Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stray notes for a futuristic novel

Dr. Norman Threlfall is a pioneering psycho-enterologist. Norman’s historic contribution to the practice of modern medicine arose from his discovery that two specialities previously laboring in forlorn isolation—gastroenterology and psychiatry—were actually made for each other, and more effectively than ever before enabled the doctor to get right inside the patient. From his side of the consulting room (as he explained to the registration board), Norman found he could effectively gauge the seriousness and level of genuine insight among his patients merely by producing a colonoscope. It emerged that surprisingly few lacked what in England used to be called real “bottom,” the solid foundations of sterling character, indeed the sitzfleisch with which truly to benefit from the transition from therapy back to normal life. Lacking vision, older members of his profession dismissed Norman’s theory as risible, even shallow, but the results when they came were deeply impressive. Anxieties, attention deficit, mania, depression, why these simply evaporated as one by one his patients made their hasty but cheerful departure. 

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