Story by Big M
It had somehow fallen on Foodge to take Granny to the doctor. When he thought about it, Merv was busy with the pub, Merv’s missus (Foodge never remembered Janet’s name) was busy with the twins, young Wes was busy studying, and working at the Sisters of the Emphaticocordiae Nursing Home, Manne was…oh shit, he thought, Manne was still staked out in front of the Edelweiss Double Billing Clinic. Anyway, they had been to the local doctor, who must have just been told a really funny joke, because he kept laughing and shaking his head, and then directed them to see a Professor of Gynaecology at Sidney Uni.
Granny went in to see the Professor. She was initially a bit cranky, as he had examined her, and then asked her for her real name and age, which she begrudgingly gave, then sat down and perused some pathology results.
“Do you take any medicines?’
“No.” Granny replied.
“Any herbs or vitamins?”
“What do you mean, ‘not exactly’?” The Prof cocked a bushy eyebrow in a very John Howard sort of way.
“I take a sort of herb.”
“What, a green herb that one doesn’t get from the chemist?”
“Yes, but I have to, I’m under so much stress.” Granny suddenly gushed. “There’s these dreadful friends of Merv’s who make up the most horrible stories about me ‘n’ Mr Foodge, an’ Rouge an’ O’Hoo?” Granny was on the edge of her seat.
“Who are these fellows?”
“There’s a mate of Merv’s called Emmjay, but the worst is some hanger onner named Big M, full of talk, and gulpin’ down free drinks.”
“Clearly that sort of herb may be of some benefit, but I suggest that you and this Merv fellow need to distance yourselves from these characters. Any other non prescribed medicines?”
“Well, I did buy a performance enhancer from a bloke in the Gents, you know, for me weight trainin’ an’ so on.”
“Did you happen to bring any of these performance enhancers?”
“Of course.” Granny handed over a small brown bottle.
The Prof scanned the label, and then laughed. “Granny, these are a type of anabolic steroid. Anabolic, in that, they will enhance one’s feminine attributes. These are pure oestrogen!”
“What, like pregnant lady, menstrual cycle type oestrogens?”
“Oh, poor Mr Foodge.” All of the colour had drained from Granny’s face.
“Don’t tell me you gave them to a man?”
Granny could only nod and point to the waiting room. The professor went out in search of this Mr Foodge. All he could find was a plump fellow of indeterminate age, wearing a dark grey suit, Fedora pushed back on his head, asleep with a copy of Raymond Chandler’s, ‘The Big Sleep’ on his lap. Foodge seemed to rouse, as if he knew he was wanted. “I’m a shamus…I’ll try to be taller…the flesh of orchids are like the flesh of men…” Foodge mumbled.
“Mr Foodge, could you come into the office, please?” The Professor held out a hand to guide out hapless detective through the doorway.
“Now, Mr Foodge, it seems that…” Granny interrupted the Prof.
“Let me tell him. I’m sorry Foodge, I was trying to build you up…give you a little pep…. Oh, God, I knew they were steroids. “She sobbed into a hanky.
The Prof took over.” Mr Foodge, have you had any feminine type symptoms…gynaecomastia?
“I think that’s for me and my solicitor!” Foodge was covering his confusion with fake opprobrium.
“Now we’ll have to involve my barrister!”
“Mr Foodge, we won’t need to involve the legal profession, it seems that you have been exposed to high doses of female hormones for some time. I guess it explains the strange adiposity.” As he nodded towards Foodge’s recently expanded derrier.
“Alright…. the treatment is the same for both of you. I was going to prescribe a powerful oestrogen antagonist, but I think a placebo may be better.”
“A powerful placebo?” Enquired Foodge.
“Yes, quite powerful.” Acknowledged the Prof.