One of Mac's favorites is Public Television. He picks up facts that can be quoted to people. During the pledge telethons he's usually a sucker, dialing up the 800 number. Once he even got through to the sleek lady onscreen with the microphone and found himself inadvertently promising several hundred dollars. He still gets the reminder in the mail every so often.
Cooper leaves the room for bed when Mac and Sybil insist upon a program detailing the horrors of schizophrenia. "Just keep yall's fucking quiet, so I won't wake up." This, smirkingly. Mac's face reddens. Sybil, used to Cooper's spoutings, is expressionless.
Mac says this is the kind of stuff he saw when making the recent delivery to the mental facility. "Yeah, he should have been committed years ago. Or me, one."
"Huh? Aw, no, I mean the TV show." The program unrolls rapidly in an attempt to cover a great deal of material and they watch without comment, trying to take it all in. Individuals who mutulate their own eyeballs, murderers of parents, swallowers of small living animals, sculptors of fecal material, wearers of other people's skin.
The credits are upon them too soon for Sybil. "You know, they didn't have one of those deals where they give you signs to watch out for, to see if you're getting it too. That's a gyp, boy." While she washes dishes Mac drifts over, recounting the major points of the program for her, doing the TV voice citing behavioral clues.
The miracle of modern research: If you have certain genetic markers, you could be a victim. And if you don't have them that also means you could be a victim. He wants to particularly impress upon her the possibility of delayed onsets, disease completely dormant sometimes until the fourth decade of life. "I mean, you'll be going along, and one day WHAM!"
"I'm just fine, thank you," Sybil shoots cleaning liquid into the water. "I'd know by now, if I was. Certifiable, I mean." She scrubs the frying pan, hard. "It's not all that common, anyway. And besides, aint it kind of fishy you know so much about it?" Then a patch of skin peels off her left index finger with steel wool. "SHIT! Look what you made me do!"
Mac shrugs in broad pantomime, sheepishly grinning, the possessor of great secrets.