough
can lead to glaucoma (bad thing).

I have blood pressure of 105/72. This is apparently very good. I am
obviously fully in control of my punters and staff related anger this week!

I am 172 centimetres in height, 80 kilograms in weight, and my pulse rate is
68. I do not have diabetes and blood tests show no sugar or protein, so my
kidneys are performing well too.

He said that you should mix up the types of exercise you do as you will
derive far more benefit from it. Ie not just running everyday. He
recommended cross-trainers and rowing machines highly.

I told him that I have been known to retire to the balcony and enjoy the
very occasional menthol cigarrette. He informed me that there are some very
good herbal substitutes that give one a far greater feeling of relaxation
than chomping on an ‘oily rag’.

After he had performed the tests he asked me if I had a photo-copier. I
pointed him towards a black light-aircraft type object, that looks like it
could have brought some small aliens to Earth. I am personally unaware of
the machine’s full uses but I invited him to give it a go. He looked from a
distance and then declined. I think the makers of such overly complicated
machines need to take some responsibility in that even some of the most
intelligent people in the World, like Dr Hossein, shy away from trying to
use them!

Anyway, it was a most interesting hour. Thank you, Dr Hossein. I am still
alive and plan on being so for at least the forseeable future.