That Naked Mental Patient in the Mental Hospital
In 1990, I worked as a ride operator at Canada’s Wonderland. Working long hours with people, I got to know them very well.
From Wonderland, I met R, who came from a strong Portuguese Canadian Roman Catholic family. At that time, R was engaged to a woman his age and heritage. After R graduated from York University, he could not find work. He searched for employment for a year and a half. At age twenty-nine, the fiancé called the marriage off. Soon after, R had an interview at Queen Street Mental Hospital.
The interview went fine. The officials behind the desk found R professional, courteous, and easy going. They also felt R was the person they had been looking for. As they took the bachelor on a tour of the premises, all hell broke loose. In the basement of the hospital, a seven foot seven patient ran along the hallways.
Two attendants chased after the patient, all getting thrown around like rag dolls, horrifying R and embarrassing his unlikely tour guides to no end. Through some strange atmospheric phenomenon, the patient became stark naked and the interviewers excused themselves, joining the pursuit of the madman across the hospital premises.
“I am out of here!” R cried, as he left the insane asylum. Soon after, R did get work as an intake counselor at a downtown homeless shelter.
As the years passed, he met a middle aged woman on an online chat room. They eventually married in a traditional church wedding in San Diego California. They then came back to Toronto. The working couple now had a mortgage. True to form, R found himself as an intake counselor at Queen Street Mental Hospital. So if you have a meltdown, mention my name to that intake counselor at the Mental Hospital…
It is not so much a story as an overly brief and wordy vignette. It sounds more like the sort of line you would hear in a bar.
“Yeah, well one time I applied for a job at QSMH, and right after the interview this giant naked dude went running past, I told them thanks but no thanks.”
It would have been nice if the character had been given a name, a fake one beats a single letter reference. The other thing would have been to actually focus on the meat of the story. Take it from a line heard in a bar to a real story where we see and hear and feel the inside of QSMH.
I’d like to know the rest of the story. If R returned to work at the asylum, did he find out the identity of the naked giant patient? I would want to read a second part.
One of my friends is a psychiatrist. He had to spend some of his training period as a doctor in the psychiatric department of a prison.
Expperienced psychiatrists had warned my friend that most of the patients in jail pretend to have a mental disease to get drugs or spend some time in hospital. They told him to be extremely wary of the statments of the prisoners.
There was a prisoner who complained all the time – somehow he had learned about various symptoms of various diseases; he was very good at combining them and pretend there was something wrong with him. One day he went to see my friend; this time he said he had a problem with his stomach. My friend questioned him and became convinced that the man was just pretending to be sick. he gave him a placebo and told him that he could go back to his cell. Before he left, the prisoner asked my friend: “Doctor, tonight will be a full moon night – am I right?”
“I don’t know, sir. I don’t follow those things. Why is that important?”
“Oh- nothing… It’s just that – on full moon nights I turn into a werewolf.”
Now, utterly convinced that the prisoner mocked him, my friend dismissed him. He was busy with people who had real problems.
On that night, my friend was on call. He was sleeping when one of the guardians woke him up. The guardian looked upset; he told my friend that something was wrong in the cells, so he had to go there.
Before he reached the cell, my friend heard someone who was shouting.
When he came closer, he could almost not believe what he saw: one of the prisoners was yelling in distress. He tried to fight another prisoner, but that was in vain. The agressor was the prisoner that my friend had examined that morning. Convinced that he had turned into a werewolf, the patient was now aggressing and biting the other man who shared his cell.
After this incident, my friend knew that sometimes a quick judgment in psychiatrics could be more dangerous than the statments of a prisoner.
This is a true story. Psychiatrics is a very difficult field…