Live from The National NAMI Convention: My Life as Didge Man

John McManamy Health Guide
  • It’s the second day of the NAMI national convention in San Diego. I rolled in late yesterday, in time to play my didgeridoo at the evening talent show. A didgeridoo is an Australian aboriginal instrument made from a hollowed out eucalyptus limb that produces a spiritual drone. Mine is made of desert yucca found here in southern California. It is more than six feet long and superficially resembles the Alp horn you see in Ricola ads.
    Today I showed up with my didge. From early morning till about two in the afternoon I was Didge Man. If you never have experienced being Didge Man, you have missed out on a major life experience.
    Basically, there are two types of Didge People, the coy type and the honk on demand type. Today, I discovered I fit into the latter group. Honk on demand. People literally stopped me in the parking area outside the hotel, and I obligingly honked on demand.
    Going to get a coffee – honk on demand. Walking into the lobby – honk on demand. Walk into the exhibit area – honk on demand. All day, I literally bounced around like the steel ball in a pinball machine honking on demand. NAMI bigwigs, leading doctors, authors, speakers – honk on demand. Patients, family members – honk on demand.
    Suddenly everyone in the world is intensely interested in the didgeridoo. And I aim to please.
    Oh, did I tell you the didge is a great way to start up conversations with people? My only purpose here is to meet people. No seminars for me. Just talk to people. And listen. It's amazing how much you learn.
    Finally, at about two in the afternoon, I wrapped it up. I went back to my hotel room for a short nap and some chill-out time. Tonight – didgeless – I go see Kitty Dukakis and Larry Tye, co-authors of “Schock,” which is highly recommended for those needing to educate themselves about ECT. Also, some catch-up time with some old friends.
    Then, back to NAMI tomorrow for more Didge Man.
    This is John McManamy, “live” and temporarily didgeless from the NAMI Convention.
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Published On: June 22, 2007