A Fistful of Dollars

A revised excerpt from my second novel, Looney Bin Incorporated. It’s a satire that highlights corporate greed; specifically, drug companies that charge exorbitant prices for life saving drugs. This chapter is an exchange between Drake, a patient at Looney Bin Inc. and his therapist, Dr. Olive.

Drake: I would like you to change my diagnosis from crazy with acute eccentricity to paranoid socialist.

Dr. Olive: I don’t think that is a real diagnosis.

Drake: Well, neither is crazy with acute eccentricity.

Dr. Olive: Why don’t you just become a socialist? It would be easier than changing your diagnosis.

Drake: I already am a socialist.

Dr. Olive: Then you don’t need to have your diagnosis changed, do you?

Drake: But I don’t want to be just a socialist; I want to be paranoid as well.

Dr. Olive: You can be paranoid all you like. Lots of people are paranoid; I’m paranoid.

Drake: I want to be a paranoid socialist.

Dr. Olive: You can be a paranoid socialist; no one is stopping you.

Drake: I want it to be my official diagnosis.

Dr. Olive: It can’t be your diagnosis because socialism is unpatriotic.

Drake: So you won’t change my diagnosis?

Dr. Olive: The best I can do is change it to paranoid capitalist.

Drake: What does that mean?

Dr. Olive: It means you still have an unreasonable distrust of others; but you believe the investment, the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth should be maintained by just a few individuals and corporations.

Drake: I believe my mistrust of capitalists isn’t unreasonable.

Dr. Olive: If I change your diagnosis to paranoid capitalist, then that means you are cured of your eccentricity and have moved on to something better.

Drake: What about my craziness?

Dr. Olive: I’m afraid that is incurable; you are stuck with that.

Drake: What else can you offer me?

Dr. Olive: If you’re a paranoid capitalist, you can invest in our corporation.

Drake: What corporation?

Dr. Olive: Why, the Loony Bin, of course.

Drake: The Loony Bin is a corporation?

Dr. Olive: Sure it is; why do you think we are called Loony Bin Inc.?

Drake: I didn’t know we were called that.

Dr. Olive: Yeah, we even have a catchy jingle for our commercials that goes like this:

Come on out and don’t be lazy, if you know you’re really crazy. Anxiety and OCD, we want you. Bipolar, schizophrenia and depressives too. So listen to those voices inside your heads, because Loony Bin Inc. has got your meds.

Drake: Will I still have to take medication?

Dr. Olive: You don’t take the medication; like any good capitalist, you sell them.

Drake: It’s a deal. I am now a paranoid capitalist.

Dr. Olive: I will write it down in your file and make it official. {writes down $$$}

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