Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Chapter 4: A real dead ringer for burning love: Ploughman's Apple.

An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, 1949

As an experiment I sent some photos of my naked science poses to the journal Nature. Nature’s answer was a restraining order and a criminal record.
Allen A. Alan, Scientific Autoeroticism and Awful Papers, 2007

Illness: Ploughman’s Apple
Discovered by: Descriptions of Ploughman’s Apple go back as far as ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have discovered hieroglyphics that look very much like individuals suffering from this condition. It would certainly explain why everyone in ancient Egypt walked sideways. A different alternative illness explains the people with animal heads.  The first formal description of Ploughman’s Apple was by Professor Hubert Massakshun in the definite science section of Heat Magazine, 1999. As it turns out the patient Prof. Massakshun described turned out not to have Ploughman’s Apple but Typist’s Raspberry. However the existence of one disease necessitates the existence of the other because of logic.

Figure 1. One figure. Drawn copy of a description someone once made of an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph while drunk. According to the internet, hieroglyphs are pretty old if drawn by ancient Egyptians which proves it.
Epidemiology: Ploughman’s Apple occurs in males and females equally but is more common in males. It is even more common in females. Adults under the age of 18 (technically known as children) cannot contract this disease with exceptions when they do. It has also been observed in the animal kingdom with Ploughman’s Apple being described in sheep, beetles and fat badgers.
Aetiology: Ploughman’s apple is primarily a sexually transmitted alternative disease. Unusually for a STAD however, sexual intercourse is not required to pass on the illness. It is enough simply for an infected individual to look at another person while thinking about a special hug while a bird, a bee or a stork are in the vicinity. 10 metres is close enough. You can also catch it by sitting on a toilet seat. Any toilet seat. Even one not attached to a toilet. Kissing can pass on the disease but only if it’s a kiss on the cheek used in a greeting and the kiss isn’t really meant. France and Hollywood is riddled. While Ploughman’s Apple is passed on in a manner reminiscent of infection the infectious agent as yet is not known. However it could exist and therefore it has to be assumed it does. The most popular current theory is that it is caused by an alternative bacterium from Atlantis. Bacteria from Atlantis as well as being microscopic are so pink that they become invisible. As such they cannot be seen underneath a standard microscope. Occasionally they can be detected if a tiny divining rod is attached to microscope and an experienced placebographer (proper alternative scientists specialising in the imaging of alternative illnesses, alternative pathogens and paintings of unicorns on black velvet) can think pink enough thoughts.
Symptoms: Sufferers from this condition are often so embarrassed at having it that they are reluctant to describe the symptoms. As such, not much is known about this disease. Some descriptive terms used by the infected include, “Ooh, right in the Ploughman’s Apple”, “My genitals feel right funny and no mistake” and “No, no, no, I’m not ready for the ripping. Not the ripping! Or the screaming slaps. Or the maudlin piano! These are things which I also regret about my condition. Curse those wretched bees!” Individuals who often engage in looking at other individuals in aviaries, near net hats or butter are advised to regularly check themselves for the signs of Ploughman’s Apple described here.
Treatment: As with most disease, prevention is better than cure. Luckily there is a fairly simple way to avoid catching Ploughman’s Apple. Never think about anything ever. Lack of thought deprives the bacteria that probably definitely cause Ploughman’s Apple of a growth medium. Most treatments have side-effects but fortunately the prophylaxis for Ploughman’s Apple has positive gains in addition to those of STAD avoidance. Lack of thought has been shown by several of what came to be known as studies to promote belief in placebology. This is of course progresses to avoidance of even more alternative illnesses. Jackpot!
If you are unlucky enough to contract Ploughman’s Apple, the cure is rather more complex. One week’s course of acupuncture in the Zen Garden is required and in severe cases sufferers have required one week and one hour of this most unpleasant treatment. The Zen Garden is the most painful place to receive acupuncture for reasons. Some patients have even been known to undergo simultaneous moxibustion. Acupuncture repair kits are therefore required during therapy in case emergency intervention is required.

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