Alternative Medicine

  1. Alternative medicine for cars

At the garage

‘Hello, could you change my oil, fit two new tyres, and fit a new air filter please, oh, and investigate a noise from my propshaft.’

‘Hmmm [grease monkey sucks air between teeth], it’s not as simple as that. What month was your car registered?’

‘Ooh let me think, yes it was April 2008.’

‘Right oh, so it’s a Sagittarius with Jupiter on the cusp, oil changes need to be done on the third day of the new moon with Mars in retrograde. You missed it love, that was last week. And the other stuff isn’t as simple as all that.’

‘But there’s red light is on the dash.’

‘Sorry dear, can’t change the oil with Venus rising, more than my jobs worth. That’ll be £352 please.’

‘Now, your air filter.’

‘Yes, it’s a Toyota Pious 2.3'

‘I’ll just wave this pendulum over your rear bumper. [waves filthy bit of string around]. Hmm, just as I thought, it’s not your air filter, your problem is that your car’s chakras are out of balance. We need to place a warm stone in the passenger footwell on a precise line between the right headlamp and the fruit pastille stuck under the seat, then we’ll place another on the boot lid thus balancing your car’s intake chakra.’

‘Will that make it idle better?’

‘Oh yes, and if you’ve still got problems, we’ll stick some gold needles into the carpet of the transmission tunnel and vibrate them at natural harmonic resonances; that’ll definitely fix it.’

‘Can you have a look at my tyres now please.’

[peers under car and gives another ‘that’ll cost you’ suck].

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Don’t you look after your car’s spiritual needs at all madam? It’s plainly obvious that you’ve parked on a magic line between two stone circles and carried an odd number of shopping bags in the boot which is completely bad feng shui. Your tyre is flat because your car is full of toxins.’

‘Can’t you just fix the puncture?’

‘What? And let you drive out of here with a car full of toxins. Never. More than my jobs worth. I’ll vigorously scrub your brake lights with a natural hemp brush, then we’ll light a red candle on the left side and place a rounded blue crystal on the right. Three drops of dandelion oil on your steering wheel wouldn’t go amiss either.’

‘And my rumbling propshaft, can you do anything alternative for that?’

‘Hmm, I think we need faith healing for that. You see, there are thousands of saints who are all up in the sky with baby jesus, and if you ask nicely, they will get baby J to sort things out. Simple, we just need the right saint.’

[opens grease stained copy of the Ladybird Book of Saints and starts to read]

‘Hmm, let me see;

  • St Steven in Brannel, patron saint of electrical faults and webfooted children. Nope.
  • St Dennis, patron saint of tyres and fighting. No not that one either.
  • St MerrynMeat, patron saint of broken mirrors and dodgy pies. Hmmm, no.
  • St Mawes, patron saint of hangovers, scratched bodywork, and fouled undergarments. Definitely not.
  • St Austell, patron saint of unidentified glutinous masses, christmas lights in September, and drivetrain problems. He might do.’

The grease monkey drops to his knees and starts uttering mumbo jumbo.

‘Ok madam, all fixed, that’ll be £988.55 love, pleasure doing business with you.’

Our gullible driver has spent over £1000 on new age therapies for her car, but mysteriously it hasn’t got any better.

Reluctantly, she decides to visit a garage from a national chain.

‘Good morning madam, welcome to ShitFit’, said the young lad in smart blue overalls. He then launched into a song and dance routine singing; ‘you can’t get shitter than a ShitFit fitter’.

‘Could you have a look at my car please, it’s got warning lights all over the dash.’

‘No problem madam, I’ll just plug this code reader into your diagnostic socket and we’ll soon sort it out. [reads OBD codes with PGM tester]

‘Can you tell what’s wrong with it?’

‘Yes, it’s giving codes for your MAF sensor and intake temperature. Could well be a blocked air filter.’

‘Can you change the filter then please.’

‘Hmm, yes and no; you see we’ve ditched traditional spannering and adopted angel therapy for cars. For a small donation, I can say some magic words and make angels visit your car, there are angels for everything you know, even for fluctuating intake temperatures. That’ll be a thousand pounds please.’

Alternative medicine Part 2: Accountancy, a cautionary tale.

In the basement at HMRC Headquarters.

A young woman is manacled (womanacled?) to iron rings in the grey stone wall, her clothes are in tatters and her face is a picture of lost hope but retains a small hint of defiance as if a tiny part of her still wants to live. The cell is damp and a cold draught raises goosebumps on her pale mottled skin. A rat brushes her naked bloodstained foot, making her flinch and then scuttles across the floor and disappears behind the overflowing cracked toilet. She can’t scream because of the gag constricting her battered tear stained face. The only light radiates from a dim bare bulb hanging from the ceiling and blood drips constantly from the cell above.

On the wall to her left she can see an array of torture implements; thumbscrews, dental pliers, a soldering iron, and on a shelf below; a cattle prod, a pair of bolt cutters, and an enormous rusty barbed enema syringe. Several of these have already been used on her ravaged body.

On the other wall, hang the instruments of financial torture; the unauthorised overdraft fee, the final demand, the missing receipts, and worst of all, the unexpected terrifying brown envelope.

A key turns in the rusty lock and two taxmen in blue suits enter the room; one is large, bearded and muscular with a bloodstained apron over his suit and he picks up the bolt croppers and starts turning them over in his huge powerful hands, the other is short and weaselly and he lovingly strokes the instruments of financial torture while looking sideways at the chained woman with his dark and beady eye.

The weaselly one grabs the woman’s chin and forces her to look into his eyes. His fetid breath makes her feel sick as he hisses ‘you will tell us everything you know’ and tears the gag from her mouth.

‘You can’t torture and kill me, I’m a British citizen, what about my human rights’ she sobbed. ‘Human rights are only for foreigners and criminals, whereas you are a tax dodger and therefore not even human’ he replied, ‘and as for us not being able to kill you, we can and we will if you don’t tell us everything you know’.

A punch smashes into her face leaving her dazed, and a searing pain shoots through her body as the bearded man pulls out her big toenail with pliers and then starts tearing at what remains of her clothes. The look in his eyes leaves her no doubt about what is in his mind and she weeps the bitter tears of desolation and despair.

The smaller man approaches her again and asks her; ‘will you cooperate with this HMRC investigation into your tax affairs or do you want me to leave you alone with Luigi for half an hour?’

‘I’ll do anything, please keep him away, I’ll cooperate’ sobbed the woman.

‘Why have you not paid the correct amounts of VAT, corporation tax and capital gains tax for the tax year ending April 2013, who is your accountant, and why did you not complete section 17C of your P52 form in block capitals? You will answer’, he hisses, ‘or I will use the brown envelope, and don’t think I won’t’.

‘I paid exactly what my accountants told me’, she said, ‘honestly I have’.

‘And who is your accountant?’ He demands.

‘Its Conham, Fleecem and Runne on the High Street’ she whimpered.

‘Are they chartered accountants’ he demands, his foul breath stinging her eyes.

‘Errr, I’m not sure, they’re new age accountants using the same holistic and natural principles as alternative and complementary medicine, I don’t know if they are chartered’, she said.

‘Luigi’ he called.

Will she ever escape from HMRC? Will she even survive?

The weaselly one grabs her chin and fixes her with his beady eye, his face only inches from hers as he screeches ‘why was your VAT payment for the third quarter, two days late. Answer me you worthless scum’.

‘I, I don’t know, I consulted an accounting horoscope and it told me to pay when Saturn was rising in Pisces’ she stammers.

‘And why was your CGT payment £455 short for the year ending April 2013, you evil socially irresponsible tax dodger’ he asks, a little more quietly.

Luigi moves in close to the chained woman and starts to leer at her. He holds a scalpel in his hand.

The terrified woman blubs ‘please don’t hurt me anymore, I’ll tell you everything, please keep him away. Oh god, please help me’

‘Gods can’t help you any more than new age therapies can because they’re all fictitious rubbish, only chartered accountants can do your books properly’ hisses the weaselly one, ‘now why didn’t you pay the correct amount of CGT?’

‘I saw a reiki accountant and she placed my bank statement under a blue pyramid and held a crystal pendulum over it, she said it would be alright’ sobs the woman.

‘Well it isn’t alright is it. And why isn’t the missing money in your business account?’ he asks. Luigi moves closer and starts chewing her ear, bringing more tears of pain and helplessness.

‘Please no, I didn’t mean to cheat the HMRC, I paid the money in then took it out again, the homeopathic accountant said the account would retain a memory of the money and it would all be ok. And the gypsy accountant contacted a dead chancellor of the exchequer who said my taxes were all paid.’

He reaches for that ominous implement of financial torture, the final demand, and waves it in her face; ‘see the red ink, do you see it, can you feel it, why didn’t you fill the form in properly?’ He hisses.

‘I didn’t mean any harm I just wanted to be more in touch with the astral plane of the earth goddess and not support the multinational conspiracy of Freemasons and illuminati’, even as she blurts out the words, she knows she’s done for, she knows that her account is closed.

‘Luigi, she’s all yours’ says the weaselly one as he slams the cell door.

They found her mutilated corpse floating down the Thames two days later.

Use a chartered accountant to do your books and don’t cheat the fucking taxman because he can, and he will, fuck you up the arse then kill you.

Alternative medicine Part 3; Builders

A slightly loopy earth-mother type woman has gone away to a yoga retreat on a welsh mountain for a month of self indulgent bollocks with advanced navel gazing. She has employed a building firm to build a conservatory on her house while she is away.

Our loopy woman arrives home after a hard month of pseudoscientific codshit, and coffee enemas, and opens her front door, expecting to find a sparkling clean house with shiny new French windows opening onto a lovely conservatory, painted mauve, the colour of her spiritual aura.

Instead, she is confronted by a scene of utter devastation; broken furniture, rubbish everywhere, a massive hole through the wall with bare wires sparking against each other and animal shit on the carpet.

She is so shocked that she has to meditate on a yellow crystal for half an hour and administer herself a homeopathic hemp oil enema. When she has finally calmed down she phones the builder.

‘My house is a complete tip. Why didn’t you tidy up after yourselves?’

‘Oh, it was very tidy when we left it. Maybe you’ve got a poltergeist or some other paranormal activity.’

‘Paranormal activity my arse, there are crisp packets, fag ends and brick dust everywhere, a shite in my bog, and a dirty great hole in the kitchen wall. What sort of builders are you anyway?’

‘Madam, we are proud to be alternative and complementary builders in tune with heaven and the earth goddess; building the natural way.’

But the kitchen wall has collapsed because you didn’t use an RSJ where you broke through it.’

‘RSJs are a conspiracy by evil builders merchants who want to rule the world like the omnipresent Jewsons and the global corporation known as Builder Centre, who are just a front for the international conspiracy, their name even sounds like ‘Bilderberg’, and that’s not a coincidence. We don’t use RSJs, oh no, we offer prayers and lit candles to St Blazey, the patron saint of flat batteries, structural stability and speeding tickets, so I can’t believe your wall fell down. Must be ghosts.’

‘And where’s my fucking conservatory?’

‘Ah well, what you have there is a homeopathic conservatory, we brought in a small piece of glass then took it away again, giving the back yard a memory of lots of glass and behaving as if a conservatory is there. It’ll be lovely on a sunny day. That’ll be £25,000 please.’

‘bugger, now I’ll have to go to a proper builder to put things right.’

So there you have it; nobody would trust their car, their house, or their accounts to snake oil salesmen like homeopaths, crystal healers, acupuncturists or religious nutters, but as soon as people get ill, common sense flies out of the window and and magnetic bracelets, copper insoles (yes they really exist), prayers to saints, pilgrimages and essential oils fly in.

They don’t want to enrich big pharmaceutical companies, but they’re quite happy to give their money to charlatans peddling made up rubbish.

Funny how no faith healers ever make amputated limbs grow back.

Personally I like my medicine clinically trialled and proven to work.