On Trains and Traffic Cones


During my 4 years of training I learned about and treated all sorts of interesting afflictions, and learned a lot about myself and human nature in the process. I spent nearly a year with anorexia and bulimia nervosa cases mostly young women. They in their relentless pursuit of thinness and sometimes death, wished to steadfastly maintain their freedom in the face of controlling rigid families and fears of aging and responsibility. This was perpetuated by our culture worship of skinny ladies. A study by one of my supervisors involved Playboy mag measurements from 1959 to 1979. The results were 36-26-38 to 33-24 -34. Putting it simply men apparently wanted women to look like men. Or so it seemed.

I saw a schizophrenic who on the front lawn of the Clarke Institute doused himself with gasoline and held a lighter in an attempt at soulful purification. I talked him out of it. Another who covered himself with blue paint and stood in a crucifixion pose. Not sure what the symbolism was, the Celts covered themselves in blue paint prior to battle. Except he was Jewish. I speculated that schizophrenics might be onto some deep existential revelation, but I never thought it could  simply be reduced to dopamine metabolism fluxes as modern theorizing holds.

I enjoyed exploring the criminal mind during my forensic rotation, though I realized not much could be done about it. I attempted to come to terms with the complex interaction between law and psychiatry. My favorite case in this regard occurred up north after residency and involved an aboriginal boy of 15 who lived near Hay River NWT. He got quite drunk on home brew and wandered off to the local mine at Pine Point where he saw an idling pair of unattended locomotives behind which were a dozen ore cars. He climbed into the unoccupied engine and managed to get the units going. Down the tracks he went and nothing was going to stop him. After about 20 miles he applied the brakes and was promptly arrested by the RCMP who had set up a barricade. Later he was brought to me. Maybe they thought he was crazy. Hearing train hijack voices maybe. Well he wasn’t. Just drunk and otherwise normal except for ADHD. Those boys do like adrenaline rushes. He received probation. Joy riding northern style.

And finally I had to deliver a lecture to the RCMP on sexual  perversions. Well this all started with a fellow they had arrested  for  having sex with a traffic cone. As in those orange triangle items on the highway. No joke. I had no idea what they thought they could charge him with. Public indecency I suppose. But  those wags , Canada’s finest, would not take anything I had to say seriously on the subject of sexual deviation, but I did get a lot of free beers after the talk. To serve and protect.


What do you think of this post?
  • Interesting 
  • Meh 
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Awesome 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: