18th May 2019
As part of my training as a children’s doctor I had to undertake my professional (also known as “Royal college”) exams. This was very early on in my career. These exams are held at different locations around the UK and I decided that I would go to Titterington,a city in the north of England, to sit my exams. This was at a time well before mobile phones (that fact is quite important in the story). When I arrived at the examination centre I bumped into Andre, a Maltese chap who I had worked with the previous year. Andre was known to be prone to accidents (eg he had suffered a head injury after stepping in front of a bus the previous year – in Malta the buses drive on the opposite side of the road). We went into our respective exams and then chatted afterwards. “Fancy meeting for a drink later?” I asked. “Sure!” said Andre, “why don’t you come and meet me at my hotel at 6pm?”.We swapped addresses and went our separate ways.
I arrived at Andre’s hotel at 6pm and went straight to the reception where I asked the receptionist to call his room and tell him that I had arrived. She sniggered. I knew something was wrong. Andre came down 5 minutes later, he was a state. He was sweating and was dishevelled. I asked him what was wrong but he couldn’t even speak. I was worried that something terrible had happened. Eventually, I sat him down and gave him a whisky. “Tell me what’s happened” I said. “Oh Tim!” replied Andre. “I was coming back from the exam and felt that I could do with some company tonight”, “Right…” I replied. “I found this number in the back of the newspaper and rang from my hotel room. The lady that answered asked me what I wanted so I gave her a detailed description of what would make my evening enjoyable…the only problem was that I forget to dial 9 on my hotel phone and I was infact talking to the receptionist!”. I fell about laughing, only Andre!