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I have a condition you can't discuss openly—I'm one of a secret sect of sufferers. I share this affliction with TS Eliot, Michael Foot and Spike Milligan. In short, I have piles

By Andrew Martin   November 2007

At stool in a semi-public gentlemen’s lavatory in Oxford during the late 1980s, I happened to read a notice pinned to the cubicle door. “A regular user of these toilets is obviously suffering from anal bleeding. Would he please contact me at the first opportunity, as this could indicate a serious condition.”

It had been signed by some doctor or other, and I read it with bemusement. I was a regular user of that lavatory, but I certainly hadn’t been the one bleeding into it… How very gruesome, I thought, reaching complacently for the Andrex, to have blood coming out…

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