Saturday, June 02, 2007


The Man is back. He spent the last two weeks working as a guide/interpreter for a crazy person, and is full of stories that make my hair stand on end. He is very tired, and I am not surprised.

Crazy people have been popping up in stories all around me recently, come to think of it, and I'm glad that for once none of them are related to me.

Here are two crazy people stories that have stuck in my mind.

The first story is about something that was said to a colleague who has been telling us frighteningly hilarious stories about a more than slightly unbalanced student who comes to see her in her office to chat in English. These consultations are required by the university, and are intended to help students with their study of English. This particular student's English is very good, and her way of practicing English is to tell disturbingly irrational stories about her disturbingly dysfunctional family, unless another student appears, in which case she suddenly turns into a normal person. My colleague feels unqualified to deal with this situation, and it is upsetting her. The student needs a counselor, not an English teacher. A foreign teacher suggesting such a thing is not acceptable, however. (Everybody knows foreigners can't possibly understand.) She has been told to help the student with her English, not to counsel her or worry about her mental health.

We gave my colleague varyingly serious/goofy bits of advice about how to cope with the student without losing her cool, because the situation, which she cannot avoid, was making her very stressed. Last time she tried one of our coping methods which involved mental imagery, and had placed herself inside an imaginary protective blue egg. That was the idea, anyway, and it was even working. The girl said some lunatic things and my colleague said, "Hmm, really?" and was perfectly calm. But then the girl suddenly whined nastily, apropos of nothing at all,

"My sister cursed my shoe!"

A crack appeared in the egg, and it was all downhill from there.

I'm afraid that when my colleague told us this story last Tuesday we laughed and laughed and laughed. It was SYMPATHETIC laughter, though, and we were suitably aghast at the other demented things the student came out with. (Also, we can't wait to hear next week's stories.)

This next one is a (translated) quote from The Man's traveling companion, and concerns a long-standing belief, not something fleeting:

"The dentist put my teeth in backwards."

This horrifying dental treatment has apparently caused the teeth to rotate, so they have to be constantly adjusted.

Have you ever seen someone adjusting their teeth? It is not a pretty sight, and perhaps will give you an idea of what The Man has had to put up with for the past couple of weeks.

He is very, very happy to be home.


Lippy said...

Far out! Your poor Man! Your poor colleague! That's several buckets of crazy all round, really.

Still, it does make for entertaining reading. And I know that is just SO wrong... ;-)

kenju said...

Very entertaining for us - but not for the teacher or the Man...LOL

I would worry about the student, though. We had a similar person over here, a Korean-American, who went off his rocker and shot/killed many people at Virginia Tech. I hope that girl doesn't do something similar.

Carrie said...

Did the guy have dentures? Or he really thought he was adjusting his own teeth? Bizarre!

I'm so glad I'm not the teacher that has to listen to the girl, but I wish I could be a fly on the wall.

Lia said...

Can that teacher get away with writing a book based on the stories the student tells? Because that would serve as a great coping mechanism for me, not to mention wonderful imagination fodder.