To the town of Willoughby in Lincolnshire, where Home Defence has arrived to investigate a revolutionary new surgical procedure, instigated by local surgeon Dr. Fouffy Berserk M.D. The doctor invites us along to his practice where we hope to learn more about ‘Internal Body Modification’, a science he has spent the past few “This is a very simple procedure in theory, but somewhat difficult to execute.” Dr. Berserk told HDUK during a tour of his operating theatre. “I started out doing cosmetic surgery which is all about telling insecure people to consider liposuction or making their noses more generic. But once I’d mastered all the arse implants and titjobs I got bored, and I started to think about the possibility of rearranging what was inside the body.” Fouffy spoke with a number of psychologists, and was surprised to discover how prevalent Seasonal Affective Disorder had become amongst upper-middle class housewives, the nouveau riche, and other sections of the population who have far too much time on their hands. Quick to spot a vast, untapped market, Dr. Berserk decided to diversify, concentrating on the treatment of those patients who get a bit down every winter. “The answer was staring me in the face.” Dr Berserk went on as we paused in his consulting room. “Recently inhabitants of the West have been encouraged to think of their dislike for short days or waking before sun-up as a clinical syndrome. Up until now there had been no cure, just various ways of tricking the brain with artificial light or ineffective
prescription drugs. What I’ve done instead is look to nature for inspiration, and the results were immediate.”
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or ‘SAD’) is a relatively recent medical discovery that impacts a fifth of the
population in parts of Northern Europe. As the nights draw in, sufferers are exposed to less light and
begin to show symptoms similar to clinical depression. These include lethargy, lack of interest in food
or socialising, a drop in libido, and increased whining about how early it gets dark.
“This is what we propose.” Dr. Berserk explained, unrolling a medical diagram of a bear’s circulatory system. “I had the idea while watching a documentary about grizzlies narrated by Morgan Freeman. In the ursine world, during a ‘hibernation’ period lasting anywhere from a few days to several months, a bear will recycle its own waste internally, turning extraneous urea into usable protons.”
At this point we gawped, slack-jawed at the doctor. He gave a sigh. “In layman’s terms: The way a bear is set up means it can sleep for weeks without getting poisoned by its own piss.” HDUK nodded, understanding now. “If we could just find a way of duplicating this innovation in human beings, SAD sufferers would be able to sleep through the time of their complaint and only wake up again come Spring.” “At first this seemed like an idiotic notion.” Fouffy added. “But I quickly grew convinced it was achievable and set about conducting investigations.” Early experiments on a group of volunteer ‘lab-rat’ students from the local university hit various snags, with several falling asleep and never waking up. In particular, one girl began to display a number of unfortunate ‘bearlike’ tendencies; growling at the nurses, pawing the clinic’s goldfish tank, and ultimately leaving civilization to live in a cave. However, after many months of exploratory surgery and aborted experiments, Berserk’s team managed to implant an ‘Internal Disposal System’ into the body of a philosophy student called Dave. This man can now reabsorb urine through his bladder wall and make essential amino acids, without ever waking from his month-long naps.
“Thanks to my success we’re now in a position to offer this procedure for less than the cost of a good-size
family car.” Fouffy enthused. “There are a few waivers to sign as you’d expect, and prospective patients
must understand that a number of internal organs will have to be removed to make room, usually just the
spleen and maybe a kidney. Sometimes a portion of the intestine, it depends on the patient. All this effort
will be worth it though, when you wake up in March to bright sunshine, bypassing your seasonal depression
Once the new method of waste disposal has been inserted into a human’s body, the patient is injected with special drugs designed to induce hibernation for an agreed period. The sufferer’s metabolism slows, and their body temperature is lowered until they enter a state of energy conservation, tapping into reserves of body fat during a blissful ‘winter sleep state’, similar to that of the lemur or hedgehog.
Dr. Berserk has now performed a dozen of these operations with a high-rate of success, including one on long-term SAD sufferer and amoral cosmetics endorser, Natalie Imbruglia. Indeed, the tiny Antipodean pop-moppet’s endorsement features heavily in the clinic’s promotional literature, along with photos of Imbruglia curled up peacefully in her pyjamas with not an IV drip in sight.
“Of course, we wouldn’t recommend this surgery to members of the public who actually have to work for a living.” Dr. Berserk qualifies. “Employers don’t appreciate staff taking November to February off because they’re ‘having a bit of a kip’. But apart from these and a few other exceptions, mainly the poor and ethnic minorities, the potential for ‘human hibernation’ is endless. Before long celebrity criminals will sleep through their prison sentences, while NASA are already looking at my research with a view to astronaut modification prior to deep-space missions.”
“And why stop at hibernation?” The doctor continued. “At present I’m working with
a performance artist who wants an extra stomach so she can eat grass like a
cow, and we’ve also researched ‘reverse liposuction’ to increase the weight of
anorexics. All in all it’s a great time to be a scientist. I’ve set up promotional
schemes in the local paper recommending readers get this operation as a
present for a relative or partner under the tagline; ‘Everyone’s Got Someone
They’d Like To See Unconscious For A Third Of The Year’. We also have gift
vouchers and special payment plans for the SAD sufferer in your life, and if the
problem goes deeper there might still be hope. I’m trialling personality transplants
right now, and we hope to have a full range available by 2010.”