Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness No Fun and Games for State Mental Institutions

Although “March Madness” is a fun and exciting time of year for college sports fans and gambling enthusiasts alike, it is the most dreaded time of year for the numerous mental institution employees in Massachusetts. “March is absolutely the worst time to work here,” said Maria Williams, who works at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. “I have to deal with over 30 prank calls a day, and it is very difficult to remain civil with people who joke about something that is in fact very serious.” Williams said that the prank calls include people saying things like “I always go a little mad this time of year, can I check in for the month?”, “How busy do you guys usually get in March?”, and the inevitable “Yes hi, can I speak to a Cray Person, middle initial Z?”

The agony extends beyond the nuthouse for many of these employees, as friends and family ruthlessly make pun after pun on the word “mad”. “It’s the same s***, year after year,” lamented Williams, lighting a cigarette. “I don’t know how much more I can take.” Williams said that even her husband of 10 years, who knows she can’t stand this time of year, also cannot resist making jokes to her. “It’s just too much fun,” said a smirking Brian Williams, Maria’s husband. “Besides, she’s so cute when she’s mad.”

Williams and a few of her coworkers appealed to the NCAA to change “March Madness” to a different term to avoid their suffering, but their efforts were to no avail. Williams knew that she had only a small chance of succeeding in getting the NCAA to change the name, and upon realizing that the best alternative they could offer was the laughably inadequate “March Merriment”, she almost gave up hope entirely. “We had to try, we just had to try to end this,” said a melancholy Williams. “I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that my life is going to miserable one month out of the year.” I foolishly asked at the end of the interview whether Williams thought her suffering should be compensated with a bump to the next income bracket, at which point she lunged out of her chair and attempted to strangle the life out of me. I ended up OK though, and I hear Mrs. Williams is doing fine as a resident in the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

No comments: