People really have no idea how much work goes into each new edition of Bernouli's Encyclopedia of Imaginary Diseases. There is no time for the editors to sit around on their laurels -- probably a good thing because laurels are NOT COMFORTABLE and the aphids get up the bum -- what with all the competition from rival imaginary-disease compendia like the Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases and the DSM-IV-TR.
This afternoon we were down at the Old Entomologist, all wearing masks to conceal our true identities and to minimise the undue influence from the various disease lobbies, and argy-bargying whether or not to include phthiriasis as a separate entry. Things got so heated that I had to call out to the barman for "A brace of cocktails!" to chill everyone out.
True, 1870 was the last time a case was reported of someone's flesh being devoured from within by a morbid, spontaneously-generated proliferation of lice and mites. But perhaps this means it is due for a revival, and before we know it, all the cool people will have 8-legged anthropods wriggling out of every body pore, as a sign that they are sufficiently important to deserve a divine retribution. That will liven up the lifestyle magazines.
Then Editor 'X' was all "Phthiriasis is really just a form of Morgellons" -- where 'Morgellons' are mysterious threads or strands exuding from skin lesions, as if the patient is developing spinnerets. The Morgellons lobby is particularly powerful and I suspect that they got to Editor 'X' somehow.
Then the barman turned up with a couple of martini glasses wrapped in sandpaper which no-one could remember ordering, and in the ensuing argument we forgot what we'd been talking about.
This guy has an infestation of leeches generating within his flesh and crawling out through his skin, but you don't see him complaining, do you? To make the most of it, he has trained them to perform simple tricks, and on Friday evenings you can see him busking on Courtenay Place.
UPDATE: Animated moustaches! Go wild!