“Gentlemen, I’d like to report a successful lobotomy. N.N. was displaying psychotic outbursts in bar fights and domestic violence. Conventional medication was not able to reach him. About a month ago we decided to try the operation. We managed to drill a hole through the subject’s skull into the prefrontal lobe, which we suspect controls human anxiety. We then poured alcohol into the prefrontal lobe to kill the dysfunctional tissue, and cure the subject of his psychosis. Not only has N.N. survived the operation, but he has full capability of his motor functions and does not seem to have any memory loss. And to prove that, I would like you all to see the subject for yourselves.”
After an awkward moment of anti-climatic anticipation, Dr. Moniz’s assistant nurse comes out on stage and whispers to the doctor in private.
“I apologize for the delay, gentlemen, It seems the subject has urinated himself. Nurses are changing him and he will be out as soon as possible.”
N.N. comes out in new white pants to match his old white shirt. The nurses that helped him change his clothes are helping him on stage. Hands eagerly rise out of the crowd to ask him questions, which Dr. Moniz happily obliges.
“N.N., what is your real name, where were you born, and what is thirty-two minus eight?”
“My name is… Nathaniel Newbury, I was born in Yorkshire, … and thirty-two minus eight is twenty-four, isn’t it?”
The crowd is astonished at the subjects answers, none of them were expecting him to do mathematics.
“Why did you kill Alfred Beasely in the bar?”
“I was angry. I thought he was the man that slept with my wife.”
“How do you feel right now? Pain of any sort?”
“…no pain. But I feel empty… like a bottle of whiskey with nothing left.”
“What will you be doing tomorrow?”
“…I don’t know.”
“What would you like to do?”
“…I don’t know.”
Dr. Moniz chimes in.
“N.N. has some minor troubles imagining the future or daydreaming, but as you can see, everything else is fine.”
After another long pause, a tall skinny man in the middle of the crowd raises his hand.
“Don’t you think that’s important? The prefrontal lobe is the trademark of the species- predicting and analysing is what separates us from the animals. The ability to plan what you’ll do when you get old, the ability to imagine yourself on an island paradise. Don’t you think lobotomy is a little extreme, Dr. Moniz?”
“It’s better than leaving him a psychopath.”
The scientific community nodded and agreed, then carried on asking questions.