Machine That Goes Ping—The
A popular term referring to a device, instrument or machine in a hospital which is expensive and makes noises that impress an unsophisticated audience.
This hypothetical instrument made its appearance in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, and was switched on just before the gowned and glove troupe realised they’d forgotten something…the patient, but more importantly, before the hospital administrator strode in the room, clearly chuffed that the star of the show was plugged in and happily pinging away, “Ahh! I see you have the machine that goes ping. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to, and that way, it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.” Anyone who has worked in the NHS can spot at least half dozen inside jokes in this one 3-minute outtake.