Margaret Kollmer

Rookie - 9 Points (South Africa)

Me And My Mims - Poem by Margaret Kollmer

I was e-mailing a friend recently, giving her some information gleaned from my Mims (the doctor’s ‘bible’) concerning a recently prescribed medication. My friend hastily came back to ask where I had obtained my Mims which she knew to be unobtainable to the general public and only available to the medical profession. No trouble to me I wrote back, telling her quite openly, cos I'm an open sort of person, that I had snitched it from my doctor's surgery many years ago. Quicker than lightning she’s back again, asking if I wasn’t ashamed of myself because of all the patients who may have died because of me having the doctor’s Mims. Of course not, I replied; ‘specially as you can see how easy it is for a doctor these days, just paging through a little book and then looking down at us, all sort of profound-like and bang’s yer Auntie, all he has to do is write out a script, copying it from his Mims. (That he had to study for years and years is of little consequence to us Mims nickers, being proper know-it-alls like and all)

When I was little, a consultation invariably consisted of us having to stick out our tongue and say aaaah … after which the doctor would hammer our knees with a funny little hammer that he also used for other funny things and that was the end of the consultation. Oo…eee, ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Imagine my surprise then, with all the emails flying to and fro between us, when my friend emails me a little later but this time with the admission that she too had ‘borrered’ her Mims from her own doctor many years ago ha ha ha ha ha and seeing as I had told her about mine she said she would tell me about hers and so we both laughed and laughed.

Feeling quite uplifted by all this, I was prompted to write to yet another friend of the same era even though this one is just as east as t'other is west and imagine my surprise when she too admitted that she had snitched her Mims from her doctor’s surgery when her hernia had been playing up. It seemed that he just couldn’t bear it any longer for her rumbling windy indigestion noises to come to an end to make a suitable diagnosis, so he had just buzzed off to his other consulting room and left her sitting there all alone. So what else, she said, was a poor girl to do but pick up something to read whilst she was waiting. In fact, he never did get back to her (she admitted that there were no odours of sanctity whilst she was in the room, so she took her wind and her Mims home with her and she’s never looked back nor required the services of a GP again because she studied her Mims off pat and even managed to acquire that profound-like expression on her face and in no time she was analysing her own and everyone else’s pains and aches with much success.

Nowadays, she’s either on the Zantac or the Tums and lawdy lawdy when she discovered the activated charcoal for her gas, she was up, up and away I can tell you. Today she is well known as an expert on methane gas and a hard-working activist in helping all them poor blokes working in the mines by limiting the number of explosions down there … and even the canaries, she says, appreciate a few grains now and again.

And when I learned that not only us old gals but maybe some of the old guys too were on more than nodding terms with the little book, suddenly I had all my friends emailing me back and forth until the whole earth was reverberating with good cheer because, collectively, us oldies have hundreds and thousands of children and grandchildren red of hair and green of eye who think we are all so clever and smart and most of all profound, something which caused many a dormant Irish gene to suddenly flourish like the fresh green grass of a Kerry morn in Spring.

‘Tis a glorious thing for a mother to be known as ‘profound’ we should all be knowing, remembering that the only profundity we ever knew anything about was the prayer ‘Out of the depths have I cried’ which had caused us to cry incessantly; more especially whenever Sr Mary Margaret suspected any of us of having given as much as a glance and a half towards any of them Brylcream’d young ducktails with combs in their socks and chains round their legs on their Uncle Tom Harleys and all. Had the very same Sr Mary Margaret ever suspected that some of her ‘gerrels’ would one day become well known for their profundity in diagnostic prognostications then, like us, she would’ve come to know that a gerrel’s best friend was never meant to be her Mum, but her Mims.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 31, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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