New JGH department will target broad spectrum of speculative diseases
In an all-out effort to rid society of some of its most baffling illnesses, the Jewish General Hospital has launched a new department dedicated to treating numerous heartbreaking diseases that, until now, have been neglected by medical science.
In the crosshairs, for example, is spring fever, a debilitating seasonal condition that compels millions of light-headed individuals to collapse onto a newly mown lawn and expose themselves to ultraviolet radiation.
Similarly, medical experts remain puzzled by the incapacitating effects of love sickness, which alters brain chemistry so radically that helpless victims succumb to an irresistible urge to insert themselves emotionally and physically into the lives of total strangers.
These and many other troubling diseases will be treated — and perhaps even cured — by staff of the new JGH Department of Specious and Metaphorical Medicine. Leading this unique initiative will be Dr. Spring, who has been recruited from the top ranks of the Dr. Clown organization, where he gained international renown for his work on the therapeutic applications of the funny-bone.
“Only a hospital as visionary as the JGH would have the courage to combat illnesses that have been unjustly ignored for so long,” says Dr. Spring. “Just consider the unnatural temptations of Sweet Tooth Syndrome. Or the deep muscular pain of the Ear-to-Ear Smile. Or the helplessness of Frog-in-Throat Blockage. Ours is nothing short of an urgent humanitarian mission.”
Dr. Spring explains that rigorous research will also be conducted to assess the effectiveness of treatments that are already widely used by clown therapists, but have not yet been subjected to scientific evaluation — for instance, flinging a cream pie into the patient’s face, spraying seltzer down the patient’s pants, and setting the patient’s hair on fire.
Given the urgency of its mission, the Department of Specious and Metaphorical Medicine has been assigned prime space in Pavilion K, the JGH’s new acute-care wing. Heading the team to design and set up the work stations, clinics and labs will be André Aprille, Director of the hospital’s Facility Office for Operations and Logistics, a service more commonly known as Aprille FOOL.
Among the other ailments that the new department will investigate:
- Two Left Feet and All Thumbs: congenital malformations of the extremities that contribute to extraordinary clumsiness, particularly in dancing and in the use of hand tools
- Sticky Fingers: an acute dermatological illness, characterized by a thin but extremely adhesive excretion on the fingers and palms, leading some patients to commit involuntary acts of shoplifting
- Motor Mouth and Foot-in-Mouth Disease: severe neurological conditions that compel patients to babble uncontrollably and at length, inevitably causing great embarrassment to themselves and/or others
- Wandering Eye: a distressing ophthalmological disorder in which the patient loses the ability to focus on one’s own spouse or partner, and instead is irresistibly drawn to the alluring faces and bodies of others
“Red noses notwithstanding, this initiative is a serious matter,” says JGH spokeswoman Cynthia Hoakes. “For years, anguished patients have been desperately hoping that someone would ‘Send in the Clowns’, and now the JGH has shown the courage to finally step forward and do it.”