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Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 12:16 am:   

My 'imaginary disease' was rightly rejected by Dr Lambshead but, being a cold day in February (the 29th which shouldn't really exist!), I thought I would reproduce it below:


Customarily this complaint exhibits itself by a sense of unwanted sweating incrementally and piecemeal towards a degree of actual self-roasting or being ladled all over with scalding fat.

There has been much medical and psychiatric debate as to whether these symptoms are imaginary or real (or, interestingly, a combination of imaginary and real) -- making this complaint uniquely ambivalent or worrisome to grasp. Only rare examples in sufferers (impute ‘sufferer’ as real and imaginary) have given sufficient proof upon its provenance as a tangible complaint or psychosis. Disease is a word many eschew vis a vis Entropic Basting. I have followed this example, preferring complaint in the equivocal context.

One notable sufferer in 1957 claimed he was suffering from the complaint, but there was no evidence of bodily sweating. Yet, there were several independent bystanders who have since given testimony as to the sufferer’s own car in the drive of the house concurrently breaking out in hot sweats (though some may have actually written down ‘hot seats’ in their statement, it is now unclear). It was a cold dry day in February.

The very first known case -- Abel Sousa, brother of the famous composer of marches, John Philip Sousa -- was misdiagnosed in 1902 as suffering from Entropium (Introversion of the Eyelid). Further diagnosis proved how wrong first impressions can be ... and dangerous. Indeed, more generally, attempted diagnoses in subsequent years were considered quasi-quarantinable for those practising them: upon eventual realisation that the complaint was severely ambivalent and self-deceptive in both parties (sufferers and carers). Indeed, a double-edged ladle.

A particular nurse -- attending a famous case by the name Friedrich Von Suppé -- was said to remove all her clothing when attending because of her own hot sweats which she later wrongly assigned to the onset of premature menopause. Scandal ensued, of course, and many such scandals have often accompanied the course of the complaint.

Many scientists have studied Entropic Basting -- from a distance -- and reached the conclusion that it is a psychosomatic hybrid. Those who have become more ‘hands on’, however, in their research, have decided that the complaint is only too real.

The ultimate cure -- which the renowned Dr Batt-Fowler (Bacchic Professor at Avaunt University, Clacton on Sea) arrived at by a form of lateral thinking beyond even the process known as ‘brainstorming’ -- was referred to by the various uses of the word ‘basting’ in the complaint’s name:

(I) Fornication or adultery: “For he was bigeten o baste, God it wot.” (Artour & Merlin).

(II) To whip or flog: “Bastings heavy, dry, obtuse / Only dulness can produce.” (Jonathan Swift).

(III) Dripping fat on meat when turning it on a spit: “Sir I think no meat wants what I have, a basting.” (Shakespeare - Comedy of Errors).

Dr Batt-Fowler cured many sufferers (including eventually himself) by application of a free-wheeling interpretation of these various semantic or somatic fields of ‘baste’.

Only one person has actually died from Entropic Basting (thanks be to God) -- and this was due to a road traffic accident following all four tyres bursting at once. The black rubber was literally flayed or melted beyond recognition when the wreck was subsequently examined.

Research into this veritable hot potato of a complaint continues apace and often at a safe distance of detachment - but nobody is confident of complete curtailment. It is indeed still rampant, if the truth were appreciated.

Submitted by : Dr DF Lewis (Avaunt University)

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Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 01:48 pm:   

Pinched this discrete cough 'disease' below from my own posting on Rhys' 'dinosaurs' thread!

A discrete cough, surely, is one that is autonomous: a slight ghostly bark in the nighthutch, one that subsists simply on the sounds that a house settling into its foundations gives it or bones cracking in a butcher's shop at night -- a willothewisp tickle that travels the world looking for its own phlegmy berth but never finding it.

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Posted on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

The puffed-up preening fellow of flummery fed off himself, finishing with a terrible stomach ache. His bones gathered themselves up and, together with his teeth that had gnawn them bare, rattled off like soldiers on proud parade into the whirring, juddering disposal system - and ground themselves to nothing along with the spinning, splintering rotor-blades that snarled up on their own exifugal flourishments. Armies of sparks marched up the back of the black chimney of night. Wild scintillations of smouldering bone and molten flakes of steel roared into an endless funnel of swollen emptiness. Afflatus lost its stuffing as he became a grandiose ghost cat-licking its nether regions till padding off in silver silence ... into the dumb universe ... a tandem of swaggering eternities ... then nothing ... except for the almost indistinguishable hissing of an indigestion tablet.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 05:32 am:   

Iritis (or Dies Irae):

Iritis irks my eye rotten. And if it isn’t treated with steroid drops, the sight is likely to be burned right down to the optic fuse.

The recurrence of iritis in my left eye must be the Curse of Cthulhu. After several cruel attacks of iritis, I can now easily recognise a fresh onset of its characteristic light-tender ache and thus deal with the problem in its early stages. Yet, upon initially inspecting the red-blurred seepage into the eye's white by means of a mirror, I sense the touch of something that itself should be untouched – almost as if the eye itself is the culprit rather than the iritis.

After the first attack in 1973, there elapsed ten years before there was a further attack (in 1983) by or upon my left lit sight-bulb.

That is the only way describe my eyeball when it’s in the iritic mode.

Then another ten years before it attacked again in 1993.

But it’s speeding up. Five years, then two. Now, it’s sometimes merely a matter of months between attacks. Soon, I guess, it will be days. My eye’s sly susceptibility to searing could one day teeter upon the brink of strobing.

Iritis is a relatively rare disorder. No known cause. Not contagious or infectious, but growing organically from within the eye like a second disfigured eye, one that is raw with what I imagine to be the waywardly plaiting tendrils of a blindness primed to pounce.

Perhaps it’s a symptom of something far more insidious, as I’ve already hinted. Not the Curse of Cthulhu, but the eye actually is Cthulhu. Or, a little less grandiosely, a mere demon from a less believable mythos. Or one of God’s angels from the least believable mythos of all. More likely a demon keeping a beady eye on me – grooming me for the dark visions of Hell – ensuring I can’t escape. Eyes follow you everywhere, don’t they?

Eventually, I will gouge it from the socket with a screwdriver: feel it bubble and squirm in God’s ire, an agonising fire that has its seat somewhere in my soul.

Meantime, Cthulhu sits calmly in its unholy spy-hole disguised as my right eye . . .
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Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 08:20 am:   

I can’t really draw it said the man who drew diseases for a living.

He thoroughly treasured his anonymity, because of the otherwise unwanted fame for meticulously creating diagrams which professionally esoteric manuals -- instruction-books on clinical evisceration and/or on the remedial cosmetic work that entailed the patient to be erected within complex scaffolding -- required so as to give correspondence-course would-be surgeons at least some inkling of the parasitic creatures they might be asked to tackle, once they earned their stripes.

"If you can’t draw it, who can?" asked Rachel Mildeyes, someone who was editorially responsible for the next edition of KNOW YOUR ONIONS, a bi-monthly carcinoma journal that often presented a refreshingly humourous slant to what was otherwise deadly serious.

Well, usually I’m given literally loads of examples of what I need to draw so that I can—as it were—establish an optimum version.

“Yes, I know. Haven’t they sent you cartons of the new clutch in all possible glorifications?” Rachel Mildeyes laughed at her own turn of phrase. If this were not a professional relationship, her dimples and other physical accomplishments would have attracted the man who drew diseases for a living more than just visually. He knew this. He tried to question his own knowledge. But Business was Business. Pleasure Pleasure.

Well, not a clutch exactly -- simply one example. Thus, I assume it must be a very rare disease.

“On the contrary. Thousands are known to be suffering from it. Mainly in backstreets and near churches. But only one individual has actually died from it or, if not from it, with it still within the body. So, yes, only one example for you to draw from. But won’t that do?”

Difficult. You see, the art of drawing an optimum needs as many variants as possible at one’s disposal. The thing I’ve actually got on my desk at home, well ... I can hardly describe it, let alone draw it.

“Isn’t it harder to describe things than draw them?” Rachel's question lit up her eyes. She was flaunting her cleavage -- but she probably did that with all men. Crossing and uncrossing her legs were deliberate actions rather than nervous ones. The gash between her crimson lips was merely one among many versions of smiling.

Ignoring her slightly less than strict observance of commercial interaction, the man who drew diseases for a living began to answer but before he could choose the right words, he had already found himself changing tack:

As to those individual sufferers who haven’t yet been terminated by this new strain, can’t their cancerous growths (which I presume is the nearest anyone can come to describing them in words) be excised. Such a procedure might even serve to prolong...

“No, the so-called cancerous growths tend to stick with things that can’t be cut out without destroying the host.”

Or hostess, thought the man who drew diseases for a living. He put his hand gently upon Rachel’s arm -- a most erotic act, far superior to kissing or, even, closer-quartered manœuvres of love. She did not immediately react.

The thing I was sent in the post, dear lady, was one thing, true, but, concurrently, tantamount to many things. It lived as one. But potentially separate wormy appendages conjoined its inbred host like a root vegetable’s soft stalks, but they also attacked as well as conjoined—except it was not an onion nor turnip but rather more like a strawberry with stingfish streamers cascading from its top and a face with fangs in its side, like a pumpkin on Halloween. A disease within a disease or many diseases fighting as one. A tumour’s manœuvres of war creating a gestalt that defies drawing, with its internal battles changing too quickly, even now when it has long since been excised from the human host and, equally, defies description, except, perhaps, conversationally, in this my humble spontaneous attempt, rather than making focus upon it. Averting the eyes creates the image...

And doing just that, the man who drew diseases for a living felt the first of many business-like kisses.

Photographs or mirrors are, of course, the least optimal means of self-portraiture. Indeed, they often detract rather than enhance the reality of the finished product. There is only one other option, therefore. ... The art of listening to and interpreting the words of as many observers as possible about yourself is a difficult one. But worth every effort.
--Rachel Mildeyes (from DRAWING MADE EASY)

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Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 06:07 am:   

'This' disease. Prayer-clogging without spiritual apertures for releasing them.

This is any old word that I could find – just to get started. The trouble is I really need to write something specific – something with a purpose. The spinning-out-of-control disease usually affects only felines and is not conducive to being rational -- so I must muster my arguments logically. Loose cannons will only shake the balance and divert attention towards outlandish dreams of different diseases. Thus, let’s be specific. Not any old word this. But a word that is targetted towards my goal, a goal that will prevent me blundering about like a demented unneutered tomcat so diseased he cannot even find his home – lost and abandoned – trying to rediscover his own trail of germy smell from where he had set off on this random frenzied journey into the unknown ... so that he can return to my loving arms. I am simply praying that my prayer (which this has become) will be strong enough, straight and true enough, for him to sense (with his heightened senses) the prayer’s backward channel towards me. So, I send this my prayer forward like a guided missile or, rather, a sentient boomerang. I pray my prayer so hard, my brows knitting together with furrows, interstices that might eat a real groove for him in the wayward outside regions so that he can use it as an anchor – to release him from the maze he manufactured for himself by blundering off so foolhardily as if he thought (if he did think at all in such a diseased state), yes, as if he thought he was a ‘homing pigeon’ (instead of my loving pussy-cat) with the untold skills of aiming to home in on his base target, his radar foxearth or lair or homebase. This specific word, then, the word I started with to target my prayer, to be the actual conception of my prayer, is about to quench the wild cavortings and haphazard hits at moving targets that this my prayer has since become. This isn’t, then, any old word. This is a word to recall - like an answering echo - the plaintive miaow of my lost companion pussy-cat. This word that will go out there like a message from God ... a prayer of inbreeding, a word that is the same word but different, a word that turns in on itself rather than blundering about looking for lost meanings and empty emotions. Not cat litter bullshit, not a splatter shotgun – but a direct aim of good sense: a targetted prayer from God to Himself. The cat sits on the floor curled up like a rose. It is dead. This is an it now not a he. And the well-rifled gun is back on the wall. I am my own God, master of everything but master of none. A stray bullet had done its work, His work – and I lap up the milk and kindness that once were this me.
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Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 12:57 pm:   

The Flying Worm by 'Simon' --
This story was written in the thirties and I first read it it in the sixties. A High Weird story that had a major effect on me.

I've uploaded the story here:
to FILES (in left hand menu).

Or contact me separately and I'll send you an attachment.

And, no, I don't know who 'Simon' was. But it's one of my all-time favourite stories.

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Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 09:35 am:   

Well, co-blog.
Tell me what you think.
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Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 09:32 am:   

Ventriloquism as a disease of the heart or the belly?

Little Flit called it Roken*Horz, a name from a large book he once read before he was fully able to grasp the meaning of its sayings.

Although he did not fully appreciate it (for this was the only one he’d seen), the version that seemed to move gently of its own volition (by the light of the flashing red advertisement sign outside the nursery window) was a gloriously old-fashioned rocking-horse with spit-polish saddle and whinnying lips drawn back from glinting, real-like teeth.

Flit would often lie awake (having been put to bed far too early for his age) and, for memory’s sake, he mentally filmed Dusk creeping into the curtains, Dusk accentuating the rhythmically intermittent darkness with its groping fingers of Night. Roken*Horz, in the window bay, looked more alive than ever at those times.

During the day, Flit would have rocked himself into reveries of the future (not having much past to call his own), with tiny legs wrapped round the glossy ivory-like midriff of the toy horse. The lands they visited together were far beyond those depicted in the books that Flit had available in the nursery, their frayed pastel spines ranged along the bookshelf above the hearth. Sometimes he was smuggled into lands that did not, do not, will not ever exist, even given his occupation of their scrawny wastes.

One day, Flit was put to bed even earlier than normal. He had some oblique instinct that he had been naughty ... like inventing extra lines and sayings for nursery rhymes that were crueller than grown-ups could contemplate.

But he could not comprehend the words pretend-shouted at him by someone who did not look like his mother.

So, not understanding, he did not even try to understand. He crept unquestioningly between the tight covers of his bed, with sunshine still shafting through the window like a spotlight upon the patchwork counterpane or a beam upon a screen... for the curtains yawned in the evening breeze.

There was a deep ague in his calves, but he put it down to too much rocking during the day. When it increased, however, he put his head under the covers and crawled down to massage them. Whilst he was down there, he heard a snicker. A stifled bray. A call of matching pain.

He dared not come back up for air. Roken*Horz was moving about the room, as if it owned it. Flit felt it snuffling at the lip of sheet. Frothing on the bolster. Grinding its teeth on the elongated curlicue of the bedpost. Long hot tongue curling down, down, down between the covers. Hooded like a snake.

At last, the hooves mock-clopped to the window bay. There was eventual silence - as the beast watched the darkening of the pink blossom at garden’s end – eventually punctuated by the loudest heartbeat Flit had ever misheard.


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