MOSCOW FLU: THE PULSE, THE PARSON, THE PENIS & THE PILLS
Geoff Bentley had been to my lecture at Moscow State University and saw me sweating and shaking. He thought I should see the western doctor immediately. “Get euros and dollars changed to pounds. He charges in guineas and rounds upwards. Believe me, the experience will be worth it”
I was shown into the consulting room and told to remove my trousers and stand in the light. (The doctor had been a Royal Naval officer and knew what was what about chaps in foreign climes). Not wanting to be bellowed at I put my shoulders back and tried to stand up straight. “No, Sir,” I spluttered, ” I’ve got the flu.”
“Spit on this saucer. Good. You’ve got it. You’re going to die. If not this time, then next time. Or the time after. It is a recurrent virus. Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador will probably die of it. The Australian Secretary just has. The fool was at the gym. The natives get it as a mere sniffle. There is a reason why sane white men kept away from Russia for thousands of years. Take a panadol for the temperature and put your life in order. I’m the auxiliary parson at Saint Andrews. If you’re still alive I expect you to be there in a fortnight’s time, come what may. Avoid crowds and exhaustion.”
This is my 11th recurrence since then.