The Belfry
updates and  guidelines from our chief of staff
Dr. Ludwig "Needles" von Quirk
Your asylumkeeper.  Knowing that what's kept out of sight is what's nicely kept out of mind, the distinterested
owners of this madhouse have appointed me - Dr. Ludwig "Needles" von Quirk -- as its overseer. Patients who
have yet to make my disconcerting acquaintance are well advised to read my
letter of introduction.
A mistake and an explanation.  Misdiagnosis is a hazard in my profession. So I commit an occasional
oopsie. I can live with that. Yet a story about one of my blunders has been circulating among you rabble and
stirring up discontent faster than our nurses can pass out free pharmaceutical samples. So, I think it would be
reassuring for you Nutcases to hear me set the record askew about what happened.

After careful examination, I informed a patient complaining about migraine headaches that only castration could
cure him. He failed to understand the causal connection. But I reminded him just who had the diploma from a
night medical school. Out of pain and desperation, he submitted to the surgery.
The operation, I am proud to say, was a success. But the ingrate returned to complain of relentless depression
that he attributed to the loss of his manhood.

I suggested a scalpel-free approach. I referred him to my tailor. "Let him give you a whole new look, at my
expense," I offered. "To look good is to feel good, you know."

He agreed. To his amazement, the tailor merely looked him over and promised that his new suit would be ready
within a week.

"Don't you need to take my measurements?" my patient asked.

"I know your measurements just by looking at you," the tailor explained. "You wear shirts with a 16-inch neck, size
34 underwear, size 34 pants with a 32-inch in-seam, size 9 shoes and the same size socks."

"That's incredible! You got everything right except the underwear. I wear 32, not a 34."

"Hmmm, no, you're mistaken. You definitely wear size 34 underwear."

"Hey, listen, I've bought myself underwear for years. I know that I'm a 32."

"Impossible!" the tailor scoffed. "If you wore size 32 underwear, it would put too much pressure on your groin and
give you terrible migraine headaches."
Institutional guidelines.  We haven't many rules here. Yet we have one that must be never broken. All
humor therapies appearing in
NuTH0uSe are considered copyrighted by the mad geniuses claiming credit for
'em. Anyone who purloins their research and publishes it without their permission will be abducted, stripped,
dressed like Richard Simmons and forced to roller blade through a biker's bar while singing "Someday My Prince
Will Come." Understood?

How to apply to become a contributing therapist.  We consider prose submissions under 1,000 words
and verse that is, preferably, no more than a dozen or so lines. The shorter, the better. Previously published
submissions are acceptable, if so noted. No response without a self-addressed, stamped envelope, No e-mail
submissions, please. Payment is a crappy contributor's copy. If you think that's reasonable, then you're just the
type of contributor we like - someone with low expectations who works cheap. We publish all genres, from the
homespun to the horrific. We don't automatically dismiss crudity or profanity. We're not prudes. Yet we consider
such elements cheap and insulting unless essential to the gag.
NuTH0uSe seeks submissions that are original,
tightly written and laugh-out-loud funny. To discover more outlets for your creative genius, we encourage you to
get the latest
Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.

Diagnosis by euphemism.  Among the numerous reforms I am imposing as head of this freakin' place is
sensitivity training for the staff. I understand that you Nutcases prefer that we be more delicate about how we
refer to your conditions. For some sick reason, you wackos consider phrases such as "cracked" and "screwball"
to be demeaning and politically incorrect. Okay then, you little babies. So you feel some delusion of
empowerment, I have posted several approved euphemisms that our therapists must now employ instead of
those concisely accurate diagnoses that you find offensive. Any of these descriptions can be enhanced with the
closing line "... if you know what I mean." A few samples:
- "He's surfing in Nebraska."
- "He couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel."
- "The wheel's spinning but the hamster's dead."
- "She forgot to pay her brain bill."
- "If he had another brain, it would be lonely."
- "She's proof that evolution can go in reverse."
- "He's playing with a kinked Slinky."
- "The skylight leaks a little.'
- "His receiver's off the hook."
- "The cheese slid off his cracker."
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