Monday 7 May 2018

By Popular Demand - Contagious Fortune (Season 5 Episode 14)

Good afternoon. My name is Neville P. Scratchings. I recently graduated from Doctor Fegg's Medical Training Institute for the Almost Criminally Insane. I enrolled for a small monthly fee and no questions asked. Every week, Dr Fegg would send us our training pack in the post which consisted of a medical dictionary, a stethoscope and a randomly selected body part from a undetermined source. If we students managed to successfully identify at least three out of ten of the items sent we received our general practitioner certificate and a a voucher for 10% off at Dodgy Ken's Finger Print Removal Service.

Since the trial, I have become somewhat of a media darling. In my new found place as a medical practitioner in the public eye I consider it my civic duty to inform you of how to keep yourself clear of any unpleasant lurgi that might attach itself to you if the correct precautions are not taken. Just the other day I was speaking to Norman Spooge in the bar and I told him in my professional medical opinion he would be advised not to drink. He did not take my advice and is now in hospital with alcohol related injuries bought on by excessive belts to the noggin from the fella whose drink Norman had mistaken for his own.

 I feel it is of the upmost importance that I advise you of a terrible outbreak of pink eye that has come to my attention. Regular victi...err..patient Sarah Wylde told me that there has been an outbreak of this ailment recently in an area known as Dog River. By all accounts it seems to have sent the population into panic.

Local documentation suggests the infestation of retinal itchiness was caused by one Hank Yarbo, or Patient Zero as he will be known hereafter. Local residents Brent Leroy and Wanda Dollard become suspicious that Patient Zero was hiding something from them when he displayed uncharacteristic coolness by wearing shades indoors. They then decide to force Patient Zero out of their place of work before it is too late and they become unwilling recipients of of the highly contagious fungal eye jollop.

Suspect all those wearing sunglasses!

It seems at the same time outbreaks of madness had also taken place all over Dog River. Resident and cafe owner Lacey Burrows has introduced a loyalty scheme to local businesses called Dog River Dollars. A fantastic idea that allows customers a pretend dollars that can be used for goods all over town when they have spent a certain amount of money. A fool proof scheme that could not possibly be taken advantage of unless of course someone had access to some sort of document duplication device or another. Not even I, with the notoriety of seventeen "accidental" tonsillectomies, to my name could be so dastardly to commit such fraud as to forge Dog River Dollars and essentially steal goods such as Chip Clips .Who could? Oscar Leroy apparently, who becomes the areas most prolific forger, or money smithy as we in the business prefer to call them.

Have you seen this man? Wanted for reckless grumpiness!

Davis Quinton and Karen Pelly have a rare case of mutual Echopraxia. Davis can not help but imitate everything that Karen has ordered to eat at The Ruby cafe. Understandably this becomes somewhat of an irritant to Karen who retaliates by copying everything Davis says and does.

The medical hysteria such as this has not been seen to this extent since the day I was caught with a bag full of Philtrums at the nothing to declare desk at Gatwick airport. Such is the notoriety that a documentary has been made called "Contagious Fortune" part of the Corner Gas series of programs. Sarah highly recommends this episode so I watched it myself. Taking a completely unethical viewpoint the producers of this opus seem to have decided to turn proceedings into a situation comedy rather than the thesis in Epidemiology that it should be. As much as I tried to maintain a professional demeanor but I must say I haven't laughed so hard since I took Dr Fegg's Course in Professional Evil Laughter (Berrrrrrooooooohahahaha....still got it!)

Davis and Karen joined at the hip and menu choices!

The trimuvarate of actors Brent Butt, Fred Ewanuick and Nancy Robertson have a wail of a time equal parts avoiding each other and goading each other when they take turns to be the source of infection like the Monkey from Outbreak. Their shenanigans bring to mind classic scenes from zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead or that rubbish one with Brad Pitt in it.

I must say I have a soft spot for curmudgeon Oscar. As a recidivist myself his passing off face Dog River dollars and rinsing the shops in town for everything from baseball caps to earrings bought a tear to my eye. In hilarity..not because I was upset that I hadn't thought of it first. It is not surprising that he could get away with the Dog River crime of the century when the local constabulary are busy bickering with each other and getting on each others nerves. Their child like devotion to being the winner of the argument is as charming as it is baffling. It really gives hope to an old lag such as myself. Lorne Cardinal as Davis pulls out the worst in his personality with a superb performance which makes you want to hug Davis as much as you also want to shake him.

Brent explains the "Fly away Peter" trick to Lacey
Sarah is right, this documentary has fantastic insight into the plight of conjunctivitis and other ailments of the human condition psychical or otherwise. The hilarity, like a virus, will spread through those watching like wildfire. The writing team of Dylan Wertz and Norm Hiscock really knock it out of the park to create a supremely silly episode from real life suggestions. Director Jeff Beesley allows the cast to have fun with their subjects and it shows that the are really having fun and all give award worth performances.

So to surmise, I will prescribe watching Contagious Fortune to all of you. I will require you to come back for a check up in seven to eight years, or sooner if I get out for good behavior.

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