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Trouble sleeping?

By Terry Joseph

Among the most astonishing medical discoveries made so far this decade, is a recent finding that severe insomnia may be effectively treated by a two-capsule dose of kaiso, taken at Dimanche Gras.

Excited scientists, meeting early Ash Wednesday to discuss research into the properties of Dimanche Gras, were themselves surprised at the ease with which consensus came, given the variety of elements comprising this complex substance.

Articulating the findings of colleagues, Prof Mascal Lypsopan stopped just shy of declaring Dimanche Gras a wonder-cure for sleeplessness, conceding that the need for additional study was indicated.

"But from preliminary analysis, there is overwhelming evidence that, while each of the show's fundamental constituents is capable of keeping volunteers awake over long periods, their isotopes radically altered behaviour when mixed in equal proportions at Dimanche Gras," Prof Lypsopan said.

"This shift attenuated incrementally when the amalgam was suspended in a vacuum on Carnival Sunday night," he said. "Rapid diminution of attention span was observed among subjects during the seven-hour experiment and the national calypso monarch final was easily identifiable as a potent narcotic.

"Our distinguished colleague, Dr Soca, did some additional work, coming up with a theory worthy of intensified consideration. He isolated Morpheus 2, an abstract now found in increasing concentration in traditional kaiso, which disturbed proton/neutron ratios in positively-charged human nuclei," he said; that statement greeted by approving gestures and table-thumping.

The team studied some 10,000 guinea pigs both in the clinical Grand Stand environment and under flexible North Stand conditions, with experts dedicated to each vector frequently taking readings of even the most fleeting nod and recording in full, many hundreds of snoring patrons.

Upon first indication of the potentially embarrassing problem, researchers were quickly issued headphones through which a recording of the International Soca Monarch Final was piped, as a means of protecting them against contracting the condition.

"At one point, we feared the pandemic might degenerate into a recently investigated form of acute apnea, particularly in some of the more conducive subjects," Prof Lypsopan said, "but it was noticeable that in between songs they often snapped awake, only to be returned to the near-comatose state once the next contestant arrived onstage.

"Deceptively described as ‘serious kaiso', many of these dirges bordered on the morose, with only Singing Sandra rescuing the bio-rhythm and providing an antidote to the pervading hypnotic effect induced by a slew of doleful ditties, mostly about issues one would not normally associate with the premier show of a song and dance festival.

"Our field experts noted the contrast obtaining at a number of nearby fetes, where festival music delivered exactly the opposite effect, eliciting measurable increases in alertness, some producing a kind of amphetamine spasm that caused both hands to shoot up into the air and assume a waving motion," the professor said.

"Among our early conclusions is that the active ingredient in kaiso studied during selected periods of the 20th century contained living organisms that induced humour which, when applied to serious topics, eased the passage of information through the cerebral cortex and into the central nervous system, deriving laughter or histrionics.

"Other research conducted over that period showed several episodes in which the same configuration of lyrics and music, even where it involved topical treatment of grave conditions, tended to be coated with an overall pleasing or uptempo aesthetic that made kaiso capsules easier to swallow, causing a level of participation that induced heightened kinetic-energy release.

"What we observed at Dimanche Gras, however, were singers far too intense about the work, trying to deeply inject unstudied philosophy on the one hand or simply reciting symptoms on the other; both forms masquerading as social or political commentary—avoiding the type of diagnosis from which standard kaiso treatment originally dispensed remedies for social distraction.

"In one striking instance, a volunteer who arrived in a highly ebullient and agitated state was seduced into sound sleep within seconds of swallowing the first kaiso capsule, this amazing case getting even more complex, with the subject snapping awake for the parade of large costumes, then falling back into a trance as the second kaiso capsule was being ingested.

"Interestingly, the manufacturers of these kaiso capsules were earlier attempting to extract the steelband music ingredient from Dimanche Gras, arguing that its inclusion would lengthen the process and render adrenaline time-release mechanisms ineffective.

"On the evidence, quite the opposite obtained, with the steelband component producing an energy boost, but one powerless against the effects of Morpheus 2 and in the sum, reducing the host, Dimanche Gras, to a protracted slumber-party.

"It is therefore our considered view that if traditional kaiso is intent on maintaining its present composition, careful thought should be given to commercialising a distillate, a move we feel could bring relief to the many millions around the world who continue to have trouble sleeping," he said, shuffling his notes together and thanking colleagues for their attention.

Prof Lypsopan's delivery was acknowledged by a standing and thunderous ovation, every member of the conference staying upright and applauding vigorously for fully two minutes, atypically slapping "high-fives", until the over-zealous (but absent-minded) professor, carried away by the euphoria of the moment, started playing a tape of Dimanche Gras to further drive home his point.

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