TALLAHASSEE, FL—With tensions already at an all-time high, the nearly 96-hour standoff between area resident Anthony Shepard and his hypothalamus came to a head Monday when the 32-year-old called for the immediate release of all endorphins back into his bloodstream.
While motivations behind the assault remain unclear, it now appears that Shepard's hypothalamus seized control of his nervous, limbic, and endocrine systems late Thursday night, killing several innocent physical desires such as appetite and sexual drive in the ensuing synaptic fire.
"Earlier this week, events took place between my cerebrum's temporal lobes that can only be described as criminal," said Shepard, who told reporters he was first saddened, then angered, abruptly overjoyed, and saddened again to hear about the complete deregulation of his emotions. "To the nefarious gland responsible for this cowardly act, I know you can hear me. I demand, in no uncertain terms, that you surrender and cease all hostilities at once."
"We have you completely surrounded," Shepard added.
Shepard, who has been thrown in the middle of many intracranial hostage situations, including a three-day confrontation with hostile serotonin-detaining neurons in 2004, said he was initially confident that a peaceful resolution could once again be reached. Despite working tirelessly with his body's natural-crisis unit, however, Shepard has so far run up against a brick wall, failing repeatedly to convince the hypothalamus that freeing its endorphins is in the best interest of all parties involved.
"Every reasonable alternative has been examined and exhausted; every rational avenue, from acupuncture to chocolate, explored to no avail," said Shepard, who eventually gave in to three of the gland's physical demands Friday, delivering bouts of uncontrollable crying over breakfast, six hours of fitful sleep during the afternoon and early evening, and the complete omission of supper in exchange for the recovery of two anti-stress hormones. Neither has been freed.
"This is your final warning," said Shepard, addressing the hypothalamus from his kitchen table. "I don't want to have to resort to force, but if left with no other option, I will. Time is running out for all of us."
Although Shepard is outwardly calm and collected, inside sources claim the standoff has begun to take a psychological toll.
"His mood swings are becoming increasingly erratic, he complains about having difficulty concentrating, and it often feels like he's lost all interest in previously pleasurable activities," said close friend Dorothy Janis, who claims Shepard has also exhibited excessive guilt over the tense situation. "I know Michael is trying his best to stay positive, but with each hour that passes, I can tell he's losing hope."
"I worry that unless the endorphins are released soon, Michael may try something desperate," Janis added.
With his hypothalamus' deadline fast approaching, Shepard told reporters he was prepared to take "drastic action" in order to avoid potential backlash from "countless bodily functions."
As of press time, Shepard was traveling to a Blockbuster Video store, where he intended to rent the films Notting Hill, The Runaway Bride, and Sleepless In Seattle for immediate viewing.
"These are the difficult and painful decisions we sometimes have to make," Shepard said. "I didn't want for it to have to come to this. God knows, I really didn't want it to have to come to this."