For many people in the mentalist community, being called bonkers or crazy is a part of everyday life. Now a new campaign launched by mentalist support group Deranged and Proud tries to make such insults a thing of the past.
Geoff Cuckoo, 47, of Chaffinch St Cock, often parades down his local high street dressed as Queen Victoria trying to spread marmalade on any cats he sees. Some see him as a nuisance, others as a harmless eccentric.
D&P spokesman Arsene Sprocket said, "Geoff Cuckoo is within his rights to dress as any monarch he chooses, and if he wants to marmalade a cat then it does no harm. Instead of calling him a nutter and trying to make him change, we need to change society to be more accepting. Who is to say that his behaviour is not normal?"
Another mentalist, Reginald "Hercules" Dwight, often wears outrageously sized spectacles and platform shoes and eats large quantities of soil. He has been called everything from "a queer psycho" to "Elton John". D&P have helped him to come to terms with his mentalism by getting his neighbours and friend to stop insulting him daily.
Mr Sprocket said that he hopes the nationwide campaign, launched on TV this week, will help to change attitudes. In the advert, one mentalist rolls around in the mud, while another plays air bassoon. The narrator says, "This is normal. Don't call them crazy. Maybe you're the crazy one. In which case, come to one of our meetings. Although we prefer to call ourselves mentalists. We have free plastic bags."