Are you the patient?

Surgeons in every UK hospital must now, under new rules, go over a checklist before they operate, to

Set by Joy Hosker

£20 to the winners, with the Tesco vouchers going in addition to Josh Ekroy. PS: Could Derek Morgan send us his address?

Dr V: We're working on Smith?

Dr E: Is it him?

Dr V: Perhaps it is. Ask him.

Dr E: You ask him!

Dr V: Perhaps we should stop.

Dr E: For what?

Dr V: To find out.

Dr E: He can't tell us.

Dr V: Why?

Dr E: He's asleep.

Dr V: Then wake him.

Dr E: I can't.

Dr V: Why?

Dr E: The anaesthetic.

Dr V: What if he isn't Smith?

Dr E: Whose brain did we remove?

Dr V: Never mind, he's got a nice new one now.

Patient writhes, groans.

Dr E: Are you Ignatius Smith?

Patient: Pozzo! Pozzo!

Dr V: I think he said "positive".

John O'Byrne

Doctor: You must be new, don't remember seeing you in theatre before.

Nurse: No, sir, I've been theatre sister in Gynaecology for 30 years, but it's the first time I've met you.

Doctor: Aha! Gynaecology, is it? And what do we have today? On my list I have two amputations. This first lady looks rather large - has the anaesthetist taken note?

Nurse: Well, it is twins, sir, prima gravida, a Caesarian.

Doctor: Twins, eh? And having problems with her pins? She'll have a hard time managing twins with only one leg! Well, let's roll. Off with it!

Nurse: But . . .

Half an hour later.

Doctor: That went well. Tell the nurses to bring in the next one - double amputation - major job!

Nurse: Another Caesarian, sir. Triplets with complications.

Doctor: Tripped did she? What a peculiar coincidence. What have these women been doing? Totally irresponsible to expect to rear a horde of children when they've had their legs off!

Shirley Curran

Surgeon: So I said to the Jaguar dealer, the XJ Super V8 is going to have to do. Pass the meat. And do you know what he said to me? Mrs Snelgrove or Mr Prasad, either will do. He said, you must be joking, there's a waiting list as long as your arm. So I said to him, where were we, are you sure this is an arm amputation? I said well never mind then, what about the XJ 2.7D and what exactly is wrong with this, the elbow joint malfunctioning? I could've sworn Mrs Snelgrove was a knackered tibia, anyway, do you know what he had the gall to say to me? He said, 0 to 70 in - no, no, gall bladder was definitely Mr Prasad - he said, try the XF V8. The man didn't know his arse from his elbow joint . . .

Josh Ekroy

No 4067 Tweet tweet

Set by Hank T Romein

Those born before the advent of Twitter lacked a web program with which to subject their social networks to regular brief (up to 140 characters) updates on the trivia of their lives. Please imagine what Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde, the Bloomsbury Group, the Algonquin set, Sinatra's Rat Pack and others of your choice not noted for their reticence might have sent out into the Twittersphere - and the replies they might have received.

Max 120 words by 12 March


Just recently Google has brought out with a great deal of alterations and improvements to their prominent search system, including Googles Knowledge Graph Release. Read More...

This article first appeared in the 02 March 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Thatcher: 30 years on, the final verdict