Chris Fingers, who rose to fame two years ago when he invented the first thought-controlled washing machine, has been admitted to hospital after experiencing what doctors believe to be an entirely new form of mental illness.
We spoke to Mr Fingers in 2013 when news of his new invention was just emerging. At the time he told us of the inspiration for his idea. "Nobody has ever looked at the controls on a washing machine and not been intimidated by the stupid number of entirely unnecessary options," he told us. "It makes you want to scream 'just wash my bloody shirt' at the damn thing. In fact, I've spent many an evening doing just that and it was to save my vocal chords and rescue my rapidly deteriorating rapport with the next door neighbours that I invented the thought-controlled washing machine. Now I don't have to shout at it, I just need to think it."
Mr Fingers' washing machine was set to become the first of a whole new generation of thought-controlled appliances but over the last few months one or two issues have come to light. The first indication that there might be a problem came at a technology conference last year when Mr Fingers attempted to rinse one of his fellow delegates and put him on a fast spin.
"We wondered whether Mr Fingers' mind control process might be a two way process," said Senior Consultant Dr Chas Suffix. "Instead of him controlling his washing machine, is he himself being controlled by the device. Our theory was confirmed when we later found him wandering the streets going 'chugga chugga chugga chugga', sloshing soapy water around his mouth and spitting it out at passing strangers.
"We now have him safe and sound at our secure unit, where we are working very hard to cure him of his delusion," Dr Suffix continued. "Mr Fingers is responding well and we are confident that he will make a full recovery. Good news for Mr Fingers, of course, but it's nevertheless a bit of a blow for us, since we're currently saving a fortune on our laundry bills."