Ol’ Pop 1: “I saw my doctor today. He’s the FRCP, MRCP, BA, MA, MBBS head of neuro-cardiac-ENT-gastro-medicine at the biggest hospital in our city. He says I need to up the dosage of my cholesterol meds.”
Ol’ Pop 2: “Ah, well. It’s our age. I saw my doctor the other day. He’s the FRCP, MRCP, BA, MA, MBBS, MALLB head of neuro-cardiac-ENT-gastro-pediatric-medicine at the biggest hospital in the next town over from yours. He used to work in America and teach at Harvard and when he wanted to leave they begged him not to go and even offered to give his wife a job but he said his roots are here. So he told me that my cholesterol and my blood pressure are both up and I need to increase my dosage.”
Ol’ Pop 1: “Oh, really? Harvard, is it? And he lives in the next town? Not ours? One of these young fellows I suppose. Very eccentric these fellows, all kinds of ideas. My doctor is a more experienced man. England-returned, you know. He was personal physician to the Mayor of London. Maybe even the Queen but he’s very modest. They wanted to knight him but he refused because he’s one of those old fashioned patriots, you know. He’s also a millionaire and married to the daughter of the man who owns the hospital. Half the doctors who work there used to work in America. Now they all get fabulous salaries to work there. Of course, none of them gets paid what he does. They’d all pee on their shoes if he even looked at them.”
Ol’ Pop 2: “My doctor doesn’t like to live in the big city. He likes to live in our town because you know how your city is these days. Too many people, too much crime, pollution. He came back specially to work here. He used to treat George Bush but after a while he decided he’d rather serve the poor at home. He has principles. And of course, he doesn’t need any money – his father and his grandfather and his great grandfather were all famous doctors. His father used to charge 100 rupees in the 1950s! And still, every morning his garden was full of waiting people who’d come from far and wide to consult him.”
Ol’ Pop 1: “Ah, yes. My doctor is like that. He charges 500 rupees for a ten minute consultation. He doesn’t even do anything in that time but look at you and ask you what is wrong with you. Oh, what beautiful manners he has! Very much a gentleman. Then he’ll listen to your heart and tell you what tests you must take and then he’ll cure you. 100%. And all of those tests are very expensive. They’re not for just anybody. Oh no! You have to be somebody before he’ll examine you. And when he does examine you, he won’t touch you with his hands. He’ll always wear gloves which he throws away once they’ve been used.”
Ol’ Pop 2: How much does he charge for your medicine?”
Ol Pop 1: My cholesterol tablets are 60 rupees. And they’re only available at one chemist shop in our city.
Ol’ Pop 2: Ha! I knew it. I’ve taken that medicine. And it didn’t work for me. All these old and dated medicines are the same. What we need now are new ideas from young men. You know how much my tablets cost? My cholesterol tablets are 20 rupees each and I have to take them two times a day while my blood pressure tablets are 25 rupees each. My medical bills each month are so monstrous, the local chemist offers me tea when I go to his shop. I have his number on speed dial on my cell phone. Have you seen my cell phone, by the way? It’s 45,000 rupees. Imported. But I got a deal on it and bought it for 35, 000.
Ol’ Pop 1: I’m afraid I don’t carry cell phones. Ever since my heart operation, which cost one lakh 75,000 rupees plus 2,000 rupees per day for a private suite with a drawing room at the big hospital as my doctor recommended especially for me, I have been wary of using things that have radiation problems. But in a way that is good because now I can do other things with it like buy this watch. See? It’s 2,00,000, gold plated with diamonds. When I go somewhere, everyone stares at it.