A few more clues offered on UM mystery patient


January 09, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

A WEEK FROM today in Davidge Hall at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. David Mallott, a professor of psychiatry and associate dean, will present the findings of his review of a patient he never met. Such detached analysis is probably best, in this case. Had Mallott spent time with this patient in real life, the doc might have died an early and not very pretty death.

Mallott's patient is an American historical figure believed by some to have been mentally unbalanced. It's Mallott's assignment to look at his patient's life and psychological profile - the "X File," so to speak - and determine what, if any, pathology might have affected the subject's behavior.

The doc has not been told his patient's identity.

Nor have TJI readers. But you've been challenged, for the sake of intellectual amusement, to put a name where the X is now.

Wednesday, I offered the first set of clues from the material given Mallott for his review. The first reader to identify the subject of this year's historical clinicopathological conference at Davidge Hall gets my front-row seat for Mallott's presentation. (I'll stand in the back.) Runners-up may get some other trinket from our prize closet. Now, more clues:

"Patient appears to be in perpetual motion (eats rapidly, constantly pacing)."

"Avid hunter and compulsive gambler."

"While a college student, the patient had a single episode of a sexually transmitted disease - most probably gonorrhea."

"Results of the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II reveal a Profile 546: Narcissistic-Histrionic-Antisocial. ... High scores on these scales suggest a confident, dramatic and competitive personality. Such individuals typically view themselves as superior to most people. They have a tendency to exaggerate their abilities, emphasizing past achievements and deprecating those who do not accept their inflated self-image."

"Reported to have denied wounded members of command access to ambulances, which he used instead to transport his hunting dogs."

More to come Monday. Perhaps we'll have a winner by then.

Grit on the rocks

At a supermarket in Timonium the other day, a young cashier checked out a woman buying an enormous bag of kitty litter.

"I hear it's great on ice," the woman said.

"Lady," the clerk said, "I don't think that will taste very good."

Probably a little gritty.

A rich cinema season

If you're looking for privacy, go to a matinee of "Mr. Magoo." I slipped into one the other day at the new Loew's White Marsh and had the place absolutely to myself. So many many new seats to break in, so little time.

But let's not go there.

Going to "Goo" right now constitutes cultural dereliction. We're in the midst of one of the richest cinematic seasons, winter or summer, ever - "Titanic," "Amistad," "As Good As It Gets," "Wag The Dog," "Good Will Hunting," "Tomorrow Never Dies." Even "Mouse Hunt" is a winner.

"Titanic" deserves all the accolades it has received. It is a monsoon of a movie, one of the most emotionally arresting and visually powerful films we've ever seen. Too long? No way. It runs more than three hours, but seems like two. The love story is a distraction? The love story is vital; without the love story, it's a documentary. A chick flick? It made some tough guys I know cry, so spare me that. Anyone who says the film is overwrought just doesn't visit modern cinema much. If any film could be excused for being overwrought, it's "Titanic," and yet you never feel that it is; the film never brags technically. It's going to stand up for a long time as a great picture.

Those pricey O's tickets

A fellow who carries a briefcase to work got his 1998 Orioles season tickets in the mail - along with the outrageous price increase.

"I can afford it because my firm writes the tickets off," he tells TJI. "But Joe Six Pack can't afford it, and the Orioles become less fun the more corporate they become. The Bowie Baysox look more and more exciting all the time with [Ryan] Minor, the hot shot from Delmarva, hopefully starting at third base, and the big first baseman, Calvin Pickering, who just tore up the Hawaiian league. Five bucks a ticket, free parking, yuppie beers, manageable egos and no cell phones. I get more excited about a Bowie alum, B.J. Waszgis, being picked up by the Red Sox than I do with Brady or Cal getting an extra six million. But then again, I have always been a bit weird."

Coffee war in Hamroll

Ingmar Burger, intermittent TJI correspondent, moved from Remington to the 'hood of HamRoll. (That's the neighborhood between Hampden and Roland Park, south of Cold Spring Lane. also known as Alonsoville.)

"The Daily Grind just opened on Cold Spring across from Sam's Bagels," Ingmar reports. "Sam's was formerly the only place in the area to get a decent cup of joe. The day of the Grind's grand opening, Sam's put a sign in the window: "Free Coffee with Bagel (this store only)." Will the Daily Grind give bagels away with their coffee? Hey, it ain't Home Depot vs. Hechinger, but stay tuned."

Contact TJI columnist Dan Rodricks at 410-332-6166, or by e-mail at TJIDAN


Pub Date: 1/09/98

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