Much as I've always loved newspapers I don't read them anymore, mostly because my parents throw today's paper in the recycle bin before I get up, even when that's 6:15 am, and I don't get to see it. (They do have the paper from three weeks ago laying around, though, somehow.) But often enough in the break room someone of my co-workers has a copy and something from it will get passed around. Tuesday the hot topic was the ``Ask Doctor Gott'' column, and it set a horribly disturbing tone in the first letter from a woman I have to suppose is a college student playing a prank on Doctor Gott, the way Ann Landers thought college students were always razzing her but she was too clever for them. From her letter:
I would, if it weren't for my religious beliefs and the fact that I'd be facing prison time, shoot my husband dead for his deliberate annoyance. Not only does he urinate in the shower, but he refuses to wash with a cloth ... I can't help but imagine there could be feces crammed under his fungus-embedded fingernails ... believe me, my husband would be taking his last breath on this earth if there were to be no consequences in my life here or in the hereafter. As for divorce, I've got too much time and money wrapped up in him and just pray I'll outlive the fungus-infected, disgusting, repulsive creep. Til death, which I hope is soon for him, do us part.
Doctor Gott, who apparently doesn't suspect this is a prank or perhaps a character from one of those British sitcoms where all the characters are horrible and hate everyone and are miserable to each other, recommends that she get therapy, for herself if not for couples treatment. He also gives permission for the husband to not bother with a washcloth and just soap himself up by pointing out there really isn't any health need for the cloth and you can, if you're feeling wild, just put soap on your own bare skin. I'm glad for this, since I've never used a washcloth due to the medical condition of my being a guy and not really getting what point it serves other than being another item of laundry to wash. I'm also glad that I'm not married to a woman so obsessed with the routines of my shower that she fantasizes about feces gathering under my fingernails and then writes these fantasies out for nationally syndicated medical columns, but I suppose nearly everyone is.
But now it's got me fascinated to see what other kinds of people on the brink of a psychiatric incident are lurking in the syndicated medical columns now that I've let them go without my attention for a few years. I may have to start buying a paper.
Trivia: George Pullman's first sleeper car, built 1864, was the Pioneer, built at a cost of five thousand dollars, and too large to fit through many of the stations and bridges of the railroads of the day. Source: The Story of American Railroads, Stewart H Holbrook.
Currently Reading: Thurber Country: A Collection of Pieces About Males and Females, Mainly of Our Own Species, James Thurber.