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.

News from Around the World

AUSTRALIA –  Now that we’ve sort of forgotten about swine flu, maybe we could start worrying about Hendra Virus. This virus doesn’t bother to just make you really sick; it just kills. It’s killed 4 people in Australia already and is contracted by close contact with the bodily fluids of infected horses. Horses become infected with the virus by close contact with flying foxes. It’s only a matter of time before it gets us all!

NEW ZEALAND –   Eighty-two year old Polly Pollock has spent the last 16 years turning a dump near a housing estate into a green space. She’s planted about 3,000 native species trees and had to haul water in buckets to the site because there’s no running water.  She bought or grew all the trees herself. Now that she said the planting is done,  the Navy, who owns the land, told her she can’t use the land anymore. They said they said they’d look after it themselves now that it’s a popular park, walking and jogging trail. Polly is worried because their track record in greenspace maintenance isn’t good. Not to mention they’re a bunch of dickheads.


SCOTLAND – Okay, here’s this story entitled  “Drink a Factor in Surgery Deaths”. It goes on to say that, “Alcohol abuse was a factor in the deaths of one in 15 patients who died in hospitals last year while under the care of surgeons. A total of 3,461 people died in surgery in 2008. The report found that alcohol was implicated in the deaths of 194 patients, representing about 1 in 15 of of all surgical deaths.”  I can’t figure out from this article if they mean the patients were alcoholics or if the surgeons were all drunk while performing surgery. Can you?

IRELAND – So there’s this 19 year-old-kid who was dying of cirrhosis of the liver and was admitted into hospital with only 3 weeks to live if he didn’t get a transplant. Some people were a little ticked off that he might get moved to the top of the transplant list when they reckon it’s his own damn fault that his liver failed. His dad says the kid didn’t really drink any more than most kids his age and that he deserves a chance. While the debate raged on, liver boy, Gareth Anderson, snuck out of the hospital to go across the road to the pub for a pint.

ENGLAND – There’s an art installation in Trafalgar Square that consists of a plinth where people can get up and do anything they like for one hour at a time, as long as it’s legal. Justin Holwell decided to get naked, horrifying all sorts of men on behalf of their women and children. There’s a video.

CANADA – Our craziest story is the weird incident between former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant and bicycle courier, Darcy Sheppard. Apparently the two had some sort of altercation after Bryant’s car collided with Sheppard’s bike. Bryant took off and Sheppard went after him. At some point Sheppard grabbed the car, got smashed into a mailbox, then a tree and then got run over by the back wheels of Bryant’s car. He’s dead and Bryant’s in big trouble. I think. I’m not sure. They seem to be trying to make a case that Sheppard wasn’t a very upstanding guy and that he brought it all on himself.

USA – Baptist pastor Steven Anderson delivered a sermon recently entitled “Why I Hate Barack Obama.” He went on to tell his congregation that he prayed that the president would die.

If you want to know how I’d like to see Obama die, I’d like him to die of natural causes,” said Anderson.  “I don’t want him to be a martyr, we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.

I’m pretty sure god is rolling over in his grave.