Monday, 21 November 2011


If you believe that dead men tell no tales then stop reading this for just a sec. Yes, I am talking to you: STOP. Now that I have your attention, laugh at yourself: laugh real hard. You might as well believe in a black Santa Claus, wildebeests pulling his cart on the dunes of the Kalahari Desert and pigmies helping him dish out kola nuts. Now that you have laughed at yourself let me get to the point. The only way we get to learn human anatomy is by keenly listening to dead men. Enter the rendezvous point (the morgue). I may have been high on formalin half the time I was there, but I do have a tale or two from the dead to share. So sit back, read on and enjoy these stories.

Tale #1: Muscles sure are a piece of work!
From their Latinised names, to knowing their relations, attachments, nerves and blood supply; these were some of the hardest tales to master from the dead. The paradox is that most of the large muscles have short names (example gluteus maximus) while the most of the small ones have hyper-extended names (talk of levator labii superioris alequi nasi). The latter muscle, by the way, is a facial muscle which when in bilateral use makes one resemble a beaver or something.

Tale #2: Breasts aren’t all they seem to be.
And I quote, ‘let’s talk about this beautiful structure called the breast.’ Breasts are a vital component of the human being. From nurturing young ones, to being a focal point of feminine aesthetics and playing a major role once lights are off: they are central to the completeness of female anatomy. (For guys reading this, take a moment of silence and think how the world would be without breasts) But did you know that breasts are modified sweat glands? For the record, I am talking about natural breasts here. Anything after a visit to a cosmetic surgeon is, well: just a modified……balloon..?

Tale #3: Hips do lie
The truth, at last! You see those well crafted parts of feminine anatomy that men ogle at, they are all an illusion. Let me expound. Hips are bony protrusions of the proximal femur (thigh bone) that are accentuated by a wide feminine pelvic girdle. What makes them look supple and rounded is the skin and the ample padding of fat underneath. I bet the Maker looked at this part of His creation and said, ‘Now that my friends, is how to keep that guy Adam staring.’

All these and more stories we hear from the dead help us later to cure the living. So for all those who ask me why I am still a medic yet we frequently deal with the dead, now you have your answer. It is an interesting experience (no weirdo). Were it not for the putrid formalin, 'communications' with the dead would be next to impossible. Just so we are clear, ‘putrid’ here translates to the smell of a well blended cocktail of a kg of crushed onions and about a liter of stale urine. In the end however, one thing stands astute: God’s creations are supremely exquisite.

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