Monday, 10 December 2007

Play Mesmer for me

South shields- Ever since early man tired of walking on his knuckles and dragged himself upright, he has been fascinated by the intricate workings of the mind. The very thing that gave Homo erectus the impetus to leave the vast African Savannah and then spread himself around the globe, seemed to be the thing that fascinated him most.

Man's earliest attempts at deciphering the complexities of the brain and its mysterious workings led him eventually to construct massive temples in praise of his unseen gods, which in turn led directly to the establishment of the first universities and the first serious attempts to develop a science of the mind.

The ancient study of the mind eventually became the science of psychiatry, when Dr Sigmund Freud accidentally discovered all of mans problems stemmed from his desire to sleep with his mother and kill his father. Incidentally, It's a little known fact that Freud also dabbled in the lingerie business and was particularly famous in turn of the century Vienna for his popular Freudian slip, which was said to be a must have for any fashion conscious lady.

One of Freud's main tools for unraveling the intricate workings of the mind was the technique of Mesmerism or hypnosis as it's more commonly known today. This ancient technique was first discovered by the Persian king Xerxes in 33bc, when he discovered that repeated tellings of his stories of conquest had the unusual effect of sending all of his court into a deep hypnogogic slumber.
Nowadays we are more used to seeing stage performers making perfectly normal people behave like fools or vice versa.
So when News direct heard of a man in South shields actually using his hypnotic powers to help people we decided to travel up to that god forsaken nowhere and meet the amazing Anton De Napoli.

Mr De Napoli works from the comfortable front room of his three bed semi in the popular non shit part of the town.
Although the treatment room looks like the set of a canceled Sherlock Holmes show from nineteen eighty two, there is a certain homeliness to it and within two minutes of meeting Anton I was laid comfortably upon his chaise lounge, with my shoes off talking about my mother.
"She was a cruel woman, only time she ever hugged us was when the heating wasn't working. Those times she used us as human hot water bottles were the only time us kids were allowed to touch her. She didn't like personal contact, she used to say we are English! Hugs are for Italian waiters and sick kittens.
Sometimes she would beat us with wooden coat hangers, she said wire ones were for good children. I think that's why I still pee the bed."
Anton looked nervously at me and apologetically said "I'm sorry to hear that, I really am, but I'm not Anton, Anton's just gone to get my bill, I was seeing him about my smoking."
I sat up "Oh yeah I knew!! I was just trying to get a feel of how it would feel to be sad like you and need to come to a place like this."
"I'm only here to stop smoking."
"Yeah right, pervert!"
"I'm sorry your mother was so horrible."
"How dare you!!! My mother was a saint!! She was a martyr to her ovaries."
At this point the door swung open to reveal the real Anton De Napoli "I have your bill Mr Davies."
Mr Davies glad of the exit strategy jumped from his seat beside my chaise lounge and made for the front door.
"I see you have made yourself comfortable."
"Yeah I was just telling Mr Davies there, that he should get a spine and use some will power to give up smoking."
"Well not everyone has your formidable rectitude and immense moral courage."

Anton settled himself into Mr Davies still warm chair and I took the opportunity to size up the man some people have begun to call the messiah of the Tyne. He was small man, fastidiously tidy in his appearance from the highly polished brogues to his spotted bow tie, it seemed his appearance had been specifically designed to compliment the strange air of peace and authority that effortlessly flowed from cultured voice.
"So what can I do for you?"
"Well I'd like you to give our readers a rough idea of what it is you actually do, do."
"Do do?"
"Do you find excrement interesting?"
"No, well that's a lie, I do find it interesting that you never see those chalky white dog turds now. When I was a kid they were round every lamp post, you remember?"
"And how long have you had this fascination for dog feces?"
"Ohh must be about twenty years now......Hang on, I see what your doing, we are not here to talk about me and my fascination with dog turds."
"So you do admit it is a fascination?"
"No! I was just saying."
"Do you think about these sorts of things often?"
"No, why?"
"Well the mind is a very complex thing and unhealthy fascinations with odd things can often prove to be symptoms of a much deeper psychological sickness.
"I haven't got a psychological sickness! I'm here to ask you questions!"
"Do you often have these bursts of uncontrollable rage?"
"No it's not interesting!!!!"
"Would you say you found it difficult to love?"
"I find it difficult to love."
"I thought you might."
"You thought I might what?"
"Find it difficult to love."
"I don't."
"You just said you did."
"You asked me to say it!"
"Do you do everything you are told to do?"
"Could you take your feet off my chaise lounge?"
Sensing his cunning trick, I folded my arms and said "No I can't."
"No, I really would like you to remove your feet from my chaise lounge, your socks are leaving some kind of stain on the fabric."
"Oh sorry...I thought it was your way of...nevermind, anyway sorry about that, send me the bill for cleaning."
"Oh I'm sure that won't be necessary."
"No I insist."
"Very well, where shall I send it?"
"Errrr........ forrrrrrttty two doctor streettttt....... that there London."
"And your full name?"
"Henrrrrry...." My eyes quickly scanned the room "Mantlepiece!"
"So that's, Henry Mantlepiece, forty two doctor street, that there London?"
"Your not gonna pay for it are you?"
I hung my head "No"

We had somehow ended up in an uncomfortable silence and as the seconds ticked slowly by I realised the only way to extricate us from the leaden situation was for me to press on and intimately question him about his therapeutic techniques "You hypnotise people don't you?"
Rather than seeming pleased I had found a way out of our embarrassing cul de sac, he just slowly sighed and said "Yes I do."
"Ohhh man that would be so cool, do you ever give them an onion and make them believe it's an apple?"
"I saw Paul Mckenna do that once and I pissed myself!! Literally!!! I'm not joking!! I actually pissed myself!!"
"It would so cool being Paul Mckenna he is loaded you know? He has a Humvee with the licence plate HYPNO T15T, how cool is that? I bet he doesn't have to practically beg fat birds for a date then sit at home in his star wars pajamas crying all Saturday night because they said no."
"I'm sure he doesn't"
"Not that I do, I was just using that as an example. Only a geek would have Star wars pajamas, mine are England football team ones, real cool cos on the back it has a number eight and above it says 'It's bed time!'"
"Very smart."
"So what kind of hypnotism you do then?"
"I use what is known as past life regression therapy."
"What's that?"
"It's a technique that is used to take a patient back into a former life and to try to see if there is some unknown past reason for the problems they are suffering today."
"Do me!! Do me!!!"
"It's not something to be played around with it's a very serious technique which can bring all sorts of emotions welling to the surface and should only be used as small part of ongoing therapy."
"Do me!!! Do me!!!! Pleeeeeeeesssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
"It's not something...."
"For gods sake!!! Lay back!"
"Don't make me try to eat any onions though! And no funny business I'll know if you have touched it cos I keep a special piece of string knotted around it, so that I know if I have been interfered with."
I lay quietly back eyes closed and listened to Anton's soothing voice count me backwards through time.
"Right, I have taken you back now to before you were born, can you tell me where you are?"
"It's dark in here and very warm, I hear a steady beating noise and someone is blowing cigarette smoke down into a tube connected to my belly button. I'm feeling quite tipsy too, like I have had half a bottle of Scotch."
"You didn't go back far enough your still in your mother's womb, go back."
"Can we hang on a bit longer? She has just started on the Gin."
"No go back, back beyond this lifetime to a time before you were....Henry Mantlepiece."
"Now where are you? Look around you and try to tell me where you are."
"I'm somewhere very bad."
"What's it like?"
"Horrible, it smells like Grimsby and the people are horrible."
"Where are you?"
"What year is it?"
"Errrr, 1968."
"And who are you?"
"I'm Keith Mildew."
"And what do you do Keith?"
"I run a small newsagents."
"Are you happy Keith?"
"No I'm bloody not!"
"Why not?"
"They haven't delivered the sports mixtures and we are low on copies of proud and hairy."
"Are you married Keith?"
"Unfortunately yes."
"What's your wife's name Keith?"
"Are you happily married?"
"Yeah right! Are you taking the piss?"
"No Keith, I'm interested in you and your life."
"Well of course I'm not happy you twat, I haven't had sex since the power cut in 1958 and I am a newsagent in Hull!! Would you be fucking happy??? Eh???"
"Ok Keith I think I will leave you to get on with running your shop."
"Yeah fuck off!!!!"

The voice in my head slowly counted me back into the warm room and my place on Anton's chaise lounge.
"That was very interesting do you remember anything about it?"
"No, was I someone important?
"In a way yes."
"Rameses? Wellington? Abraham Lincoln?
"Errr.....yes alright you were Lincoln."
"Brilliant!!! I knew I would be someone special I've always felt special!! And funnily enough I've always liked our dark skinned friends."
"I would advise you to make this the start of a new course of therapy for you."
"Nah, just being Lincoln is enough for me, cheers mate!"


Agnes Mildew said...

If your name in a past life was Keith Mildew, either you were once married to me, or we are siblings, separated at birth! That'd make you my older brother, so can I tap you up for a tenner?

Your confession of wearing a string around 'it' reminds me of a tale from the Macc Lads tour where they found one of the roadies so unconscious on booze and drugs that they rubbed Deep Heat around his back passage (not the ginnel between the houses, I hasten to add) and left a condom filled with flour and water by his side. He obviously thought he had been tampered with...And hard...

Aningeniousname said...

If I were you I'd check the family records, I think Keith maybe the black sheep of the family forced to move to Hull for his love of newsagency, something that could not be tolerated in the aristocratic Mildew family.

Great Macc lads story, I bet they had to draw lots to see who would rub on the deep heat.