Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Odd Behaviour

People can be odd... very odd.

I have had two weird experiences in the past 24hrs. One very scary but sad, the other one a ludicrous example of the "me me me" generation.

Firstly the scary one. Was on the train yesterday coming in to work. The train was full and people were standing up in the aisle. One of the standing people was a man seemed to be vigorously talking to himself and was a bit agitated enough that I paused my iPod so I could hear what he had to say. From that point on, the next 40 minutes were surreal. This guy was a legitimate example of schizophrenia. He was having a full conversation that you could follow except it was coming from one person. His main voice was a loud voice (loud enough to get everyone on the train worried) but had a child like quality. He was loud but was clearly the submissive person in this conversation.

The other voice was a low whisper. For most of the journey I couldn't make out what was said, but as seats freed up the guy sat behind me and I could hear that half of the conversation. He was saying the most evil and hateful things to his "other half" and was giving veiled threats and sometimes direct abuse. The submissive voice referred to the evil whisper voice as "Steven".

Loud Voice: "I'm sorry Steven! I didn't mean it! I will buy you another cup of coffee. I'll even put sugar in it this time..."

Whisper Voice: "I don't care about the stinking coffee. You always make a mess. You're hopeless and I am going to fix you..."

Loud Voice: "I'm sorry! I was at my girlfriends. I didn't mean it!!"

And this went on and on and on. Very scary, but also very sad that a man (and he was reasonably dressed and didn't appear 'homeless') could be left without help like that... I hope he gets some soon!

The second incident of odd people was the opposite and an example of arrogant narcissism. I am standing at the coffee bar at my local café on Walker St North Sydney this morning waiting for my order. The bar faces the street and I am reading the paper. Suddenly a blaring horn as a cabbie slams on his brakes. A girl in a blue sporty car does a U Turn in front of me, across double yellow lines and slides into a car park right in front of the coffee shop. She's talking on a mobile as she does this sudden manoeuvre and parks on an angle with the cars rear sticking out in traffic. She makes no move to correct it, gets out of the car. She's blonde and attractive and has a tight t-shirt on that doesn't hide the fact that she's had a boob job.

She wanders into the coffee shop and bypasses the queue of people and walks up to the barista on the side of the counter, ignoring everyone else, and asks for a latte. She then walks to the counter and starts reading a newspaper over the shoulder of a guy and then says "do you mind?" and takes the paper from him. He's gobsmacked undoubtedly by the boobs and obliges. My order is up and I head out where her car is causing people to veer on the wrong side of the road to avoid her car.

Amazing that people get through life like this... despite her external beauty, a real cow and high maintenance if you ask me... sounds horrible, but I hope she gets some bad illness to make her get a bit of perspective.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know DM caught your train to work.

Ben said...

I saw that first guy a number of times when I used to live in Toongabbie on ym way to work Clay - definitely an odd fish, but never saw him cause any problems beyond what you described.

Cathy said...

i can't stand rude, obnoxious people who think they are the centre of the universe!! one of my real pet hates! and in fact, part of the reason i changed careers!!

DM said...

Lol @ anon, you're my hero.

It's really not a laughing matter though, a guy as mentally unstable as that could as easily pull a knife and start stabbing people as much as jump in front of the next train. Unsafe to himself and possibly others at the same time. Maybe next time he'll be sitting next to your mother on a train anon...

As for the female with the attitude, obviously has money and lives in her own self absorbed world. I'm surprised you didn't say anything Clay, sure as hell I would have told her to join the back of the line and mind her manners. That's why these people get away with what they do, everyone else just stands around and wants to avoid the confrontation. I'm kinda disappointed I wasn't there, I'd have happily lead by example - if you haven't already guessed, I'm not afraid of confrontation at all - in fact, I'm itching for a fight against this kind of crap.

Excuse me miss, back of the line is right over here... yes, with the plebs.

Anonymous said...

it is a common misconception of the ill-informed masses that a mentally ill person is more likely to be a danger to society....a viewpoint which has little grounding in fact....a viewpoint which i don't really find amusing....


Annachie said...

Really DC.

But it's the ones that you peg as harmless that do the more damage, because it's so unexpected. and if this guy is really schitzospelling then he's totally unpredicatble, and if something does go wrong, unreasonable too.

DM said...

"it is a common misconception of the ill-informed masses that a mentally ill person is more likely to be a danger to society...."

I call bullshit on this one.

There's institutions for the housing of such people for a reason DC and it's always the public who are the first to scream bloody blue murder that when something terrible happens to an innocent person and someone mentally unstable was the cuprit, 'why didn't the 'system' do anything to thwart it?' they always cry.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Put another way, are you so confident in your ideal that you'd sit your kids next to this individual on the train?

Didn't think so.

It's no a question of ideals, but being a realist about the risk.

Anonymous said...

i call quadruple bullshit on this one!!

1. there are no "institutions for the housing of such people" anymore. there are only mental hospitals that are almost impossible to get into. all the housing was closed years ago.

2. it's the media who generally scream blue murder first, not the public.

3. i gave the street beggar a lift home. in my car, with my kids. He has schizophrenia (i think or at least some comparable illness)...does that count?

4. realist about the risk? what risk? you still haven't convinced me why he is more dangerous than the quiet person next to him. the risk is all assumed.