So, as the excellent blog by twitterer and skeptic xtaldave points out, NHS Tayside are advertising for a £68,000 a year homeopath, despite having to sack about 500 people due to budget cuts. As a form of polite rebellion, he encouraged as many real scientists and skeptics as possible to follow his example and apply for the job. I'm bored and jobless, and after being urged to do so by Scientology-baiter Councillor John Dixon I thought I'd contribute my satirical skills to the fun.
And in the same style as xtaldave, what follows is what I wrote on the titular section on my application form that I have sent off. I swear blind that this is word for word what I put.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF YOUR APPLICATION:
I am keen to apply for this position as I am currently seeking work in the Scientific field. However, I am also considering non-scientific work, and the position of Speciality Doctor of Homeopathy seems ideally suited to the latter category.
I am a qualified doctor of Neuroscience, so am aware of many long and complex words which I often use to convince people I know what I’m talking about, when in reality I am just exploiting their ignorance for my own amusement. As such, I feel I would be an ideal candidate for the post of doctor of homeopathy. Ridiculous claims that I have successfully convinced people are true include the following:
· Australia is actually a different planet
· McDonalds make all their burgers in one restaurant in the USA and sends them around the world at supersonic velocities in hydraulic tubes (hence the squashed, flattened look of most burgers)
· Hiccups that last more than 2 minutes are an indicator of final stage lung cancer (the resulting terror of this diagnosis usually cures the sufferers hiccups immediately).
· The North and South Pole are actually the same place; it just looks different depending on how you the direction from which you approach it.
As you can see, I am highly skilled at convincing people that ludicrous notions are factually correct, and as such I would appreciate the opportunity to put this skill to use in the workplace.
Although not a registered homeopath myself, I am completely familiar with all the literature that proves the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. Other things I am familiar with to a similar extent are the number of palm trees on the moon and every Richard Littlejohn article which doesn’t read like it was written by a bile-filled screaming anus with a pen jammed in it.
As stated, I am not currently a registered member of the Faculty of Homeopaths, I am however a member of several institutions of similar levels of prestige and credibility, e.g. I currently own a Blockbuster Video card, and technically my membership of the Desperate Dan fan club was never cancelled, so I may qualify for a senior position in that long-running organisation.
Regarding the practical aspects of Homeopathy, although I have no certified training in the practice, whenever I make squash I don’t add much cordial, so am pretty good at diluting things. I also tend to pour a lot of bleach down my toilet whenever I clean it, to the extent that I worry that I may be personally responsible for the decline in cod stocks in the North sea, so clearly I have a very tenuous grasp on the effect of substantial dilution on the potency of a chemical, which could be easily ignored in favour of the salary offered for this position.
My personal research into homeopathy reveals that, following dilution, a homeopathic remedy should be ‘succussed’, which appears to be a specific style of striking, usually with a leather book or perhaps other leather-clad objects. I have, admittedly, never practiced succussion, but I believe (should the post require it) that I shall be able to perform this procedure with no difficulty. Although I have, as I say, no direct experience, I did once affectionately pat a cow at a petting zoo. I have also worked as a cook in several kitchens and tenderised many steaks as part of these roles. A reversal of these two actions would logically lend itself to successful succession. I also have an uncle Greg who has extensive experience with striking things with leather (although he is legally banned from working with, for or anywhere near the general public following the scandal with the rooster, the toaster and the mail-order bride, so I shall only seek his professional advice if the situation genuinely requires it)
Unlike the majority of scientists, amongst which I count myself, I do not believe homeopathic remedies have anything to do with the Placebo effect. Although I find some of their songs (e.g. Nancy Boy) quite catchy, the ambiguous gender of Placebo’s lead singer does make me feel uncomfortable and definitely not aroused in any way (although I can’t say the same for uncle Greg). Homeopathy has never provoked any similar effect in me, so I find the comparison nonsensical.
It's true that there are many laws of chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and basic reality that would prevent homeopathy from existing as is described in the real world, but I like a challenge. I would also bring more benefits to the role and therefore the hospital as a whole than someone specifically trained in homeopathy. The government recently stated that homeopathy should be available on the NHS as a matter of patient choice. I would be willing to offer patients an even greater deal of choice regarding treatment methods, up to an including exorcism and trepanning. More choice for the same money would mean even greater savings for the hospital and NHS overall.
I hope you will consider me as an applicant. To show my commitment to the role, I have provided as little information as possible on my application form, under the assumption that the smaller the amount the more potent it is. Therefore, I expect to be awarded the position, and a promotion and a raise before I even start.
I am a well-rounded, highly qualified candidate and enthusiastic proponent of teaching and promoting evidence based science to the general public and encouraging others to do the same. I need the money though, so am willing to say balls to all that if I get the job.
e-mail: Humourology (at) live.co.uk