Tree surgery

Serbian druids have discovered an infallible cure for a variety of chronic ailments including back pain and nipple rash. The sufferer must squeeze his body between two trees, hugging one trunk while being goosed by the other. Not any old trees, I should hasten to add. The ones with healing powers are located in a sacred grove where magical substances are sucked up through the roots. This creates a mystical energy field which cleanses the body of its maladies and toxins.

A chap called Branko Lazic is one of hundreds of patients who have been cured in this way:

"I've had crippling back pain for years and the doctors couldn't do anything to help me,” he said. “But all I had to do was pass between these two trees and the pain faded away. It's a miracle."

You don’t get endorsements more ringing than that one. Although I’ve never suffered from a bad back, being blessed with the supple spine of a jungle primate, I rejoice in Mr Lazic’s deliverance from this aggravating affliction. It would have been all too easy for a man in his position to hire an oriental maiden to walk on his lumbar region. But such addictive remedies only provide temporary relief. It takes real faith to follow the advice of druids and make yourself the meat in a wood sandwich.

It also gladdens me to hear of a natural cure that doesn’t involve drinking a potion containing bats’ urine or some other obnoxious fluid. I’ll be sure to mention this to our local witch doctor the next time he concocts one of his medicinal brews.

If squeezing your body between two trees can heal you, could squeezing your body between a pair of topless women have the same effect? Before you accuse me of asking a fatuous and ignoble question, let me refer you to an incident on a golf course in America, where two 40-something women have been charged with public indecency. It is alleged that they went around hugging golfers with their chests exposed.

“The officers didn’t witness them golfing, they witnessed them pulling their shirts up,” said Mike Dixon, sheriff of Madison County.

Regrettably, few of the golfers appreciated being embraced in this way, perhaps believing it was a sly attempt to put them off their game. These facts notwithstanding, I would like to hear the ladies’ side of the story before rushing to judgment. It’s quite possible that they’d read about the Serbian healing trees and were trying to provide a similar form of therapy. One must be lenient to those who act with philanthropic intentions.

Whether the bosoms of these (or any other) women actually have healing powers is an open question. My suspicion is that even without proven medical benefits, the placebo effect would be very strong. After current legal issues are resolved, I would hope the prodigal pair go on a grand tour of America, offering their unique remedy to the sick and needy. Blessed are they who use their assets in a good cause.

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