McHardy, Ken

[Modified from original version written for AU Med Soc Ball, Treetops Hotel, 11/1/91]

Some years ago it happens, at the Med Soc's kind request
I was asked to do an after dinner speech
I was happy to accept it and to be the Medics' guest
For it gave an opportunity to teach

Now perhaps it will enlighten you if I repeat tonight
At the risk of making teuchtophobics bored
The main contents of my talk on how we'd need to bring to light
A prime subject course designers had ignored

In ministering to the sick some things can be far more
Important than prescriptions, balms and pills
The one I would commend to you is personal rapport
Requiring new 'Communication Skills'

Those students starting on the wards and talking to the sick
Will soon discover here in Aberdeen
It may not be appropriate that you should ayewis spik
Exclusively the English of the Queen

Though clever doctor you may be, perhaps a splendid Prof
Your sparkling elocution is no good
'Cos fowk fae hereaboots is aye real wary o' a toff
An' funcy spikkin's seldom understood

As I am of mixed parentage - mi Ma comes fae 'e Toon
Mi Faither is a Teuchter fae Donside
It seems my ethnic heritage fair fits 'e bill han's doon
To tell how patients spik fae far I bide

So should you be an alien that hails furth of Montrose
Or foreigner fae Elgin's yon'er side
Pin back yer lugs an' listen ti some wordies I hiv chose
Peculiar ti oor Toon or countraside

Inquiring "How are you today?" is one way to begin
But doesn't seem the ideal choice to me
You'd be far better off by asking "Foo yi deein' min?"
When hoping to determine fit's adee

The catalogue of symptoms that is likely to ensue
Will like eneuch provoke a deal of thought
For stoonin', wabbit, dirlin', hippit - these are but a few
Complaints which knock the locals aff their stot

A body that is fusionless or says that he's clean deen
Has lethargy and badly needs a rest
And een 'at a' 'e's life's a peely wally craitur been
With robust health has sadly not been blessed

An endemic viral illness is jist something gan aboot
If it ca's ye ow'r it lays you on your back
When exhausted you are foun'ert, over-tired ye're worn oot
While a dwam's a kind of syncopal attack

An obstructed nasal passage is kent as a stappit nose
Rhinorrhoea's snotters hingin' doon aneth
A productive cough's a pyocher which doon in yer kist arose
While dyspnoea simply means the wint o' breath

A bout of laryngitis causing an aphonic state
Is known better as yer vice becomin' tint
And a chap whose mental attitude's the kind that one berates
Is a feel or at the least he his a wint

An episode of vomiting's a touchie o' the bile
And unrequited retching a dry boak
While the nasty irritation of a fissure or a pile
Gies a yokey kin' o' feelin' roon yer dock

The classical affliction of Proctalgia Fugax
Never seems to come the way of North-East men
Instead they'll get a stoun that starts somewye ahent the knacks
An' 'at jabs 'em up the airse-hole noo an' 'en

Prostatic gland hypertrophy, the aul'er mannie's curse
Means 'e's water winna yoke withoot a soun'
While a lady with a prolapse of her uterus, or worse
Is a wifie that his som'thin' comin' doon

There are other 'weemin's troubles' that afflict the fairer sex
And can also come to bear on their men fowk
Dyspareunia, for instance, many night encounters wrecks
That's discomfort fan her man gies her a powk

An expectant City mother when referring to her state
Says she's fellen and a bairin's fit she'll get
While an overdue confinement brings the question when she's late
"Dinna tell me, are ye still nae better yet?"

If you're yellow, ye've 'e jandeez, if you're pale yer lik' a ghost
Fern-tickl't means you're freckled every place
If acneiform eruptions on your cheeks are your main boast
Then they'll say ye've got an affa plooky face

If on close examination of your patient you embark
The removal of some garments you'll request
His pullover is 'e's gansie, while his shirt's a flannen sark
And 'e's simmet is the name he gives his vest

You will see 'e's humphy-backit if his spine appears kyphosed
A tattoo for 'Someone-ina' names his wife
And a line of scarring left where an incision has been closed
Shows that he has been aneth 'e surgeon's k-nife

A protuberant abdomen is a swallin' o' the kyte
Peripheral oedema's swall't up cuits
Which if serious may even make the footwear over-tight
An' mak' it so's ye ca' win on yer beets

Infraorbital skin laxity is bugs aneth yer een
Septicaemia is bugs a' throw yer bleed
If you're badly hypothermic then yer frozen ti the bane
If you've passed away you're designated 'deid'

My account of the vernacular's nae near its full extent
For there's hunners mair examples I could pen
But I'm mindful time is wearin' on an' surely dinna wint
Ti dominate completely yer wiken'

I am grateful that you've listened to me with polite regard
And I hope ye've learn't a bittie on the way
If I maybe could be loaned an epilogue from Avon's Bard
That'll be the last on this that I will say

Amen and if you've paid me heed
then we can be euphoric
No more the old excuse you'll need
no more - Alas Poor Doric!