Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

Some years back I completed a PhD in information science (a bibliometric study of the communication process in science, Strathclyde U, if you want the full details). I started it while I was Librarian at the British Geological Survey, and finished it six years later while working at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. I wanted to finish it before I was 50, and I managed it with six months to spare. My two sons were grown-up, indeed the eldest was doing his own PhD at the same time, and both would at times piss-take about my researches – it’s a family trait. I remember one of the lines when I finished was, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”, delivered as a leery chat-up and often followed by “Fnarr, Fnarr,” especially to Viz fans.

Last year younger son brought me back a T-shirt from America with that message on it, and I was suitably chuffed. I wore it to a poetry reading at the Scottish Poetry Library during last year’s Festival. A guy at the back of the audience passed out, and nobody knew if it was drink-, chemical- or illness-induced. I found myself holding my hand over the message on my chest, in case anyone misidentified me as a medic and asked me to help. I didn’t think that my profound knowledge of Lotka’s distribution or publication latency would help in an emergency.

I’ve worn the T-shirt since – but with the revelations over the backgrounds of the suspects in Glasgow and elsewhere, I realise I probably shouldn’t wear it in public again. Maybe I should start looking for fashion items with less controversial messages?


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
This entry was posted in PhD research, T-shirts. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

  1. Cailleach says:

    How a t-shirt might get you into trouble – now there’s a poem.

  2. apprentice says:

    I remember you telling that story about the festival, it’s a great one. Can just see you with your hand over your chest. I wonder what noun could replace doctor in the phrase. I can think of a few I’d want to trust just about as much:pilotshairdressersgas fittersmechanicsthe hands of everyone in a food shopBut it’s probably more a case of “trust me I’m a celebrity” these days

  3. Andrew Shields says:

    Dear Dr. Will, Love that new layout!Yours,Dr. Shields

  4. Colin Will says:

    Since retirement I very rarely use the title. A couple of years back I wrote an essay for Alec Finlay’s book ‘Mesostic Herbarium’ in which I contrasted scientific and poetical nomenclature. I did it as a mock interview between Linnaeus and Doktor Dichter.

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