Friday, October 25, 2013

A Fly On The Wall, October 25, 2013

People are Strange
by Jim Murchison 

When I was a young man contemplating a life in the theatre an aunt of mine wondered at the choice. It wasn't that she thought it was an unstable way of life which it is. What she was concerned about was that it might be an unsavoury way of life that would bring me in touch with people that had strange points of view or lifestyles. My response was that I preferred it to politics. She understood my point and said, “Yes, I suppose.”

I have met some odd people in my life whatever that means. I met a man that told me he had multiple litigious personality disorder. In other words he didn't like going to court, but he was possessed by personalities that insisted on it and it was as much of an ordeal for him as those he dragged into it. The man was quite brilliant. At one point he had been charged himself with harassment of a female employee of a large company and he argued that they were actually lovers that had met at group counselling sessions where he was learning how to cope with his litigious personalities and she was being treated for compulsive lying disorder. Every time that she would insist that they were not lovers, he would point to that as proof that they were since she was afflicted with an ailment that made her incapable of telling the truth. He would just point at her and smile and say, “There, you see.”

Furthermore she hadn't died at all.

I met another man that was extremely distraught because his wife had been trampled to death by a horse in what he described as a one horse town in the Philippines. That would be extremely unlucky to live in a town where there was only one horse and to find yourself in its path, but as it turned out later as he got more details she was actually hit by a jeep that had swerved to avoid an ox. Furthermore she hadn't died at all. It turns out that her relatives were just meticulous about being prepared and had planned her funeral just in case. She recovered from her injuries though and when she regained her strength she divorced him which brought him back to me in an even higher level of anxiety. One month later they reconciled and visited me together, but shortly after that she left him and he boarded with four priests. That did not go well either.

Another fellow was convinced that someone in our office, with the assistance of aliens, had somehow managed to install a mind controlling device in his molars and wanted me to find someone to remove it as he found it extremely distressing.  I told him that there was no one certainly that could do that for him immediately and definitely not on a Wednesday when we were short staffed. I also told him that we had not designed any forms to deal with the situation and it was very difficult to get anything really difficult done without the proper forms, so I gave him directions to a local legal clinic, a mental health clinic (on the premise that they would know much more about mind controlling dental implants than we would) and a dentist. He settled down to think about it and after laying down face first on the floor for several minutes he thanked me for being so helpful and left.  

So if anyone ever says that theatre people or the theatre itself is strange, I would say it had better be because it's supposed to be about real life.

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