Dec. 7th, 2005

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With advancing age, it's unsurprising to find yourself surrounded by siblings getting married whilst their friends are having babies. The offshoot of these exercises is unfortunate: myriad sneaky little children circling around your kneecaps, smiling sweetly whilst they ask you to check the spelling on their latest offering for Santa. It’s not unusual to find yourself composing your own sweet ministration to the hairy man in Lapland, before marvelling at the sheer audacity of the aforementioned short people for asking for the replica Mclaren F1 and the latest Xbox.


Let's take things back in time, to an era where you'd have found yourself kicking things off with the obligatory ‘Dear Santa’ following it up with a sorry tale of exactly how good a little boy/girl you’ve been. Nowadays, it’s more common to take the tone of Kylie, telling ‘Santa baby’ to ‘hurry down the chimney tonight’, whilst adding lashings of lust and smatterings of seduction in the process. I, for one, have been known to add Maybelline Pink Diamond kisses along with a 30’s style squirt of parfum before passing it on to the Royal Mail. I’ve never had one of my efforts go unrewarded, which tells you one thing – that the seven deadly sins will never do you wrong. Everybody likes a little depravity, regardless of whether they admit to it or not, starting off with Pope Gregory the Great!


The founder of the Seven Deadly Sins couldn’t wait to get in on the act. He reduced the original list, compiled by Evagrius, to the seven items we know today. Pope Gregory ranked the Sins' based on the degree from which they offended against love. Want to see how they’re a help rather than a hindrance?

Pride is defined as excessive belief in one's own abilities. No bad thing when you’re taught to project an aura of confidence in order to compete with the head girls of yesteryear, but it may get troublesome in extreme cases where it interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God, especially when you find yourself sitting on the wrong side of a resit-appeal panel! More commonly known as vanity, it’s an essential token for getting into the more coveted institutions of medical school life, student union or consultant alike.   

Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. It’s more commonly found among the less good-looking and the less sporting among us who wouldn’t have had a chance under the old PRHO selection procedure.  

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. Since fat people are a ridiculed minority at medical school, it goes without saying that the avarice extends to textbooks and past papers. It’s not what you know it’s who you know ;)

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. It helps to follow the advice of nurses and shag upwards, not downwards. I best stop lusting after the third years then.

Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath. Confrontation is something the less popular among us should avoid, given the predilection for gossiping and bitching in the medical school. It goes without saying that this power is for the revered and the beautiful.

Greed is defined the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. What else explains the proliferation of medics with promotions companies? And the disappearance of textbooks before the term, let alone the relevant course, has started? Let’s not forget the number of good-looking third year females who start dating the less attractive F1’s and F2’s; these guys are in no way, shape or form responsible for their assessment, and boy do these girls know it! I’m confident that ninety percent of the city-breaks taken by the medical school population are precipitated by the class-nerds attempting to buy love. 

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. If you can get through medical school whilst training yourself as an expert in this, I salute you. NB, it may help to get past-paper gluttony on your side – the best way to do this is by taking part in as many medical school activities as you can. You can meet someone who falls for your dubious charms (there’s always one!) and cram your way to success. There’s hope for even the ugliest member of the year group here, since one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

The world is your oyster, and you shall not want. Follow our lead and you won’t go too far wrong. Just don’t get caught in public with the treasure resembling a poster-doll for ugly fetish – ridicule is a step too far, and you won’t be able to live it down. Capische?    

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