The Fall of Mr. Jones – A Brief Tale
Mr Jones was a very unhappy man. He was also my first ever client – they weren’t supposed to be like this, my supervisor told me. At the age of 52 he had changed jobs on the recommendation of his employer in order to get a better position. Six months later, this company went into liquidation and Mr Jones was left without work. His former employer was unable to re-employ Mr Jones.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Jones was an unhappy man. He had been a corporate man all his life. Now at the age of 53 he was finding it very difficult to find equivalent work. He felt it ‘beneath’ him to take a 3 dollar an hour job at the local supermarket.
To Mr Jones this would be the ultimate humiliation.
His unhappiness grew.
He had been happily married to Mrs Jones since he was 19.
But now Mr Jones’ whole world began to collapse.
Then, one day, about a year since the bankruptcy Mr Jones could take it no more.
He filled the bath and ran an extension cable from his hallway into the bathroom. He plugged the toaster into the extension, undressed and sat in the bath. With the lever pressed, he dropped the toaster into the bathwater.
It wasn’t bread he was intending on toasting this day.
Mr Jones got a bit of a shock.
He also blew all the fuses in the house.
It was the sudden loss of lighting in the house that brought Mrs Jones running to the bathroom.
In retrospect, she said that at the time she did wonder why her husband would want to make toast in the bathroom. Mr Jones said that in retrospect he realised that he didn’t really need to press the lever on the toaster.
Mrs Jones found her husband in the bath. He was a bit pale.
She asked him what on earth he thought he was doing.
He said he was trying to make toast.
Mr Jones was taken to the Casualty department. The team that attended to him were concerned about the effects of the shock on his heart. His ECG was normal and so were all the other tests.
Mr Jones is a lucky man, everybody said.
Mr Jones didn’t agree. He felt anything but lucky.
(Then it happened.)
(One of the doctors attending Mr Jones knew all about an electrical injury on the human body.)
(People who survive being struck by lightning will sometimes begin to develop multi-organ failure some time after the lightning strike. The toaster might have toasted his internal organs.)
In Mr Jones’ heightened state of awareness the attending doctor explained this and then sent him home.
The whole experience had done nothing to abate Mr Jones misery.
He began to ruminate.
The doctor had told him that his internal organs were rotting.
They were rotting because of the electricity.
This was true. The doctor had told him so.
The next day his wife called the doctor.
Mr Jones was ranting about electricity.
He had smashed every electrical item in the house.
He said that they were killing him.
(Mr Jones appeared to have gone quite mad.)
Mrs Jones called her GP.
The GP called the psychiatric team.
The psychiatric team called the police.
They attempted to calm him.
He was restrained.
Carted off to the funny farm.
By the end of the week, Mr Jones was catatonic.
He just sat there.
He didn’t speak.
He didn’t eat.
He just sat there.
The doctors said that he had given up completely.
They decided that urgent action was needed.
They needed to do something to save his life.
(They gave him electro-convulsive therapy.)
This doctor thought that this seemed to do the trick. Mr Jones awoke.
He awoke raging.
He was raging that his could feel his brain rotting.
The electricity was rotting his brain.
His medication was increased.
The ECT treatments continued.
Patients are requested not to eat or drink before getting their brains fried.
This reduces the chances of vomiting whilst convulsing.
(Apparently, it is dangerous to vomit whilst your brain is cooking.)
The nurses will usually provide a light breakfast though.
Tea and toast.
Mrs Jones “abducted” her husband from the hospital.
The pair of them had been hiding from the psychiatric services for 3 years.
The doctors seemed so keen to pump his body with more electricity.
The press release expressed concern for Mrs Jones mental health too.
Neither Mr or Mrs Jones trusted anybody connected with health care.
They were paranoid.
The newspaper said so.
Apparently, they are a little bit paranoid.
They felt that people were out to get them.
I guess that they were both right about that too.