We had a family doctor
—called Merrick—who came round
whenever one of us was sick,
and somehow always
made us well again.
That’s medicine at its best.
He was ageless, and James Bond handsome
in his expensive suits, always carrying
a shiny black leather medical bag,
and always smelling strongly of some kind of
medical disinfectant, which made him
seem bracingly accomplished.
And his manner was just right too:
no small talk, just swift diagnoses
and clipped instructions;
and his pronouncements, like
those of our dentist and our vet,
were known to be infallible.
And Merrick always seemed to be
reassuringly “nearby,” and
would call ‘round that very day
whenever we asked
him to.

Maybe the James Bond junk
was a clue. He’s sure to be
long dead of old age by now, but I don’t
know that for sure. However, what
I do know is that
Dr. Merrick liked, on his holidays
(so I heard, I was only a boy)
—to go big game hunting
in Africa (where else)—
with a group of like-minded peers;
big game hunting for
big game like lions and elephant
and big buffalo.
I thought nothing of it
—what was there for me to think?—
and as Dr. Merrick surely knew everything
there was to know about
anything existentially important, so
if hunting was what he wanted to do
on his holidays, then it must have
been exactly right in every respect.

Then word of an accidental holiday shooting!
Oh my god! Shots from a shotgun!
Merrick bagged in the bush! Impossible!
Christ almighty, you don’t shoot
your fucking GP!

So we understood
he wouldn’t be calling ‘round for
a while, even if we really needed him.
He had first to “heal thyself.” Turns out
Dr Merrick had been plugged, accidentally,
by one of his friends, because
Merrick somehow got himself
into the firing line, in which
one of his medical friends
—brandishing his shotgun—and thinking
—as could easily happen, surely—that the shape
of Merrick up ahead was possibly big game,
and definitely worth taking a pot-shot at,
and so therefore fuck-shot Merrick in the arse,
or in the face, or in the cock,
by some accidental freak intentional accident.
I was told that someone had shouted
“Don’t shoot, for medical fucksake!”
followed by (a big) “DOUBLE BLAM!”
—both barrels—and—oh no!—
man down, man down, they got (someone) him!
An everyday medical mistake, if you
are a big game hunter on holiday from your
demanding medical practice, and
needing to let off steam, and let off a
few discreet farts in the bush, and trying to
relax, just for one precious tiny
moment in your bastardly stressful big
pharmaceutically-based game life.

Merrick wasn’t dead, but he had been badly
fuckshot up with buckshot up.
He wouldn’t have died—obviously not—
surrounded as he was by all those highly
skilled and clever physicians;
they could have taken
any number of buckshot fuckshot pellets
out of his arse, or out of his face,
or out of his cock, in seconds, with their
tweezers and medical pliers and shiny
disinfected probes, deployed,
as they surely would be,
with effortless expertise.
So Merrick was in the very best of hands,
if you’ll just think about it, and give
it a minute.

But just how easy is it to mistake one
of your hunting party for big game?
Did poor old Merrick look exactly
like a farm animal
disguised as a James Bond?
Maybe he was camouflaged, like
one of those a special forces soldiers
you see in Afghanistan, or Libya, with a
bush sticking out of his head,
and one of the other doctors had
opened fire on the camouflaged bush
thinking it was just another stupid bush
in the bush.
Alas, poor Merrick!

And these doctors must definitely
have been hunting at night,
using torches like the police use
in movies, torches which illumine
absolutely nothing at all, torches
which give off just a thin, dim
useless beam of no light whatsoever,
so as not to spoil the stupid jump-scare plot, so
we can’t see the stupid fucking monster
elephant or murdering criminal
mastermind buffalo hiding
in the bushes right there, watch out!
right in front of us.
That’s what Merrick and his chums
must have been doing: hunting
in the pitch black darkness of night
with only useless ‘movie torches’
to hand, so they couldn’t
see the poor bugger Merrick camouflaged there
like just another big bush in
the big bad old bush.

Or was there a drunken doctor fight,
at the watering hole, with whisky-fuelled
off-duty drunken doctors on holiday
acting like competitive schoolboys,
harbouring competitive secret grudges
which could best be played out with an
accidental shooting? Was Merrick
just too James Bond for the other
lesser doctor guys with their tiny penises, or
were the others even more
Hollywood than Merrick, with much
bigger cocks, and squarer jawlines,
and better qualifications, like
incredibly difficult brain surgery,
and impossible head and cock transplants, plus
the sought-after skills to do
sci-fi Total Recall cylinder implants,
and they saw poor Merrick as just
another lowlife loser family GP, and not
really one of their peers at all, and
so they decided—subliminally, unconsciously,
unanimously, and true to medical
textbook Freudianism—
to get rid of him with one of those completely
unforeseen “hunting accidents”
that seem to keep happening
every now and then ?

Was it God who said “there are no
real accidents, only things which
look like accidents, and other things
which look exactly like Ernest Hemingway
on a hunting holiday-away?”
We’ll never know, will we, although
we’ve known all along,
haven’t we.