I was extremely relieved to learn that not all people who hear voices in their head are crazy.
According to researchers at the University of Manchester, a certain percentage of healthy (or at least undiagnosed) people hear voices in their head and some find the experience to be positive or even inspirational.
This certainly is good news for someone like me, who has so many voices in his head that he needs a moderator. Sometimes the voices ... sometimes the voices.... Sorry; one of the voices was urging me to take a break from this column and go out to lunch, maybe have a cheeseburger, work the crossword, come home and take a little nap. Like the researchers at the University of Manchester said, certain voices can be extremely positive.
The hardest thing about hearing voices in your head is knowing when not to listen to them. Sick people who hear voices sometimes commit terrible crimes; my bad voices tell me to foozle my golf ball into an alligator-infested bog.
Good voice: You have pulled off this shot many times before. Go get 'em, kid!
Marginally Good Voice: You can do this. There is nothing different now except that you have $20 riding on the outcome, not to mention the ignominious death of a $5 Titleist and, of course the merciless ribbing you will be forced to endure in the clubhouse. Good luck.
Bad Voice: Perfect. One shot for all the marbles and you're the one who has to take it. Do you remember what you did the last time you were in a situation like this? That's right, you choked. May as well have swallowed a fish bone. Shanked it out-of-bounds and took, as I recall, a smooth 12. Glad it's you and not me, pal.
Very Bad Voice: Have you had a doctor look at that lump on your neck?
Golfers are not the only ones who hear voices, of course, though they are well-represented. Married people also hear voices. In fact, the din is so incessant that it almost becomes background noise.
Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?
Husband's Good Voice: Heavens to Betsy no, honey! If you were any thinner, people would be wondering if I were married to Calista Flockhart. Shouldn't you take my credit card and go out and buy yourself a whole new wardrobe to celebrate your waifish figure?
Husband's Bad (And Soon to Be Eternally Silent) Voice: Compared to what? A walrus? Ha-ha! Just kidding! I said I was just kidding! No! Don't! Arrgghhh!!
The workplace also inspires the voices, especially during staff meetings.
Boss: Today we will be talking about market share as it relates to product viability as referenced against brand recognition multiplied by the thread-count of my new sheets. Let us begin …
Good Voice: I think I'll take notes so I can really do well on my project and get a promotion!
Bad Voice: Secret agent man, secret agent man … He's given you a number and taken 'way your name … Drr de de de da da da drr de de de da da da drr …