Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bah, Humbug!

I walked into the unit and wondered why we don’t have a Christmas tree. Around this time last year, we already had enough blinking lights to trigger grand mal fitting to a photosensitive epileptic, and with alcohol hand rubs placed strategically in every nook and cranny, I thought it’s rather rich the hospital is still standing and hasn’t burned to the ground yet. I really hope it’s not the thought police at work here. I heard the Royal Mail is stamping out true meaning of Christmas by issuing stamps without any trace of the Bible story and instead featured little harmless cartoons that will not offend other faiths. I only hope those cartoons are not Danish. The same is true with greeting cards:

“One 'offensive' card risked provoking Christians by suggesting the shepherds only saw the angel appear on the hillside because they were hallucinating after smoking drugs. And another card ignores Christmas altogether - wishing the recipient a "Happy December". Other designs include a pan of Brussels sprouts, a shoe, a woman pointing a gun at 'chavs', a moonlit bridge and, bizarrely, a line of meerkats.” What you get for reading sucky papers like the Daily Mail . LOL!

#10 Reasons why this year’s Christmas is really sucky.

1. Our health care assistant who I learnt today has worked in our unit for more than eight years handed in her notice of resignation last month, so maybe she can’t really be bothered to put up the tree. She did it every year, and was really good in keeping our patients and the unit clean. With the current crisis in the NHS, she may never be replaced. Who’s gonna wash the teacups?

2. They also say the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus may not be really three at all. The Gospel apparently refers to them as merely wise men: no mention of actual number whatsoever. But I don’t give a toss, really. I’m more concerned that three more wards closed this month. That means we’ll be stuck with wardable patients in our unit. More tea-drinking, weetabix-eating patients as opposed to patients on Galileo, Lidco, Bis, Prisma and all other binary code speaking gadgets that you could ever find in Critical Care. What a shame. I quite like my toys. Even more so at Christmas.

3. The NHS froze the hiring of new staff due to budgetary constraints. It is quite ironic though, to find that the Trust is advertising a post for a high salaried monkey * Smoking Advisor. Salary that’s large enough to pay two more nurses in ICU. I say: “leave them smokers alone!” If they can’t read those death threats / warning in bold alphabets in cigarette packets, maybe what they need are free eyeglasses for Christmas. Shoo them off to Boots or Specsavers.

4. I learnt that the abbreviation Xmas is not really irreligious. The letter X is actually a Greek abbreviation for Christ. And obviously, Christ is not a swear word.

5. I’ve seen in the Biography Channel that Santa actually used to wear a blue or green tunic until Coca Cola matched it to their trademark colour. And Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was just invented for a US firm’s Christmas promotion in 1938. It’s quite traumatic to learn that they have been lying to you since you were a kid. They are a bunch of utter crooks and liars.

6. Jesus was probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say the Biblical scholars. It’s not posh enough to be born in a wooden stable and to learn that he was born in a cave is pushing.
7. I’ve read somewhere that before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig’s head and mustard. More like what we have in the Philippines. Bring back the good ol’ days!

8. The only greens we have in the Christmas Party do are what I would call junk food: chips and crisps. I didn’t realize that some people’s concept of veggies is limited to potatoes and corn. Although apparently, many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C. That is, if you’re really peckish.

9. Also, in the Czech Republic they enjoy dinners of fish, soup, eggs and carp. The number of people at the table must be even, or the one without a partner will die next year. Good way to control population, I think. This might be useful to people at immigration. Although, maybe I should heed the NHS Blog Doctor's advice: We must behave ourselves. Medical Bloggers in Britain are suspiciously disappearing into thin air. Scary. What has happened to free speech? The most recent one is also my friend: HospitalPhoenix - a very witty and strongly opinionated doctor. I for a while enjoyed being in the Top 4 of his Blog Links like a “myspace whore”.

10. In Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month’s salary by law. The NHS on the other hand is taking the Dickensian Scrooge’s stance of being a tight fisted miserable old fart.

* There are more monkeys like this one in Doc Crippen’s Blog.
.........................................................................................................................................................................
Thank You's:
To all those who greeted me on my Birthday.

To NHS Blog Doctor for another mention in Part 3 of Britmeds 2006

And to Airway Control for including me in Change of Shift Vol. 1, No. 13

Check out!!!


See you all Next Year!

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12 Comments:

Blogger Rosey said...

The coca-cola thing is apparently an urban legend.

See here: http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp

5:05 PM  
Anonymous may said...

enjoy your holidays!
and not to rub it in...i thought it was nice of our hospital to give us a $349 christmas bonus. if only uncle sam did not take his share of $149, it would have been almost 8,000 pesos in pamasko. but hey, i count my blessings :)

may
www.aboutanurse.com

8:40 PM  
Blogger howling said...

Thanks for the link rosey!!! Interesting read. I still won't forgive them for making me believe he came down the chimney, though.

:)

3:09 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Good for you, may. That's quite a lot of dough. Wow! You reminded me - "Makapagpadala nga din ng pera sa Pinas!"

Happy holidays to you too!!!

3:16 AM  
Blogger The Nashman said...

actually, it's no longer environmentally friendly to cut a conifer for a christmas tree.....wait, i'm sure there are plastic ones in woolworths.....

4:31 PM  
Blogger Alternati said...

Now, I'd love to live in the Czech Republic. Bringing a date is a matter of life and death.

A blue Santa? Sacrilegious! Almost as sacrilegious as a shaven Santa.

Do we have to redesign all the "Belens" here in the Philippines that show a stable? A papier mache cave doesn't look enticing.

NHS sure sounds eeewwww.

Love the Kill Bill art!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Talamasca said...

WTF? This year's Xmas is sucky, alright. Way too sucky. Very sucky that it's too sucky. Ok I'm going nowhere.

Wow! Did you do that Kill Bill drawing? It's fantastic!

I thought it was Change of SHIT. Tsk tsk. I really need some tuning up.

Hey, congrats for all the mention you've been receiving! You deserve them! You rock, dude!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Vince said...

Ey Howling, "better late than never" to say belated happy birthday. I can still pray for you, whenever and wherever :D

God bless!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Dominique said...

Merry Christmas, H! Illegitimi non carborundum!

2:35 AM  
Blogger ariel said...

incisive posts. good ones--and the thinking!
give us more of the exile's sorrow.
merry christmas!

3:07 PM  
Anonymous gmc insider said...

dr john crippen (nhs blog doctor) is a gmc (general medical council) spy who freely shares information about medical bloggers with the gmc , so please be very wary of him.

11:24 PM  
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8:10 AM  

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