Calm down dear - just take an aspirin

By Charlotte Hofton

Friday, December 27, 2013


THE VIEW FROM HERE Did you have a nice Christmas? I’m sure you did. I expect it was all non-stop peace and goodwill and everybody being simply super to each other.

What’s that you say? There was the odd argument? Somebody had a hissy fit and there was a great rumpus and it all ended in tears?

And who was the somebody who got in such a naughty temper? It was actually you? Oh dear me, that won’t do at all. If only you’d taken an aspirin.

Yes, research reveals uncontrollable bouts of rage (such as we witnessed when the fairy lights wouldn’t work and you threw the screwdriver across the room) not only have a fancy medical title but can be cured with a simple little pill.

Did your family irritate you to boiling point this Christmas? And did you shout at them?

And what sort of language did you use when you got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the supermarket, then fought your way through the vegetables to find there weren’t any sprouts and finally spent an hour waiting in the queue for petrol?

I thought so. You are a very cross person and you are suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED).

This is a disorder which, like so many others at this time of year (disgusting runny noses, repulsive hacking coughs) affects not only you but those around you.

Fortunately, help is at hand. It seems IED is caused by inflammation of the blood and can be alleviated with an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin.

Interestingly, the Greek physician Hippocrates latched on to this sort of thing centuries ago (around 300BC, to be precise) when he declared personality was ordained by bodily fluids — black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood.

When the Greeks got their togas in a twist, it was all down to an excess of yellow bile. This was scorned by modern medics, who preferred to cure tantrums via the psychiatrist’s couch.

Hitherto, IED has also frequently been treated by amateur physicians such as Michael Winner and David Cameron, exhorting the sufferer to "Calm down, dear".

This has been an entirely counter-productive remedy, its patronising ingredients merely inciting the patient to fresh heights of rage.

An aspirin. That’s all you need. Stock up before the New Year and for goodness sake, try to contain yourself when the pharmacist insists giving you a lecture about how often to take them and inquiring whether you have a delicate stomach.

Don’t have an IED fit at the counter. Soon the aspirin will be slipping down your throat, that beastly yellow bile will be in retreat and Hippocrates will be saying: "I told you so."

After gunpowder, any other beauty tips are welcome

I wonder if David Icke, the Island’s kookiest celebrity, might benefit from an aspirin? He is frequently cross, though one cannot blame him, with all he has to worry about.

We’re still in the festive season but there’s no time for jollity, as far as he’s concerned.

He’s currently fretting about a paedophile network whose roots lead back to 10 Downing Street, satanists in the Royal family, a fearful scandal about Nick Clegg (excuse me? Boring old Nick Clegg? Are you quite sure?), not to mention the iniquities of evangelist preacher Billy Graham, who may be 95 but is still enraging poor Mr Icke.

With all this on his mind, I am mortified, therefore, to discover I have unwittingly exacerbated the grumpiness that festers in Mr Icke’s heart.

I recently wrote an article recommending him as our next MP. He is constantly alert to all sorts of frightful goings-on in the world, such as cheese made out of armpits and Prince Philip turning into a serpent at night, and I can’t think of anyone better to represent the Island at Westminster.

Sadly, Mr Icke seems not to have taken my suggestion in the spirit it was intended. Reproducing my article on his website, he declares the CP to be "the IW Mafia’s favourite paper" and says of me: "If her brains were gunpowder they would not ruffle her eyebrows."

I can assure Mr Icke we have never had the Mafia in at the CP. Our ladies of the WI on the Village Talk pages would surely have noticed if we had.

As for the gunpowder epithet, I can’t make head nor tail of it. Is Mr Icke suggesting I am some sort of gunpowder-proof fort-ress? If so, I shall sell myself to the Ministry of Defence for a fortune.

Or is it some sort of beauty tip? Do your eyebrows look ruffled? Just add gunpowder to your brains for an elegantly smooth outline.

I like this idea very much, as it will save me the pain and expense of having them shaped at the beautician’s.

I don’t want to make Mr Icke cross again and I know he’s a busy man but if he has any other cosmetic advice for me, I’d be most grateful.

I have a pack of aspirins I could give him in return.

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