Introducing The Horny Gollach Letters (No. 12)

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Mummy's place

Stolen from the Desk of Citizen Cuddis, a very close personal friend of the Jokey Rothesay.

Dear Secretary of State for Health:

Proposed Closure of the Royal Homeopathetic Hospital for the Terminally Gullible

Chatting with a stand of Rhubarb in the east wing of the conservatory this morning on the subject of my lot’s value for money—56p a day per subject of the realm (that’s better value than Lidl’s veg I am told), the imminent closure of the Royal London Homeopathetic Hospital for the Terminally Gullible came up. It is concerning this potentially disastrous decision that I now write.

The Jokey Rothesay does his celebrated impression of the Jokey Embra. Are they related?
The Jokey Rothesay does his celebrated impression of the Jokey Embra. Are they related?

I hate the thought of the gullible wandering the streets with nowhere to go. Denied access to the quackery to which they are accustomed and surely entitled. Who will treat them like gormless numpties in future I wonder, now that some boffin—most likely the head of an unelected scientific quango—has decided from atop his high horse that homeopathy is built on the shifting sands of pseudo-scientific gibberish dreamt up by a nutty German hundreds of years ago?

Alternative medicine, including homeopathy, makes people feel better. Apparently, this isn’t enough for your clever-dick scientists in Laboratoires Garnier or wherever they hide out. Confront any of these fellows, and a sack load of Chinese herbs to a pinch of fenugreek they’ll poke you in the paunch and demand ‘evidence’.

The charlatans and their fellow travellers, of which I count myself one, who support homeopathy without quibble, cock a snook at evidence and rational thinking. These outmoded tools simply limit our understanding of space and time, height and length, Mike and Bernie Winters.

Let the boffins apply these tools to understanding important stuff if they must; stuff like the voodoo bookkeeping by which the Duchy of Cornwall lines the pockets of one’s expertly tailored trousers or why I am allowed to spend £30,000 of taxpayers’ money on return trips by private jet to collect Camilla’s order of quince marmalade (her guilty pleasure) from Fortnum and Masons on the last Wednesday of every month.

Ignorance of homeopathy is at the root of this backward looking proposal, in one’s humble opinion. Let me give you a pleb-friendly example of how homeopathy actually works in the hope that you won’t throw the baby out with the bath water. This is based on the recipe for homeopathic super-shandy.

Take the contents of a can of Super Lager. Dilute the contents with ten times as much lemonade by volume. Using a cement mixer, give the concoction a rattling good ‘shoogle’ as we say up Braemar way. Take a sample of the diluted brew and dilute it in ten times as much lemonade again. Repeat this sample-dilute-shoogle cycle until you get bored.

Now listen up—this is the science bit. Homeopathetics believe that the more a substance is diluted, the more powerful it becomes. You will end up with a barrel of lemonade in which there is a single molecule of Super Lager. This is super-shandy. Yet—and here’s where the mumbo-jumbo comes in—this homeopathic lager will be so powerful that drinking a shot glass of the stuff will instantly elevate your blood alcohol levels to those encountered after a mega-bender stag week in Prague.

Another misunderstood aspect of homeopathy is the matching of types with healing substances. We identify people ‘types’ and by trial and error work out which substances they have an affinity for.

For example, there is a type of person who can drink imported lager only from a designer-labelled bottle in front of an impressionable pub audience. A cross-confabulation table in the homeopath’s 1958 Bumper Book of Hogwash indicates that this ‘type’ corresponds with temperate sedge-whiffle, a herb which flowers every other Wednesday during leap years. This type may be treated with various dilutions of sedge-whiffle for anything from bunions to borderline personality disorder.

Another type, on their way to Parkhead for a big game from well beyond the boundaries of the city, manifests a Glaswegian accent which grows more pronounced the nearer to Glasgow the bus gets. Until native Glaswegians no longer understand a word they say by the time they reach their turnstile. This type corresponds to Japanese arse-weed. Various dilutions of arse-weed will cure ailments ranging from athlete’s elbow to tennis foot.

And yes, I am aware of the one thousand eight hundred scientific papers which say homeopathy’s effect is no better than Placebo (I presume these nutty professors refer to Placebo Domingo, the opera singer, though I’m blowed if I know what he’s got to do with it.)

At the end of the day, evidence is for sissies. Sensible debate—for the sake of balance—should never stand in the way of airy-faery thinking. There will be those who argue that as an unelected individual with no mandate to concern himself with anything in the real world, I should shove off and mind my own business. That one shouldn’t be poking one’s uninvited snoot into things one does not fully understand. But what does one expect for 65p, blood?

Charles