His goal was to get away from her and his first strategy was to force a psychiatrist to commit him.
He decided that he would use the systems lies about “queers” to his advantage.
But he wasn’t prepared for how the ‘system’ treated ‘queers’ in
“One day I found a book called, “By Reason of Insanity.
It was all about this guy who goes crazy and kills his wife.
He is sent to the loony bin so he can go sane and stand trial for murder.
Most of the book was about the people he meets in the hospital.
Some of the people scream and see things that ain’t there.
But the hospital also had food and schools.
I thought hell, check it out!
I got Grandma to convince Momma to take me to see a shrink.
I said I had a “Three Faces of Eve” thing goin’ on, an at that time, I thought I was telling a lie.
Grandma called Momma right away an Momma jumped.
The psychiatrist Momma took me to was scrawny.
He looked like Mr. Spock from “Star Trek”: “Is there anything you’d like to tell me about yourself, bobby.”
“Yeh–I think I’m queer.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Well–” I looked up at him and blushed, “I think about boys when I-you know.”
And that got me sent up.
The shrink told Momma that I needed to go to the state hospital for “observation.”
I got all excited since that seemed almost as good as going to New York.
The hospital had a place for kids.
It was a tall red brick building with locks on every door.
When Momma an’ me got there, Momma suddenly got very polite, and she gave me permission to smoke.
When the doctor came to meet us, she acted all scared, like she was talking to Grandma.
“Ya’all treat my baby good!” she cried.
Then she called me darling, and left.
This hospital was nothing like the one in my book.
It was all shiny inside and Muzac played all day long through little loudspeakers in the ceiling.
Everyone looked numb.
I made friends with this other queer who was a year older than me.
He was a rich kid who went on and on about how he hoped the doctors could turn him straight.
Here I was, fifteen and already out.
I thought this kid was crazy and said so!
“Listen!” I said, “That ain’t never gonna happen. So get over it!”
Well he hauled off and slapped me!
Then he got so upset about slapping me he started to cry.
A nurse came over to give him some pills.
She gave me an evil look.
Like I had picked up that boy’s hand and slapped myself!
I thought she’d like me better if she had to give me some pills, so I asked for some.
“Why do you think you need medication, Bobby?”
“I think I’m seein’ people that ain’t really there.”
“Be sure you tell that to your doctor.”
“Tell me a little something about your childhood.” the doctor said.
“Well it ain’t over yet!” I said.
“True enough.” he smiled. “Why do you think you’re here?”
“I guess ’cause I’m queer.” I answered. “Howcum you ain’t got no people screamin’ around here?”
He smiled again. “Do you feel like screaming?”
That shrink really thought I was crazy.
Now I knew I wasn’t, but I reminded myself that for these folks, queer was the same thing.
When Momma came to visit she always put on the good behavior that she wore for Grandma.
I said, “Momma! These people gonna do some kinda shock treatment on me!”
“They’ll do what they can to make you better.” she said. “I hope you’re smokin’ like I said you could.”
I was in deep water for screwing that rich kid.
A month passed.
“Whut if yew had relations with a man an’ caught the clap in yore mouth?” The social worker asked me one day, like I already had it.
“You can get that from eatin’ pussy!” I said, “Why don’t you people calm down an’ let me go home?”
That rich kid told me all about the therapy the doctors was doing on him.
“First, they strap you inna chair with your weenie hanging out. Then they put glue on it and stick wires to it. Then they show you pictures of hot dudes an’ shock the piss outta you if you so much as sigh!”
Now, Momma had to understand how bad that was!
“Lissen up!” I said at her next visit. “These shrinks is gonna “lectrocute me!”
“They say they only use a lil’ “lectricity, darlin’.”
“And how would you like it if every time you sat onna barstool some one zapped you off?”
Momma got that dark look she always got when she wanted to hit me.
“Have a little respect for your Momma!” She said in a tight but polite tone of voice.
“Do you want Bobby to be a hama-sect-ual?” The shrink asked Momma at the treatment meeting.
“He was always a tad girlish, but I have always maintained that it is important for men to be men.
“Let em fry my dick off, ” I said, “see what kind of man I’ll be then!”
“The shrink ignored me.
“I think that Bobby can be cured. These deviant behaviors are not set until adulthood.”
“But I don’t wanna get cured!” I said. “I ain’t got nothin’ to cure!
I glared at Momma.
She sat there like the best little girl in the world.
Then I knew what I had to do.
“Momma! You let this fool shock me an’ I’ll call Grandma and tell her all about you. Every. Thing.”
She looked down and twisted her wedding ring.
Then she looked up at the doctor with such wide, innocent looking brown eyes:
“I do want what’s best for Bobby. But it’s such a big decision! I think I should consult with his Father first.”
Hey, Sheiks and Shebas. Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.
My “partner in crime” (Rob Goldstein) did the video above. I’m using as a review of last week’s episode. I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein.
Update: Here’s a fun related post that Rob did over at his blog, “10 Everyday Items Invented in the 1920s* — click over and enjoy.
Today we have Chapter 4 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu. The “dieselpunk*” aspect of the story is beginning to show in this episode. The “three things” Rob sent for this chapter were downright educational. Some of the “things” take a bit more writing for me to work into the story than others. So please bear with me for this somewhat longer episode.
Clarence Birdseye worked as a fur trader in Canada. He saw that fish caught during the winter froze almost immediately after being pulled from the water. Birdseye soon realized that he could leave the fish frozen for up to a month while retaining the flavor. Read more
The television was invented in 1925 by John Logie Baird. The first experimental Television broadcast in the US. was in 1928. Read more
The traffic light was invented by William Potts in 1920 as a way to direct traffic at 4 way stops. Read more
The Pop-up Toaster
Charles Perkins Strite invented the pop-up bread toaster in 1919, and received a patent for it on October 18, 1920. Read more
Edwin Perkins in Nebraska invented Kool Aid in 1927. Read more
The cotton swab was invented by Leo Gerstenzang in 1923. He sold
his invention under the name of “Baby Gays.” Read more
Walter E. Dieme invented bubble gum in 1928. Read more
Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin in 1928. Read more
Herbert McLean Evans and Katherine Scott Bishop discovered Vitamin E
in 1922. Read more