Psychology graduate students from the University of Texas have been observing and interviewing LaCucaracha citizens for the past six weeks studying unmonitored mental illness, funded by a federal stimulus money grant.
After exhaustive study, the group has identified three subjects it believes could attain significant life changes through medication according to the group’s chief psychiatrist, Professor Dr. Michael Aldridge. A preliminary 500-page summary was presented to the LaCucaracha City Council.
Councilmember Robert Wilson explained to Dr. Aldridge that they could have saved a lot of time and money if they had just asked for a list of village idiots and the address of the town “cat woman.” “I see by looking at your report that you missed ole Earl ‘Hound Dog’ Myers. He’s the Mayor’s third cousin, and has about 60 dogs at any given time, but that’s beside the point. We’re proud of our village idiots, and they’re part of our community.”
The stunned Dr. Aldridge stated, “I beg your pardon, but fail to grasp your statement. We could offer these people a normal life in a state facility, eventually leading productive lives through our job placement program while living in a halfway house. Why, we even have one program alumni who is now the manager of a popular fast food restaurant in Austin.”
Mayor Meyer leaned up to the microphone and asked, “Do they allow pets at your facility?” The Professor responded “they do not,” at which point Mayor Meyer explained, “Karen ‘Cat Woman’ Sylvester would most certainly go insane without her cats, and the City of LaCucaracha considers her eccentric, but certainly not a danger to society. Sir, these people are part of our community. Karen keeps the stray cats off the streets and takes good care of them. She takes at least 25 in her car everywhere she goes, and I’ve never seen one jump out – even with all the windows down.”
Councilmember Brad Simmons followed up, “I see you’ve identified ‘Smiley Sam’ in your study. He waves at everyone in town with a huge grin on his face as he rides around on his bike all day. He’s the happiest person I’ve ever met, and probably the most physically fit. Plus, he keeps the town clean while earning money collecting cans. And, what about Willie Winkie? No one knows his real name, but he checks to make sure all the businesses are locked up on the square every night. He immediately alerts the Sheriff’s Department if he finds a door open. Sure, we all know he’s OCD, but he serves a purpose here, and we’re proud of him. All the widow ladies make sure he has hot meals every day, and frankly, it gives them something to do besides gossip.”
The Mayor concluded the meeting by saying, “We love our crazy people, and you’re not about to take them away. They’re all happy, contributing members of our society. If they left, it would completely upset the balance of life in LaCucaracha, and I won’t tolerate it. I suggest you head on back to Austin now and pick up a few regular idiots over in Sintown on your way through.”