Freaky Nutbars

Yesterday I mentioned a boss I used to have who I called Alice. I also called her a “freaky nutbar”. Cedarflame asked me, in the comments, what made Alice a freaky nutbar. So being ever responsive to my readers, I thought I’d talk a bit about Alice and some other freaky nutbars I’ve known.


She would spend hours in her office with the door closed, smoking and crying. Crying loudly. Loud enough that everyone in the office could hear her. When she came out, she’d yell – not about work, but about her laundry or her hair or her manicure… because it was our fault since she’d pick one of us at random every so often to go and take her clothes to the cleaners or find a new hairstylist or manicurist for her and make an appointment.

One morning she emerged from her vale of tears to tell us that as a reward she was taking us all out to dinner that evening at an incredibly expensive place. None of us were dressed for an expensive place. She gave us hell for that. Then we had to work until 9:00 pm because our reservation wasn’t until 9:30 and the least we could do is work a bit longer when she’d gone to all the expense and trouble to take us out.

When I quit, she told me I was talented but had a poor attitude.


Phil was a friend I’d known for years at university who, for no apparent reason lost his mind one day. A bunch of us were driving over to Niagara Falls, NY one night to continue the fun after the Canadian bars had closed. I ended up driving with Phil. All was well until we got to the bar.  Because it wasn’t the bar we were supposed to be meeting the rest of the gang.

And Phil kept insisting it was. And then he went mental and started accusing me of sending him hate mail and calling him up every night and saying horrible things and calling up all his friends and his family and his employers and workmates and all the time and saying horrible things about him. Of course I’d done none of this and at first I thought someone claiming to be me was doing all this, but then he said something that made me realize that he was imagining the entire thing.

Later on I found out that he had also told all his friends and family and employers and workmates that I was going around saying these horrible things about him and if I called them they should ignore me. Other people started asking me what the hell was going on with Phil because he was telling them some crazy stories about stuff I was supposedly doing. That night at the bar, things got so weird that other patrons in the bar intervened and told Phil that whatever was going on, he was being an asshole and that he should leave. After issuing some final threats he left. I truly felt like I’d stared into the face of insanity that night.

Phil was a high school teacher at the time and as far as I know, still is.


I’ve already done an entire blog post on Edward. But he’s way at the top of my list of freaky nutbars, so I couldn’t leave him off this post entirely. But, his story is too long to repeat, so if you haven’t already read it, you can read it HERE.


She was a tiny rodent-like girl I met at work during a summer job. We were both maybe 18. She was odd and I didn’t like her much, but she invited me to her house for supper one day after work and I went. I went because sometimes 18-year-olds do stuff like that.

She had a house by the lake. It was a fairly big house and once had probably been a really nice house, but everything just looked really neglected outside. And inside — well, the inside was even worse. It was really messy and grimey. There was almost no furniture or any other stuff in the house. There was a fridge and stove and a card table and a couple of odd chairs. All the bedrooms were empty except one that had a mattress on the floor, a lamp and some books, which was where Aurora slept.

Aurora told me that her parents had died three years ago and then her brother died two years ago and she’d had to sell off all their stuff in order to survive. She said she hadn’t even been able to afford a funeral for them and just had them all cremated and buried them in the back yard.

She made spaghetti.

While I was choking down the spaghetti, she told me that she was so happy I was her friend because she hadn’t had a friend since she was a little girl and that because I was now her best friend, she felt she could tell me her innermost secret. Her innermost secret was that she had poisoned her entire family because she hated them and wanted the house to herself. She just hadn’t realized how expensive it was to maintain. And maybe now that we were bosom buddies I could come and live with her and wouldn’t that be fun?

I politely made my excuses and got the hell out of there. I couldn’t sleep that night thinking maybe she’d poisoned me, too.  I never went back to that job — because sometimes 18-year-olds do stuff like that.


35 responses to “Freaky Nutbars

  1. Holy Hell, you’ve come across some scary people. I think I would have purged my spaghetti right there on the spot when Miss Aurora confessed her innermost secret.

  2. Damn! I probably shouldn’t have read this just before bedtime. The only freaky nutbars I have met are the ones that think the government watches every single thing every single person is doing 24/7. And when I calmly tell them that they have greatly overestimated the power and efficiency of the government, they always say, “That’s what they want you to think.”

  3. Dr. Monkey – I’ve heard a lot worse from other people. At least none of these were family!!

    OTC – I probalby should have- would have saved me a couple of days of extreme anxiety for sure.

    Christine – Ya, the first one was a freaky nutbar – some of the others certifiable.

    Geewits – Either way there’s nothing you can do about, right? So why worry.

    Meanie – No. I was 18 and I wasn’t even sure if she was telling the truth or just being weird.

  4. Wow what a set of interesting stories… beats any employment (or other) stories I have so far.

    Though it has inspired my next blog post, about crazy visitors to the city of Ottawa..

  5. OMG! What a wonderful life you’ve had so far XUP! I’m sure I could spend hours listening to your stories as I guess this must be only a handful of all the ones you must have!

  6. Interesting. I have met several absolutely insane people. It makes me feel a little better to think about them sometimes because I realize that anything weird I do really can’t compare to these other people.

  7. I guess I have lived a sheltered life. I have met no-one nearly as interesting as you have.

    I’m not sure whether to be disappointed or grateful.

  8. I once had a boss who repeatedly used a racial slur when discussing a certain Korean client of ours and then would laugh as if it was the most hysterical thing in the world.

    Things may still not be 100% PC in the public service, but at least I have greater support if I want to lodge a complaint about crap like that at work.

  9. Wasn’t it you who proposed a theory about the kind of people we attract? Either way, I enjoyed your stories!

  10. Justin – HI! I shall look forward to reading your crazy visitor stories.

    Guillermo – Gee. I know some normal people too. Their stories are less dramatice though.

    Ramblette – Welcome to the blog! Insane people are scary, aren’t they? It’s a whole different ball of wax than just plain crazy people, who are sometimes fun.

    Susan – I don’t really consider them interesting. They’re just messed up and I could have lived a perfectly full and happy life without ever having met them.

    Hannah – Ya, he’s just an asshole — big difference between being a nutbar and being an asshole. I’m not sure right now which one is worse.

    Violetsky – Ha ha – I think probably she was just making that up to impress me in some weird way. Surely someone would have noticed if these people had been poisoned? Surely? Right?

    Jazz – I used to see her every couple of years or so around town when I still lived there. I made sure she never saw me though. But ya, either way you slice it, she had some problems.

    Julia – There was a long period in my life when people like this would gravitate into my life space. That period seems to be well over now, I’m happy to say.

  11. Are there such things at Nutty Freakbars?

    BTW, you are an excellent writer.


    P.S. I used to be a freaky Nutbar myself, but I grew up. (Re:your previous post)

  12. I feel pretty sane now, kinda, sorta, not really. Aurora is still out there…roaming the streets and her family is still laying in someone or her backyard. If we really ever thought about stuff like that, we would never leave the house.

  13. Ummm… I don’t know how it works in Canada, but here in the states we usually report people who confess to mass murders. And then they… you know…. get put in jail for life or we kill them. But whatever, I’m sure she’ll find some other nice people to make a skin dress out of. Anyway, Phil was totally my fault. I did all those things and told him it was you.

  14. Eyeteaguy – Now THAT sounds like a yummy candy treat. And thanks.

    Cedar – Hey, YOU asked for it. I hope it was everything you hoped and dreamed it would be.

    Mayopie – Ya, well in Canada we pride ourselves on not being TATTLE-TALES! Sheesh. You Americans are always telling on each other. You have this whole judicial system thingy set up just so ya’ll can rat fink each other out. WE believe in the old “let him who is without sin cast the first stone” adage.

    Sock Girl – Hey, welcome to the blog. We all need more socks in our lives, that’s for sure.

  15. XUP, it was everything I dreamed it could be and more. Why aren’t you writing a book? I think you should have worked for the Writer guy, it could have only gotten really interesting from there.

  16. Back in the late 80s in Toronto, I worked with a mother/daughter combo in an office. The daughter was a nice girl, but the mother…..freaky nutbar. No matter what story you told, she knew someone who had something worse happen, or it had happened to her. If you sprained your ankle, then she has sprained both ankles at the same time one time. If you knew someone who had been hit by a bus, then she knew someone who had been killed by being hit by a bus. Twice. One day, I came to work in a new outfit, a black blouse and skirt with wild orange and yellow flame-like designs (it was the 80s). It was very striking and I had bought it in a small boutique on Yonge Street. It was not something that there were 1000 of at every Old Navy. She complimented me on it, and asked where I bought it. I told her. Silly me. The next day she showed up at work in the exact same outfit.

  17. Alison, if I didn’t know better, I would say that the mother in your comment used to work as my secretary. She didn’t use to dress her dog up in a sparkly tiara and take pictures, by any chance? (And did I mention that the last picture in her WEDDING ALBUM wasn’t of her and her new husband, but of her and her dog. In the sparkly tiara. In soft focus.)

  18. Loth, I don’t know if Virginia had a tiara-wearing dog that she took pictures of, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out that she did.

  19. Cedar – Ya, writer guy wasn’t so much writer guy as crazy old horny guy. And, I’m happy that you’re happy with this post. And who says I’m NOT writing a book? Eh?

    Alison – Ha ha. We have someone like that in our office. If she sees you have something she likes, she’ll hound you until you tell her where you got it and then rushes right out and gets the same thing. It’s a little flattering up to a point and then it’s just bizarre and annoying — like your Virginia

  20. Please do as Jobthingy said and look for Aurora on facebook, because I am now all fascinate by Aurora in a Stephen Kingy kind of way.

  21. Poor Phil was clearly mentally ill. Really. A classic case of paranoia. It’s unfortunate that the true mentally ill paranoids like Phil are terrified most of the time. They trust no one, and believe that everyone is out to get them. What a horrible life.

  22. Aurora: Another mentally ill person. Diagnosis: schizophrenic. Quite possibly believes what she told you. It would be interesting to know whether there were voices in her head involved in the situation. My bet is “yes”.

  23. I read this post days ago, and Aurora is still in my head. Some of the others were clearly suffering from mental illness. But Aurora? What if what she said was true … yikes! (Hope you don’t mind I mentioned this post on my blog.)

  24. CM – Thank you for the diagnoses. So, the others.. they’re okay? Edward for instance??

    Julie – Ya, she pops into my head once in a while, too. I’ll go over and see what you had to say about her.

  25. RE: Edward:Too bad you didn’t ask him for the notes on his book thus far. Among other things, you could have learned how many people had taken the job before you. Oh yeah: and how their health was.