Sunday, September 04, 2011

There's Something Wrong With Your Calendar Dept

The irrepressible Dr. Tony Copperfield, in his hilarious book Sick Notes, has a chapter complaining of how counterproductive "[fill in disease here] Awareness Weeks" are, and of how addicted (naturally) Britain's National Health Service is to filling the entire calendar with one "[Disease de la Semaine] Awareness Week" after another. And in the middle of his rant he passes on this tidbit: "Not long back, Sami Patel [one of his fellow doctors] sent a letter to the PCT asking whether it was his imagination, or had Premature Ejaculation Day come early that year?"

At another point in the rant, Dr. Copperfield mentions "Breast Awareness Month." Um..."Breast Awareness Month"? Really, that's necessary? Surely at least half the British population is very much aware of breasts already, 365 days of the year? The Sun's circulation numbers would seem to imply so, at least. "The Sun's readers don't care who's running the country..."

What's that? Why, don't tell me, Gentle Reader, that you don't catch that last allusion. You mean you've never watched the old reruns of Yes, Prime Minister? Really? Why, hie thee to YouTube posthaste! I think my favorite episode is the one where the Prime Minister naïvely assumes that one of the requirements for any person wishing to become Archbishop of Canterbury is that His Most Rev and Rt Hon Would-Be Lordship must be a, you know, Christian, and it falls to Humphrey to rectify the Prime Minister's regrettable naïveté; but that is only the best of the best of a consistently wickedly hilarious send-up of British career politicans and the civil servants who manage assist them. And here to get you started is the specific bit that Breast Awareness Month made me think of:

Or here we have Sir Humphrey explaining the attitude of the Treasury to taxation:

THE P.M.: ...Why doesn't it surprise you?

SIR HUMPHREY: Why, because he's advised by the Treasury, and the Treasury don't believe in giving money back.

THE P.M.: But it's not theirs, it's the taxpayers'!

SIR HUMPHREY: That is one view; it's not the view of the Treasury...


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