When Spencer Tracey’s genial Dr. Jekyll started to whistle “You can see me dance the polka” we all knew what was about to happen. Sure enough, within a minute or so, the hairs were growing on the back of his hands as the metamorphosis into the odious Mr. Hyde took effect.
So, I’m wondering, what exactly are the warning signs that signify that a normally pleasant human being is about to turn into that most wearisome of creatures, you’ve guessed it, the self-righteous condemning and critical JW?
I ask because of the impending visit of my Auntie Lou. She’s a lively, bonnie woman in her 70’s, full of beans and generous to a fault. She accompanies me to the pub – large whisky with a Babycham in it – several – and is much admired for her vigour and quick wit.
Until, something ‘clicks’.
Inevitably, sometime during her stay, something will occur or be said that makes her eyes glaze over, her chin will thrust forward as her mouth takes on a grim set. She will start to wag her finger slowly from side to side. She will say things like: “I am a servant of Jehovah the most high god! You are in a disfellowshipped state and deserving of death because you have turned your back on Jehovah!”
Now it’s quite easy to flip the switch back to normal mode and I’m a lot thicker skinned these days, so I just ask her if she’d like a cup of tea – with a wee dram of Glenfiddich Auntie? – and it’s as though she has never even said those awful things. Unfortunately, on the last 2 occasions, we’ve had friends present as well, so they now think that Auntie Lou is totally nuts, ban her from the house!
It’s not just Auntie Lou either. Last week my ‘Dub in the pub’ pal exhibited the same eyes glazing over symptoms, and I’ve seen it on countless other occasions.
So, what is it that happens? Is there some word that triggers this behaviour in witnesses, is it some sort of stressor in certain situations? Are some witnesses in effect a ‘sleeper’, like in the Manchurian Candidate, programmed to erupt under a specific mental stimulant?
One of the factors that I’ve noticed is that Auntie Lou’s outbursts may well be tied in with her watching the TV news prior to her performing, for some reason it’s almost as though she holds me responsible for all that’s not well in the world.
Maybe I’m being a little paranoid!