Friday, December 21, 2012
This is Daisy Duke reporting live from KPOS. I'm standing in front of the home of Mr. Fanard T. Clegs, the famous multi-millionaire shoe magnate whose body was found crammed in a shoebox the size of a small galley kitchen. Preliminary reports indicate COD to be suffocation. There was also a shallow, rectangular indentation on Mr. Clegs face, as if the lid of a shoebox the size of a ballet slipper had been held down with great force. But, of course, the police haven't released that detail to the public. Back to you Nick and Nora."
"Do the police suspect homicide in the death of Mr. Clegs?"
"Yes, they do. In fact, they believe he was murdered. But they aren't saying anything publicly until they get the official word from the coroner. Back to you Nick and Nora."
"Are there any suspects at this time?"
"Well, there is an interesting side-note to this mystery, Nora. Apparently, the last person to see Mr. Clegs alive was the self-acclaimed author, WitLiz Yada. As you may or may not know, I have a long history of dealing with this woman, and to say she's a bit dotty is an understatement. I'll certainly be investigating this angle. Meantime, back to you Nick and Nora."
* * *
"Say Tranny, does our Daisy seem a little off to you? Like . . . she's not all there or something. Brain-wise, I mean."
"Yep. Must be all the network job-hopping she's done. I mean, she's been fired so much, I'm surprised she has any nuts left in the ol' squirrel barn."
"Think she'll break the story of who murdered Mr. Clegs before we do?"
"Doubt it. She's slipping, Dave. On the other hand, our own mild-mannered field reporter is two shot glasses shy of a full bottle. What was I thinking when I hired that shatwad?"
"Tranny . . . I know I shouldn't say this but . . . I almost wish we had Daisy back. She sure was tenacious when she got her bitch claws into a story. And her pursuit of WitLiz Yada was priceless. Ah, those were the fun days."
"Yeah . . . . . . . . . Say, Dave, you thinking what I'm thinking."
"You mean, our idiot reporter just got assigned to the mystery of the dog-poop terrorist bombs plaguing our affluent community?"
"Daisy might not go for it, Tranny."
"Ha! Have money, will travel. That woman would screw a lightbulb into her mother's left eye for moolah, Dave."
* * *
"So, you two dipshits think you can come crawling back to me, ass in hand, with an offer do you?"
"See, it's like this, Daisy. Dave and I miss you. Really."
"Ratings down, are they? . . . Ok, come clean, douche dick, you're about to get fired, aren't you?"
(You wish, bitch). "No, not at all. It's just the shoe magnate murder story is way too big to assign to our snoozer of a field reporter. But you could handle it easily, Dais. Especially with your experience tracking down the Yada woman. After all, she was the last person to see Mr. Clegs alive, right?"
(tick, tock, tick tock, the mouse ran up the clock)
"Get on your knees!!! . . . Both of you."
"I'-m not sure . . . what?"
"You heard me, Transy pansy."
(furious whisper to Dave) What the hell sound is that coming from Daisy's throat?"
"Oh shit, Tranny, she's purring. We're in major trouble!"
Monday, December 17, 2012
“Mrs. ET? My name is Dr. Kang. I am the hospital psychiatrist. How are you feeling now? I understand you were having some trouble earlier this morning. First, the nurse reports to me that you were jumping off the bed and shouting you are Superman. Then I receive also a report from Dr. Frankenstein, that you were uncooperative during the EEG test and he could not complete it. Do you recall these things?”
I eye the squat man with a gimlet eye. The flat plains of an expressionless Mack truck face screams peasant stock to me, but the expensive-looking grey suit says something else altogether. Not quite sure what, but first impression tells me the man has a huge ego. Alrighty then. Dr. King Kong he shall thereafter be known. That thought is quickly followed by, what’s with psychiatrists and grey suits? I chastise myself. Get with the program, Liz, or you’ll be in here a lot longer than you think. “Well, Dr. Kang, I told the brain doc I wasn't up for testing, but he started attaching these wires to my head anyway. I lost my temper and yanked them out. I shouldn’t have done that, I know, but it's not like I didn't warn him.”
Dr. King Kong nods his head vigorously. “It is as I thought, Mrs. ET. You are merely suffering the side-effects of this illness. Hallucinations, delusions, and hearing voices are not uncommon for someone in your condition. But you are feeling better, yes?”
I nod my head vigorously. “Oh absolutely. In fact, I would like to go home now.”
Dr. Kong chuckles. “I am sorry, but you are not yet well enough for that." He pats my arm reassuringly. “Ok, I will check on you tomorrow.”
As soon as he lumbers out of the room, I turn to my husband. “I’m leaving. This place is making me crazy.”
“You can’t, Liz! You’re still way too sick.”
“I don’t give a jumping frog from Calaveras County. Get the nurse in here before I turn into Peter Pan and fly off to Neverland on a one-way ticket.”
He leaves and comes back with Florence Nightingale. Calmly I explain, “I’m going home. Where are my clothes?"
The nurse attempts to reason with me. “That’s not advisable, Mrs. ET. The test results aren’t back yet.”
“I don’t care. I'm going home now . . . I know my rights.”
When Nurse Huffy returns, I sign the against medical advice forms she hands to me. As I leave the hospital, she parts the center of my forehead with a verbal arrow. “You’ll be back, Mrs. ET. You’re much to ill to be leaving.”
I merely look at her with eyes as empty as a dying house. But I manage a cold smile. “Thanks for all your help.”
Settling back into the van, I breathe a heavy sigh of relief. The nightmare’s over.
No, Lizzie. The nightmare’s just begun. You know like that song, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” So, fasten your seatbelt, hon. You’re in for a bumpy ride.
Shut up, Bette Davis! Oh God. I’m talking to myself again.
I’m not crazy, I’m not, I’m not!
“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say! One; two: why, then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky.”
Monday, December 10, 2012
St. Agnes Hospital
“Ok, ma’am we’re here. Everything’s going to be alright now.”
I blink away the darkness. Drowsy, I mumble, “Thank you, appreciate all your help. Hope I wasn’t a bother . . .” Fade to grey.
Murmuring voices rouse me a few minutes later. A somber, doctorly voice is speaking to someone outside the curtain surrounding my bed. I rub the back of my head, then grope around trying to find a switch that has turned off my mind. No luck. Switch must be inside my head. Damn. I continue to digitally explore this stranger-than-strange head of mine, feeling every little bump n’ lump, wondering if I’m starting to sprout tumors. As I do so, the conversation Dr. SomberVoice is having outside my cubicle, becomes a little more intelligible. He seems to be saying the words “schizophrenia,” “voices,” and “hallucinations.” Hmm . . . must be talking about somebody next to me. How sad. Then I hear the words “dehydration,” “vomiting,” “diarrhea,” “extreme,” and “send sample to lab.” Well, that has to be me. Now I remember! I was sicker than a dog with Felix the Cat warts on his tail. Am I going to die? . . . Guess not. Feeling mucho better. Should be outta here quick.
Suddenly the Red Sea parts, and it appears that Dr. SomberVoice, aka Moses, is finally going to put in an appearance. He’s carrying a stone tablet, I mean clipboard. Short little fellow, looks like Wally Cleaver. He studies me briefly without so much as a hello, then gets right to the point. “Mrs. ET, have you ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia?”
Yeah, right, like I’m going to admit that to you, buddy. “No. Why?”
“Have you ever had auditory hallucinations, or delusions that you’re someone else.”
“According to the EMT’s report, you were speaking in different voices. Do you remember doing that?”
“Yes. Couldn’t stop it, though. Like a switch got flipped in my mind or something. Not a big deal. I'm fine now.”
He stares hard at me, jots something down, and plods on. “Do you hear voices inside your head?”
Duh, no doc. Sheesh, get off the crazy wagon. Steam begins to build. “I’m not a fruitcake, if that’s what you’re getting at. And anyway, everybody hears voices inside their head. It’s called, keeping a running dialogue of thoughts up here.” I point to my head. On the sly, I roll my eyes.
“Do you hear voices outside your head instructing you to do things you don’t want to do?”
What the hell, doc? Climb up another damn tree. I throw him my best razor-sharp glare. Oh, if only he were a ribbon! “Listen carefully, doc, I’m not a tin head receiving radio transmissions from Mars. The hospital supply of aluminum foil is safe from me.”
Extremely not amused, Dr. Moses glowers back at me before jotting the information down. Tersely he continues, “Mrs. ET, we’re going to admit you into the hospital for observation and run some tests. Physically, you’re extremely dehydrated. We need to find out what’s going on. The good news is that you’re responding to treatment already, and should start feeling better soon.”
Vastly relieved, I shift gears into humble drive. “Thank you, Doctor. I-I’m sorry if I was rude. Didn’t mean to be.” Closing my eyes, I’m desperate to fall into either a deep sleep, or a deep coma. I don’t care at this point. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen without some last-minute editorial commentary from the Interior Department of Mental Health and Insanity.
“Well Lizzie, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”
“Shut up, Ollie!” For the first time, I snap back at Psycho Voice.
Stupid me. Yelling at myself. How whack is that?
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
“MA’AM, CAN YOU HEAR ME?” an EMT shouts.
No, I'm deaf, you idiot.
“We’re just going to put you on the stretcher. You're very sick!”
What? I’m not sick. I’ve never been sick a day in my life. You must be talking about my daughter. She’s been real sick. Too bad the words that actually come out of my mouth are, “Fuck off! Sick, my ass.”
Black octopus-like arms “help” me onto the stretcher. I try to get off. Gigantically tall man in black, with shiny tin medal on his shirt, and a big black butt-ugly revolver hanging off his belt, bends wayyy over and stares down at me like I'm some kind of criminal. “Ma’am, what’s wrong with you? These men are only trying to help you. If you don’t cooperate, they’ll have to strap you down.”
Strap me down? You can’t do that. I’ve got kids to put on the bus in the morning. I’ve got to go grocery shopping. I’ve got to teach piano in the afternoon. I’ll have you know I’m a very well-respected piano teacher. Too bad the words that actually come out of mouth are, “Get the hell outta my face, tin cop!”
Geez Louise, that wasn’t very smart. I’m immediately strapped down and put in the ambulance. Mr. EMT, aka Smurfman, hops in, shuts the door, hooks an IV into me, and calls the hospital. Afterward, he sits and stares at me. Ah ha! He thinks I’m a fruitcake. I stare back at him with great cunning. I know how to play this game. I’ve seen enough movies on it. I just have to act normal.
I open my mouth to reason with the man, but the words refuse to leave my mouth in the content my thoughts have specified. Not only that, my voice, it has regressed some thirty-five years! “Hello, Mister,” I say with a nervous giggle. “Where’re you takin’ me?”
Smurfman’s eyes bug out. But he blinks the bugs away. “We’re going to the hospital, ma'am.”
“Oh.” I wrinkle my brow. What the hell's wrong with me? I want my adult voice back! I blurt out, “A-are they going to hurt me, Mister?”
His voice softens. “No, they’ll take good care of you there.”
“B-but I don’ like hospitals,” I reply, desperately trying to regain control. My voice has other ideas. “I wanna go home right now!”
He shakes his head. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you need to be in the hospital.”
I close my eyes for a few minutes. Then, without any kind of warning, Mount St. Liz erupts. “Where am I, and who the fuck are you?” But I quickly put a lid on it before Smurfman erupts. “I’m very sorry, that’s not what I meant to say.” I close my eyes, again, and peer into eternal darkness.
Ok, so who’s playing with the light switch in my head? Well, stop it, stop it, stop it!