Mental health issues are nothing to laugh at, but sometimes behaviors of the cognitively “healthy” just make you wonder, note the quotation marks around healthy. First of all most people would be certified insane if we took Einstein’s definition of insanity: insanity is repeating an action and expecting a different result. Luckily he was a physicist and not a mental health worker because there are innumerable actions that yield different results every single time they are…well, enacted.
Fishing for example, which usually involves ingesting copious amounts of intoxicants, sitting uncomfortably close to other people, surrounded by a multitude of unseen watery death scenarios, with a few slats of unstable wood separating you from the saline infused nightmare death soup we call the Ocean. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right, how the lizard people in your office that are plotting to take your face as a trophy to their mother brain in their hive space station that has been orbiting the Earth for 30.000 years. Or was it about how you can tell if your co-workers are unequivocally, undeniably batshit insane?
They Eat Bugs
This isn’t a completely unique or original observation of mine but one postulated in the gothic classic; Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Ironically there is a psychological effect called Renfield Syndrome named after the fictional character, so I’m not the only unimaginative individual involved in this discussion, I’m looking at you fore-fathers of clinical psychological diagnoses.
The official definition concentrates on the sanguine obsession of the disease. However, the character’s descent into blood-drinking madness started by eating flies, then catching the flies and feeding them to spiders, which again he ate and then using the spiders to catch birds and consuming them. Renfield’s motivation in consuming insects and small aviary creatures was to absorb their life-force. In the book he actually asked for a cat at some point, which I’m sure resulted in a scene that was edited out of the book which probably read as follows:
“OK, Renfield we know the benefits that pets have on mental health, but if we give this cat to you will you eat it?”
“[sing songy] Noooo! Why would you say that?”
“Well, you’ve kind of raised red flags for us when you went started eating swallows feathers and all.”
“Nooooo, I don’t eat them, I repurpose and absorb their life-force into mine!”
“Is that what you’re thinking about doing with the cat you asked for?”
[pondering in silence] “Um………..No?”
“I’d feel much more comfortable if your ‘No’ wasn’t postulated as a question.”
So yeah, if your co-workers start eating insects, small rodents and birds they might be playing with a deck that’s missing a few aces. On the other hand, you have to admit the value of someone that takes care of the maddening horse-flies that constantly buzz around when they get stuck behind the blinds.
Just today a co-worker was proudly telling us about her 3 year old child that loves to over accessorize. To which everyone listening collectively gushed and said “aweeee”. As shown in the Adam Sandler documentary about parenting and the legal system, Big Daddy, a small child unfettered by social norms can easily wear whatever they want. Think about it, if you saw a toddler wearing a tutu over jeans and a galosh on its head, you wouldn’t bat an eye, on the contrary, you would smile and be amused.
Now think about that horror couture ensemblé on an adult. Terrifying right? How would you deal with seeing someone walking down the street with a galosh on his/her head, suspenders with no shirt (I just realized this image changes significantly depending on the attractiveness of the individual) a tutu over their jeans and flowery flip-flops…you know the ones: they’re the type that are completely covered in fake flowers and make the person wearing them look like flowers are growing from in between their toes.
Sorry about the in-depth description I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page. If you saw someone with the combination of aforementioned affectations, I’m sure you would move to the opposite side of the sidewalk and speed-up your pace as you heard them yelling: “I knew you were one of the lizard people! I could smell the Cool Water on you from over here!!!” Strangely you don’t even wear Cool Water.
So if one of your fellow cubical farm dwellers shows up one day donning footwear as head wear, or anything that is associated with a specific form of dancing (flamenco dress, Cuban heals, tutu, pointe shoes) and has no intention of practicing said form of dancing immediately, then you might want to keep your distance at the water cooler.
This 16th Century Playwright is considered one the greatest writers of the English language and go to guy for pre-adolescent love and multiple suicides/murders as a result of said pre-adolescent love. And no I am not creepifying the aforementioned pre-adolescent love affair we see in Romeo and Juliet, for comedic effect. Juliet was a reasonably non-creepy 16 years old in the original poem that inspired Mr. Shakespeare. However, when he wrote his play, (yes Romeo and Juliet) he chose to take three years off that original age to make the famous tragedy a little more Roman Polanski-esque (or Woody Allen-ish; I’ll let you chose your favorite famous skeevy pedo to draw associations with).
In his plays he has penned some of the most recognizable monologues, dialogues and exclamations such as: To be, or not to be: that is the question (Hamlet), Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? (I’ll let you guess that one), All that glitters is not gold (the Merchant of Venice) and Et tu Brute. Funnily enough that last phrase is widely accepted as Caesar’s last words, but was in fact written by Ole Shakey without any evidence that it indeed was the Emperor’s last utterance.
If you have a co-worker that starts reciting flawless excerpts from William’s greatest hits then you might want to start worrying. Of course, let them finish, respect the craft and enjoy the spectacle. People usually have to pay good money to watch theater. On top of everything just think about how much more interesting meetings would be if every time the amateur thespian disagreed with something he/she would say: Get thee to a nunnery, which is from Othello. While it might not display protest, you have to admit it would make an interesting interjection to whatever is being said in the meeting. Also, if you’re ordering food at work and your thespian responds "If music be the food of love play on, but relinquish me of mayo and lavish me thy dijon." You’ll eventually figure out that it means he/she wants a pastrami on rye, no mayo, with spicy mustard.
Do you know of any other indicators of inter-office diminishing mental health? Let us know in the comment section below. Yes…you can use Shakespeare if you want.