Seriously Silly

This area is dedicated to silly behaviour, from the life-threatening to the simply divine.

If Youth Did Know What Age Would Crave...

Bad BehaviourPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 17:07:45

The doctor gave the man a jar and said, "Take this jar home and
bring back a semen sample tomorrow."

The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor's office
and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.

The doctor asked what happened and the man explained:

"Well, doc, it's like this - first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing.

Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then
with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out - still nothing.

We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too,
first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezin' it between her knees, but still nothing".

The doctor was shocked! "You asked your neighbour?"

The old man replied, "Yep. None of us could get the jar open!"

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Cautionary Tale V2.00

Bad BehaviourPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 17:00:46

A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and
spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me,
can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I
don't know where I am."

The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering
approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees
north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."

"You must be in I.T.," said the balloonist.

"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically
correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information and the fact
is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If
anything, you've delayed my trip."

The woman below responded, "You must be in Management."

"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're
going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot
air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you
expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in
exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow,
it's my f**king fault."

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A Cautionary Tale

Bad BehaviourPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 16:52:54

Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road in the Highlands. Suddenly a brand new bright red Porsche 911 appears and screeches to a halt beside him. The driver, a woman wearing a Chanel suit, RayBans and a Cartier watch, steps out and asks the shepherd, "If I can guess how many sheep you have, can I keep one?"

The shepherd looks at the large flock and says "OK". The woman connects a laptop to a mobile phone fax, enters the NASA website, scans the field using GPS, opens a database linked to 60 Excel files with logarithms and pivot tables, then prints out a 150 page report on a high tech mini printer.

She studies the report and says to the shepherd, "You have exactly 1586 sheep." The shepherd replies, "That's correct. You can have the pick of my flock." The woman packs away her equipment, looks at the flock, and puts an animal in the boot of her car.

As she is about to leave, the shepherd says, "If I can guess your profession, will you return the animal to me?"
The woman thinks for a moment, and then agrees.

The shepherd says "You're an NHS manager, aren't you?"

"Correct" responds the woman, "but how did you know?"

The shepherd replies "Simple. First you came without being invited. Second, you wasted a lot of time telling me what I already knew. Third, you don't understand anything about the work I do, but interfere anyway - now can I have my dog back?"

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Women. Why do some of you stay single?

Bad BehaviourPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 16:29:01

Boyfriend too much of a high flier?

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Insists on wearing his pyamas in bed?

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Works too hard?

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Likes wearing your clothes?

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Rubs you up the wrong way?

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Is A Frustrated Astronaut?

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Is just plain Bad!

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The Spoons, The Boxes & The Rubbish Bin

The things we doPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 22, 2008 15:50:55

45 years ago, I was working in Haydock, Lancashire as a steel erector on a petroleum storage plant. I was staying in digs, and it was customary (and cheaper) at the time to share a bedroom with another workmate. Now my room partner was a pleasant man, probably in his early fifties, who snored a lot. One night the snoring stopped. I saw him get out of his bed, cross the room, open the wardrobe door, then to my horror, proceed to pee into the wardrobe! He then got back into bed, and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I was glad to get back to the site, so that I could change into my ‘Tuf’ boots and dry out the ones that had been in the bottom of the wardrobe. That evening, over a drink in the pub, I quietly told him what I’d witnessed the night before – he apologised profusely, and presumably in mitigation, admitted that he ‘sometimes did silly things’ after drinking too much.

Now fast forward to the present.

I had to go out a few weeks ago and buy some more teaspoons. I can’t properly explain where their predecessors had gone, but did notice on at least one occasion, that an empty yoghurt pot had mysteriously installed itself in amongst the dirty dishes waiting to be washed. Then there was the guitar-stand boxes. I bought two more guitar stands recently, and after picking up and opening one end of the box, took out the stand, put the empty box on a chair and assembled the stand. I then cut along the box bottom and opened it only to find the box empty, and the other end inexplicably open!

I do quite a bit of engineering in my garage which involves getting my hands covered in mucky oil. I needed a pee, and made up my mind to have that, and then make a cup of coffee. I’m meticulous about touching myself with dirty hands, so went into the kitchen and washed off the muck at the kitchen sink, turned around and the next thing I noticed was that I was half-way through having a pee in the kitchen rubbish bin. At that point, I found it difficult to cut off the stream, I was laughing so much.

Can I explain the above behaviour? Well, I have been doing a project which I have found to be intellectually challenging, and I do take mind-altering medication that changes my perception.

I wonder what your excuse will be?


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Big Chief Replies

Misery from misinformationPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Thu, December 18, 2008 16:44:35

My friendly postman today delivered a reply from Mr. Jim Mackey (AKA Big Chief) to my letter of the 18th November. (post 0 on this blog)

The letter is both courteous and frank, and rather than me describing what Mr. Mackey has to say I've uploaded images of the scanned letter to here. My reply is published below.


FAO: Mr. Jim Mackey
Your Ref: JM.GW 5th December 2008

Dear Mr. Mackey,

Thank you for your letter above-referenced. I appreciate that you have spent time in investigating the unfortunate incidents outlined in my last letter, and I am pleased that you have taken the time to write to me and give me explanations for these. In my last letter I said that I wanted to see a positive outcome from my efforts, and it appears that you have instigated actions designed to address the various problems, and for this I am glad.

As far as I am concerned, I’m satisfied with the outcome and I will be putting these unfortunate experiences behind me. To finish then, there was one final incident which you haven’t mentioned in your letter - that my GP – Dr. Angus McManners, had been misinformed that I didn’t keep an appointment on the 6th August to see Mr. Attwood.
Perversely, this incident was ‘the last straw’ that prompted me to put my indignation into words in the first place. I have to admit that being falsely-accused is not something I deal with at all well – no doubt due to childhood experiences!

Yours sincerely,


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A Response!

Misery from misinformationPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Wed, December 10, 2008 17:41:47

I used the trust's website feedback form to point to this Blog and this is their response!


Dear Sir

Thank you for using our website feedback form. I have spoken with staff in the Chief Executive's office and the letter you refer to in your message has not arrived. Could you tell me the address and date when this was sent so that we can look into this matter further. It would also be appreciated if you could forward a copy of the letter again.

Thank you for help in this matter.

Eileen White

Eileen White
Communications Officer
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
0191 293 4096

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Here For You Telephone: 0844 811 8111 The information in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorised. If you are not the intended recipient any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it is prohibited and may be unlawful. The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public disclosure under the NHS Code of Openness or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We may monitor any emails sent or received by us, or on our behalf. If we do, this will be in line with relevant law and our own policies.

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I've become a member of the Trust!!

Misery from misinformationPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Mon, December 08, 2008 18:16:07

No, I have not received a response from Jim Mackey. (Mr. Big Chief in my earlier post) Nada. Nothing.

I have given Mr. Mackey quite a long time to reply, but it appears that he is too busy. What I did get in the post a week or so ago was a brochure (and form) from Northumbria Healthcare (saying "Here for you......" in the heading) which informs me that:

"You have become a member (of the Trust) in one of the following ways:

* If you have had an out-patient appointment at one of our hospitals.

* By filling in a form to join the foundation trust.

* You are a member of staff."

I feel very proud and deeply touched that they are 'there' for me. (where?)

Obviously making a complaint has also made me a 'member'. Perhaps they should add that to the list above.

I won't be writing to Mr. Mackey again - what's the point? He dosn't seem to be 'there' for me. For now I've emailed with links to this page. Will she be 'there' for me? - I'll let you know one way or the other.


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Doctors attack 'dangerous' NHS dress code

Misery from misinformationPosted by El Grande de JB de Forth Fri, November 21, 2008 13:15:09

From the Guardian 1pm GMT

David Batty and agencies, Friday January 4 2008 14.18 GMT

A new government dress code for NHS staff, meant to combat the spread of hospital superbugs, is potentially dangerous and unscientific, doctors said today. Under the "bare below the elbows" dress code, which comes into force across all acute trusts this month, staff should wear only short sleeves, no wristwatch, no jewellery, and no ties during clinical practice.

The measures, first outlined by the health secretary, Alan Johnson, in September, are intended to curb the spread of dangerous hospital bugs, including Clostridium difficile and MRSA. They will also ban doctors from wearing traditional white coats. But today, in a letter to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), two hospital doctors warned that banning wristwatches could hinder doctors from taking accurate pulse and respiratory rates. They wrote that doctors need a second hand to measure pulse and respiratory rates, particularly in emergency situations.

James Henderson, a specialist registrar in plastic surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS trust, and Sarah McCracken, a specialist registrar in geriatric medicine at Ipswich Hospital, cited a study that showed doctors were unable to safely estimate pulse and respiratory rates without wearing a watch. Only one of the 20 doctors tested was able to give values for each reading that "would not have been potentially dangerous in a clinical setting", they said. "Most beds and examination couches in hospitals do not currently allow sight of a clock," they said. "This study highlights the necessity for doctors to have sight of [a watch] when assessing patients, especially in emergency situations where a clock might not be present," the doctors wrote.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "A bare-below-the-elbows dress code for clinicians helps to support effective hand-washing and so reduces the risk of patients catching infections. "It does not prevent clinicians from doing their job. We would expect clinicians to use clocks to measure pulse rates as this is good clinical practice."

The British Medical Association said it backed the government's "bare below the elbows" dress code, including the ban on wristwatches. But its head of science and ethics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said: "Basic diagnostic procedures, such as taking someone's pulse or monitoring breathing, require a clock with a second hand. "The health service will have to make sure there is access to a suitable timepiece in all treatment areas, or it could cause more problems than it will solve."

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It's true what everyone says... Hospitals make you ill - very ill

Misery from misinformationPosted by Joe Wed, November 19, 2008 19:07:43

Now I had a lump. It was a small lump - just under the skin and located on the anterior wall of my chest. It grew slowly over a matter of months and became quite painful when knocked. I showed it to my GP, who diagnosed a fibroma and arranged an appointment with a consultant to confirm his diagnosis. That was earlier in the year. I duly received a letter confirming an appointment with a consultant on the 6th August. I duly attended the appointment and it was decided that the lump should be excised and it's histology investigated. A date was set for the minor procedure on the 2nd of October. The lump was finally removed on the 6th of November and the scar is healing nicely - thank you very much. Unfortunately, the stress and upset I have been through in the last few weeks make me wish that I'd simply not bothered, and put up with both the lump and the physical discomfort. But it's not over yet.... just yesterday I received a handwritten note from my doctors' receptionist - But here I'll break off and simply publish the contents of the 2 letters I wrote yesterday. I've made the NHS trust, Hospital and individuals involved all anonymous - for now.

Copy of letter to my Doctor sent today 19th Nov. 2008

FAO: Dr. Nice Man,
Druridge Bay Health Centre,
Broken Leg Walk,
Druridge Bay,
RightLand BE90 3HK

Cc: Mr. Big Chief, CEO Umbria Healthcare Trust

WRT Handwritten note delivered 18th November from Druridge Bay Health Centre

El Grande de JB de Forth
NHS No. (lots and lots)
Trust Ref. (more lots and lots)
D.O.B (too shy to reveal)

Dear Doctor Nice Man,

I’m afraid that you have been misinformed with respect to my alleged non-attendance at a hospital appointment on the 6th August. I had two hospital appointments in August, on the 5th and the 6th, both of which I attended. The appointment on the 6th wasn’t for an operation – just to see the consultant. (In fact I received a copy of the letter from the consultant Mr. StitchInTime addressed to you, with his diagnosis, and I also received a letter from the Trust confirming that I attended an appointment on 6th of August and inviting me to complete a survey.) This mischievous misinformation is just one more example of the serious maladministration at Protect The Innocent General Hospital, in a long string of such events in the last two months. I have refrained from reacting vigorously up until now, but receiving the note from your receptionist M**** this morning is, I’m afraid, the last straw. I have written a letter today to the Executive Officer of the Trust setting out the catalogue of events pertaining to the procedure to remove a lump from my chest, and I’ve included a copy of this, and all of the other relevant communications received by me, should you wish to refer to these. (The procedure was finally carried out on the 6th Nov. and the scar is healing nicely.)

I should stress that I have no criticism of the care I have received at the Health Centre. I have found that you & your staff are at all times diligent, helpful and understanding. What a pity this is simply not true in the case of the administration at the hospital.

Yours sincerely,

El Grande de JB de Forth

Enclosed: Photocopies of relevant material.


Copy of letter to Mr. Big Chief, CEO Umbria Healthcare Trust sent today 19th Nov. 2008

FAO: Mr. Big Chief
CEO Umbria Healthcare Trust,

Protect The Innocent General Hospital
Ruination Road
Killing Fields
Wine & Beer

cc Dr. Nice man.

18th November 2008

El Grande de JB de Forth
NHS No. (lots and lots)
Trust Ref. (more lots and lots)
D.O.B (too shy to reveal)

Dear Mr. Big Chief,

Please could you arrange that I receive a full and true copy of all of the information that the Trust holds on me, including both electronic and paper records. You may at this point be asking yourself why I am writing to you – as Executive Officer, and not Maud Ling, the Medical Records Manager, at Protect The Innocent General Hospital. Put simply, I do not have any faith in the administrative staff at the Hospital to carry out my request diligently or honestly. I am heartily sick of having to repeatedly correct wrongful assumptions & misinformation that results from the hodge-podge of maladministration at Protect The Innocent General Hospital The latest idiocy is that my GP – Dr. Nice Man, has been misinformed that I didn’t keep an appointment on the 6th August to see Mr. StitchInTime. Naturally, my Doctor has asked me why I allegedly missed this appointment.

Let me start at the beginning. Dr. Nice Man arranged for me to see Mr. StitchInTime on the 6th August to investigate a painful lump in my chest. (Attached: img097.jpg) I attended the appointment, and Dr. Nice Man's diagnosis of a fibroma was confirmed by Mr. StichInTime and one of his colleagues. Mr. StichInTime consulted his diary and I was given an appointment for an excision procedure to be carried out on the 2nd of October. I received a copy of the proposed procedure and signed a consent form. (Attached: img095.jpg) As requested in the appointment invitation I provided Mr. StitchInTime with a list of my current medication. (Attached: currentMedicines.doc) I later received a letter from the Patient Care Advisor (Inpatients) (unsigned) confirming the appointment on the 2nd October. This letter was retained by the Surgical Day Unit when I attended on 2nd October, and unfortunately I haven’t a copy of it. It was identical in content (except for the date) to a later one. (attached: img093.jpg) I also received a copy of Mr. StichInTime's letter to Dr. Nice man regarding his diagnosis. (Attached: img094.jpg)

I duly reported to the Surgical Day Unit at 8am on 2nd October, and was taken to a waiting area, where after a short while my BP was measured and the nurse asked what medication I was on. I informed her and she expressed concern when she discovered that I take Warfarin and had not been instructed to reduce my dose to bring my INR down to 1. Later, some blood was taken from my arm for testing, and later still I was informed that my INR was too high and that Mr. StitchInTime was unwilling to proceed with the excision – presumably because of the risk of haematoma. By now it was nearly midday, and the nurse apologized on behalf of the hospital and informed me that I would be contacted in the afternoon or next day with respect to making another appointment. I was given some tea and toast and left the hospital around 12:30.

No contact was made by the hospital either that afternoon, or the following day. In fact the next communication from the hospital was the following week, dated the 6th Nov. from the Patient Care Advisor, (Inpatients) (again unsigned) (attached: img089.jpg) accusing me of not attending my operation appointment on the 2nd Oct., and advising me that my name had been ‘removed from our waiting list’.
I telephoned the Contact Centre and spoke with one of the operators. I explained the facts to her, and she told me that the Surgical Day Unit had informed the Contact Centre that I was a ‘DNA’ and had not attended on the 2nd of October for my operation. I asked the young lady who spoke to me if she could arrange for me to talk to her supervisor, which she did and I received a telephone call on my mobile the following day from Sean Brotherhood. She apologized for the mix-up and confirmed that I had attended and the cancellation was due to an excessively high INR. I asked Sean if she would confirm our conversation in writing, and also correct any computer records recording a DNA by myself. Sean wrote to me on the 10th of October confirming our conversation. (Attached: img090.jpg)

I subsequently received a letter on the 31st October from the Contact Centre dated 30th October confirming that a new appointment for surgery had been arranged for the 6th November at the Surgical Day Unit at 8am. (Attached: img096.jpg) Although this letter exhorted me to ‘READ THIS LETTER CAREFULLY FOR IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS’, it makes no reference to arranging a deduction in my INR.

With only 6 days to go until the procedure was to be carried out, it was obvious to me that if I was to avoid another cancellation of the surgical procedure, I had to arrange reduction of the INR and have it tested on the 5th November. I contacted the Anti-Coagulation clinic and on the nurses' advice ceased my Warfarin dose and made an appointment to attend for an INR check on the 5th Nov.

The procedure was duly carried out on the 6th Nov., and I’m pleased to say that the wound – if a little itchy – is healing nicely. I had considered reporting my experience to the hospital, but I lead a full and interesting life and since the episode was over (I thought) was not prepared to commit my time to write a letter complaining – until this morning when I received a handwritten note from my Doctor’s receptionist, (attached img085.jpg, img086.jpg) which brings me round full circle to the start of my letter.

Mr. Big Chief, I’m 61 and retired in 2001 completely burned out from the stress of travelling to London each Monday, living out of a suitcase during the week, and having to travel back to WilliamsCastle on a Friday evening. In a period of 15 years, I had to put up with airplane cancellations, late departures, lies, excuses, bad food etc. etc., and that’s just travelling. Up until my retirement in 2001 I suffered from stress-related complaints amongst which were IBS, frustration and exhaustion. These days the only events in my life that can bring on comparable levels of frustration, upset & stomach-churning contempt in me, are related entirely to those of your hospital. I have only detailed the most recent examples of bad experiences with the Umbria Healthcare Trust. I haven’t complained in writing to date because I felt that it would be a complete waste of time on my part, and my observations would be dismissed as sour grapes.

When anyone writes personal information down on a piece of paper, and puts that paper in a folder in a filing cabinet and locks the cabinet, the information exists in one place and is not freely available to all. When anyone commits that information to a computer file, that information will be copied and referred to by many. Fine, if only the designated staff have access to the information, and don’t make ‘backups’ they can leave on a train. Fine, if the information is correct. Quite evidently, the information that is held about my hospital visits is incorrect. I want it corrected, and I want evidence that it has been corrected. I also want to check that there is no more rubbish recorded about me. Having been goaded into taking the action of writing to you, I want to see a positive outcome from my efforts. If I’m disappointed, then I will take the matter further.

If observance of correct protocols had been carried out, then surgery would have been carried out on the 2nd October as planned. As it is, nurse’s time, administration staff’s time, my doctor’s time, and my time, have all been wasted unnecessarily. The above episode coupled with the other experiences I have of your hospital have demonstrated to me that with a few notable exceptions, departments at the hospital are beset with systemic failures, procedural non-conformance, and flawed processes, with medical staff heroically having to muddle through using ad-hoc solutions of their own, because of broken procedures, whilst patients are lied to, kept waiting inordinately long times in waiting areas, and need to be very, very, aware that any duty-of-care is a process that they themselves must take ownership of, because if they don’t, no-one else will. Now that’s fine for someone who is still capable, but pity the weak, infirm, and vulnerable, because they will inevitably suffer – maybe even die?

I mention exceptions in the above and I am pleased to single out the following departments for their exemplary behaviour:
1. The Anti-Coagulation Clinic staff – helpful, friendly and understanding at all times.
2. The Physiotherapy department – friendly and very committed.
3. The Endoscopy Unit – well run with sympathetic and understanding staff.

Finally, I couldn’t find the name of the operational officer for Protect The Innocent General Hospital on the website – perhaps it is there, but I simply couldn’t find it. Similarly, letters from the hospital are invariably unsigned – leaving patients no personal point-of-contact. What is the reason for this anonymity do you suppose?

Sincerely Yours,
El Grande de JB de Forth

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