A patient is spouting some incoherent babble, the GP is trying to tease some sense out of them, and behind him I'm using every iota of mid-morning energy to keep my eyes open. I casually wonder if I'm creasing my shirt more than necessary so I bring a stop to my slide towards the floor and focus on the conversation. They seem to be discussing a Dr Thomas. They both know this medical man and are acting as if I should too.
After a few minutes of racking my brains—not easy at the best of times—I decided to ask after this Dr Thomas as soon as the patient has left. I settle on the form of the question (“This er Dr Thomas you mentioned what field of medicine is he in?”) and bide my time. Luckily, the very faintest waft of caffeinated fumes reaches me just in time and I