Inspecting the Madhouse

I opened the front door to the inspectors and watched as their cold, sodden forms tramped in and suddenly met the poisonous fumes of diarrhoea which still hung murderously in the air. For an instant, they froze in mid-step and I had visions of them sinking to their knees, holding their throats and falling face down on the foetid carpet dead as dodos, but they reassumed their robotic appearance and marched steadfastly on. Richard had already moved patients out of the large T.V. lounge for the “important meeting”, and was now dancing about sycophantically and burbling oily salutations in the direction of the approaching V.I.P.’s. A nervous sweat had broken out on his top lip, but he looked cool in comparison to the senior manager who had been locked in with the inspectors since lunchtime, and now looked as though he was being frog-marched into a court martial. His usual air of omnipotent cockiness had somehow deserted him, and he sagged like a burst beach ball in front of his tormentors, willing the end to come.
“Can we have three cheers?” enquired one of the inspectors, casting his squint in my direction.
“Er….er…..well” I stuttered.
“Come on, chop chop, hurry up, we haven’t got all day.”
“Er….sorry………..hip, hip……” I mumbled tentatively (thinking it must be somebody’s birthday).
“No! no! Three cheers. Three more CHAIRS please. There aren’t enough to go round here.”
“Oh, yes, of course. Beg your pardon.”
“P-p-perhaps we ought to introduce ourselves” the unit manager spluttered.
And the meeting began.


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