This story ends with me offering this chesty, young woman, who pulled up a barstool to sit next to me, one hundred dollars. It was almost 2 in the morning, when no one is ugly. We weren’t exactly negotiating.
Hmm… anyway, the story begins when this delicious young thing said she wanted to have a serious conversation. And for some reason I was the guy she picked out of the lineup at the bar.
I don’t know why she put me in her crosshairs. Perhaps because I was the only guy with a part in his hair that wasn’t a shaved runway from one pierced ear to the other tattooed cheek. Just the usual midnight zoo at Grumpy’s, a neighborhood oasis in South Philadelphia.
I have to admit the woman smelled a whole lot better than my bourbon. And her smile seemed self-assuring, as if no man could ever dare try to slap it off. There was something about this one.
But nothing is ever what it seems at first. And when she started launching her bursts of verbal incoming, I reckoned we might not be destined towards one of those deeply meaningful overnight relationships.
Her verbal spew was all hands and cigarette smoke. She was all over the fenceless prairie in her desultory diatribe from the degrading way people judged her for being a poorly-paid nanny, to the salacious way men wanted her only for sex.
Hmm…I am sure there must be another reason men appreciated her, but I didn’t want to mention the multiple Karma Sutra possibilities.
Besides, at this point the thought of sexual forays with sheep and chickens seemed more inviting.
How do such peculiar folks always find me? Why, Lord? Haven’t I been making my alimony payments?
Anyway, I decided to bolt. I thought I’d better take my leave before this woman inspired me to empty Grumpy’s of all its B’s: You know, beer, bourbon, brandy and anything else bottled.
Oh, yeah, and this female canine (that does begin with a ‘b,’ doesn’t it?) sitting next to me. But before I could bob and weave my way to anything with an escape sign she cupped my arm to let me know how all her problems could be ground-zeroed to the “fact” that she had ADHD.
Consider my inebriated surprise after having listened to her random discharge for the past 45 minutes. I hate it when people want to tell me all about something they take no responsibility in trying to cure themselves.
Now ADHD, for all of you who aren’t still wandering the desert seeking the Weapons of Mass Destruction, is some sort of attention deficit disorder. We all have it, some of the time, for crying out loud. Just not all the darn time.
But then the unappreciated American Psychiatric Association(APA), seeking to raise its status, importance and prestige, decided in 1987 — about 15 years after it rescinded its long conviction that homosexuality really wasn’t a curable disease after all — that about 500,000 of the American school children suffered a “mental disease” known as ADHD.
Within 5 years it was over 5 million. Today it is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of all the American school children. And then there are those who became adults.
Now the APA are the same folks who a few years back decided 1 in 10 of us suffer from at least one mental disease. Then it became 1 in 2. And, of course, pretty soon it will be all of us – except the psychiatrists, who we all know seek their own therapy because they hated their fathers, did the Oedipus thing with their mothers, stabbed their brothers or hanged the dog in the cellar where they set the fire to burn their houses to hell.
Hmm…. Give me a moment…I’ll be fine.
I guess what I should point out that, according to studies, there is not one shred of evidence that ADHD is caused by any brain disease. Yet all these kids, and adults, are stigmatized with a mental disease. And often treated with Ritalin, which reportedly has some noisy side effects.
So, what I found rather annoying about this woman beside me, using ADHD as an excuse, allowing it to define her, is that she, like most people, could take palliative steps to help mitigate, if not possibly control herself – if she wanted to.
I mean, don’t many Olympians overcome great physical obstacles to excel? And how about the vast majority of us who don’t pull out guns and shoot the taxi driver blasting his horn in our rearview mirror the second before the light turns green?
It used to be that everything was a sin. Now it’s a bloody disease.
The proposed new APA disease book even has a disease for a 98-year-man who may be a tad forgetful. And if you play with your computer too much, they’ve got a bloody new disease for that, too. And if you play with yourself too much….well, we already know that’s the wife’s fault.
Look, the idea that every personal problem is a mental illness is practically a mental illness in itself – the cause is thoughtlessness. And we shouldn’t be providing excuses and mind altering drugs when people could be more proactive and participate in a regimen of “exercise, diet and discipline.”
Consider me: I didn’t even know I was depressed. Heck, I definitely haven’t been depressed even for a nanosecond since my wife left. I mean my diet has improved. My exercise has accelerated. And my discipline has kept me from siccing the pitbulls on her very cold trail.
Consider President Lincoln. He would never be elected today. He was bi-polar. And the only treatment he took from time to time was the ‘salts’, better known as Lithium. That and walking.
Are you following my post nasal drip here? Before everything became big pharma business, everything was given the business.
Today we give people a stigma and society treats them differently. Many can’t rise above the tomfoolery and end up viewing themselves not only as victims but as different, if not sub humans. They are not what they make of themselves, but the excuses they have been given to make for themselves.
So as I climbed off my barstool, I handed the impetuous young woman with the high high-beams, my business card and said if she ever actually wanted to have a conversation involving two or more non-paranormal people to give me a call.
She took my card and studied it a bit. Then she said, “You know, with my ADHD I may forget I have this. Or lose it altogether. So don’t be offended.”
At moments like this I am impressed, given my irascible self, that I don’t quit wasting my backhand on tennis. So I studied her dark page boy hair. Her sharp features. And, of course, those highbeams once more.
Then I said: “I’ll tell you what: It is now Tuesday night. If you call me at 10:30 P.M. Sunday night, I will pay you $100.”
“Just for calling you?” she asked with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. “Nothing else?”
It was my turn to laugh: “Darling I am the commodity here. If you want something more, you’ll have to pay me.”
She’s still trying to sort all that out. Whew! Sometimes they make you want to escape through a bathroom window 10 stories up from terra firma.
So, that’s how we left it…
Oh, yeah. I guess you want to know what happened. Did she? Or didn’t she? Did we fall in love, have sex, buy a little house on the prairie, raise a family, grow old together and die in flagrant interruptus?
Or, did I merely invite all her schizophrenic friends over for a kosher pig roast?
The fact is she didn’t call at 10:30. And I could have been a real stickler. But it was close enough for government work. She said she felt foolish. But then again she needed the money. Which is fine, I said. A deal is a deal.
Like I’ve always said, whether it’s a disease, or a Muslim jihadist or even a delinquent congressman trying to decide whether to take the money or the neighbor’s wife: if you give a person a reason to live, they’ll find a way to get on with living. But people who are provided with all the excuses to make for themselves — to make failures of themselves — are seldom good for anything else.
Like my dear ol’ bourbon sippin’ Pappy used to snort while blowing omnipotent smoke from one of his omniscient corn cob pipes: “There ain’t no such thing as a good loser, boy. A good loser still ain’t nothing but a loser.”
And dats yDrewIS on DIS penal colony.