ODDBALLS They used to be found in every village and whistlestop. Everyone knew who they were. We laughed at them, but more often we laughed with them. Other times we were afraid of the village oddballs. They stood out in their choice of clothing, appearance, ways and opinions. They were often given creative nicknames like Slim Sam or Pete the Pack Rat. Studies have shown that village originals often played important roles in the community, acting as social indicators for what was normal behaviour and what was not. Village originals guarded the “line,” saying: This far, but no further. Does the new social structure take care of people who stand out—or is there simply no room for them? It would appear as though they are being institutionalised or put on medications. Already from nursery school age, we are tested and measured. We like to say that we have broader diversity than ever before, but is that really true?