Rock was adamant in his stand on Homeopathy. “Bloody Quacks, the lot of them”, he raged, ” Cattle doctors”.
Scissors said that the statement was wrong on multiple levels. Not only did he refuse to believe that the respectable practitioners of homeopathy were quacks, he also raised an objection to the intonation that a cattle doctor was in any way less respectable than any other doctor. Not to mention that he failed to understand the relation between Homeopathy and Cattle doctoring. Or veterinary science, coming to think of it.
“Give me solid proof, mate and I will begin to consider a homeopath for an itch on my little finger”.
It was on this note that Paper entered. Scissors gave a cry of joy. A most reliable guy, he had always felt, though he could go to pieces at times. And Rock was cowered in his presence.Moreover, Scissors knew that Paper had just been to a homeopathy clinic recently and with some luck, was freshly in awe of it.
“Lend me a hand, buddy, I’m getting crushed here”
“What up, folks?”
“Well, Rock here takes a narrow view of homeopathy. He thinks they are all fakes and he wouldn’t go to them even to treat an itch. I’m trying to make him see reason. They might not be the best around, but they know their job”.
“Well, dude, I should say he has something there. In particular, he has done particularly well to figure out the itch part.”
“Whaaaa? You take homeo stuff all the time.”
“Not all the time, and certainly not any more. Not one more fuckin time in my life.”
“Why? What did the doctor do to inspire such murderous feelings? ”
“You sure you want to know?”
“Damn yes, I do.”
“Okay, here goes.”
Thus it came to pass that Rock and Scissors were made to swear an oath of secrecy which would stand till hell freezes over and were told this story by a strangely straight-faced Paper.
I am not an ardent believer in homeopathy by any stretch of imagination. When my nose clogs up and body burns, I gulp a Paracetamol down like any sane chap. But I used to root for homeo for some specific maladies. For example, there is nothing which soothes an itch like the good old tiny sugar balls. Thus, when it came to itsy-bitsy stuff on the skin, I’ve always made a beeline for the nearest clinic which hands out sugar balls and the not-chalk powder.
As you know, I was away in the village for a week, visiting my cousin. I thought a week in the good old rural setup would do me a world of good after all the stress I’ve been coping with, lately. I came back with a light heart, a clear head and an itchy groin. Very itchy groin. I am still not clear as to where I made the purchase from. Probably it had something to do with the hours spent in mud, playing ball, or maybe not. All I knew is that I was just not able to keep my hands away from my balls for a second. I will not traumatize you with a description of the crime site. But let me assure you it was not a pretty sight.
Long story short, I ended up in front of the Doc. You know me, no one can accuse me of being reserved. But I become strangely out of my element in front of a doctor. The chap has to make his diagnosis based on subtle nods( “motion? “) and subtler shakes (“loose?”).
However it was soon clear that this one had no intention of letting me off lightly. He launched into a monologue on the history and nature of homeopathy, despite the sight of me scratching away to glory right in front of eyes.
“You see, Mr.Paper, Homeopathy is all about communication. A drug which helps one fellow might not help the next fellow. It might not even help himself , a couple of years down the line. So, for me to treat your itch effectively, I need to have a complete picture of your emotional and physical state. Communication, you see.”
I nodded vigorously. Try nodding vigorously with both your hands in your underwear, it’s no mean feat. It affects the balance, I tell you.
“Traditionally, we homeopaths have depended on our analytic skills and memory to help diagnose and cure the worst diseases known to humanity. And we’ve been doing fine.”
“But now, it’s much simpler. Just look at this new software I ordered from Belgium. Cost me 7 lakhs, but it diagnoses all diseases and prescribes the compounds required to cure them, once you type in all the symptoms and the mental and physical traits of the patient. Reduces our workload considerably, don’t you think?”
I thought it left them with absolutely zilch to do. Any nursery kid could play homeo doctor with the software. Probably the thought crossed him too, a moment of puzzled silence showed.
I interjected, ” Sir, the itch started last week…”
“Ah yes, the itch. We’ll get to the point, right?”
About fuckin’ time.
“Tell me, do you like going out a lot, Paper?”
“Yes, sir, but the itch….”
“It is necessary to understand the canvas before you can paint a picture on it, my dear fellow. So, tell me , are you an extrovert?”
The doc seemed very devoted to the holy tenets of homeopathy. I gave in to the fact that I would not leave the room until the guy knew me inside out. And he had apparently just spent a bomb on the software, so it was understandable that he wanted to give it a proper run out.
“You could say that, Sir”.
He gave a toothy smile and turned to the system and typed in ‘Extrovert’.
“Do you like physical activity? Sports?”
“Yes, sir, I play football”.
He turned and crunched the keyboard again.
“Do you lie a lot, son?
“Whaaat?” Said Rock and Scissors.
“You have to be honest to your doctor, kiddo, and in homeopathy, doubly so. So, out with it”.
“Well, I suppose I do, sometimes, sir. “
I was rewarded with an I-thought-so grin and in went ‘Compulsive Liar’. Now, that was a moment for righteous indignation, if ever there was one and I was about to give vent to my hurt feelings. But then, I remembered that it was better to get out of here as soon as possible and I should just play along. So, I braved another 10 minutes of inane questions and gave straight-faced answers and winced as a very shady character was being painted in the Belgian software.
“Okay, now I’ll have a look at it. Open up, son”.
“Erm… Is that really necessary, doc?”
“What do you mean, of course, its necessary. How will I treat you otherwise?”
Well, to be fair to him, the questions till the moment had dwelt on my social habits rather than the itchy groin, so he needed to have a look for the diagnosis to have a bit of credibility at the very least. I obliged him and dropped my pants.
Armed with a torchlight, he inspected Ground Zero. A few weird Oohs and Aahs later, he was back up.
“I am impressed.”
“The itch is of a malevolent variety. In fact, you are lucky that I happen to be researching on it at the moment. I know just the thing to kill this chap.”
“You do? Nice.” The ordeal seemed to be heading for a finish earlier than I had hoped for.
“But, before that…
“Can I have a click?”
“Whaaaaaaaaa?” Echoed Rock and Scissors.
“Can I take a picture of the infection?”
“Is THAT really necessary?”
“Well, as I told you, I’m doing research on the disease and a picture of such a delightful variation would do me proud.”
“I’m not sure I like the idea, Doc”.
“No names will be used and unless you have your name tattooed down there, no one is ever going to know. Why cannot you do a good turn with no harm done at all to anyone?”
I was in a tight place here. I did not like the idea of my private parts appearing on an international journal or much less, floating around the WWW. I did not like it ONE BIT. But then, as he said, no one will ever have to know about this, and it would be churlish to deny him in the situation.
What made my decision is my desire to get out of there. The itching had receded a bit. I could grab whatever the guy extends me and get something proper for it , later, if it did turn out to be horseshit. At the moment, cooperation seemed to be the better bet. I nodded my head and the doc fetched his camera with disturbing glee.
I made sure he was not getting anything which would remotely lead back to me , in focus and shut my eyes tight to keep out the sight no one should ever be subjected to , their genitals being photographed.
He had a smug smile. I sighed with relief, at last I was getting out of here.
But it lasted only a moment. He turned to the keyboard where the software waited with a page long list of some very undesirable character traits.
And typed in capitals.
And that is why I lay off homeopathy now, fellas.” Concluded Paper.
“Not faulting you. Scissors? ”
“Opened my eyes”.
Thus, as always, Rock beat Scissors.