I have a friend who was doing an internship in the psychiatric ward. They had one patient who seemed to be quite pleasant and polite to everybody until one day he demanded to see his lawyer. The lawyer was notified and arrived the next day. Meanwhile the whole medical staff and my friend were worriedly reassessing what they’d done wrong to offend this person, thinking they were up for a lawsuit. After consulting the patient, the lawyer left the ward to see the supervisor, who nervously asked what the problem was. With a straight face, the lawyer told him “My client informs me that he won’t take any action for now, but from now on he wishes to be addressed by his proper title which is “Leo the Magnificent” “.
My friend V worked as a bartender at a restaurant across the street from a mental hospital. At bars, it’s not unusual for people to behave oddly. Sometimes they had to judge if a customer had overindulged before they got there, or if they should call the hospital and ask if they were missing someone.
One lady came in, acting completely normal, had a nice little polite chat with V while sipping at a Coke. After about 15 minutes she stood up, removed every article of clothing, sat back down, ordered a mixed drink and carried on the conversation as normal.
V gave her some tonic water, knowing alcohol can be dangerous with some meds, and placed a quick call across the street. A nurse and orderly were there in a minute, they managed to convince her to cover up with a hospital gown and started directing her out the door. She was only distraught to leave without her drink, so V poured the tonic water in a plastic cup and the lady went along calm as could be.
The nurses kept losing me because I was so quiet, not just not talking but when I walked around. It was funny watching them panic every 15 minutes during checks. “Where’s Ingrid? Have you seen Ingrid?” And because I kept finding new hiding places, they never knew where to look. I liked behind the couch though, on the floor. There was a window where I could see the sky and watch the clouds go past. It was really peaceful, probably ‘cause the ward was really quiet – the only other person there was this anorexic girl who barely ever left her room, and even she left. She came back pretty soon though, and wouldn’t touch her food at all after that.
I had a floridly psychotic client tell me I was pregnant.
He first asked if I was married. I said, “I don’t answer personal questions.” He said, “Ok. But I hope you are because you’re pregnant.” I laughed because I was on contraceptives with no immediate plans to get pregnant. But then he said a few other things that were really strange. He said I was going to see a skull and crossbones later but not to be alarmed. That night, as I looked into the sky, I saw clouds in the form of a skull and crossbones. So the next morning, I bought a pregnancy test and it was positive. Turns out, I was two weeks’ pregnant. Freaky, but true.