Things had quieted down in the mental hospital. All the patients had received their evening pills and were now sleeping. A young nurse is walking up and down the hallways, turning on dim night lamps. In his office, a young doctor psychiatrist is reviewing the case history of a recent patient.
"Another teacher," he says to a man who is resting on the sofa. "Mental institutions are full of teachers and no one says anything about it. Something must be wrong with our educational system. I shall report it to our monthly magazine, maybe even to the newspapers."
The man on the sofa turns his head towards the doctor and says, "Educational facilities have always brought us more patients than any other, but if we compare statistics from today, twenty, and a hundred years ago, we'll see their percentage has not increased. Mental stress and overwork often leads to breakdown; there's no point in reporting to magazines what is already written up in our professional journals."
The man on the sofa is a professor. He is the eldest resident of the hospital, and has worked here for 40 years. First, he arrived as a patient, back in the Soviet days when he was placed in a mental institution, like so many others, for unpopular political convinctions. He never left the hospital and later worked as a corps man and studied medicine. The doctor has great respect for his knowledge and his word is taken as law in this place.
"I believe, these days, show business brings us more clients then educational institutions," the Professor continues. The young doctor still looks worried, even a bit surprised, as if he just made some very important discovery.
The Professor rises from the sofa, comes to the table, takes some newspapers, and throws them into the wastebasket. The young doctor looks at him as if he wants to ask 'Why did you do that?'
"Don't read papers, and don't watch TV," says the Professor, "the main purpose of the media is to hide the truth and conceal the good authors from the public in order to favor the bad. If you want to see truly in the midst of general infatuation, then you must keep your eyes open and use your own judgement."
At this moment the nurse comes through the open door. Her name is Nadja. She has only worked for a few weeks at the hospital and is still going through her residency requirements.
"I am scared of this patient who claims that he is director of our film studio," says Nadja. "Something is wrong with him tonight."
"Did he try to sexually abuse you?" asks the young doctor "I can prescribe him extra bromine to lessen his desire."
"I doubt he has any sexual desire after that sulphate injection," says the Professor. Nadja, what exactly has this patient received tonight besides sulphate?"
"A bunch of strong tranquilizer pills..." says Nadja, looking at her journal to see what else she gave to the patient. "That's enough," interrupts the Professor, "no need to say more, he is hallucinating."
"It's scary to see his eyes," says the nurse.
"Don't be afraid, he is as helpless as a child. He can't move, and when he looks at you, he doesn't even see you. He sees only some five-meter tall woman who asks him to follow her and he hallucinates that he is going somewhere. He can only regain consciousness for a few seconds and then begins hallucinating again. Don't be afraid and don't look scared; you must remain confident. As for bromine, they all get plenty enough, even the food has the disguisting flavor of this chemical."
"I just follow instructions and do what the doctors say," says Nadja timidly.
Doc buries his head and is completely ashamed, because he ordered this prescription himself. He is incompetent and he knows it.
Seeing his remorse, the Professor feels sorry and wants to cheer him up. He likes the young doctor, even though he knows that the doctors rich parents used their influence to arrange his education. Instead of studying, he squandered his time on discos. Still, the Professor respects the young doctors desire to learn and so he likes to help.
Nadja admires the Professor, who doesn't look like the other doctors. He often wears a robe and can more often be seen among the patients than amongst his peers. Abruptly, the sound of a distant siren breaks the silence of the hospital.
"Must be a new patient," says Nadja, "I will go and open the door." A minute later the doctor from the ambulance slams through the door; he is a bit tipsy and overexcited.
"Hey guys," he says, "You won't believe who is in the car. Do you know this girl, this singer, from the all-girl band called Viagra? They used to show their videos on TV every half hour, so it is one of them. She calls herself a star and her mother is very agressive. There are a bunch of reporters and her mom - what a woman - a real Class 5 hurricane..."
At this moment the commotion reaches the office and people start filling the room. There were some well known faces from the entertainment industry, reporters of papers and some guys with TV cameras. All attention is directed towards the young doctor who sits glued to his chair, helpless at seeing so many famous people at once.
The Professor calmly climbs on a chair and loudly makes an announcement: "All of you paparazzi folks, hear me now," he strives to grasp everyone's attention, "I give you all just one minute to get the hell out of here."
This announcement obviously has no effect on the crowd, and so the Professor grabs a fire extinguisher and in seconds everyone is fleeing from the office before a cloud of white foam. "Now, I want the patient, her mother and ambulance doctor to come with me - all the rest of you, please leave this hospital!"
Two women come up, lathered in foam from the fire extinguisher. "Now, please tell me what has happened and what all this circus is about," the professor asks the mother of the afflicted girl.
"May we learn first, with whom we are speaking?" asks a gorgeous, voluptously built woman. "I am the mother of this poor girl, whose name you know from every newspaper, covers of magazines, and TV shows," she says in a firm voice.
"Mom, I don't read papers or watch TV, so just let me examine your daughter." "What's wrong?" the professor asks the teenaged woman, looking at her eyes. "How do you feel, girl?"
'Girl' does not utter a word, instead her mother blurts out "She is a star, you must know us from TV and magazines, but we don't know who you are; you don't even wear a doctors uniform. We were expecting to get a professional consultation but instead all I find is a bum brandishing a fire extinguisher!"
"Mom, calm down," says Professor, inspecting her daughter closely. "It is not about my uniform, it is about the very serious mental problems of your daughter. How old is she? - and tell me about latest events of her singing career, it is very important."
"She is 18 and my only child. She is leader of a very popular band "Viagra", you must know, their clips were on all TV channels.."
"Mom, I told you, I don't watch TV and I don't listen to "Viagra"! I listen only to Mozart and Bethoven - music that lives down through the ages - not the modern stuff that needs to be remixed every other week, to be kept on top of hit parades that please the cheap tastes of pop fans."
Mom glares at the doctor, about to expload with anger, while her daughter sits motionlessly on a chair contemplating her nails.
Nadja writes down the history of this new patient in her journal as the ambulance doctor dictates to her. Like all ambulance doctors he doesn't take the trouble to go into details and diagnoses the same Manic-depressive psychosis for all new arrivals.
As our Professor hears the familiar diagnosis, he shouts "Hey, hold on! We are not talking about any old psychosis here, all is much worse with this girl!"
"Mom, please answer the questions: How long ago did these symptoms begin with you daughter? What were the first signs? How did they seem to relate to her singing career?"
"The band fired their producer a year ago, and the last two albums didn't sell well," said the woman.
"What exactly happened today and how long has it been obvious that she was not behaving normally?" the Professor asks. He then tells Nadja to take the new patient into the ward.
"Listen, we came here for a consultation," protests the woman, "You can't take my daughter from me, she is ok, she just needs to be performing on stage, and not here. I demand you let us go home, tomorrow I will be meeting with a new producer. Soon she will sing and be back on stage, then she will be ok."
At the end of her last sentence the woman's voice rises and she lunges at the Professor, pressing him against the wall with her formidable breasts "You're not going to mess with me, mister," she says. "We only came here in an ambulance to make headlines in tomorrows paper. All we wanted was to get your consultation. We do not need to be hospitalized. Tomorrow, we have to continue filming our new Sleeping Beauty video clip and she has the leading role! Now, let us go or I will crush you, like a worm," rages Mamma Viagra, who by now has become a total cast-iron bitch.
Poor old Professor feels as if he has two sacks of potatoes loaded upon his chest, pressing him down.
"Hey, hey, mom, don't try to intimidate me with your attitude and get those silicone things off me! Maybe boobs help to sing these days, but they won't help you here now, or with your daughters schizophrenia!" The Professor is trying to slip away, but the stage mom holds him tightly.
"What did you say? My daughter a schizophrenic? I heard, that all you doctors and psychiatrists are paranoiacs. I demand you let us go home, right now..."
"And I demand that you stop tormenting this girl and leave her for medical observation, or else she will never return to normal life and she will be our patient for the rest of her days. If you help us, maybe she can walk away from the damage that you have done to her mind."
The doctors sharp words disarm the stage mother and deflate her strenth; she begins to sag. At this moment two other doctors rush to support her. "Are you sure, things are so bad with her?"
"I seldom make mistakes," says the doctor, "and your daughter desperately needs your cooperation."
"You see, doc, they call me a hundred horsepower woman, yet I can be tender when needed... if we were to get to know each other on a... personal level, you will find me warm and generous... you must understand: I brought "Viagra" all the way on the top and I hate to see the work of so many years go to waste..." A seductress has emerged from inside her iron armor.
"Mom, let me say, your daughter is not the first patient diagnosed with this 'star disease.' It's hard for adults resist the temptation of fame, but it is completely toxic to the young mind," says the Professor. "Unmerited fame lasts only as long as your commercial projects, leaving the kids thrown to the streets, full of confidence in their own greatness. They can't understand why at some point everyone worships and admires them, but in mere months and no one at all can even recognize them. They can't comprehend that they are being used by adults whose only care is how much money can be made from their sacrifice."
Slowly, expression on the womans face begins to change; she wants to say something, but the doctor does not give her a chance.
"Listen, mom, your girl is nearly brain-dead yet you still drag her to her shows. It reminds me of a story of famine during the blockade of Leningrad, when parents covered their dead children but told the soldiers that they were only sleeping, so they could keep the food ration for them. They did this to save the children who were still alive. Now, tell me mom, what is your reason? You have everything, yacht, cars, houses. What made you do this to your only child?"
"You are lying, you want us here because we are patients with deep pockets. You are a lying ass, doc, old pal..." The bitch is back.
At this moment the woman erupts with a wild cry and winds up to hit the Professor; it takes two other doctors to restrain her. "How dare you, old paranoiac ... my daughter is a star, she was on all the TV shows, how dare you call her..."
The Professor quietly moves alongside Nadja, whose hands are shaking.
"Time to knock her out," he takes the hypodermic needle
"You bastards, you are all psycos here, let both of us go now..." The woman is flailing, trying to free herself from the doctors grip.
The Professor approaches the woman and, right through her evening dress, gives her a shot in the rear.
"You sadist," shouts the woman, feeling pain from the shot, "You will be sorry for that!" The doctors feel the womans fury abate, and they help her to sit her down near her daughter, still staring at the wall, oblivious to the chaos around her.
"No one will take "Viagra" from me, you raving luna..." Finally the woman calms down.
For a minute all sit quietly, enjoying a feeling of relief.
"What do we do with them now?" asks the young doctor.
"Register both of them as new patients," says the Professor.
"What?" asks the ambulance doctor nervously, "You were expected to look at the patient, to give a consultation, then let her go home. Instead you take both her and her mother into the hospital? Right now there are a bunch of reporters waiting eagerly outside. You understand, this woman has powerful connections..."
Don't worry, says the Professor, "Take both crazy Viagra women to separate wards, and let them rest here till the morning. After all, it is what they wanted. Tomorrows headlines will be exclusively about them. It is our chance to drive media attention to this problem."
One week later, on the one shift when things finally quiet down in a mental hospital, the young doctor as usual was sitting at his table, reading evening papers. The Professor was reclining on the same, well worn sofa, looking at the ceiling.
"So, what do the papers say?" asks the Professor.
"Still haven't mentioned anything about the problem of star disease in teenagers," says the young doctor. "They only write that after an incident in a mental hospital "Viagra" CD sales have skyrocketed and now everyone waits for release of their new video "Sleeping Beauty."