I’ve had trouble with insomnia for years now, so the number of quack remedies I’ve tried must number in the thousands. From the tongue of a goat under my pillow, to rubbing myself down with specially developed oils, there’s not a miracle cure I haven’t tested.
So it was inevitable that I would find my way to the Hepburn Sleep Clinic situated on the M40 just south of Hopwood Services. Run by a militant communist, the clinic provides the last respite for the sleepless. Her name is Mavis Hepburn, but the seventy year old blue rinsed bonnet of a girl prefers to be called comrade.
What sets the Hepburn Clinic apart from its more questionable rivals is its scientifically proven remedies and techniques which promise, but don’t guarantee, a good night’s sleep.
Upon arrival, I was immediately shorn of my decadent western devices, including my phone, my iPod and my underpants. Testicular support I have learned, is not only a disruption of the REM sleep waves, but is also the bourgeoisie obsession of the middle class.
So, tackle out, Mavis fed me her patented and secret special concoction of herbs and spices, which no scientist has ever decoded. There was a distinct smell of lavender, a whiff of St John’s Wort, and the fetid odour of capitalism. Apparently that was actually Rosehip.
Next I was marched to my room, a sparse cell with no consumerist trappings. Here I was given my ergonomically designed sleeping suit, which consisted of a thick woollen soldier’s uniform, a peaked cap, and a bushy stick on moustache. It’s called the Stalin Sleep Suit, and is said to provide a night of comfortable sleep as well as the chance to look like the Soviet butcher.
To be honest, by this time I was already waning, and I was just about ready to turn in for the night. Perhaps the suit was already doing the job. But before I could slump on to my pillow, Comrade Mavis provided me with one final sleep induction technique.
Cradling me in her matronly bosom, she rocked me in time to the lullaby she hummed. “Unbreakable union of freeborn republics; Great Russia has welded forever to stand!; Created in struggle by will of the peoples; United and mighty, our Soviet land!” Perhaps it was her brusque Russian brogue, or perhaps it was the sentiment of a bulwark brotherhood strong, but either way, I was finally ready for bed.
So, did my visit to the Hepburn Sleep Clinic alleviate my insomnia? Did it fuck.