Tuesday, 14 April 2015

More on Admission Procedures - Some Random Thoughts on the Subject

 I originally started work on the missive below as a short additional reply to a comment posted by 'Vlad' and it... well... it sort of expanded somewhat! 

I have to admit that what I have written tends towards a sort of 'stream of consciousness' type of thing in style, but bear with me. 

In addition; I wrote the vast majority on my 'smart' phone and in a piecemeal manner so my apologies if it is a little disjointed and contains typos, missing words and so on - I have had little free time on my hands recently and can't really justify the time it would take to thoroughly read through and proofread as I would with one of my books or novels or get someone else to do it, what with me being badly dyslexic and all!

 By the way, I make no apologies for including yet another view of that wonderful leather-skirted mistress from The English Governess. com (left - found on Tumblr).  She looks SO much how I envisage the dominant psychologist or psychotherapist from my INSTITUTIONALISED series looking, once divested of her white coat.


I think the thing to remember about admission procedures is that, within the context we are speaking about here, they serve a dual purpose. The first and most obvious purpose is all about such legitimate tasks as gathering information, registering name and address perhaps gathering baseline data if a medical facility, weighing, taking measurements, blood pressure, perhaps taking a shower and so on. The second and less obvious aspect – though not necessarily purposeful – is all about drawing a sort of psychological line in the sand, a sharp demarcation between the subject's previous and new life and circumstances. Where the desire is to impose some measure of control, discipline and restriction over the individual then this latter aspect may well be quite purposeful, if not carefully calculated and intentional. Perhaps there might be some sort of short sharp shock.

On the other hand perhaps there might be a carefully engineered series of steps, a series of psychological barriers crossed one at a time. I can imagine each one of these steps as being in itself minor, perhaps each not counting all that much in of itself but each stripping away a little more of what keeps her connected her to the outside world. Each procedure would take from the girl a little more of makes the her the girl she is; self-confidence, self-respect, even aspects of her personality, being systematically stripped away from like the layers of an onion skin as her processing progresses, letting more and more of the repressive atmosphere of the institution seep in, culminating with her entering some sort of inner sanctum of the institution, some final entry point, dressed in whatever regulation manner the institution demands, already deeply steeped in institutional culture, the outside world seeming to her as far away and as out of reach as deep space.

So, whether becoming resident in the reformatory, coming under the protective wing of the Church-run 'Charity Home for Wayward Young Girls and Women in Peril of Moral Corruption' or having been tricked and manipulated into placing herself (or being placed) under psychiatric care, the irony is that in many ways it is that aspect which ordinarily might be considered secondary and minor which not only comes to assume major importance but is actually the raison d'etre for many of the procedures our nubile young candidate finds herself being put through.

And this is particularly the case in the third of these three exemplar scenarios, wherein, hopelessly out of her depth, our pretty bright young thing finds herself being inexorably led deeper and deeper into the workings of the mental hospital.

After all, having her valuables, all jewellery, her watch etc, placed in a safe, her suitcase stored away somewhere, even having to leave her phone outside at the reception desk along with her bank cards – all this wouldn't be questioned; its only the sort of everyday procedure she will have encountered at airports and so on, all very easily legitimised. OK, perhaps the offhanded way she has been greeted and spoken to will have come as something of a surprise – but that will have knocked her off balance. And they'll make sure she'll be kept off balance, moved along briskly with no time allowed for her to pause to question, to gather her thoughts and reconsider what is happening to her, the way in which the way she is being treated and spoken to is gradually changing as her processing continues, the staff's attitude to her gradually hardening. It's no surprise to be offered the chance to take a shower, not that surprising to find a laundry basket to deposit her clothes in, not entirely surprising to find waiting for her when she gets out one of those open-back hospital examination gowns and a pair of disposable paper knickers - but it is somewhat more disconcerting to find the laundry basket has been removed.

But she's hurried along further down the corridor, away from the way she came in and through a locked iron security screen and off to her first psychiatric appraisal with the doctor she's been told is running the project, her objections met only with an irritated tut from one of the two uniformed women escorting her... And even now it all seems understandable – surely her clothes will be waiting for her when she's brought back?
There will follow all the usual medical tests one would imagine, and all legitimately understandable, if a little more intrusive than she will have expected. But then there comes the first of a series of steps not so easy to legitimise. Why for example does she need a thorough intimate internal exam. Why does she need to be intimately shaved beforehand, put through a long drawn out virginal douche procedure and have to accept a series of three suppositories in her bottom?

In that latter scenario - especially if, as in the INSTITUTIONALISED series, she has been led to believe she is surrendering herself to some sort of residential psychology experiment without fully understanding its nature – I would imagine the procedural steps continuing on for days.

In terms of the longevity of admittance procedures; I think a lot depends on what point you consider her having been admitted. Given the latter scenario I think some might put forth the argument that it would be the stage whereat our heroine is issued with her regulation hospital pyjamas. Beyond that point I would imagine that as she progresses further through the system there would also be a shift in the staff set in charge of her.

Gone will be the two women she's initially been shepherded around by, the two nurses who seemed to know all about the clinical study she's enrolled herself in, replaced by nurses and orderlies who seem to know nothing of any of this. They treat her like a real mental patient – and unsurprisingly so, since she's now clothed in an outfit that not only makes her look no different from any other psychiatric case they have to deal with but which actually explicitly states her diagnosis for all to see. Perhaps it's unsurprising therefore that these hard-pressed staff members' only response to her constant insistence of there having been some sort of mistake is to dish out a sharp slap to the face. The only person she now gets to see who knows that she is supposed to be a clinical trial candidate is the stern female psychiatrist she'd initially seen, who had dealt with the paper work and administered her initial psychological appraisal.

On the other hand it could be argued that admission is the point at which she is first taken to the secure psychiatric ward where a bed is waiting for her. If that is the case, then the likelihood is that several days if not a week or more will have passed by since she first walked into the lobby of the main hospital. She'll have been fobbed off with promises and excuses and delays, finding herself continuously shuttling between the doctor's interview room and office for psychometric testing and so on and the secluded quiet little room she's been allocated to sleep in, all the time keeping herself going anticipating meeting the other volunteers, girls like herself who she fondly imagines she's bound to get on with; undoubtedly a lively, gregarious vivacious chatty fun-loving bunch.

By the time she is taken to the ward itself she'll have lost all track of time and largely been browbeaten into submission already. Perhaps she's even received her first caning by this point. Then again, perhaps she's yet to taste corporal punishment; perhaps her first introduction to the ward and the small group she desperately wants to believe are her fellow clinical study candidates is to coincide with her first experience of the kiss of the plaited leather riding switch, rattan cane, leather strap or folded belt across her delectably plump, weighty, full rounded bottom.

If the latter is to be the case, I prefer these days to imagine a highly ritualised affair rather than a straightforward scene of her being flung across a desk, table, couch or bed, held down and thrashed to the point of begging for mercy.

There may have been a time back in my book-buying past when I would have found such a scene presented in a similar manner satisfying enough – exciting even (to a point) – but where does one go from there? Two or three such thrashings down the line and one becomes desensitised – and the only path most authors can offer the reader from that point on in terms of punitive measures is to continually up the ante with ever more ferocious beatings, ever escalating numbers of strokes or lashes or whatever awarded utilising increasingly heavy-handed and sadistically vicious implements wielded under ever more stringent and inhuman circumstances.

Thus it is, in the hands of Victor Bruno (an author I respect and have enjoyed very much over the years) et al we find ourselves ending up being treated to accounts of rhino skin whip beatings and one hundred stroke canings and so on, to the point of smelling salts being called upon in order to revive the hapless victim so that, having been beaten insensible, she can be brought around to continue to suffer. But any fool, given the right circumstances and resources, can chain or strap their victim down or otherwise restrain her (or him – each to their own) and beat them into insensibility; it takes no brain nor skill; there is no finesse, and ultimately little lasting excitement; when it's done, it's done. It is quite another matter to arrange for a girl - perhaps an early school-leaver (though of marriageable age) if considering a home-schooling / governess-type scenario, or in her late teens or even early twenties given the type of institutional storyline being considered here – bend and touch her toes for the cane on command and to stay in position with no physical restraint of any kind.

You'll note I make a point of stipulating no PHYSICAL restraint in the paragraph above. I make no mention of the restraining effects of the psychological pressure to conform which will have been brought to bear, something which will have been building throughout the long drawn-out series of admission procedures the girl or young woman (I commonly use the terms freely and interchangeably) will have been put through up to this point and which has been partially the aim throughout.

So the sort of inaugural or induction caning I envisage – in addition to being witnessed by the assembled group she is about to join – would be embedded within a rigidly stipulated ritual. This would be chock full of pointless, tedious rules and demands designed to heighten the newcomer's sense of humiliation and sharpen and highlight that feeling of utter powerlessness which can develop when punishment is handed out for no good reason other than to inculcate the need for utter unquestioning obedience.

And that latter aim is most important off all. Despite my possibly misleading use of the term 'punishment' above, I see it as vital that throughout the proceedings the point is repeatedly made – and reiterated at every opportunity – that this is NOT a punishment in the classical definition of the word, in that the indignity and physical suffering she is experiencing is not a consequence of anything she has said or done. Indeed she has done nothing to deserve it - just as she keeps insisting - nor is there anything she could have done to have avoided it. It is just a procedural thing, part of the ritual of being inducted into the group and designed to undermine her status or standing within that group before she even gets started.

To the onlookers - forced to watch, each cringing inside, wincing at each whooping whistling crack of the cane or hiss and smack of the riding crop across the newcomers bottom - it is something each and every one of them will instantly recognise; each will have been through it. Not only that, but if those placed in a position of authority over this corralled group of nubile girl-flesh are worth their salt they'll have instigated a regimen of 'divide and conquer'. A major aspect of any such policy will undoubtedly incorporate some method of fermenting distrust between the individual members of the group; a secondary aim might well include measures designed to induce neurosis and thus further encourage distrust between peers.

One way to meet this secondary aim might well be the random allocation of 'punishment' similar to that being witnessed. Thus it is likely that more than one of the small group of teenagers making up the audience will be nursing a burning, bee-stung behind herself, while completely at a loss to explain what it was she was supposed to have done to have earned it, knowing only that it had to have been SOMETHING she'd done.. Otherwise, why else would she have been punished?

If you try, perhaps you can imagine the questions running through such an onlooker's mind as she struggles with the urge to massage her scorched bottom cheeks through the seat of her pyjamas and the rubbery plastic knickers she has on beneath, the fire reignited by the sight she is being forced to witness ...
What could she have done to have avoided it? What can she do in the future to avoid such a thrashing? How can she best please the carers, nurses and others in authority over her?

If convinced she'd done nothing, had been blameless, then perhaps a different type of question might be popping up in her mind as she looks on. Had having her bottom practically skinned by a riding crop wielded by one of the nurses been a consequence of one of the other girls 'telling tales' about her in order to gain favour, to earn herself some sort of 'privilege'?  If so, who?  Which girl?

If you could see in to her head perhaps then you could read her thought patterns – then what? What might be running through her poor little confused and professionally deluded mind?

What about that girl the doctor gave chocolate to the other day, the blond girl designated 'patient 16A'? Six squares she got! True, she'd looked surprised right enough. But she'd been happy enough to nuzzle them out the doctor's hand like a pony fed half a dozen sugar cubes – and there'd been no lack of enthusiasm; she'd been grinning ear to ear with unbridled childish gratitude, like a toddler rewarded by a parent for good behaviour... Yeah... but it says 'delusional psychosis' on her bib and the signboard up on the wall behind her bed...

I KNOW I'm normal, but that girl is one of the REAL mental patients – I'm sure of it. Otherwise why would she rock like that, back and forth all day, grinning like an idiot? They said there'd be SOME real patients, a couple or so. And if she's delusional, all those smiles and nuzzling chocolate pieces out that woman's hand could mean anything... Yeah, but why would SHE be given chocolate in the FIRST place? You didn't get treats like that for nothing. Surely she must have done something to please someone, somewhere? Telling tales? But who would be stupid enough to believe anything she said if she were delusional? So... Was she a stooge? Was she some sort of plant, someone employed to act out the role of a mental patient – or perhaps a real mental case, but one trusted to be the ears and eyes of the institution?

And what about that other girl, a while further back still; the brunette? The poor thing was supposed to have dementia – that's what it said on her bib, and on the top pocket of her pyjama jacket; she even had her hands locked in stiffened mittens to prevent self harming; the nurses had to do everything for her, absolutely everything. And yet... A while back they took her mittens off and for quite a long time she had her toilet privileges restored – they'd take her to the loo and back a couple of times a day instead of having her use a bed pan like everyone else or – worse – use her knickers... Why was that? Surely it was SOME sort of reward, for SOMETHING – but what? Was SHE a stooge? Surely not – surely SHE was the real thing. She has these ugly great metal braces on her teeth (what for, who knows?) that push out her lips like a pouting trout and make her drool all the time – and with her mittens on and her arms fastened across her chest under her plastic bib there's nothing she can do about it and it all trickles down her front... No she couldn't be a stooge, she had to be the real thing. But then again – why did she suddenly seem to be everybody's favourite at the moment? Could she trust anyone? Did anyone trust her?”

Yes – in the régime I envisage it wouldn't only be 'punishments' and 'corrections' that would be handed out randomly. Indeed, our 'new girl' might not be inducted in to the group by way of some sort of ritualised punishment at all. Instead she might be required to watch one of the 'old guard', one of the pre-existing members of the group, being put through her paces in a similar manner to that outlined above, as an example of what comes of defiance.

Any such a demonstration will be of particular value in terms of its psychological impact if, as some component of the admission procedures thus far, our newcomer has been shown something of one or two members of the group she is being introduced to in their previous incarnations prior to their own admission: Imagine for instance she has been shown a couple of dossiers - complete with photographs - by way of encouragement, a couple of examples of recent recruits she'll be meeting and staying with. Of course the fact that the term, 'recent', as applied to the fun-loving leather-jacketed gum-chewing 'trendy' and the smiling vivacious-looking designer blonde she has been shown refers to some twelve months or more back will have been somewhat glossed over.

Perhaps in addition to witnessing – but not participating in – this ritualistic caning, the newcomer being spared the actual pain of the rod itself, she might be given some sort of 'treat', great show being made of her being rewarded with some kind of privilege or favour, anything from a smiling pat on the head (or bottom) to a sizable hunky bar of chocolate:

Now you run along and pop into bed... And don't forget to let me know if you see anything untoward.”

The leather-skirted psychiatrist's enigmatic parting words might well leave our newcomer puzzled. But although quietly and conspirationally spoken - reinforced with a reassuring nod and knowing smile – in the quiet of the ward five other pairs of ears will have pricked up, and the inference will not be lost on any one of them. Even in the absence of the strictly enforced 'no talking' rule our newcomer's isolation will have been doubly ensured from the outset. And in her own mind – looking around at the assembled pyjama-clad group - she'll have that remark she's overheard beforehand running through her head, the woman psychiatrist to some unnamed individual on the other end of a phone line:

... I have my eyes and ears everywhere...”

And what if, instead of just passively witnessing this ritual, our newcomer is instead made to actively participate, acting as the glamorous psychotherapist's proxy and wielding the cane herself, under instruction? Or if it is our newcomer who is to taste the cane or the riding crop – what if it is one of the assembled group of onlookers who is handed the length of thin pliant bamboo or plaited leather switch?

But with all that said and done; I have to say, I still find it difficult to conceive of any situation able to provide greater psychological impact than for a nubile, perhaps naturally shy, young thing to be systematically reduced to tears in front of a small cohort of girls of similar age to herself she imagines are soon to become her comrades, as a means of welcoming her into the fold! And I do think a good hard caning to be best under such circumstances, rather than an over-the-knee strapping, paddling, hand spanking or similar. The point is; after such an experience and being made such an exhibition of, it will be well nigh impossible for her to cut any sort of figure in front of her new peers.

In actuality, the caning doesn't have to be all that severe in terms of out-and-out force to produce the desired psychological effect in this situation. There is no need to really slash in the strokes, as one might for the purposes of behavioural correction and modification or to break through some stubborn streak the girl might have. Rather it is more a symbolic procedure than anything else, one designed to start her off in her new life with the correct mindset, so that in her own eyes - and those of the girls and young women comprising the group into which she is being inducted - the image is formed and brought in to sharp focus of a girl already surrendered to authority. As such she is less likely to be able to inspire others to insurrection and since those she is about to join are so browbeaten already – as she will discover – she is unlikely to find the peer support and strength to rebel herself; indeed, mixing with those already broken to the system will tend to further undermine her own sense of self worth, individuality and defiant independent spirit still further.

All that is really required of this procedure then is to foster in the girl's mind and those of the onlookers the requisite image; and for that, all that is necessary is that she submits to the ritualised caning, that it stings enough to bring home to her the shame of it, and that it is witnessed by the group of her peers. Carried out correctly, with all ritualistic elements observed as outlined, and even though not agonising – in the classical sense that a caning is so often depicted as agonizing in main-stream spanking literature (all those smelling salts and so on) – nevertheless it will be indelibly imprinted in her psyche forever.

The type of ritualistic caning I like to imagine is best embodied by the type of 'knickers down, knickers up' form of ritual mentioned in a sort of oblique way on a couple of occasions back in the day in Janus magazine (I think they once marketed a film based around this idea). Sketchy and oblique the reference may have been, but it stuck in my mind over the years, was nurtured and expanded upon in my imagination to emerge in the form I imagine today.

Given the situation I have outlined above the girl will of course be bare-footed and in hospital-issue pyjamas, a thick transparent polythene tabard, something approximating a very large baby feeding bib, over the top of her upper half, the two halves buckled together at the sides at her waist.

The idea of the plastic tabard is something of a new innovation in terms of this happy little scene I like to conjure up in my imagination and does not feature in any of my presently published books. There are versions marketed by medical suppliers which are easily obtainable and intended for dentia sufferers and others of restricted mental acuity to protect nightwear from food spillages, drooling and so on. Modified versions can double as part of a restraint system where it is necessary to confine the wearer to a chair, wheelchair or bed. The form I imagine would allow the girl's regulation hospital green and white striped pyjama jacket to be seen beneath it, complete with hospital crest embroidered on its top pocket – albeit the thick rubbery polythene introducing a greyish cast – but would have the hospital name, the words 'secure psychiatric wing' or perhaps 'psychiatric patient' or something similar and some sort of suitable 'diagnosis' such as DEMENTIA or DELUSIONAL PSYCHOSIS printed across the front in bold black lettering, thus ensuring the wearer tends to be viewed and treated accordingly.

All-in-one 'tamper proof' pyjamas are also commercially available – intended for the same kind of patient - and are easily procurable, even for home use if wanted, and can be obtained in a form with sewn-in anchor points to allow for various forms of restriction where self-harming is an issue or tampering with dressings, cannulas, incontinence precautions and catheters and so on is a danger. I have toyed with the idea of a recalcitrant young charge dressed in such a manner with her arms crossed over her bust, a brass ring or eye at her left wrist clipped to a ring sewn into a tab at the right shoulder and similarly her right wrist secured to her left shoulder and then the polythene tabard secured over the top, its front and back halves buckled together tightly around her waist just below her elbows and thus further securing her arms. I have toyed, too, with the idea of 'special' pyjamas for home use having a more conventional appearance but with similar anchor points sewn in, and again designed to be worn with a tabard or restrictive quilted bed jacket over the top.
More recently I have been tinkering with the idea of a restrictive corset with laced channels or open-sided sleeves capable of securing a girl's arms down by her sides over which would be worn special pyjamas or even especially manufactured outdoor wear designed and tailored without sleeves or arm holes – in terms of hospital issue pyjamas with one of those tabards worn over the top I imagine it would produce a pleasingly clean line, as if she had been born without arms. Very sweet, very helpless and – importantly given the current context of this discussion – very dependent.

For now though it's probably best we put those thoughts and possibilities on hold and keep things simple (though your comments, criticisms and further ideas are always welcome).

So our newcomer will have on a pair of hospital issue pyjamas such have been described and outlined in the INSTITUTIONALISED series. Doubtless she'll have on underneath a pair of 'tamper proof' polythene bloomer-style knickers, as designed for dementia sufferers, with a locking waistband secured at the rear by a small padlock, which will have to be released first by the smartly uniformed nurse accompanying her.

You have to imagine our new girl has just been led in. She finds herself standing at the front of a narrow hospital ward, three hospital beds lined up to either side – giving six in all – separated by a gangway just large enough for a hospital trolley to pass – perhaps the width of a bed – and each bed separated from the next by a green plastic curtain which can be drawn around if and as required. The quiet is extraordinary, just the shuffling of five pairs of bare feet – five well-developed big breasted teenaged girls, all identically dressed in hospital pyjamas and polythene tabards, two marked up with the words 'delusional psychosis' and three with the single word 'dementia'.

There is a desk at the front of the room at which a stern-faced woman in a tightly belted navy blue uniform dress sits, a starched white nurse's cap on her tightly pinned raven hair. There is a full length mirror screwed to the wall behind the desk, reflecting the rear view of the seated woman, the entire length of the room, the assembled group of bowed-headed pyjama-clad girls and the newcomer with her nurse escort, a girl not all that much older than herself dressed in a fitted blue and white check dress, a white cap perched on her blonde hair and a tight elasticated crepe belt around her trim waist. And above the mirror, the reason for the deadly quiet – or part of the reason at any rate – a large sign in bold black letter spells out what will soon become apparent to her is the cardinal stipulation: “NO TALKING AT ANY TIME”. It is actually the second highest ranking of several cardinal rules, as she will discover – the first and highest principle is simply 'obedience'.

She is made to turn, face the assembled group of girls, her cheeks burning bright as embers, disquieted by the cowed, downtrodden atmosphere hanging over them all, the way they stand with hands crossed in front, heads lowered, eyes averted and how each pointedly avoids eye contact. She's seen the metronome on front of the nurse's station desk – and now, behind her back, she hears it started up... TOCK, TOCK, TOCK, TOCK...

Then comes the order: The psychiatrist has entered and its her voice, syrupy, plummy, educated and self-satisfied. She is the only one not wearing some sort of uniform. Even the girls, even the new girl herself, can be thought of as wearing some sort of uniform; theirs mark them out as mental patients; it practically says as much on the rubbery plastic tabards over their pyjamas. Right at this minute she doesn't even have her customary white coat on. Instead she is dressed in a tight knee length black leather skirt, tailored and close-fitted white satin blouse and high heels, her face made up as if going out for the evening, her glossy black hair up in a tight no-nonsense bun. Big busted and broad hipped she nevertheless has a remarkably trim waist and looks a good ten years younger than her actual age which is nearer forty five. It is she who is going to administer the punishment – and it is not the cane the girl has spied resting against the nurse's chair she is going to be putting to use; she has just strolled in carrying a thin plaited riding crop, is running it through her fingers, toying with it, flexing it experimentally:

Right, six strokes – jump up, rise before you're told to, forget to count the stroke out loud or refuse to bend and it starts again from the beginning. Refuse point blank to accept your introductory caning and... Well you KNOW what to expect! Ok... let's have those pyjama bottoms down... knickers down... touch your toes... knees locked out... legs wider apart than that, girl!”

Swisssh - crrracck !!!

You can, I'm sure, imagine the thin red line developing across the pure lily-white skin of her well-formed naked behind.... and the wail of dismay as the heat of the stroke sinks in... Somehow she hasn't sprung up – this time!

Stay in position, listen to the metronome, count thirty-six beats... and... now straighten up. Pull up your knickers, pull up your pyjama bottoms and turn to face the mirror, hands on head. Thank me for the stroke...”

Somehow she manages a strangled-sounding “thank you, doctor”.

The woman holds out the switch to the girl's lips.

Kiss the switch...”

Red faced the girl kisses the supple leather.

Now look at yourself in the mirror, and as you count sixty-four beats of the metronome I want you to think about how you look, what your friends would think of you if they could see you – a mental patient in a psychiatric hospital... count the beats... count out loud...”

sixty two, sixty three, sixty-four...” The girl's voice is shaky, breaking, already becoming interrupted by sobbing laboured breaths as she struggles to deal with the spreading pain radiating out across her backside... and the fear of the impending next stroke builds within her as the metronome beats pile up. Her face begins to burn brighter still as she catches sight of the smile spreading across the face of the young nurse standing alongside her in her neat blue and white uniform dress.

Keeping your hands on your head, turn, face the other patients, count thirty six beats of the metronome, then lower your hands, drop your pyjama trousers, pull down your knickers and touch your toes like before...”

SSSSwwwwwissh – cccraaack!!!

No you don’t – don't you DARE get up! Listen to the metronome – thirty-six beats; THEN you can straighten up!!”

And so it goes on, each position regulated by the unvarying, unrelenting rhythm of the metronome.
On the other hand, perhaps the newcomer might have to watch as one of the more established inmates, chosen at random, is caned, perhaps put through a similar regimented routine while she watches. Either way, you can bet she'll be quiet and contrite as she is led over to her bed.

I sometimes think such a ritualised procedure as this works even better where some kind of school uniform is involved – the fussier the better. Perhaps carried out by a newly appointed governess-cum-tutor figure by way of introduction to a newly-introduced home-schooling régime, and in front of her guardian or stepmother or whoever has had the inspired imagination to have employed such a woman.


Vlad said...

Thanks for the hat tip. It looks like you have the makings of a book or two right here, as a variation on the Institutionalized series, or perhaps a series of related shorts packaged as a treatise on admission procedures, or patient management. By the way, a version of the plastic tabard does appear in Institutionalized book 3 when Lavinia is in the ward.
I hope the surge in posts is a sign of restored Internet and renewed writing.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Vlad! Wow! I did go on a bit in this post! I just spun through it on my phone (I'm out in a coffee bar) and was shocked how much I'd rambled on. But I find the psycholgy of addmission procedures a facinating subject, have done since back in the day when I'd occasionaly hang out in the Janus shop in Old Compton Street browsing and devouring back issues, especialy the Readers' Letters sections. The number of issues I bought based on a single reader's letter is nobody's buisness, a lot anyway. Usualy it would be a long letter, and I would hold back on reading more than a paragraph, if that, basing my decision to buy on a promising opening sentence or two. Then came the excitment of getting it home, which might take an hour or two - and sometimes it might be the next day before the oppertunity to read under the right circumstances arose. OK, often there would be disapointment, but not always. And even if it didn't match my expectations there still would have been that lead-up excitment to savour, during which my imagination would often have filled in the gaps anyway, some of the legacy of which you'll have seen in print when reading my stuff.

Yeah I've got a bit of enthusiasm going again. It's sunny, which helps, and I'm short of money, which keeps me out the pubs (AND I'm worried I might have developed a touch of alcoholic neuropathy!!!) so I am a little more focussed than I have been. I'm still a bit tied up with artwork for Roger Benson but I've also got a lot of ideas, often inspired by caption writing for stuff I've found on Tumblr but also by some piecee sent me, notably by 'Chris' . Trouble is; I probably have TOO many ideas right now and am working on several things at once, no single one getting anywhere like close to finishing. And it all takes longer than it did. I like to think I'm getting better at what I do, but that in turn demands more care. For example, I am HUGELY dissatisfied with the INSTITUTIONALISED series nowadays and given the chance would rewrite it.... Perhaps I will one day. After all I do still have that half finished comic book project sitting around.

Funny about the bib thing. I don't remember what I wrote there... It just goes to show! But thinking about it, I seem to think it was more like a child's feeding bib than the type of restraint tabard that rings my bell nowadays... Take a look at some of those seated patient photos produced by 'WRINGER'.