The city of Manchester has reported a huge rise in cases of delusional mental behaviour over the past week.
The cases, which seem to be centred on the Midland hotel in the city centre, have tended to involve white, middle-aged, middle-class men with a fondness for bland suits, although some white, middle-aged, middle-class women with a fondness for bland suit-like dresses have also been affected.
Reports indicate that the incidents in question are mostly verbal in nature, and took place at a large gathering in the hotel. Our man, Barton Mashir, was on the ground during this mass outbreak of mental delusion. This is his report:
“For the past week, I have stayed at the Midland hotel in Manchester, and what I have witnessed here has been very unusual indeed. Things were very odd from the start. From the day I checked in, every face I have seen in the hotel has been white, despite this being the centre of a very multicultural city. Also, everybody wore suits, like it was some kind of pale gangster convention. Every now and then, one of the strange, suited ghostlike figures would exit the foyer only to recoil in confusion when he was hit by an egg, or a poor person walked past.
“They kept asking me if I was an immigrant because I was wearing a t-shirt. Eventually, I retired to my room and resolved to spend the rest of the week getting drunk. After a day or two, I ventured tipsily out of my room and found the suit-men and -women all converging on the large ballroom of the hotel, where a podium had been set up on the stage. One by one throughout the day, the suit-people’s leaders went up onto the stage and spoke to the crowd, but what they said made no sense.
“One man, the leader, he had a face like a plasticine football. He said people under 25 shouldn’t have benefits because of their age, that they should be earning or learning. He thought they were a different species of human from over-25s, able to conjure jobs and courses out of the air, and unaffected by the need for food or warmth. Plus, benefits are for those who aren’t able to earn or learn. If you’re 26, then you’d be ok, except you wouldn’t be because you may have starved to death at the age of 23. It’s all a bit bizarre because under-25s are due to get less than the minimum wage everybody else gets anyway, so they can’t really earn as much; and education costs money which they’ve got less of because they’re under 25. It was all backward.
“Then he said that benefits shouldn’t be a way out of poverty. But that’s why they were invented.
“Then there was the man with the bony, terrifying face who said cutting tax credits would make people work harder. But people get tax credits because no matter how hard they work, they don’t have enough money. We already work hard enough. There’s no more ‘work harder’ time available. Unless we move to another planet with a longer day. Oh god, is that what he wants us to do?
“He even went on to say we should work more like the Chinese. He must have meant ‘less’ like the Chinese, because they have a notoriously overworked populace, some of whom work in factories with nets outside the windows that catch people trying to kill themselves because they work too hard. His brain must have been reversing things. He couldn’t possibly genuinely believe what he was saying.
“Then another man came on, doing a Bond villain face for some reason, and he said that before he first came to the North, all the road signs said ‘London 50 miles’ etc., and that he was shocked because in the North the signs pointed to other nearer cities. In the North. Not London. He couldn’t have said this if he was in control of his faculties, because he’d be a stupid moron who thought Britain was a giant London shaped island surrounded by tiny, floating abandoned coal mines.
“The last thing I remember was a woman (she must have sneaked past all the men) screaming “DEYTERKERJERBS!” At that point, I blanked out.”
The Sceptical Poet assures the readers that Barton is ok.
The bizarre surge of mental delusion in Manchester City Centre is similar to an incident back in April when another rise in bizarre behaviour, this time concerning rationality and critical thinking, took place in a hotel only down the road. When asked if there was a link between the two events, Manchester police declined to comment.
The Sceptical Poet asks its readers to be extra vigilant this weekend if they visit Manchester.