They’re Killing Me Over At The Doctor’s Clinic

I tend to see humour in strange places.

No, by “strange places” I don’t mean Timbuktu, or Zzyxx or Gogogogo, or even the United States of America.

I mean that any situation I find myself in is always inexplicably hilarious. Someone slips on a banana peel. I laugh. I slip on a banana peel. I laugh. My grandmother slips on a banana peel. I laugh. The scientists working on the CERN supercollider ask me to stop laughing because it’s distracting them. I laugh. But maybe that’s just because I’m a rebel.

But the most inappropriate laughter is that which is engendered at the doctor’s clinic.

The Clinic is, undoubtedly, the worst place to be laugh. That’s why the number of stand-up comedians performing at hospitals is dwindling (“Why aren’t you laughing? Did you break your humerus? Ba-dum-tiss!”).

But there’s no other way to put it; the Clinic is a microcosm of the world. Every shade and hue of every character that exists in the vast and wonderful world can be found in your nearest clinic waiting room, either flipping through the latest issue of Vogue or trying desperately to get the toaster off their hand so that they can flip through the latest issue of Vogue or throwing the latest issue of Vogue at the head of their child, whose (insert body part of choice) is stuck in a toaster, in a manner of negative reinforcement.

Here are a few you may chance upon:

The Hypochondriac

The hypochondriac is instantly recognizable, because he (I’m going with “he” because Mushroom Sup’s Special Survey has very scientifically concluded that 7.65 of every 10 hypochondriacs is male) will be the only one reading the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology instead of Vogue, and diagnosing himself with symptoms of pregnancy. He is also the only one wearing gloves and a facemask. He will look around suspiciously every time someone sneezes, or breathes, or displays the slightest sign of life. The receptionist recognizes him as soon as he walks in, and refers to him affectionately by a nickname, generally along the lines of “Honey”, “Sweetie” or “WHY ON EARTH IS THIS &@#! BACK AGAIN?!”. This will be his fifth visit to the Clinic this week. It’s only Monday.

Beware: Don’t sit in the special “spot” he’s reserved for himself – it’s close to the window so he doesn’t accidentally die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Child with Random Body Part stuck in Random Household Appliance

This is most certainly the happiest patient in the clinic. A vacuum cleaner stuck to his ear, he appears to be immensely pleased with himself. He comes over and proudly shows it to you, while his older sister takes pictures of him which he will put on Instagram when he is older, tagging them #Throwback Thursday and captioning them “It’s the Ear of the Vacuum” – which will get 500 likes because everyone likes a good pun. It almost makes you want to stuff your ears into a vacuum cleaner.

Beware: If you find yourself strangely attracted towards electrical appliances, channel this energy productively and bake a cake. It’s oven-win situation.

The Mother of the Child with Random Body Part stuck in Random Household Appliance

On the other side of the spectrum, this is certainly the unhappiest patient in the clinic. She has a child who thinks putting his ear in a vacuum cleaner is nothing short of brilliant, PLUS he’s destroyed her favourite vacuum cleaner. She will feel an interminable urge to explain to everyone the EXACT sequence of events that led to her current pitiable state. Except there’s no good way to explain how and why your child put a body part in a cleaning appliance. The story will involve a dog, and a trampoline. Well, at least that’s what my mother told them.

Beware: Might ask you to hold the child down while she attempts to pull off the appliance.

The Doctor-sans-certification

The Doctor-sans-certification is an improvement on the traditional hypochondriac. No longer is she afraid of contracting an illness; she has now taken it upon herself to diagnose others, prescribe a course of treatment and offer psychological counselling to deal with the trauma of illness. She is likely to be found hovering about outside clinics rather than inside them, whispering, “Psst, want a diagnosis?” She preys on hypochondriacs – he thinks he’s pregnant? She’ll tell him to expect triplets, and then ask to be their godparent.

Beware: Might try to sell you drugs. “Medicinal, of course.”

The Im-patient

If the Im-patient were a personality type, they’d be an ISTJ because they’re the most common. They hate the wait for the Doctor, and will constantly jump out of their seat to ask the receptionist, “Is it my turn yet?” even though their number is “73” and the doctor is still trying to save the life (the universe, and everything) of Patient Number 42. The pages of Vogue won’t hold their attention for long, and soon enough they’ll be wreaking havoc, throwing vacuum cleaners at eager children, sneezing in faces of hypochondriacs and buying aspirin by the gram.

Beware: If I live anywhere close to you, stay away from your local clinic unless you want a vacuum cleaner on a body part of your choosing.

The Receptionist

If this were one of those apocalypse movies, the receptionist would be the one who single-handedly saves the world from annihilation. She may be cursing you audibly under her breath, but she is prepared for anything – from the hypochondriac’s request for sanitized Vogue magazines to the electrical-appliance-child’s request for a selfie to the im-patient’s request for an easily disposable murder weapon – and with a huge, slightly terrifying smile. She knows exactly how to deal with every sort of Waiting Room emergency, be it an aspirin overdose or a homicide (in both cases, the appropriate response is to keep calm and carry on, unless she’s committed the homicide, in which case, lol).

Beware: If the receptionist loses her patience, you know you’re doomed. Bring out the earthquake supplies – and hide them from the hypochondriac.

So the next time you go to the Doctor’s clinic, keep an eye out. Or a ear.

Unless there’s a vacuum cleaner around.

An Open Letter to My 13-Year-Old-Self

Dear MushroomSupRox2DaCore,

Four years on, I feel that I am sufficiently older, wiser and arguably mature enough to tell you about all the things that you are going to do in the next one year, all the things that you should not do in the next one year and all the things that you should not do but will do anyway just because I’m telling you not to do it.

(Yes, you’re still a rebel in 2015).

Since you are currently in the stage wherein you think that the Internet is magic (it’s not, by the way – it’s actually witchcraft, there’s a fine difference) most of my advice has to do with social media etiquette. Social media is one of the two places where you’ll be spending a majority of your time in the next one year. The other place is remand home.

Kidding – unfortunately, you also retain your brilliant, awe-inspiring, and frankly genius, sense of humour.

Anyway, I feel that it is my duty to inform you about the dangers of the Internet, before you become one of the dangers of the Internet.


What you will do: You are amazed. You can now send messages to your friends without having to wait for your carrier pigeon to come back! Plus, there are so many platforms to choose from – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL. At this point, you will be struck by the overwhelming desire to be different. You must stand out from the motley crowd.

Gmail? More like Flea Mail.
Hotmail? More like What Mail.
Yahoo? More like Boohoo.
AOL? More like AWOL.

So you choose Zoho, because you can’t think of a mean rhyme for it.

And then, to make matters worse, your will insist that your username be “MushroomSupRox2DaCore” for two reasons:

  1. Accurate spelling and grammar is too mainstream.
  2. You rock to the core.

This makes your email ID: You will never bother to change it, which means that, for the next four years and possibly more, you will be ostracized from civilized society and rejected from at least 17 universities.

What you should do: The carrier pigeon’s your only hope. Try to keep it alive.


What you will do: You are 13, and therefore legally allowed to make a Facebook ID. This is it; the moment for which you’ve been waiting all your life. You do the following:

  1. You change your Facebook display picture. To a picture of your favourite punk rock band. In a flash of brilliance, you caption it “Mah favourite punk rock band”.
  2. You change your age on Facebook to 107 years (because you can), change your relationship status to “It’s complicated” and because the words “interested in” are perfectly innocuous to you, you change your bio to “Interested in men and women”. You also change your career to “Working at Unemployed” (refer to aforementioned flash of brilliance), your education to “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” and your language to “Sarcasm” because aren’t you just the sassiest little teenager?
  3. You play FarmVille.
  4. You play CityVille.
  5. You play CastleVille.
  6. You play ChefVille.
  7. You play CityVille 2.
  8. You ask for snow for your city in CityVille by notifying all your friends “GUYS I NEED SNOW PLZ. My snowmen are dying.”
  9. Your mother un-friends you.
  10. You ‘poke’ your mother.
  11. Your mother blocks you.
  12. You change your Facebook status to “2 bored 4 lyf. I LUV PANDAS!!!” It gets 53 likes.
  13. This is greatly encouraging so you proceed to change your Facebook status to “I LUV CHOCOLATE!!!” followed by “I LUV 2 PLAY!!!” followed by “I LUV EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!” and finally “I LUV FACEBOOK!!!”

Many years later, a friend will stalk your Facebook page, like and comment on each and every one of these statuses, and turn your one attempt at a 13-year-old-selfie into a meme. You will be rejected from 17 more universities.

What you should do: Do whatever you want on Facebook, but don’t put your real name. Either that, or make friends whose Facebook accounts have been deactivated. That way they can’t stalk you.


What you will do: Tweet things like “Hey @JustinBieber please follow me I’m your biggest fan” to celebrities who are not Justin Bieber, until they block you.

What you should do: Stay far, far away from this website. (Rule of thumb: Don’t join Twitter if you still need a babysitter.)

So remember, dear 13-year-old-self, not to make the mistakes that I did.

But if you do, I’ll be waiting for you here in remand home.

And if you were wondering, yes, I am, in fact, on a roll today.

Yours insincerely,
Mushroom Sup the Older.

The Colour of The Dress Is Merely a Pigment of Your Imagination.

Last week, the world tottered on the edge of a global crisis with potential wide-ranging disastrous effects. No, the world didn’t run out of Nutella. No, Facebook didn’t introduce a “dislike” button. No, Nicki Minaj didn’t release a new single. This was far worse.

They call it “The Dress”.

The Dress first appeared on social media at around 12:00 PM GMT on the 26th of February, which was followed by successive waves of panic that radiated from the epicentre – Tumblr – to places as far-reaching and obscure as Orkut and (you would have heard of this only if you’re adventurous and a seasoned traveller) Google+.

It was the day the Earth stood still.

They’re saying that the Dress broke the Internet. They’re wrong. It broke the fundamental human will to survive in the face of crushing adversity. It broke the age-old spirit of nations and the metaphorical camel’s back. It broke windows of old-age homes and every three-year-old’s favourite action figure and Stephen Hawking’s speech synthesizer. It broke our conception of reality as we transcended dimensions and the constraints of space and time and became acutely aware of the existence of a higher consciousness, a.k.a. Will Smith’s children, who took the road not taken with the proclamation:


In Japan, every worker in every office stopped whatever he/ she was doing as the establishment collapsed, anarchy ruled, and sushi flew through the air. In the USA, Starbucks offered discounts to anyone who saw the Dress as blue and black and a new religion, Protestism, was developed to protest against the uncultured heretics who didn’t immediately see that the Dress was obviously gamboge. In India, programs were written to detect the exact colour of the Dress depending on the intensity of sunlight and the exact position of the sun in the sky, corrected to thirty-eight decimal places. The Russians offered The Dress a place in the Grand Russian Circus.

The Internet meanwhile, as it is prone to do, lost its mind.

Tumblr set fire to the Dress, screaming “WHAT COLOUR IS THE DRESS NOW MUAHAHA” and then running around in circles screaming “PROTECT US FROM THIS SORCERY” and “WHAT IS COLOUR?”

The supremely wise inhabitants of 9gag, on the other hand, took it upon themselves to explain the baffling phenomena, which I will summarize in five words for those of you who aren’t well versed with the nuances of the scientific method: “Such Retinas, Much Magic. Wow.”

Buzzfeed decided to take the onus of sharing their vast knowledge of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories with the unschooled public by means of an extremely scientific quiz titled “What Does The Colour Of The Dress Say About Your Personality?”

Twitter became a microcosm representing a divided Internet in a divided World in a divided Universe. For the first (and possibly the last) time ever, the world identified with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who took the website to express their sense of disillusionment with the fundamentally mutable nature of reality.


So is The Dress a symbol of irreconcilable human differences? Does this mean that nothing is ever black and white? Do I have to apologize to Michael Jackson and/or colour blind people for making that comment? Does this exterminate racism? What is political incorrectness? What is political? What is? What?

Individual differences exist in how we perceive the world. Some may see blue and black, some may see white and gold, some may see blue and black with their spectacles on and white and gold without (all credits to my mother), while some may see teal (these people probably forgot to take their medication in the morning). But in the end, for one single day, the world was able to forget about its various problems, like poverty, and swine flu, and slow wifi. New friendships were forged between Blacks-and-Blues and Whites-and-Golds. As Kim and Kanye demonstrated so kindly, we now have proof that inter-Colour love can exist and thrive. The very construct of colour has been challenged and dismantled, which means that racism will become a thing of the past and humanity finally has something other than their hatred for Starbucks employees who spell their names wrong on their venti mocha lattes, to collectively bond over.

Yes, one fairly unattractive item of clothing can prevent, and perhaps even end, a World War.

I bet Hitler’s regretting his shopping decisions now.

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