NORTH CALDWELL, NJ–Area resident Gayle Wenzel, 44, was declared legally insane Monday after becoming upset over a living-room mess caused by her husband Milt's Friday-night get-together with friends.
"Apparently, Gayle came home after being gone all weekend, saw the condition of the living room, and just completely lost it," said Dr. Marvin Schaffer, director of hysteriatrics at St. Joseph's Hospital in nearby Montclair. "This is clearly a clinically psychotic individual who has no grip on reality and no control over her own actions or emotions. You know how women get."
Wenzel, who insists that she was "only mad for about two minutes," is currently under 24-hour watch at St. Joseph's.
According to Milt, on Sunday evening, Gayle returned home after spending four days in Kansas City helping her sister recover from back surgery. Upon entering the living room, she found empty beer cans scattered across the floor, an ashtray overturned on the rug, and a pile of dirty dishes on the end table next to the couch.
"Gayle asked me what happened. I told her that some of the guys came over Friday night, but that I didn't clean up because I couldn't find the vacuum cleaner," Milt said. "That's when she went nuts."
"You left that mess for me to clean up. You had zero intention of ever doing it yourself, Milt," Wenzel reportedly yelled like a lunatic. "Well, I'm not touching it. I've spent the entire day in airports, and I have to be up for work at 6 a.m. tomorrow. You clean it."
Milt said that all of his many attempts to make his psychotic wife listen to reason failed.
"Gayle was out of her mind," Milt said. "I was pleading with her, 'Honey, calm down. What's the big deal? You're acting insane. Get it together.' But she just kept freaking out."
Twenty minutes later, after putting her bags away and showering, Wenzel went back downstairs to discover a team of emergency medical technicians and crisis-intervention counselors waiting for her. After placing Wenzel in restraints and rushing her to St. Joseph's Hospital, doctors were able to administer a strong sedative.
"I had to do something to ensure that Gayle wouldn't harm herself or others," said Dr. Gilbert Perry, who handled Wenzel's hospital admission. "Gayle was out of her mind. I mean, come on, a few beer cans lying around and she completely goes off the deep end? As soon as I learned that the outburst was not menstruation-related, as I'd initially assumed, I ordered her hospitalized. I couldn't let an unbalanced, over-emotional woman like that out on the streets."
Wenzel has allegedly had a long history of out-of-control behavior, particularly at work. According to coworkers, she has reacted irrationally to everything from having to work weekends to having her assigned parking spot taken away.
"Last week, I made a little friendly joke about the dark hair on Gayle's upper lip by calling her Tom Selleck," said Stuart Runnels, a fellow claims processor at Mid-American Insurance. "You should've seen her flip out. I was just kidding around, but she gets all deranged and says, 'I really don't think that was very funny at all, Stan. I don't make fun of your personal appearance.'"
Runnels said he responded by making cuckoo noises and backing away from Wenzel with an exaggerated look of fright.
"What can I say?" Runnels said. "She's crazy."