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[personal profile] benicek
During a break at work I started flicking through this old dog-eared dermatology guide, which was written by a certain J.L. Burton at Bristol University back in the 80s. I found it so hilarious that I spent the rest of the shift reading sections of it aloud for the amusement of our bored patients stuck on ventilators.

Here is a taste of it:

On hand, foot and mouth disease…….

“It is important to realise that this disease is not related to foot and mouth disease in cattle, and it is therefore not necessary to shoot patients and bury them in a pit of quick-lime”

On baldness and hairiness…..

“Male-pattern alopecia and hirsuitism become increasingly common in women over 80, and tonsorial conformity can make it as difficult to distinguish the sexes in geriatric wards as in discotheques”

On perniosis (‘chilblains’)….

“The disease is most common in obese young women, especially those who stand on wind-swept streets in Northern winters, waiting for buses or boyfriends which never arrive”

On scabies (sarcoptes scabiei)…….

“Though traditionally associated with the lower orders, scabies can occur in persons of irreproachable personal and moral hygiene. Experiments on ‘conscientious objectors’ during the 1939-45 war showed that scabies was not readily transmitted by the bedding or underclothes used by infested patients, whereas prolonged bodily contact or the sharing of a bed readily transmitted the disease. This noble group summarised its conclusions as follows:

Recondite research on Sarcoptes
Has revealed that infections begin
On leave with your wives and your children
Or when you are living in sin
Except in the case of the clergy
Who accomplish remarkable feats
And catch scabies and crabs
From door handles and cabs
And from blankets and lavatory seats.”

On the highly infectious Norwegian scabies……..

“The simultaneous occurrence of scabies in a doctor and a nurse may mean that they have shared nothing more exciting than a patient wityh Norwegian scabies.”

On ‘other noxious animals’…….

“Jelly fish stings and sea urchin spines may mar holidays. Cows’ hooves regularly remove the skin from farmers’ toes, and bull fighters and postmen have their problems too, but the most noxious animal of all is the human. Human bites, provoked by agony or ecstasy, are particularly dangerous since the teeth harbour a variety of bacterial pathogens”

On pruritus ani (itchy anus)……..

“often no cause can be found, and psychoanalysts (with the accent on the psycho-anal) have stated that pruritus ani is a sign of latent homosexuality (presumably head-scratchers are even more perverse). Telling a patient that he is a latent homosexual is unlikely to enhance the doctor-patient relationship, and even if it is true, the knowledge is unlikely to lead to successful therapy of his pruritus ani”



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(no subject)

20/5/09 16:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] jennie-jay.livejournal.com
That is one book I would never buy for its cover.

Priceless, thanks for sharing.

On the subject of foot and mouth.... son caught it when he was 1½ years old, and my mother-in-law (a farmer's wife) burst into tears when we told her about it. It took a while to calm her, poor thing.

(no subject)

20/5/09 17:02 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] thudpucker.livejournal.com


According to Amazon, J.L. Burton also wrote Texas Hold Em Poker - A Beginner's Guide and Herbal Tea Remedies. I am not completely convinced it's the same Burton :)

Is the whole book this good? I mean, those are some great lines (and the hoof and mouth one is fantastic).


(no subject)

21/5/09 20:42 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] benicek.livejournal.com
Well, I selected the funny parts. Most of it is just plain factual dermatology, quite well written though.

(no subject)

20/5/09 19:40 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] wosny.livejournal.com
That is a brilliant book, and as someone who was training in Bath in the 80s it sounds far too good to be true! I don't remember my text books as having any sense of humour...:(

(no subject)

20/5/09 22:11 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] karinmollberg.livejournal.com
weeell, that sounds most...relieving....?!