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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

...it is amazing what one can do with the common toothbrush!

Well, today was my last visit to the free clinic for my meds. My insurance goes into effect June 1st. This is a really good thing because today was my worst visit yet. I was expecting it to me rather calm. When I walked in I was surprised to discover that there were only two people waiting and both seemed to be fairly grounded. I signed in and chatted with the guard. I confirmed I had no weapons or sharp objects in my bag. I then confirmed to one of the nice folks at the front desk that this would be my last visit.

I took a seat in the front row. The TV was screening The Tyra Banks Show. As I am normally at the clinic for quite a while I had planned on reading some more of the extraordinary Bernard Cooper short stories for Ing's Short Attention Span Reading Group but I was drawn into Tyra's show because it was all about germs.

Lovely Meredith, please take note -- I was watching this program for you because it was discussing concerns around public and private places and the sorts of germs one can encounter and what are the best options one can take! It was actually fairly interesting. For instance -- when one has to use a public toilet -- always go to the first stall because it gets more air and is the least used of the stalls. ??? Anyway, another surprising thing -- toilet seats carry less germs than the average household kitchen sponge!!! Who knew?!?!? Urine is fairly sterile and is of little concern for germ carrying as anything that might be in it dies when air hits it. So, best option is to simply wipe the toilet seat and sit down. No need to worry with those paper covers or toilet paper over the seat because there is a stronger danger of encountering germs when your hands are doing such things. Also, when washing your hands --- it is important to lather up and wash for a minimum of 20 seconds. Oh, and, the average human carries a surprising amount of fecal matter in his/her underwear. Very bad to wear underwear more than once without washing ---and even worse to not wear undies!!!! AND -- of more concern than public toilets, hotels beds and shaking hands ---- is the horrid nightmare that is the sponge!!!! ...and your kitchen. Sponges should be washed daily and placed in the microwave for approx 1 minute after being washed. Personally, I don't think I would use a sponge. Just stick with papertowels. Ewwwwwww!!!!! It was all quite interesting and Tyra was demonstrating how she uses public toilets when my world was shattered with the following exclamation:


I looked to my left and there stood a crazy man welding what looked to be a shiv. It was a yellow toothbrush with a razor blade attached by twine. He carried a stench of urine, vomit and whiskey. He was all twitchy and really angry. I could see the guard sneaking behind him and pressing some button on the wall in the entry way. ...Let's call our "friend" with the shiv "Randy"

"'Randy', honey -- take a deep breath and drop the knife. Everything is OK. No one here is going to hurt you." ...so spoke one of the nice folks behind the counter.


I could hear the two people behind me getting up -- and, it sounded like one was running toward the hallway of the clinic.

'Randy' sort of twitched forward closer to me and screamed, "WHERE THE FUCK YOU GOIN' MUTHAFUCKA?!?! STAY HERE! I WANT YOUR WALLET, ASSHOLE!"

I no longer heard running.

"'Randy', now think about what you're doing. Drop the knife and everything will be OK."

And, then -- well, shit. 'Randy' looks at me.

"'Randy' come on. Drop the knife and 'Jo' will come out and talk to you and make everything OK."

But, 'Randy' is still looking at me.


Well, I can't explain or defend my response. All I can say is that when you've been thru the last couple of years that I've had -- well, you get a bit protective of what little you still own. My mouth went off before my brain could restrain myself.

"NO!" ...yeah, this is what I said to a mentally unbalanced/unhinged psycho with a shiv pointed toward me.


"NO FUCKING WAY!" --- and I found myself holding my way-cool bag close to my person like a baby. I mean, my mini iPod is in there -- not to mention my meds! And, my chewing gum, my keys, my cell phone and my Hello Kitty note pad. No way this fucker was going to get my bag. I was getting ready to kick. Luckily, I was wearing my Doc Martens today and not my new way cool gay pink sneakers.

"'Randy' he is going to give you his bag, but you need to drop the knife"

It was at this point that I realized I was probably being a wee bit stupid. And, yet, I stayed poised ready to kick and my bag pressed firmly against my chest. I was Tyra-ready to jump the psycho.

Luckily, the guard and three other guys were creeping up behind 'Randy' and they all pounced him to the ground. A lady came running from behind with a syringe in her latex gloved hand and shoved it into his shoulder. ??? 'Randy' was down for the count and the shiv was on the floor a few feet away from him. Another lady picked up the scary knife -- she, too, was wearing gloves. Germs.

Sirens. Some cops. A jacket. A stretcher. 'Randy' was carried out.

I had been at the clinic for only about 30 minutes thus far. I was bumped ahead of my two fellow patients. I was led to a private space. As he wrote out my two 'scripts he lectured me on the fact that you never agitate someone like I had and that nothing was worth putting my life or the lives of others at risk. I apologized and told him it was sort of automatic. He rolled his eyes. His hands were still trembling. I was surprisingly calm. I took my scripts and he told me to be well and wished me luck with my new job and on getting off the meds.

I left. My way cool bag and contents in tact. I picked up a vanilla malt and headed to the "M" train.

This was my adventure for the day. No more drama, please. I know that a few of you will think that I have exaggerated, but I haven't. Free clinics can be interesting. ...but not nearly as interesting as Tyra demonstrating how she uses a toilet.

***Up until today I thought that this was something one only heard in bad Linda Blair prison flicks. Guess I was wrong.


Blogger thomas said...

Oh, Matty, sweetheart you could have been cut. I’m not surprised by your reaction though, but it was a very dangerous situation. I’m so thankful they have security at the clinic and I’m glad you won’t have to go there anymore.

7:55 PM  
Blogger digitic said...

Hmmm ...

I have to say, you seem to have the MOST interesting days of anyone I know or ever knew ...

You've experienced in just over a year more strange things than I have ever experienced living and growing up here in San Francisco.

I don't envy that.

Stop it now, okay?

10:49 PM  
Blogger k said...

You do lead an exciting life, I must say, although I admit that I am not really jealous. Still, you should turn your almost daily adventures into a book. With "Tales of the City" taken already, what about "The Gay Receptionist's Tales" as a title.

Anyway, I am glad nothing serious happened.


6:41 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I second to what Thomas said. You could've been seriously hurt! :-( I'm just glad that you're okay. That was some scary caca!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Karyn said...

You know? I'm proud of you! Yes you could have been hurt and no we don't agitate the nutters with sharp objects but I think I might have had the same reaction. (If the kids weren't with me.) Hey, nobody ever said I was a diplomatic crisis situation genius... good on you, Matt. Now be careful.

8:16 AM  
Blogger snarl71 said...

You never puked when you got home? That's progress!

EEK - san francisco. he he

8:29 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Blimey Matt, you're always in the middle of things aren't you! I'd be shit scared in a situation like that.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I think if I were you I would have run out and forget about the appointment. Yike!

Thanks for the info about how clean really toilet seat is! Cuz I always have to use a ton of toilet paper to wipe it down before I even conceive sitting on it LOL

4:10 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Thomas -- I know. I was dumb, but I could not lose my keys, iPod, check book, journal, Hello Kitty notepad and Aveda lip balm!!!

Milford -- San Francisco Treat!

kai -- LOL! I don't know about "exciting" but it was an interesting little experience. ugh.

Robert - Yeah. No more free clinic!!!

Karyn -- Thanks! LOL! Looking back I should have just handed over the bag -- but all's well that ends well, right?

Karl - Hope you had a happy birthday! No tossing of cookies!

Tim -- Yes. I live on the edge. LOL! No use in being scared -- just roll with it I should think.

Matt -- Yeah! Per Tyra -- a public toilet seat is not so bad, but watch out for your kitchen sponge and underwear!!!!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I'm not tough per se, but I would just have given the shiv wielder a look, you know, one of those Asian looks that says 'you'd better not come near me with tha thing or there will be hell to pay'.

And as far as the germ thing goes, and despit being somewhat of a clean freak, there are germs on everything, even if they are 'clean'. That's why we have immune systems. Doesn't Tyra and her ginormous forehead have anything better to discuss on her show?

11:11 PM  
Blogger ing said...

Ginourmous forehead, ha ha!

I'm also very glad that no harm came to you at the clinic! I think the foot-thing was the very best defense, and I'm glad that man didn't get your bag! I suppose it's true that you should give things to people with weapons, but it makes me angry that someone would demand your stuff and expect to get it -- I'm secretly proud of your reaction, but only because things worked out okay. It's true, with psychos it's best not to challenge them in any way. Still, I wonder if the guards would have reacted so quickly if you'd been compliant. Perhaps the guy would have cat you anyway. I don't know.

I have some experience with mentally ill folks and what I've learned is to not make eye contact and to pretty much agree in a quiet voice with everything they say. But it's really hard to do that when someone is being unfair and unreasonable.

Still, in your situation I probably would have cowered and cried and been a quivering mess. And I would have been hacked to pieces.

I'm so glad you won't be going to that clinic any more!

Hey, people, guess what? I got to see the ring! It's super cool & has this rotating band! I'm sooo jealous!

12:12 AM  
Blogger ing said...

(By "cat," I meant "cut". And of course you didn't throw up!)

12:13 AM  
Blogger jungle jane said...

Matty i think there is a lesson in this post: never use the kitchen dishcloth to wipe your arse - its totally full of germs.

I think you were very brave Matty. all i can imagine is that the crazy guy doesn't like the Tyra Banks show? it certainly pushed him over the edge...

4:26 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Jon -- No, I don't think poor Tyra has much else to do once she has selected her "costume for the day" ...I didn't even know she had a show other than the one about would be/wanna be models.

Ing! You are a hellua lot tougher than you think. You probably would have kicked the crazy guy to the ground and sedated him for the guards/nurses/police! And, yeah! Isn't it a neat-o ring!

Jungle Jane -- Yes. I think Tyra can push just about anyone over the edge! And, yeah -- just don't wipe with the sponge or your hand -- those are the two dirtiest things on the planet!!!!

6:13 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

A-ha! The mysterious ring! So, what is its significance? Which finger is it on? Does it have any special powers? So many questions!

3:11 PM  
Blogger The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

Geez, and I thought Jo'burg Gen was a scary place. Glad you're unharmed and not sans belongings. Luckily you had personnel armed to the teeth with choice pharmaceuticals to help you out on that one!

11:09 AM  

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