Though I knew perfectly well that if I googled the cause of an acute pain in my right-hand index finger I would invariably find that it was caused by a rare form of cancer, I nevertheless went ahead earlier this year, and asked Google to identify the condition that manifested in a bumpy patch of soreness on the right side of my back.

There was also, as it happens, a patch of soreness on my chest. That was something separate, though — I’d had a silly calamity on some wet steps, so the frontal condition was spoken for. As for my back, well, I had recently spent the morning working in the garden in the blazing sun without a shirt on, so whatever it was Google said it was, given all these obvious facts, was what it really was...

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