Thursday, 10 December 2009

Python in Boots

I Overheard Simon Perry in a chemists the other day talking to the director of Boots, Paul Bennett …

PERRY: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(Paul Bennett does not respond.)

PERRY: 'Ello, Miss?

BENNETT: What do you mean "miss"?

PERRY: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

BENNETT: We're closin' for lunch.

PERRY: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this homeopathic remedy what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very Boots.

BENNETT: Oh yes, the, uh, the 30C Wolfsbane...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?

PERRY: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It’s ineffective, that's what's wrong with it!

BENNETT: No, no, many people believe it to be effective.

PERRY: Look, matey, I know an ineffective remedy when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

BENNETT: No no we sell it because, some people believe it works'! Remarkable remedy, the 30C Wolfsbane. Beautiful packaging!

PERRY: The packaging don't enter into it. It's ineffective.

BENNETT: Nononono, no, no! 'Some people believe it works!

PERRY: All right then, if people believe it works I’ll ask them!
(Shouting at other customers)
'Ello, Mister Edzard Ernst! I've got a lovely research grant for you if you tell me you believe homeopathy works

(Bennett mutters "Ja")
BENNETT: There, he said yes!

PERRY: No, he didn't, that was you doing a dodgy German accent!

BENNETT: I never!!

PERRY: Yes, you did!

BENNETT: I never, never said anything...

PERRY: (yelling and hitting the package repeatedly) 'ELLO EDZARD!
Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! Do you believe homeopathy to be effective?
(Takes pills out of the package and swallows the lot. Throws empty packet up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

PERRY: Now that's what I call an ineffective remedy.

BENNETT: No, no.....No, it’s an aggravation!


BENNETT: Yeah! A healing crisis. You’ve got to get worse before you get better.

PERRY: look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That remedy is definitely ineffective, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of efficacy was due to it bein' diluted and succussed following a prolonged potentization.

BENNETT: Well, it’s probably your susceptibility attracting miasms.

PERRY: SUSCEPTIBILITY attracting MIASMS? What kind of talk is that? Why isn’t there any scientific evidence to support its efficacy?

BENNETT: The 30C Wolfsbane's been through several homeopathic provings. Remarkable remedy, id'nit, squire? Lovely packaging!

PERRY: Look, I took the liberty of examining that remedy when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that some people find it effective is the PLACEBO effect.


BENNETT: Well, o'course there’s the placebo effect. If it didn’t have the placebo effect it wouldn’t do anything. If that remedy didn’t have the placebo it couldn’t cure you.

PERRY: CURE? Mate, this remedy wouldn't "cure" if it had had four million dilutions it’s bleedin' useless!

BENNETT: No no! Its aggravations!

PERRY: It's not aggravations! It's ineffective! This remedy is useless! It is completely ineffectual! It’s a pseudo-therapy! It’s inept! Bereft of active ingredients it doesn’t work! If it wasn’t for the placebo it would have no therapeutic effect whatsoever. It’s scientifically implausible. It’s completely absurd. The purported mechanisms of its action fly in the face of our understanding of chemistry, physics, pharmacology and physiology. THIS IS AN INEFFECTIVE REMEDY.


BENNETT: Well, I'd better replace it, then.

(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)

BENNETT: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of effective homeopathic remedies.

PERRY: I see. I see, I get the picture.

BENNETT: I’ve got some Evening Primrose.


PERRY: (sweet as sugar) Pray, does it cure?

BENNETT: Nnnnot really.


BENNETT: Look, if you go to my brother's pharmacy in Bolton, he'll sell you some science based medicine.

PERRY: Bolton, eh? Very well.

(Perry leaves)

With Special Thanks to the Merseyside Skeptics Society
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