The Age Gap

By Bernie Bell

I was talking with someone who told me a story about a Doctor’s receptionist where he used to live who was infamous for loudly and publicly discussing the reasons why people were waiting to see the Doctor, often adding her own opinion about what they should do about their ailments.

I’ll point out that this didn’t happen in Orkney – it was ….South.

One time, this woman was holding forth in her usual mis-informed yet authoritative manner, when a man in the waiting room stood up and told her that he was from the local NHS Board and had come along to check if reports of her behaviour were true, or not. He then requested to speak with the Senior Doctor in the Practice.

She lost her job.

I commented that this tale reminded me of the Monty Python sketch where a Pharmacist comes out into the Chemist’s shop and shouts ….“Who’s got a boil on the bum?” …..”Who’s got the pox?”… etc. etc.

And the chap I was talking  with said “That was before my time”, and I realised that  – this is someone who is 50 this year – a child when The Python’s were on the telly, and probably not allowed to watch them.

Boy, but that made me feel old! 

There was a time when just about any reference to a Python sketch would be recognized  – not only recognized, but people knew the scripts off by heart!

That’s what happens as you get older – the gap widens – the shared references are lost.

A bit closer in time, but who recognizes…..“Does my bum look big in this?”…….. “Scorchio”………“ I am smoking a faaag”.


What are today’s equivalents?  I can’t think of any!

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