Stephen Good morning, Mr Meddlicott is it?
Hugh Yes. You look a bit young to me. Still, I suppose you'll do.
Stephen Well, that's nice. Now, I shall call you Arthur, if I may.
Hugh You may not. You'll call me Mr Meddlicott. Stephen raises his eyebrows.
Stephen Very well. So why are you here, Mr Meddlicott?
Hugh Well, why do you think? You're a psychiatrist aren't you? I'm not here for dancing lessons or free sex, I've come to be cured.
Stephen Cured of what?
Hugh For heaven's sake man, do I have to teach you your job? Madness of course. I'm slightly mad and I'd like you to cure me. "Of what?" Tt!
Stephen You're mad?
Hugh Yes! Am I going to have to repeat everything twice? Now I'm a busy man, so if you just get on with it, I'd be very grateful.
Stephen Would you like to tell me why you think you're mad?
Hugh Oh what is this, some sort of game? Do you imagine I've got time to waste thinking I'm mad? I am mad. Just take my word for it, will you, and let's have a little less lip.
Stephen So how does this madness of yours manifest itself?
Hugh At half past four every day I do something wierd.
Stephen Go on.
Hugh Go on what. I'm waiting for half past four, aren't I?
Stephen (Looks at clock) It's four thirty-three.
Hugh I can see that. I'm running four minutes late today on account of your incessant yakking. Pause.
Stephen (Looks at clock) Four thirty four.
Hugh Right. For heaven's sake, watch closely. Hugh takes off his shoes, then removes a piece of bread from either jacket pocket and puts a piece in either shoe.
Stephen You take off your shoes. And you put a piece of bread in each one.
Hugh I know I do. What is your problem?
Stephen Do you leave the bread there?
Hugh Leave it there? Of course I don't leave it there. Are you some kind of idiot?
Stephen Please go on. What happens next?
Hugh I take the bread out of my shoes and hide it in my secretary's handbag. Then at four thirty-one, I take it out of her handbag and throw it in the bin.
Stephen But you won't be doing that today, because your secretary's not here.
Hugh Oh, give the man a bloody medal.
Stephen So. (Pause) That's it, is it?
Hugh Oh, I'm sorry, it's not enough for you. You'd rather I wrapped myself in bacon rind and pretended to be Florence Nightingale, would you? Well I'm sorry I'm as mad as I am. But no madder.
Stephen Why do you think wrapping yourself in bacon rind would make you look like Florence Nightingale?
Hugh Wh ... I ... are you an imbecile? I don't think anything of the kind.
Stephen Florence Nightingale never wrapped herself in bacon rind.
Hugh (Angry and trying to explain) I know she bloody didn't. BUT-IF-I-WAS-MADDER-THAN-I- AM-I-WOULDN'T-KNOW-WOULD-I-YOU- HALF-WIT.
Stephen I see.
Hugh So. What are you going to do about this madness of mine?
Stephen Nothing. I don't think you're mad at all.
Hugh You think it's perfectly usual to put bread in your shoes? On a daily basis. That's normal practice in your foul part of the world?
Stephen You're welcome to a second opinion of course, but I don't think you're mad. Eccentric, certainly.
Hugh And this is what we pay our psychiatrists for, is it? Well let me tell you, I shall write a very stiff letter to the Daily Mail about this. Now, cure me of my madness or I won't put my shoes on. Ever.
Stephen (Sharply) You write letters to the Daily Mail?
Hugh Not exclusively the Daily Mail. Sometimes the Sun or the Mirror.
Stephen And they are published?
Hugh Of course. Stephen springs to his feet and goes over to his desk, picks up a copy of the Sunor Mirror.
Stephen Is this one of yours? "A good way to prevent your money being stolen is to ..." Hugh joins in.
Hugh "Keep it in a special pocket sewn into your coat."
Stephen You're Mrs June Ellis of Stockport?
Stephen (Reading from Mirror) What about this ... "Why aren't -"
Hugh "- bus conductors more friendly? A smile a day keeps the doctor away. And it's free too!"
Stephen Chest size?
Stephen Stay here. I'll get your strait-jacket.
Hugh God the lengths you have to go to in this country to prove you're mad.
Stephen A Bonnie Langford concert? Hmm. I think I'd rather be gang- raped by the House of Lords.
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