Eager to share more comical anecdotes here, I had asked my fellow doctors about funny incidents that had occurred during their career that they felt would be worth sharing with the general public. As the responses poured in, I started to realize something – we doctors have a very morbid sense of humour, don’t we? You think I am bluffing? Here are some samples of just the first line of the ‘funny anecdotes’ that came in my inbox:

  • “There was this time when we were removing a cancerous growth…”. 
  • “This guy was high on weed and holding a lit cracker in his hands…”
  • “Did I tell you about the hilarious one with the guy who was bitten by a snake…”
  • “What about that guy who fell from the coconut tree…”
  • “This one time we were performing a procedure for family planning and the mother-in-law objected…”

This was first published in Tamarind Rice's
Volume 2 issue 2 in my column "An Appletini
A Day..."
Click the picture to read the entire
 magazine online for free.

Ai yai yai!
I don’t know if it is all those years of working in a hospital that makes absolutely funny docs develop this scary ‘Addams family’ sense of humour. The fact remains though that we do have some very interesting anecdotes to share with the vast spectrum of people who pass by our hospital doors every day. Having sifted through the many stories that came in, I thought I would share one from the above list with you all this time. So what say we hear about that hilarious one of the snake bite from a doctor presently working in one of the busiest emergency departments in God’s own country?

So we have this guy who was bitten by a snake while working in the field. The nearest hospital adequately equipped to deal with snake bite wounds was a good ninety kilometres away and for some reason the others in his area decided to take him by an express train rather than combat the broken roads (thank you, road tax!). They had of course caught the snake and kept it inside a distinctive yellow gunny bag with the aim of showing the doctors at the hospital.

When their stop arrived, they got down from the general compartment, focusing on easing the bite victim’s pain as they alighted. That is when they were robbed. Yes, seeing the others pre-occupied, a guy who had got in at the previous station quickly seized the opportunity and stole the gunny bag!
Chasing him seemed a futile effort and so they headed off to the hospital where my friend was on call. Based on their descriptions, she made an educated guess as to which variety of snake it could have been though she did wish she could have been certain as the mode of treatment tended to differ based on the species of snake.

Her prayers were answered half an hour later though. Even as the first stage of therapy was still underway, the bell rang announcing the arrival of a new case at the emergency casualty. Lo and behold, a new snake bite victim was rushed in, howling in agony with a fresh bite on the palm of his hand. And gee, wouldn’t you have guessed it? He had the snake that bit him in a yellow bag! Seeing that familiar gunny bag, it took all of two seconds for the first bite victim’s bystanders to realise what had happened, of course. A new war now ensued as the two patients friends started fighting in the casualty over whose snake it was and the events leading up to the second bite!

In the end, some semblance of sanity was restored and having identified the snake, she was able to start the definitive treatment for both the bite victims. There was no point registering a case of robbery, of course – as far the first guy’s friends were concerned, justice had already been delivered. In fact, the story does have a happy ending - they both recovered uneventfully in adjoining beds and even became friends before they left the hospital.
How they both feel about snakes is a different matter altogether.

24 Comments

Nabanita said…
haha...this was funny in a strange sort of way...quite a story and quite an experience for your friend..
Vidya Sury said…
Hehe. How hilarious! Or howlarious - since it can't have been fun to be bitten!
Red Handed said…
Poor guys...dont know how much they made me laugh through your post. heheheheheheheeh
Sumana said…
haha.. :)
tulika singh said…
Lol.. I'd like to say 'serves him right'. Bring on some more tales doctor.
Kanthu said…
This reminds me of a Tamizh saying, "Thirudanakku thael kottuna maadhiri." Loosely translating to, "Like a thief being stung by a scorpion." :D
No matter what profession we are in, we can always make it interesting with some sense of humor. Good one, Doc. :-)
Haha.. even I dont know whether to call it funny - the sequence is almost satirical, I guess but its tough to start a joke with "remember that time when a guy got bit by a snake!"
Yup... its scary the things we docs find funny!
You. you... you evil woman! Laughing at someone getting bitten by a snake! You must be a lawyer!!!
Hehe.. all in due course :)
I know... you need to bring some mirth into events that occur around you or else you will suffocate...
RAJIV SIKKA said…
very well said........ROSHAN........KEEP IT UP
Anonymous said…
Scary but hilarious!! What plight of the thief! :D :D
Ruchi Singh said…
LOL, but how must have been for the other guy, who would have put his hands inside the gunny bag!!
Shailaja V said…
Ha ha ha! Roshan, you just made my day!
Well, I guess all is well that ends well, right :)
Haha.. biggest shock of his life... thats for sure!
welcome to the life of doctors which isn't shown on TV and news :D
Anonymous said…
That was great real-life humour!
Carol Graham said…
Love these tales -- keep them coming. Glad this story had a happy ending
Welcome to the life of an emergency medical officer :)
Thanks Carol .. will do so :)