Spoof Diary Extract

Donald Liamson's Diary


4th April 2003
The Palace

Summoned to the Palace this morning. Apparently, the Very Important Person has been bitten on the ankle by a corgi. Decided to take the Chief Vetinary Officer (CVO) with me in case rabies an issue (the dog, not the victim).

The CVO has his office in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). I got through to him on the phone, but had to shout. Some sheep he was attending to was bleating at the top of its voice. Whatever he was doing to it, it didn't like it one bit. He said he was forced to use the rectal thermometer, or some such thing. Going to have to keep an eye on him. Ever since the Foot and Mouth outbreak, he has become somewhat gung-ho.

He picked me up outside the department of health in Whitehall. I did feel a fool riding shotgun on his tractor as we made our way to Buckingham Palace. People waved and shouted, thinking we were part of some rural parade. Someone even threw an orange, thinking we were in the vanguard of a countryside protest. Final humiliation, tractor refused entry through front gates of the Palace, instead had to go round to tradesman's entrance. Think I'll walk back to the office.

“It was all that bitch's fault said Prince Philip when we got there. But before I could begin to defend the VIP, I realised he was referring to the biter, not the bitee. Much to our surprise, the Prince had opened the back door to us himself. Apparently the domestics were away on some course, Investors in People (though he called it, Investors in Peepholes, I think referring to the inquisitive nature of some of the staff who planned to use any scandal so acquired to boost their pensions).

It turned out to be a trivial bite wound, so a little TCP and an elastoplast were all that was required. The dog, however, looked decidedly dodgy, its eyes bulging, its tongue all dry, and foam issuing from its mouth. Looking at the CVO so the dog wouldn't cotton on, I said to him "Looks as though might need the humane killer here".

Well, before I knew it, the CVO took me at my word and leapt into action. I turned away, being a bit squeamish, but something made me look back, and I'm glad I did. The blighter only had the captive bolt to her majesty's temporal bone, and he would have done the deed if I hadn't wrestled it from his sweaty hand. 'The dog, you fool, not the Monarch' was all I could shout. Boy, it was a close thing. I could almost taste the food in the Tower of London as we made our way back to Whitehall.

15th May 2003
Ten Downing Street

There's a curious little bell on the wall which rings from time to time, but until today I hadn't a clue what it was. It is one of those old-fashioned bells, the ones you see in the servants' quarters when you visit stately homes. It rang again this morning, with some urgency I thought, but I hadn't much time to sit wondering what it might mean, because my receptionist came in to tell me I was needed urgently over in Number 10 Downing Street. Imitating the voice that had just been on the phone by using a thick scouse accent, she said Mrs B, the occupant, insisted she needed a house call, and no, she wasn't prepared to come over to see me, she did not wish to sit in the waiting room and risk catching something horrible.

Downing Street is just over the road from Richmond House, the Department of Health's headquarters, where I have my surgery and office. So I picked up my little black bag, and walked over to see what I could do. Nearly got run over by one of those open topped tourist busses that crowd London these days. The driver was too damn busy with his commentary. I only caught a snippet. "Over on your right is Downing Street, the heart of government in England, and to your left the Department of Health, and straight ahead, the chief medical officer, oh sorry Donald, I didn't see you". Cheeky bugger.

Cheery B (as I call the prime minister's wife) was as charming as ever. She asked me if I had anything for annoying neighbours, only them next door at number 11 were really unpleasant, making her family's life a misery. She asked me if I had any rays she could beam though the party wall, but I declined to get involved with that sort of thing. She is as bright as a button though, she knew all the right things to ask about, said she had heard a linear accelerator might do the trick, at least that's what it said in the Readers Digest.

Just as I was leaving came the moment we doctors half expect. The real reason I had been summoned. Apparently the Blairs were to host the Clintons (former president of the United States) in a few days time, and Cherry B wanted some bromide to put in the ex-presidents tea, stop him getting frisky with the hired help, that sort of thing. I came up with a better solution, a medicine the Chief Vetinary Officer had slipped into the bag, said it might come in handy. So I gave her a packet of "Down Boy", and left her to it.

It all turned out quite nicely. Bill Clinton was found in the middle of the night, howling like a wolf at the full moon. Which kept the occupants of number 11 awake all night. Mrs B sent me a nice note of thanks, and she said from now on she will not pull the bell to summon me, but would ring in stead.