Thursday, 19 May 2016

Ask the Doctor!

On His Rounds
The "visit" by David Payne to apartment 5A is being aired once again, so we're told. There is little new to be said about it until the appearance of more evidence and the only tip the Bureau can offer  is to ignore the message of  DC Mike Marshall to Paiva regarding Payne’s movements that day if you wish to retain your sanity or until we find out if he was on acid when he wrote it.

Savage Messiah

As always with the owlish Eric Morecombe lookalike Payne, there is a rich vein of comedy to be mined from almost everything he says and does.   Don’t you just love the way the Leicester copper asks what “everybody was wearing”  in apartment 5A that evening?  Then  he relaxes to let Payne slowly strangle himself.
A doctor says: "I’m afraid that is, you know I’m, I cannot recall at all. I know that’s, you’d think that’d be an obvious thing to remember, I cannot remember. As I say the, from the children point of view predominantly I can remember the, you know, white, but I couldn’t say exactly what they were wearing. Err…”
Messiah: "But could you remember what Kate was wearing for example?” [Isn’t that casual “for example” just perfect?]
A doctor says: "I can’t, no.”
Can you imagine the delicious temptation the officer Messiah felt to pause, look down at his notes and add, “it was just a towel actually; she was naked except for a towel” and then sit back and watch Payne thrash around in his chair like a landed dogfish? Oh, being a policeman can be fun sometimes, can’t it? 

Tonight on the Horror Channel 

For the imaginative reader posing the question what would David Payne look like if he really had been  staring at a blonde in a towel? always produces fruitful images – look, look  at his eyes bulging behind the pebble glass on his nose, listen to him saying to himself over and over again, Fiona must never know about this, Fiona must never, ever know that I witnessed this, or thought these things...
I knew I shouldn't have told her

Ask Dr Payne

Every week David visits a typical family setting

Then we have that  wonderful paean to family life which we quote here, using’s auto-annotation function in bracketed italics.
A doctor says: "But err certainly enough time just to see, you know, certainly the apartment, [no, there was no petrol, she wasn’t trying to burn it down] there was nothing that was untoward [ no, no signs of broken furniture or fist shaped holes in the walls] that was,you know, err the children all looked extremely happy,[no, none of them were hiding under the bed sobbing] there was no, you know signs of any problems with err you know Kate, [she’s completely sane and normal] you know or indeed the relationship that Kate had got with any of the three children [yes, three]. None of the children had been told off [no bodies] none of the children looked like they were you know in trouble for anything [no bandages], you know they were err still all talking [alive!] and playing around […and kicking! ] Err so you know it was just a very err transient you know that I’d gone in there, but as I say it just struck me how well they all looked.” [alive, I tell you, all alive!]
Good, eh? For a bloke who couldn’t remember a towel his observation was pretty comprehensive about other things, wasn’t it?


No, he never fails. Can you remember when you were a school kid and you’d been seen bunking off to the sweet shop and you had to explain why it took you so long to get from the science lab to the maths class, or if you prefer from media studies to IT? Well listen to Owl of the Fifth Form Payne trying desperately to make the short journey from the beach to the tennis courts a saga of intercontinental exploration, all in the hopeless attempt to fit the  fictional timescale window. Annotated this time  with the invaluable**Coen Brothers selected/ which helps us bring life to this  troubling scene.  Again, though,  the unbracketed words are those of DP.   
Messiah: "Okay, but how long would that generally take you?”
A doctor asks: "How long? [thinks] Err I’d say, yeah ten fifteen minutes walk…”
DC 666 Nemesis: "So where were you going then? Presumably you weren’t going to play tennis were you? When you left the beach, what was…”
A doctor gulps: "Yeah, oh yes [very hurriedly indeed] that was always the intention and that’s what Fiona [she’ll back me up] was saying, look if you’re actually gonna do anything tonight you’d better get yourselves up there and it’s getting quite late [starts overbreathing] so that was, you know, that’s the reason we’d all gone ahead because we waited till the children had finished eating and [arms and legs twitching and thrashing] … err got in the prams and got up there…[loses thread, whips bag of sweets out and starts sucking greedily] you know it takes another five ten minutes on top walking back with them, err then you know we’d have lost the opportunity. [Leans back, deep breaths, blinks madly, where the fuck am I? Who’s  this?]

DC Messiah: [for it is he] "How long did you spend in your apartment?”

A doctor loses it: [must make things clearer, remember you're a doctor, you're a doctor] "I mean again, we’ve you know, [slowly]  we’ve chatted about the timings and everything and you know looked at the photographs and you know, you know,  we were leaving about quarter past six from the err restaurant,  [sudden uncontrolled acceleration out of the corner] we’d gotta walk up there, ten, fifteen minutes, conversation with Gerry, conversation with Kate, you know that’s another five, ten minutes on to your ten, fifteen minutes walk so you’re talking twenty five minutes, so that’s taken you to twenty five to, twenty to seven, [overbreathing, skids to a halt] well you know we were certainly playing tennis for a, you know the best part of an hour err so you know it couldn’t have been long that I was in the apartment, you know a matter of minutes...

...[Gulps  into now empty sweet bag to stop overbreathing. Calms down, adopts talking to patient pose] Err again, [Whew! What was going on there?]  presuming… that… you… know the… tennis… was… usually… around [gulp] six… thirty, that… if… you know, if we’re leaving the restaurant you know --  quarter past six or whatever, around that time, [tachycardia, speech speeds up madly again, blue around the lips]  that-you-know-if-we’d-leave-it- much-longer- with it taking ten minutes or whatever to walk up just to start the tennis at half six, youknowwewerealreadycutting it FINE and I think as it transpired we were playing TENNIS till you know even beyond there, it was quarter to seven,[help!]  or AROUND then and err you know if we’d have left it much later then we just thought well it’s gonna finish, SO – [glasses fall off, slumps to the ground holding his chest, screams it’s true, I tell you, it’s true! No, no, I don’t want the cane! Not the cane! Gimme my sweets!
For those of a more serious bent, note the way the good doctor is curiously unable to recall whether he changed into his tennis gear before arriving at 5A or afterwards. Why was that and why does it matter? Well, the Duffer Doctor couldn’t handle towels but even he knew that Kate McCann might have said what he was supposedly wearing – so would she say he was wearing tennis gear or not? And if he said his visit was before he got changed…?
Happier days - London Fashion Week Awards (medical)