Saturday, 5 February 2011


Profanities? I'm a big fan. Seriously, what honest person wouldn't struggle to avoid profanities when talking about the world today? It is hard to remain polite when describing the current state of affairs, the widespread socio-political insanity... Nasty words tend to be very poignant, and often refreshingly frank and sincere. In contrast, one may say, to the indirectness, roundaboutness and plain cotton wool lies that corrupt our bureaucratic institutions, politics and media.

To curse is human. The other day I was in clinic with one of the cancer consultants. During a break another member of the medical staff came into the office to discuss one of Dr.X's patients. This Mr.Y, we were told, wanted to withdraw from treatment which included chemotherapy and an organ transplant. This patient was very lucky to have found an organ donor match. The transplant meant a possibility of a complete cure for someone who was otherwise looking at a maximum of few years left to live. The consultant couldn't believe what he was hearing, and had to be told twice. He got up from his chair, paced the room, forgot I was there, and exclaimed "What the fuck!? What the fuck is he thinking???". A few moments later, when he calmed down, he remembered I was there, and sheepishly apologised for using "foul language" and "offending me" (he didn't). He was probably slightly scared I might report him for being unprofessional.
Well, obviously, I didn't. It was not an unreasonable reaction. I was actually impressed that after years and years of practice this consultant still invested his emotions, still cared deeply about what happened to his patients. It would have been quite different if he had this outburst in front of Mr.Y, but he didn't. By the time we saw him, the consultant was back to his calm and non-judgemental professional persona. Mr.Y's reservations were explored over a long chat, and in the end, the patient made the decision to go ahead with the treatment. Some clinics are less boring than others;)

In addition to all of the above, profanity-infused dialogues are funny. Not sure why, but they still are. The more absurd the better. If in doubt, watch Big Lebowski. Or this abbreviated version:

What's your favourite profanity?:)


  1. Beautiful! In reference to the Big Lebowski thing that is. In other news my favourite curse is bugger :)

  2. "Bugger" is pretty good - I imagine that's what retired English ladies use when they slip off a hedge just as they were about to spy out the secret ingredient of their unforthcoming neighbour's fantastic rose fertiliser :)