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The Flat Cap on ... Bunions

Today The Flat Cap has been looking at the painful topic of bunions and spent most of the morning hanging around outside his local health centre to try to find out more about this ailment. He was eventually moved on by two policemen but not before he was able to complete some useful research. Bunions, as most people know, are the result of a deformity in the joint of the big toe. And whilst the precise cause of bunions confounds the best medical brains The Flat Cap was able to gain some valuable information on the likely causes.

The Flat Cap on Bunions

Bunions might be caused by genetics. So if your parents had bunions you could go on to develop them. That doesn’t mean you definitely will though. The Flat Cap spoke to Derek the Postman who was delivering mail to the health centre. Derek advised that his elderly mother had bunions, but that he personally had never suffered. As being a postman involves a lot of walking The Flat Cap thinks that Derek is a very lucky chap. Unlike the television character Postman Pat, Derek didn’t have his own van, just one of those Royal Mail carts that postmen and women pull behind them. Maybe this is why it now takes longer to receive postcards from abroad.

One patient coming out of the health centre was a man called Cyril and he definitely did have bunions. Cyril seemed angry that his GP had told him to just buy bunion pads and take some painkillers. As he hobbled away The Flat Cap also thought that Cyril should have been told to stop wearing narrow women’s shoes and a frock. Maybe he had been – the shoes, not the frock. Throughout their conversation Cyril said that nowadays he preferred to be addressed as Sandra and got very uppity when The Flat Cap forgot and said, “Thanks for your time Cyril” at the end of their conversation. The Flat Cap thinks that it was probably Cyril who complained to the policemen that moved him on less than an hour later. Further research by The Flat Cap did indeed confirm that bunions can be caused by narrow shoes, and that high heels can also make bunions worse by putting excessive pressure on the toes.

Before being moved on by members of the local constabulary The Flat Cap managed to speak to a lady called Ada who was hobbling about a fair bit, and having to use crutches to walk. Ada confided that she had had bunion surgery some two months earlier but that her feet still swelled up. This meant Ada couldn’t turn out for her bowls team on Wednesday afternoons and had spent much of the summer on her sofa watching daytime television whilst consuming packets of value brand jaffa cakes. The good news was she had now been prescribed some special postoperative shoes. Ada hoped they would be ready in time for her nephew’s wedding. It was at this point two policemen turned up and asked Ada if she wanted to make a complaint.

Having been moved on The Flat Cap caught a bus to his local hospital and whilst outside the A&E department spoke to a man called Martin who claimed to be a podiatrist. As a consequence The Flat Cap compiled the following interesting bunion related facts:

• The biggest recorded bunion had a circumference of 57 centimetres • Bunions are more common in women than in men • “Bunion” is a portmanteau word made up from bun and onion, because if you place a large pickled onion next to a soft bun it has an uncanny resemblance to a bunion • People with bunions can undergo an operation called an ‘osteotomy’, which is a realignment of the joint • ‘Osteotomy’ is an anagram of ‘my toes too’ • If you undergo an osteotomy under local anaesthetic you are allowed to listen to your iPod to relax you • ‘Podiatrist’ is an anagram of ‘iPod artist’ • Because bunions look a bit unsightly people wait an average of two years before seeking medical help • When people from cultures that do not wear shoes were surveyed, no cases of bunions were found. This would suggest that bunions are probably caused by ill-fitting shoes like the one’s Cyril / Sandra was wearing • Martin the podiatrist, or ‘iPod artist’ as he kept referring to himself, has an unhealthy obsession with anagrams

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