A local chemist has taken a Nazi-style interrogation course to ensure that patients get the right drugs and do not put themselves in danger.
But his plan has backfired because customers are fed up with being treated like idiots who cannot read the label on a bottle or the instructions insert inside a packet of pills.
The Suffolk Gazette sent an undercover reporter to Chaplin Pharmacy in Ipswich, where the queue grew to fifty yards long as desperate customers were vetted by the chemist shining bright lights in their faces. This is what we heard:
Owner, Mr Charles Chaplin: “VOT DO YOU VANT?”
Cowering customer: “A bottle of Day Nurse and a bottle of Night Nurse, please.”
“DAY NURSE AND NIGHT NURSE? ARE YOU MAD? ZEY BOTH CONTAIN PARACETOMOL! YOU CAN HAFF ZE DAY NURSE OR ZE NIGHT NURSE. YOU CANNOT HAFF BOTH.”
“But they have an advert on the telly for both…”
“VEE DO NOT CARE VOT WAS ON ZE TELLY! DAY OR NIGHT”
“ISS IT FOR YOU? ARE YOU TAKING ANY OTHER MEDICATIONS?
“Er no, um not, not me.”
“BUT I HAFF SEEN YOU IN HERE BEFORE GETTING YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS, HAFF I NOT?”
“Erm, no…I have a twin brother.”
“IF YOU ARE LYING YOU WILL BE PUT BEFORE A FIRING SQUAD. ANYZINK ELSE?”
“Some cold sore ointment, please. Three tubes.”
“THREE? VY DO YOU NEED THREE?”
“They are for the lady next door’s cousin. I suppose she wants to keep some in a drawer in case she has a blister breakout.”
“ISS THE LADY NEXT DOOR’S COUSIN ON ANY OTHER MEDICATION THAT COULD REACT? HAS SHE HAD ASPIRIN IN THE LAST YEAR?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know her but she is on a visit and I asked if they wanted any errands done to save them going out in the cold. Anyway, it’s none of your business.”
“NONE OFF MY BUSINESS? I AM ZE PHARMACY GENERAL! SHE CAN HAVE TWO TUBES. ANYZINK ELSE?”
“Ear-drops. For the man over the road.”
“DOES HE HAFF EAR PAIN OR WAX BUILD-UP? IF HE HASS A PAIN HE MUST SEE HERR DOCTOR. I WILL LET YOU HAFF ZEM IF HE PROMISES TO READ THE FULL INSTRUCTIONS TVENTY TIMES. ANYZINK ELSE?”
“A shower cap.”
“ISS IT FOR YOU?”
“No, it’s for the wife.”
“ISS SHE ALREADY USING A SHOWER CAP?”
“Yes, But it’s a bit old and manky.”
“SHE MUST DISPOSE OFF ZE OLD SHOWER CAP BEFORE SHE STARTS USING ZE NEW ONE. AND SHE MUST NOT USE IT WHILE TAKING PARACETOMOL OR SHE COULD FALL DOWN AND DIE IN ZE SHOWER. SIDE-EFFECTS ARE CRUMPLED UP HAIR AND AN ELASTIC MARK ACROSS THE FOREHEAD. ZAT IS ALL YOU CAN HAVE FOR TODAY. GOODBYE.”
Our reporter saw the queue growing as the minutes ticked by, with people coughing and sneezing over customers who just wanted plasters or condoms.
One man was screaming: “Hurry Up! I urgently need diarrhoea tablets.” But it was too late. He shat on the floor and was carted off to a concentration camp in Leiston.
Chaplin’s whistleblower David Nobbs, from Stowmarket, told us: “We are under orders to ask stupid questions and we know people will lie to us about what they are taking or go to Superdrug or another chemist shop or go online for whatever makes them feel better.
“Sometimes they are buying for someone else and haven’t a clue what other medicines they are taking, especially if it is for something secret like a sexually transmitted disease. But we still give them the third degree.”
A spokesman for the British Pharmaceuticals Society told the Suffolk Gazette: “We have to try to protect people from themselves. VE HAFF VAYS OFF MAKING ZEM TALK. HEIL HITLER!”