10 OCTOBER 1987, Page 48

High life

Shot full of holes


ur family doctor is not only good, he's also the nicest man I've ever met. He is known as 'El chiquito doctor' for reasons that become obvious as soon as one meets him, and was given the sobriquet by my daughter when she was a tiny little girl, spoke only Spanish, and mistook him for a playmate because of his size.

Although shorter than Napoleon, my saviour exhibits the Corsican's zeal for making holes in the human body by pre- scribing an injection for every ailment under the proverbial sun. Ever since I came out of hospital, the Martin Amis look-alike has visited me daily, and has shot more antibiotics into me than is needed to eradicate the clap in Central Africa and Nicaragua for the rest of the century. His rationale is that I am bound to be full of infections because of the kind of women I run around with, therefore he might as well take advantage of my being bedridden and shoot me full of holes. As well as vitamins, mind you. The result of all this is that I look worse than Jeff on one of his bad days, but feel extremely well.

Last week El Chiquito announced that my ticker was improving, and that evening I ventured out for a small dinner party. I drank half a bottle of wine and followed it up with two — only two — whiskies, and bang, the next day the doctor almost bit my ankle for it. The electrocardiogram not only recorded the drinks, it also spilled the beans about what went on afterwards, and for how long. More antibiotics and more holes in poor Taki.

Needless to say, I've been quiet ever since. Apparently my arteries are blocked, and have been blocked for a long time thanks to Mr R.J. Reynolds, Mr Lorillard, and a ghastly Frog by the name of Mon- sieur Gitane. Looking back, I had the same type of pain and sweats when I was recuperating from the high life in Penton- ville, but had thought the pain in my chest was from the lifting-weight I had dropped accidentally while pumping iron.

Which goes to show that it's all in the mind, and that what we in the flabby West need is less medicine and more jails. I really mean it. In Pentonville I was given some awful green muck to swallow and told to get back to work. I grumbled, felt sorry for myself, but after two weeks of feeling terribly uncomfortable, I felt as good as new. My medical treatment cost the taxpayers less than 50 pence. In view of my heart condition at present, I will not try and figure out what the costs will be this time around. All I know is that it would have been cheaper to have libelled some- one, anyone, rather than having to keep it all inside like the English, with the predict- able results.

And speaking of my favourite subject, libel, how did you like the way Bob Woodward libelled the dead Bill Casey? To be truthful, I was not surprised. He wrote a book about Nixon's final . days, knowing full well that the ailing and disgraced ex-president would do nothing about it. Having made a mint, he decided to make some more by libelling Casey.

It's par for the course, especially from a man who insisted until the very end that Janet Cooke's story about an eight-year- old heroin addict was true. (When the cops tried to get Woodward to reveal the whereabouts of the eight-year-old in order to save him from his parents, Woodward did not hesitate for a second. He flatly rejected them, saying he does not reveal sources. So much for .compassion from the man who called Nixon a liar and a bum.) But why am I getting excited again? The ignorance and onanisth of the American preis is not new. And hardly original. It's subject is an America about which there is nothing good to be said. It is as boring as having to lie in bed all day, something which I shan't be doing much longer, unless the good doctor shoots me up with elephant tranquillisers.