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Psychology is a Greek word, meaning the study of the mind. Which translates, in plain man's English, to 'Spot the loony'. The Ancients were happy to treat your gents ordinary village idiot with a pint of ale and kindness, but we moderns are told by our governors to ask him a lot of baffling questions, strap him down and fill him full of dangerous medicines.

Personally, I like the mad. They are more interesting than the average stockbroker with whom I lunch. Indeed, I have carefully selected my stockbrokers for their marginal insanity, in particular, honesty, when all sorts of profitable crookedness lies temptingly before them.

I say that all the best deeds are the fruit of the waving tree of madness. Patriotism, to the point of death for your fellows. Marriage, for all wordly goods to another endowed. Friendship, even unto impersonating a lawyer, in order to smuggle sparkly fairy lights into an innocent man's cell at Christmas, at no small personal risk x

Psychiatrists try to explain us each as products of our parents. But when I say that my mother is of the Spartan breed, and that I learnt my morals from her, eg "Come back with your shield or on it" I get blank stares from the average loony doctor.

I say that doctors should stick to pills and potions, and philosophers puzzle their giant brains about the mysteries of God and the universe. And not bother their heads about why I need a drink on a Monday night, when the answer is simply that I miss the woman I love.


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