THE FRIARY NEWSLETTER: It's a madhouse with all these Mayors of London

Animal drugs are for animals. If God had meant you to take Alligator Prozac, he'd have made the human stuff too expensive
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The Independent Online
This week, Tracey Onions, staff nurse in Non-Specific Psychoses, writes:

I'M GETTING increasingly alarmed by the antics of some patients in the Advanced Megalomania Wing. I think you know the ones I mean. We have become used, over the years, to seeing different manifestations of vanity, conceit, superiority complex, delusions of grandeur, power-madness and generally being too big for your boots. I've lost count of the number of short-arsed Corsican emperors in full regalia with terrible gastro-urinary conditions because they're too grand to eat with the other patients or ask for a bedpan. "Pas cette nuit, Josephine!" they say to me in that ludicrous accent, even though they're usually from Croydon. I generally sedate them with Rohypnol for a couple of hours, enough time to remove their right hand from inside their tunic and prise the black tricorn hat off their silly heads.

And when it's not Napoleon... but don't start me off about all the historical figures that patients are sure they've turned into. It's like a bloomin' fancy dress party sometimes, up on the sixth floor - David Beckham trying to get off with Queen Nefertiti, three Peter Mandelsons comparing their impressions of Brazil, Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein enjoying a cuppa with Lord God Krishna.

And now everyone thinks they're the next Mayor of London. It's pitiful. They stand around pledging support for each other and saying how much they like Fulham FC. The sufferers from Chronic Promising Syndrome - a rare condition in which the sufferer undertakes to do absolutely anything to secure the support, or "vote" of another person - have gone into overdrive. "Free Tube, bus and train travel for all," they shout, apropos of nothing. "Free museum and gallery entrance! Free pubs! Free walking down the street! Free going into large buildings! Free lunch!"

Others, in my view, go a bit far. "Lots of drink and sex for all!" is the foolish cry of Patient 98107 Norris. "Afternoon naps for all Londoners! Good weather for ever and ever! Vote for me and you WILL NOT DIE!". And sometimes they get frankly insulting. "Don't listen to that illiterate pipsqueak Archer!" they cry, sometimes in chorus. "Don't think of supporting that scrawny bint who once writhed around on top of Tchaikovsky with nothing on!". I'm telling you, it's becoming a madhouse, though don't tell Matron I used the term.

Now to a subject which must concern us all: drugs. I'm not talking about the ordinary intake of amphetamines and opiates with which 90 per cent of our patients are too regrettably familiar. I'm talking about the big stuff. As you probably know, we've had an increasing number of veterinarians in here who've developed a dependence on animal drugs, after regularly abusing the things (the drugs, not the animals) for years. Patient 34476 McQuarrie, for instance, has been on regular doses of a horse tranquilliser called Dobbin until he now tramps listlessly along the beach, giving people rides, head sagging and battered straw hat clamped over his ears. Patient 57219 Johnson, meanwhile, has been foolishly experimenting with Panda Viagra, which is usually available only in the mating cages of Chinese zoos. Poor fellow, he now walks with extreme difficulty, his gait reminiscent of a camera tripod being manoeuvred along a street. So don't think of trying the stuff yourselves. Animal drugs are for animals. If God had meant you to take Alligator Prozac, he'd have made the human stuff too expensive.

Which leads us neatly to the Duke of Buckminster, who has just been admitted to our Neurotic Aristocrats Ward. The Duke is 39th in line to the throne. He is a close friend of Prince William's and is at Eton. He is good-looking, rich and well-connected. And yet he has never been exposed in the national press for snorting cocaine. Not once, not even through a rolled-up fiver. He has been involved in no clubland lavatory antics, nor formed any friendships with dubious Egyptian businessmen. His parents and friends are at a loss to account for this bizarre behavioural lapse. He himself is afraid of becoming a social pariah. None of his friends at the Met and the K-Bar will speak to him any more. "I blame the media," he told Sister Ratchett, on arriving last night. "I tried to interest the Sunday Express in `My Snuff Hell', and in the time I got a Sinex stuck up my left nostril, but not a dicky bird. It's who you know, isn't it?"

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