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The Virus Man

August 8, 2007

The Writer from this previous post seems to have become an ongoing concern amongst the Community Cup staff. Apparently his delusions apply to more than merely writing letters to Conrad Black, so much so that it has led to a regular somewhat bizarre request to staff from him.

He wants to buy bleach.

He’s done it to other staffers as well, but he wandered in the other day, and my anxiety level rose immediately. I was a little concerned that he’d request his letter, and I wasn’t entirely sure what lie I’d tell him to blow him off. Or how he’d respond to any story which resulted in him not getting the epic dissertation back.

But no. He wasn’t interested in the writings from previous sessions. What he really wanted was a cup of coffee, and for me to put some bleach into a cup for him. He was carrying the cup with him, and showed it’s contents to me. It appeared to be a combination of coffee, fruit juice, and mashed up foodstuffs. Apparently it was a “hazardous virus.” He said he was going to flush it, but wanted it killed with bleach first.

When I refused, he offered to buy it from me. I told him that bleach is pretty sketchy stuff, and just on principle, we don’t sell, or give, anything even faintly dangerous to customers. At all, ever. He kept trying, though – points for effort – claiming that bleach “ain’t hazardous, even a little hazardous, now this virus here, this is dangerous stuff; ya gotta help me, man”… No.

…No. Really. Just no.

I’m pretty sure he’s all hit up with Schizophrenia, ’cause that seems to be the most likely for such a massive set of delusions and bizarre obsessions, but there’s not a lot I can do about that beyond warning the co-workers that he’s quite likely entirely beyond the reach of reason, and in their interactions they should do a lot of smiling and nodding but not ever give in and play along with his delusion. Really, he saddens me. He needs, desperately, professional help and governmental assistance, but because he’s effectively harmless, he won’t get it. After all, that sort of thing only comes down for those with enough people who care about them to put them in treatment, or hard cases sufficiently messed up to do something drastic and scary to the rest of society. Which is pretty sad, if you ask me.

So if you see an old white dude, about 60, wearing a ballcap and denim jacket with a large reddish-grey beard & ‘stache; he’s about 5’4” and stocky – gent’s likely harmless, but pretty messed up. Treat him with caution, don’t give him cleaning products, and feel sympathy for him. He’ll likely not get the attention he needs until it’s too late.

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