Purell me, please.

Occasionally, the county jail gives me a call because they’re about to release a prisoner and he/she might be whacked out. Can I come do a mental health exam? And like the county bitch I am, I come running.

This particular day, I ask the female prison guard who and why I’m there to evaluate. She’s trying very hard to keep a straight face as she explains…

Prison guard: “Well, we were about to let him go when a pretty woman walked by. We noticed him acting strange then we…saw he was masturbating.” She glances over at his cell. “Aaaand now he’s looking at you.”

Me: “Lovely. Well can you please have an officer tell him to put it away, or else I won’t see him and he can just stay in here?”

Prison guard: “Gotcha. Oh, and don’t shake his hand.”

And he did ask to shake my hand. Twice. I politely declined.

The prison staff had given him a cute nickname- Sticky Ricky.


Beam me up, Scotty.

I also do side work with the county crisis team. We got a call from a son concerned about his father’s recent delusional behavior. And that’s how I met Captain Kirk.

Although he doesn’t look like the famous captain. He’s got long, scraggly light brown hair and oh, maybe two or three teeth. But he assured us he was Captain Kirk, sent on a special mission by Spock.

The mission? Go back in a time machine to the prehistoric era, capture a dinosaur egg, and bring it to the present. See, he has to raise this dinosaur, but he won’t tell us why.

And to prove this to us all, he stands in the kitchen and bellows, “Beam me up, Scotty!” And waits. But nothing happens- perhaps Scotty ran out of crystals to power the beam. It happens.

So we tell Captain Kirk that maybe he needs to talk to a doctor at the hospital about his special mission. And it’s okay because his cat, Squigs, will watch the house while he’s gone. He also warns Squigs not to smoke all his weed, because Squigs can roll a mean joint.

We all go to the hospital, Kirk in his ambulance, my co-worker and I following in the car. We pull into the parking lot and Kirk hops out and starts toward us. And my co-worker rolls the window down so we can speak to Kirk.

But Kirk had apparently developed feelings for me on the drive over. He tries to climb through the window. “Honey, give us a kiss!” he says as he shoves his face toward mine.

I don’t like my co-worker in that way, but I pretty much climb into his lap to escape Kirk’s advances. He’s laughing so hard he can’t breathe as he rolls up the window, and Kirk is dragged into the hospital.

And that’s how I earned the nickname Heartbreaker.

Delusions of grandeur.

I have a client who just got out of jail so of course he needs his meds ASAP. I pick them up and go deliver them to him as he’s waiting upstairs. I say hi and I see he’s reading a book about God and my red flags begin flaring up.

I go into the clinic area, hand the IM medication over, and tell them they’ll want get it in him pronto. When he is having symptoms he has told people he’s God. The fact that he is reading this might trigger all kinds of craziness.

So I tentatively go talk to him. Of course the first thing he does is try and hit on me. “Look at you. You must’ve gotten dressed up for me.” Sigh. But at least he remembers he’s not God. Baby steps.

I need a translator.

I once made the mistake of walking down the city a few blocks alone, running some errands for a client.

I notice an old man stumbling about, coming toward me, carrying who knows what in a plastic bag.

He towers over me, enormous blue eyes bugging out of his gray haired skull. He opens his mouth full of rotted teeth, leans into my face and yells, “BLERGAGLYUGHIT!!”

Or something like that. I don’t miss a beat, smile politely and say, “Have a good day sir!” and off I go.

Even I have my BS limits.

In their own words…

Some recent client favorites:

“Did you know if a cat runs over your penis you get worms?”

“I had diarrhea and my butt hurt. I couldn’t find any Vaseline so I used Chapstick.”

“Somebody stole my money! I had $50 and now it’s gone! I knew I should’ve stored it up my pussy!”

“This is my cat, Squigs. He rolls joints.”

“I am a priest but also a kung fu master.”

I could go on for days.

Do I look like a priest?

Even on my breaks, the crazies of the city seem drawn to me like the world’s most fucked up magnet.

I am exiting my car to return to the office, when one of the city’s many homeless make a beeline for me. I sigh, and begin to peer in my wallet, thinking I’m about to be shook down for a buck or two.

It was an older African-American woman, sporting the same far away look in her eyes that I recognize in my clients. But she also appears to be in distress and grabs for my arm.

“Do you see them?” she asks. I stare into her unfocused eyes, wondering what it is SHE’S seeing and I ask her as much.

“The evil dog spirits! There’s 3 of them inside of me. She cursed me!” I peer deeper into her eyes, crinkling them as if I’m concentrating deeply.

“Nope. No dog spirits there.” I assure her. “All gone! There’s just you.” I smile brightly and she grabs my hand, her eyes shining with tears and insanity. “Oh God bless you! Thank you so much!” A smile spreads widely across her own face to match mine.

She toddles off, continuing to babble thanks. I make my way to the office to wash my hands, good deed done.

Now, whenever I have a bad day, I remember that and think it could be worse. I could be infected by evil dog spirits.

The 90 pound drunken sailor.

For my first post, I want to dedicate it to the very embodiment of antisocial personality disorder, my favorite client ever- M.

M was a sweet older lady by the looks of it. Trim figure with an old woman slouch and whatever mismatched outfit she had gotten at Wal-Mart. Just approaching her, you’d expect her to smile and call you sweetie. Instead, she’d likely glare at you and growl in her smoker’s voice, “What do you want, fucker?”

M had been in and out of the mental health system since her 20s and was well-known throughout the area for her sailor mouth. I think one of M’s most shining insults came when she called the clinic nurse a “bull dyke cocksucking whore.” No, I can’t make any sense of it either.

Despite the constant string of four letter words flying from her mouth, M had brief moments of clarity and goodness. On one trip as we drove her to an appointment, she offered my co-worker and I a piece of candy. I didn’t want to refuse it and stir up another wave of profanity, but I made sure my co-worker ate his first. A social work canary of sorts.

Sadly, M is no longer with us. 45 years of 3 packs a day and a tendency to tell doctor’s to go fuck themselves does not a long life make and her ticker gave out. But I do remember her every day with a wry smile and a respect that she lived life on her own terms.

Plus, no one called me a whore quite like she did. Rest in peace, M.