Letter: Bed to verse

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The Independent Online
Bed to verse

Sir: Phil Hammond MD (3 December) quotes the opening lines of the children's classic "Miss Polly had a Dolly" as an example of inappropriate behaviour on the part of patients.

Tellingly, he omits the other verses. The second - "The Doctor came with his bag and hat, and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat" - contains a blackly satirical suggestion that the doctor might come promptly.

The third - "He looked at the dolly and he shook his head, and he said `Miss Polly put her straight to bed' " - has the swiftly drawn portrait of a condescending bedside manner.

And the fourth - "He wrote on the paper for a pill pill pill, and he said `I'll be back with my bill bill bill' " - leaves us in no doubt as to where the doctor's priorities lie.


London N6