Archive for December 1st, 2009

An ode (well, limerick) to CAM – updated twice

December 1, 2009

Via Ben Goldacre’s Twitter feed, I have just seen this rather well remunerated Prize for Medical Poetry.

The eminent Dr G suggests on Twitter that this should be

“…worth a punt with a limerick at least”.

What an excellent idea.

So, in the spirit of late night juvenilia, I offer the following effort:

Says the acupuncturist to the sick,
I’ve a specially neat little trick:
Though I’m stoked about CAM.
All my needling is SHAM
…So you won’t even feel a small pr*ck



And today’s try:

Now the homeopath, don’t you see,
Finds himself in a fearful quandry;
Should he ever let on,
That the whole thing’s a con,
He’d say “goodbye” to all of his fee

This second one also works with the alternative first line

Now the homeopathic MD,”

– in tribute to the eminent members of the medical profession who manage to believe in homeopathy whilst, apparently, also believing in evidence-based medicine and in tests of efficacy.

The amount of  Orwellian Doublethink that this must require on a daily basis leaves me in awe.

Actually, perhaps a better limerick for these erudite ladies and gents would be the following:

Now the homeopathic MD
Finds himself in a fearful quandry;
Should he ever let on,
That the whole thing’s a con,
He’d relinquish much authority


*Update 2 – THURSDAY Dec 3rd*

There is a bit of a Haiku competition going on (and some further limericks) in the comments thread below.  A special hat-tip goes to reader Rob A who has formed the “don’t keep your mind so open your brain falls out” sentiment into a really nice Haiku:

There are side effects
to ‘being open minded’ :
your brain might fall out

This put me in a Haiku mood, so I tried one of my own:

there’s simply nothing to it;
literally so.

And today I was commenting over on a thread at Respectful Insolence about the Grand-daddy of New Age Quantum Woo Deepak Chopra, when I was inspired to post a Haiku about the great man. I have now adapted it slightly to cover Alternative Therapies in general:

Healer’s words conjure
hopes and visions of well-ness;
cash register rings.