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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I don't know who's teaching English at the adult education centres of Crawley, but they're using some interesting phrases. I had a patient today at Crawley Hospital who was a lovely chap, but barely spoke a word of English. Well, not until I asked him who his GP was. We'd been communicating mostly via sign language and facial expressions (so it's a good job I haven't had botox), until I reached the point where I had to check the name of his doctor. He successfully gave me the answer I required, before pausing for dramatic effect, and then adding "He's a sexy beast".

Naturally I assumed I'd misheard him. This was a man who'd looked at me blankly when I asked if he wore glasses, so it seemed a bit unlikely that he'd know the phrase 'sexy beast'. As a result, I chose to let it lie and reply with a non-committal "Right..." as I clicked through to the next screen on the computer.

Unfortunately he said it again: "He's a sexy beast". To be honest, it was the longest sentence he'd managed to cobble together since walking through the door, so I'm not surprised he wanted to use it more than once. I decided to venture an enquiring "Really..?"

And I'm glad I did. Using a combination of pidgin English and camp hand gestures, the man went on to tell me that his GP apparently has ten children and "another one cooking". I didn't know quite what to say to that. But it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'out-of-hours service'. It also explains where all the Viagra prescriptions are going. In the end I just made a lame joke about his doctor practising for many years, the man looked at me blankly, and we moved on to the photos. There's only so much English you can learn in one day.


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