Memoirs of a consultant psychologist as recounted to Gary Moore (Churchmouse) With added commas and correct usage of the elipsis and possessive apostrophe by Clivey Dee
The vast majority of people referred to me, generally spend at least six months in my care, but I remember a time during the summer of 96 when two of my patients were admitted and cured within the space of a week.
The first of these was a gentleman who had been knocked off his bicycle in the Strand by a bus and was rendered momentarily unconscious. When he was revived by a passer-by he became extremely agitated and began speaking in tongues. Having no physical injuries other than a few scratches and a lump on his forehead the doctor who first treated him in the local hospital had him transferred to me for assessment.
Speaking in tongues is actually quite a rare affliction which normally only lasts for a few minutes, but when he was brought in he was still gibbering away and waving his arms about in a most alarming manner. I therefore decided to sedate the poor wretch and re-assess his condition the following day. No sooner had this been arranged when my phone rang and I was informed by the staff on the reception desk that I was required there as soon as possible.
On arriving I was struck by the sight of a young woman in her early twenties who was mutely standing just inside the door – stark naked save for a straw hat and a pair of sandals. I immediately had her shown to my consulting room for a full and through examination.
Now events of taking one’s clothes off in public due to an imbalance of the mind have been recorded for hundreds of years, and that symptom of mental disturbance can be caused by one or a number of different mental conditions. I sat observing my patient for some time, mulling over what I could do for her. After a while I concluded that her condition was partly physical as well as physiological (And she was quite a well developed physical specimen I must say). My theory was that she had impaired feeling on the surface of her skin which meant that she didn’t realise whether she was clothed or not. In order to re-introduce feeling within all of the nerve-ends of her body it would be necessary to vigorously massage her… All over… Twice a day…At least!
I resolved to start the treatment straight away.
And I must say that it worked very well. She very quickly showed a desire to cover herself up and would borrow clothes from whoever she could. By the end of the week she would be shown in to me for treatment wearing a huge number of layers of clothing which she was most reluctant to take off and I would routinely have a real struggle to get her knickers off.
I would have liked to have continued the treatment for a few more weeks but a number of the staff, including the senior area manager, insisted that as my patient had been cured she had to be discharged. And so with a mixture of pride in a job well done, and disappointment for not being able to make a full and detailed study of Julie – for that was her name, I turned wearily back to my other patients, which included the gentleman who had been brought in at the start of the week.
I must admit that I hadn’t really taken the time to assess his condition as I’d been so immersed in my breakthrough ‘full body massage treatment’. (I did consider writing an article for the Lancet on the proceedure but was talked out of it by Masterson, the trust solicitor). And as I hadn’t seen my patient all week the nursing staff had simply been giving him the old liquid cosh every time he woke up and started gibbering.
“Well now” I said in a hearty fashion as I entered his room “What’s the matter with you then”? – It’s surprising how many times this opening gambit works and the patient will actually tell you what’s wrong with them, which saves an awful lot of time having to do assessments and the like. Anyway, as soon as I’d spoken, off he went, ranting and raving like the lunatic he undoubtedly was.
I was just about to call for the drugs trolley, when Morris, the chap who mopped the floors and tended to the garden, and who happened to be deploying his mop bucket in the room at the time, pointed out that the patient, rather than speaking in tongues was actually talking Italian.
We had a few problems with the Italian consulate after we had released him, but dear old Masterson managed to throw them off track by pointing out that I had certified our captive Italian as clinically insane upon arrival, so he must have been speaking in tongues at the time and was now, in effect, cured, so any action through the courts for imprisonment or assault suffered by our errant bicyclist would fail.
And of course I had cured another one of my charges which enhanced my status even further. Not only that but we didn’t even need to kill anyone.