The Friary newsletter: Patience, patients: you're here till you're cured

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Hello! And a specially big welcome to all our new patients. We deal in straight talking and common sense here in the Behavioural Monitoring and Addiction-Corrective Facility. We don't have any truck with silly euphemisms like "guests" or reductive labels like "inmates". You're patients who will remain patients until you're better - or at least until you tell OK! magazine that you have experienced a period of vital retrenchment following a personal upset and are now well on the road to recovery, a journey made easier by the support of your loving ex-wife (with whom your relationship has never been stronger) and your five lovely children.

We're having one or two organisational problems at present. First, clothing. Although Kate Moss left months ago, we're still getting huge bundles of Size 8 frocks from Paris and Milan. The Post Room is knee-deep in Alexander McQueen evening wear. The floor outside the Identity Crisis Wing has become a hazard to pedestrians, with all that tulle and organza slithering about. And I regret to say a certain amount of pilfering has been going on, with patients gathering armfuls of designer frocks and secreting them into their rooms. Please try to remember: THESE CLOTHES ARE NOT MEANT FOR YOU. You are not a supermodel. Nor are you Elizabeth Hurley, nor Sophie Rhys- Jones. You are somebody else. Face it. Get a grip.

New patients should be advised that the use of personal stereophonic equipment and/or mobile telephones is strictly prohibited in the Total Sensory Deprivation Tank.

Please offer a warm welcome to John, a northern politician with an unhealthy fixation with large, expensive automobiles. Owing to a combination of claustrophobia and social vertigo, he is allergic to travelling by Underground train and is seeking neurological help. He is also prey to chronic delusions, eg, of being, in a previous life, the leader of the ancient Hardlefty tribe, to whom he was a sort of king. I asked John what he hoped to gain from his experience at the clinic. "To eradical the sceptre of class warfarin from modern loaf," he replied, "yer bloody lah-di-dah baggage." I have put him in the Edvard Munch Horrible Screaming Face penthouse suite, where we hope he will have a comfortable and refreshing sty, or stay.

The Unsuitable Relationship Addicts' disco-barbecue on Friday was not quite the success I had hoped. Far too many female patients, abandoning all logic and sanity, tried to get off with Tony, the bald bouncer with the barbed-wire tattoo and the long record of Previous. Tony is not part of the clinic. He is nothing to do with your rehabilitation programme. Did you learn nothing from the Self-Esteem seminar with Dr Herbertson? As for Patient #3215 (no names, but you know who you are), surely you realise that nothing is to be gained by attempting to simulate sex with a vacuum cleaner during the Latin American freestyle? I just hope you learned your lesson. And the DJ who had the bright idea of playing Robert Palmer's "Might As Well Face It, You're Addicted to Love" at midnight will not be invited back.

We have noticed, with regret, the tendency displayed by some of our famous alumni to forget everything they've learned from us, shortly after being readmitted to the dangerous outside world. Paul came "off the wagon" in June. We all hope he will return to the one-day-at-a-time philosophy before long. I think we all enjoyed his stay at the Friary, his exhibition of ball skills, his antics with the soda syphons, his characterful and flavoursome high-fibre-with-extra-chilli-sauce Special Diet, his amusing lexicon of synonyms for vomiting. We wish him well and look forward to seeing him back here among his friends before very long.

Must I remind patients yet again that smoking is not permitted in the Primal Scream toilets?

There is a smoking room on the second floor beside the Foot Fetishists' Recreation Room, although I would take this opportunity to stress that hookahs, chillums, Moroccan bongs, hubble-bubble pipes, Rizla papers and torn-off bits of cardboard are strictly forbidden by the rules of the clinic. You will never get better unless you resolve to curb your oral fixation from Day One.

MRS HILDA GOLIGHTLY, MATRON OF THE FRIARY

Comments