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When the linesman gets it wrong

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(Shortly before my recent abscess of poetry writing ambition was lanced by the scalpel of stark reality, the following glob of philosophical pus oozed it’s way out.)


When the linesman gets it wrong.

There might be a moral deficiency
When the shrink hands down a decree:
“You have madness and lack of proficiency
And rampant in-sanity.”
Sentenced to incarceration
At a nut-house owned by the State
With bars and solitary isolation.
Psychoanalyist sealed her fate.

Medication injected intravenously
Quells the genius and fire within.
Dignity compromised immorally,
And who has the far greater sin?
Just tell me with impugnity,
In these places where boffins are taught.
Do they provide lifelong immunity
So madness can never be caught?

Or can psychiatrists also be subject
To a reduced equilib-rium,
Irrationality, guilt and abject
Depression and de-lerium?
If you, my friend, are accused
Of reduced cognitive perception,
And your freedom’s being refused
For the community’s protection,

Point out to them what they forgot.
That there’s a thin dividing line
‘Tween being bonkers and maybe not
And that you are completely fine.
If the shrink could only view the mind
Like a tennis slo-mo replay,
The impartial umpire will surely find
You’re IN, and it’s HIM wot’s astray.

About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

10 responses »

  1. My major, on entering university, was psychology. It took not very much time for me to realize that I’d already spent far too much time in their company and I certainly didn’t want to join their ranks.

  2. I had to read the poem twice before I realized it was about a bad call at a tennis game. Honestly, umpires get called a lot of things over the course of a game, but a bad call is not a pathology.

    I do like the story about Peter Falk handing his glass eye to the umpire (Falk played baseball in high school) and saying, “Try using this!”

    • Apologies for any ambiguity HG.
      Ever since “Hawkeye” technology was introduced to tennis the number of inaccurate decisions made by human linespersons have been drastically reduced.
      Similarly, I am suggesting that improved techniques might be useful for the determination and evaluation of psychiatric “disorders”.

    • Thank you HG. I totally missed it.

      This poetry style reminds me of a British book with a title something like “Albert, Arold, and Others”.

      Fine work ( both theirs and yours, GOF ).


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