Auntie Doris’s Tarot Card of the Week #69: The Ten Of Swords 23rd February – 1st March 2015


My Raymond was a slave to his lumbago. And I’ll tell you one thing for nothing, back pain is no laughing matter. It  got to the point where he couldn’t get comfortable whatever he did, standing up, sitting down, lying out straight on the bed, or curled up into a ball. It didn’t make a blind bit of difference. He was still in ruddy agony. We tried all the cures: crab paste poultice, vinegar baths, plugging him in to the mains, the lot. He was still in agony but his hair did become thicker and more luxuriant. In the end, he was that desperate that he decided to go and see the doctor.   When he got back, he told me that the Doctor said that there was no hope for him. That the only cure possible cure was whisky, preferably a malt which had been aged in a sherry cask for at least seven years. I wasn’t having any of that. I bought him some extra strength Anadin, and let him have the occasional small sherry with me.

Of course in the olden days when they did the drawings  for these tarot cards, the science of acupuncture was still in its infany. They hadn’t got the hang of using little needles. They used the nearest thing to hand, which in those times was usually swords. If the acupuncturist was a bit heavy handed, the treatment might actually cause more harm than good. It looks like the poor soul on this card has been to see one of them sorts of acupuncturists. It looks like he probably went complaining of earache as well as ruddy backache. Well, one thing is for sure. He won’t be suffering with either earache or backache any more. I think that we can safely say that his suffering has come to an end. And look, the black clouds are lifting, to reveal golden skies over calm waters. The message is clear. All of our troubles will come to an end sooner or later. So there is no point in ruddy well sitting there and moaning about them. You might as well focus on the positives and enjoy yourself.

Four things that you might do this week. (i)  Have a good long soak in the bath. Give yourself a treat, add some vinegar to the water. That’ll soak away most of your aches and pains. Check the bottle first though. Don’t go using that “non-brewed condiment” stuff that they try and palm you off with down at the fish and chip shop. That’s a certain road to genital warts. (ii) Go easy on the analgesics. But if you are taking them and the pain persists for more than two or three days, try taking them with a small sherry. Its easier than trying to ring for a doctor’s appointment at eight o’clock in the morning, when you know that even if you get one, all he is going to do is tell you that its a virus that’s going around, and put you on the haliboranges. (iii) Watch out for these unqualified “quack” doctors and unlicensed practitioners. You can usually spot them a mile off, because they waggle a crystal hanging from a bit of string over you as a part of their diagnosis, Most of them are harmless enough, but if anyone ever suggests that you need acupuncture by sword, get out of the surgery quicksticks! (iv) If all else fails, suffer in silence. Nobody wants to hear about your medical problems. Least of all your doctor. On the other hand. Why not give one of your friends a treat by letting them tell  you about all their little ailments. A good laugh will work wonders, and make your own little twinges seem miniscule by comparison.

The Auntie Doris Years: 1928

Alexander-Fleming-penicillin-631That Alexander Fleming was a filthy so and so. I always imagined that all scientists employed a cleaning lady to see to their laboratories. I think Alexander Fleming must have sacked his cleaning lady because she rubbed out some important equations he had been doing on his blackboard or something. Scientist’s cleaning ladies were always doing that. My Mother was a cleaning lady, at the local nonconformist chapel. There weren’t any blackboards full of equations there, although she did once knock the numbers out of the hymn board and put them back all muddled up. That Sunday the Congregation tried to sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” whilst the organist played “Go, Tell it on the Mountain.” The organist then tried to change to what the congregation was singing at the exact same moment that half the congregation tried to sing what the organist had been playing. It was complete chaos. Nobody knew whether they were coming or going. But by all accounts, Alexander Fleming’s Laboratory was a complete ruddy tip. Worse than our John’s house. There were petri dishes full of staphylococci and streptococci, and goodness knows what, all piled on top of each other at great risk of cross contamination. There were open parcels of cheese and jam sandwiches that his Sarah had made him, and he had said he had eaten, only he hadn’t at all. Unbeknown to her he usually went down to the Crown and Anchor and had a pork pie and pickled onions. There were ancient cold cups of tea, and discarded underwear (after the notorious laboratory Christmas party of 1927) and there were mouse droppings, and cobwebs and all sorts. It stank to high heaven. And in the midst of all that Chaos, he goes and discovers penicillin. Apparently, one day the pub was closed whilst they laid new sawdust in the smoke room, and he ate one of those old cheese and jam sandwiches in desperation. Later that afternoon, he noticed that a terrible red

sore he had had on the end of his todger had all but completely healed up. So he did a few calculations on his blackboard, and discovered that the mould on the jam in the sandwiches was in fact penicillin. So another fabulous invention of the 1920s turned out to be the work of a Scotsman. First Laird Bogie with his television, and then Fleming with his penicillin. You have to hand it to the Scots, they are not short in the brains department. No wonder they want to be independent of us ruddy English who keep voting the Tories in. Auntie Doris’s pop Pick of 1928: “Nagasaki” By Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra. It’s a ruddy shame the Americans had to go and drop an atom bomb on a place where all that happens is the fellas chew tobaccy and the women wicky wacky woo. But that’s American foreign policy all over isn’t it.