“Not quite a year,” Mr. Steve said.
“Do ya like it so far?” Carpenter said.
“It’s a job,” Mr. Steve said.
“Well, don’t make it a career,” Carpenter said. “You’re a nice guy. Working around us nuts will make ya insensitive and you’ll have to come here just to escape the sanity of your own life.”
Mr. Steve smiled.
“Can I pass a bit of advice to ya, Mr. Steve?” Carpenter said. “I know it will be coming from a guy who is certified crazy, but I have some unique perspectives.”
“Sure, Carpenter,” Mr. Steve said.
“Next time check a calendar,” Carpenter said. “The old timers are always trading days off with you on a full moon.”
“I’ve never noticed,” Mr. Steve said.
“It’s true,” Carpenter said. “Everyone notices it. You see the really crazies really go off the deep then. That’s why they call them lunatics. The old timers hold back on medication a week or so before a full moon and double up just before, during, and after or they simply find somebody to trade days with and it‘s with new guys like you.”
“That’s not right to deprive a person of medication one time and over medicate him at others,” Mr. Steve said.
“There’s a lot of things not right in this world,” Carpenter said. “And in the grand scheme of things it is really not so wrong. The extra meds during full moons keeps a lot of people from getting hurt. How could that be wrong?”
“You don’t get extra meds do you?” Mr. Steve said.
Carpenter sat down and removed his shoe. There was a split in the outer layer and inner layer of his shoe and tucked inside were three pills. “My pharmacy,” Carpenter said. “I keep these back from my good days and take them around a full moon. I can‘t make it without ‘em.”
“Yeah ya can,” Mr. Steve said.
“No I can’t,” Carpenter said.
“You don’t belong here,” Mr. Steve said.
“You’ve been here not quite a year and you can diagnose patients already?” Carpenter said.
“Have you ever noticed how I don’t have any trouble on full moons?” Mr. Steve said.
“Yeah,” Carpenter said drawing out his word suspiciously.
“Yeah,” Mr. Steve said smiling. “What you got in your shoe is a placebo. I give your meds to the real nut cases.”
“Who?” Carpenter said looking around to make sure nobody was listening.
“The old timers,” Mr. Steve said.
“What!” Carpenter said grabbing his chest.
“I grind the pills to a powder and sprinkle it on their donuts and mix it with their salt. Of course, I only do it close to full moons. I find the level of health care actually improves when everyone one is on the same meds.”