Do you have feelings of inferiority? Are you intimidated by your colleagues at work? Too scared to go to the pub on your own? Then what you need is Dr Adolphous Bongo's Personality Enhancement course!
Yes, hello. I'm Dr Adolphous Bongo, and before we go any further, I want to get one thing absolutely straight. Despite the rumours, the law suits and all the other things you may have read about in the paper, I am actually a real doctor. I've got all the books, the certificates, taken the oath, everything. And let me tell you, a qualification gained in Tonga is just as valid as any other. In fact, if anything, the test is even more rigorous, and the fact that the training takes only one afternoon is testament to the intensity of the instruction. So let's put this shite to bed once and for all, shall we? Good.
Now then, life can often be difficult, unrewarding, and fraught with worries and uncertainties. Not my life, obviously. This doctoring lark is making me a packet, so I'm having a high old time. But for you normal people, life can often be harsh, so it's really no wonder that many of you turn into paranoid, neurotic wrecks, who spend all day hiding under the dining room table trying to remember your own name. But now all that can be a thing of the past! With my Personality Enhancement Programme you can avoid descending to the mental level of an unripened tomato and once more lead an active and relatively normal life!
Yes I'm talking about you, you freak. You see, locked away in the pathetic, worn out husk of a body is a new you; a stronger, more assertive, more positive you. And now, for a not inconsiderable fee, I can unlock that inner 'you' so that you might emerge, butterfly-like, from the shattered husk of your life and once more become a reasonably useful member of society.
'But how much is this going to cost me, Dr Bongo?' I hear you say. Well, what is mere money compared to a whole new life stretching ahead of you? Well, exactly. Sell the car, re-mortgage the house - whatever. The new you won't be tied down by material possessions. In fact, you will laugh mockingly when you see someone tearing past you in the street in a brand new Porsche, wearing an Armani suit and an arm-full of Cartier watches. Unless it's me, of course, in which case you will be overcome with gratitude.
And quite rightly too. The fact is, I do have an enormous amount of experience dealing with so-called 'distressed people' - or 'nutters' as they are technically known within the medical profession. My interest was first piqued in 1981 when a man attacked me with a cabbage during a bus trip to Huddersfield. This event changed my life in two ways. Firstly, I vowed never to use public transport ever again. Secondly, I realised that there was a hell of a lot of mentalism about, and there had to be money in it somewhere. Of course, the gentlemen with the cabbage was what we call a 'long-term loony'. His mentalism was too far advanced, and nothing could be done about it - nothing lucrative, anyway. On the other hand, I realised that there were plenty of people still teetering on the edge of breakdown - people who felt they were somehow losing control of their lives, but still had enough self-control to be able to sign a cheque. These people were mostly sad, obsessive individuals and it was high time someone knocked some sense into them. I decided that I was more than equal to the task.
I began by selecting groups of particularly distressed patients and - being the literal minded man that I am - physically beating them around the head with baseball bats, garden implements and just about anything else that came to hand. When initially this admittedly novel approach failed, I stepped up the severity of the beatings and progressed to using iron bars, chunks of masonry and even - on some occasions - powertools.
As you might expect, there was much criticism of my work. The private clinic I set up in Norwich was the scene of many an angry demonstration and my activities provoked the interest of the European Court of Human Rights. The scandal reached its peak in 1985 when I undertook my most audacious 'therapy session'. In March of that year I kidnapped Julian Bennett, a seventeen-year-old abattoir worker, from a Manchester branch of W.H. Smith as he thumbed through a copy of Farmer's Weekly. Blindfolded and handcuffed, I drove him to a disused aerodrome in Nottinghamshire - that is, young Mr Bennett was blindfolded and handcuffed, not me. That would have been silly. Anyhow, upon arrival I loaded the distraught young gentlemen into a cannon and fired him at a concrete wall.
The world was outraged! The United Nations immediately imposed sanctions on me, and a five-mile exclusion zone was placed around my house. I thought their reaction was a little extreme, to be honest. After all, it was just a difference of opinion - what to them was a horrific assault and an unforgivable violation of human rights, was to me a perfectly valid scientific experiment. I decided to stand my ground, in the hope that the world would eventually recognise the enormous contribution this work had made to the understanding of mentalism. Besieged, I held out for as long as I could, but on the third day of hostilities my milkman was blown up by a Royal Navy frigate as he attempted to deliver three pints of gold top and a strawberry flavoured yoghurt. It was all over.
I surrendered, and was made to pay a fine of £15. It would have been life imprisonment, but fortunately I know people. I was also made to sign a treaty to the effect that I would not fire any more people at walls unless it should prove absolutely necessary. And for those of you who are interested, Mr Julian Bennett completely recovered from his ordeal and is now the Conservative MP for Staffordshire West - so maybe there is something to be said for 'cannon therapy' after all?
So why, you must surely be asking yourself, should you sign up for a course of treatment which: (a) is extremely painful; and (b) doesn't work? Well, the fact is that as a result of my researches, I have come to realise that a mentalist can never be truly cured. Nevertheless, with careful nurturing and extensive therapy, they can become a source of revenue for life. So if you're feeling a little bit twitchy, and you own your own home, why not pop along to one of our clinics? You can find us in the phone book, under 'nutter servicing'.
Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2002
No. 128: Chinese Shelves.
At last a cure for squeaky shoes
Under new proposals, police officers will be equipped with X-ray vision.
Archaeologists disoover historic hole.
Ramrod Adventure Holidays: Skydiving holidays with a difference
with Derek the Fact Crab