A SURGICAL ERROR AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
by
Walter Stanford
Now Mr Theophilus Reginald Brann 
Was a worthy and highly respectable man. 
His face was expansive, the colour of lard 
There was nothing but bonhonnie in his regard. 

In his youth, in the middle he'd parted his hairs 
And the parting had spread with the fleeting of years 
And now shone resplendent, a dazzling sight 
From his ear on the left to his ear on the right. 

One sultry June morning, the said T.R.B. 
Strolled down to his office in Bucklesbury 
And as he was walking, his features he fanned 
With the elegant topper he held in his hand. 

Fate willed that his patients should carry him near 
A sky-scraper building in course of repair 
And as he was passing, some beer-sodden Mick 
Let drop on his up-bulging cranium a brick. 

'Neath the shock of the impact the poor fellow's crust 
Went off like a paper bag when it is 'bust' 
And moaning, Theophilus sank down to rest 
With his dome scattered round him North, South, East and West.

A doctor was called, overhauled him, and said 
"His heart is still wobbling, I don't think he's dead 
I'll pull him through yet, if I don't make a mull 
Look sharp there and pick up the bits of his skull!" 

An eager crowd ferreted carefully round 
And seventeen pieces of cranium found
"Complete" said the doctor, "now one thing remains, 
Has anyone seen anything of his brains?" 

No, though they'd inspected each inch of the place 
Of brains not a searcher had spotted a trace 
And a bricklayer said, "'ere I'll tell yer wot's wot 
Some dawg must 'ave bin 'ere an' sloped with the lot." 

The doctor looked worried, "That¹s awkward," he cried 
"I can¹t build his head up with nothing inside, 
And if we keep waiting, he'll slide 'Down the Vale' 
What's that stuff you've got standing there in a pail?" 

'Twas plaster of Paris. Two handfuls he spread
In the yawning gap left in the poor victim's head 
Then pressed in the splinters, which fitted exact 
And there lay Theophilus, headpiece intact. 

In the ward, where they carried him, senseless and numb 
For weeks he lay motionless, pallid and dumb 
Till, at length, dull torpidity lifted the siege 
And Theophilus uttered distinctly, "Ou suis-je?" 

A nurse hurried up to the side of the bed 
And cheerfully asked him, "Sir, what's that you said?" 
But he only looked puzzled and roughly said, "Bah, 
Mais qu'est-ce que vous dites, je ne vous comprends pas?"

'Twas the Plaster of Paris; all efforts were vain 
From that day he never spoke English again 
Nor knew what his family were speaking about 
No matter how loud they might bellow and shout. 

The moral of this is quite easy to see 
It shows us how careful a doctor must be 
Of course, there's no question - that medical gent 
Should have mended his patient with Portland Cement.
The end