We realised why Deborah and I have such extraordinary telepathy and why people treat us and look at us the way they do. It is because we are MAD. We are both stark raving MAD!
"My great-grandfather's own mother had died, when he was a boy, a wrenching and terrible death from some illness now easily cured by penicillin; in later life, he had unwavering faith in the supernatural powers of this drug, which in the end proved to be his undoing. Though he had been repeatedly warned not to, in the last years of his life he dosed himself almost constantly with antibiotics, whether there was anything the matter with him or not. These antibiotics were readily supplied to him-as was just about any drug in our town, to just about anybody-upon request, by local doctors and pharmacists who apparently believed that since my great-grandfather was an intelligent man, and well thought of in the community, he was therefore qualified to assume responsibility for his own medical treatment, despite his utter lack of any medical knowledge whatsoever. So he took antibiotics all the time, believing them to be a kind of healthful preventative, or nerve tonic, and over the years built up a gradual but powerful resistance, until the Easter weekend when a cold metamorphosed, unexpectedly, into pneumonia and-the pills that would have saved his mother now powerless to help him-he died." (-- Donna Tartt)
"FIVE DAYS A WEEK, for thirty-six years, I have travelled the eight-twelve train to the City. It is never unduly crowded, and it takes me right in to Cannon Street Station, only an eleven and a half minute walk from the door of my office in Austin Friars.
I have always liked the process of commuting; every phase of the little journey is a pleasure to me. There is a regularity about it that is agreeable and comforting to a person of habit, and in addition, it serves as a sort of slipway along which I am gently but firmly launched into the waters of daily business routine.
Ours is a smallish country station and only nineteen or twenty people gather there to catch the eight-twelve. We are a group that rarely changes, and when occasionally a new face appears on the platform it causes a certain disclamatory, protestant ripple, like a new bird in a cage of canaries.
But normally, when I arrive in the morning with my usual four minutes to spare, there they all are, these good, solid, steadfast people, standing in their right places with their right umbrellas and hats and ties and faces and their newspapers under their arms, as unchanged and unchangeable through the years as the furniture in my own living-room, I like that.
I like also my corner seat by the window and reading The Times to the noise and motion of the train. This part of it lasts thirty-two minutes and it seems to soothe both my brain and my fretful old body like a good long massage, Believe me, there's nothing like routine and regularity for preserving one's peace of mind. I have now made this morning journey nearly ten thousand times in all, and I enjoy it more and more every day. Also (irrelevant, but interesting), I have become a sort of clock. I can tell at once if we are running two, three, or four minutes late, and I never have to look up to know which station we are stopped at." (-- Roald Dahl)