Note: Let’s do a cross-over episode, shall we?
Lanae the receptionist hung up the phone and turned to look at the lone woman sitting in the waiting room. “Granny Mae, the doctor is ready and you can go on back now.”
Granny Mae turned to look at the lone woman sitting at the receptionist’s desk. “And exactly where would back there be? It’s not like I was born around here and would naturally know the locations of places I need to go.”
Lanae smiled, forcedly. “Oh, that’s right. You don’t normally appear in this story series. Well, just go through that door marked ‘executive offices’, even though there’s only one office, then go down the hall to the very end and enter that door. Don’t take the door on the right, as that’s the bathroom, and the doctor usually isn’t in there unless he’s been drinking again.”
Granny Mae smiled, curiously. “Does the good doctor drink a lot?”
Lanae: “I can’t really answer that, as I would need to be sober in order to make an adequate assessment, and neither of those things happen a lot with me. Have a nice trip!”
Five minutes later, after Granny Mae had nourished a parched potted plant by cupping her hands and transporting water from a fountain near the bathroom where drunk people went, she opened the door at the end of the hallway.
A lone man was sitting at the lone but expansive desk. He looked up from a pile of random paperwork and smiled with fake brightness. “Can I help you?”
“My name is Mae. But you should already know that because the woman in the other room said you were ready to see me. And where I come from, ‘ready’ means you should know the name of whoever you’re about to do whatever with. So are you really ready or is that other woman lying? Or drunk, based on the rumors I’ve heard during my short stay here.”
The man sighed. “She’s probably both. There are times when I think I should just set her adrift in the employment sea, but you know how it is when you fall into a routine. And she does have a rather larger number of incriminating files that can be used against me. In any case, please take your position on the couch over there and let’s get started.” He waved his hand with what he thought was a professional flourish but was not as impressive he considered it to be.
Granny Mae glanced over at a lone couch, situated near a lone chair, betwixt which sat a small table upon which was a glass of water, a fancy leather notebook with a matching pen, and what may or may not be a tongue depressor. Granny was not impressed with this exhibit, especially the part about the tongue depressor. “I’ll do no such thing. You need to tell me what’s goin’ on and why I’m here.”
The man paused in the midst of gathering up some of the unexplained paperwork, perplexed. “Why, I assumed you were here for a psychological analysis. Didn’t you make the appointment?”
Granny Mae shook her head. “I did no such thing. Ten minutes ago I was milkin’ a cow and tryin’ to think of a theme song for the Butter Queen Festival comin’ up in May. Next thing I know, I’m sittin’ out there in the waitin’ room watchin’ some woman shove a jelly donut in her mouth while scratchin’ her ass ‘cuz she thought she was alone.”
The man stopped fiddling with his papers, as said props were no longer serving any purpose in the story. “Ah, so you’ve been a victim of writer’s blockage.”
Granny Mae, who was getting a bit long in the tooth, was not particularly a fan of anything that could lead to blockage. More importantly, she did not care for paper-fiddling possible drunkards who did not properly introduce themselves even after being given plenty of time to do so in the narrative. “Let’s take a step back. Who the hell are you?”
The man’s face fell. “Why, I’m Dr. Brian. Surely you’ve heard of me.”
Crickets chirped. They hadn’t heard of him either, but since chirping was one of the few things in their skill set, they didn’t feel that ignorance should impede their functional responsibilities.
Granny Mae: “Nope. Can’t say that I have. Now, let’s get back to this blockage mess. What are you yappin’ about there?”
Dr. Brian: “Well, you know how The Writer is. Sometimes he shoves us into situations that we normally wouldn’t be in if he had any type of consistency about character development.”
Granny Mae: “Oh. Well, now that you explain your fancy-ass word, I know what you mean. But I don’t call it ‘writer’s blockage’. I call it dickin’ around with the story, jack hammerin’ it until he can make whatever the hell point he’s tryin’ to make. Just like the protest songs I used to listen to when I was a young and slightly slutty woman in rural Oklahoma in the Sixties.”
There was a knock on the door. Without the knocker waiting for an answer, said door was suddenly thrust open and Receptionist Lanae marched into the room, along with a whiff of jelly donut and scratched ass. “So sorry to intrude, but this story is meandering and as an avid reader I’d like to proffer up a few points that might get us back to some semblance of traditional story-telling. First, I’d like a raise. I’ve been manning that wretched front desk for centuries and I really feel that it’s time for the next phase of my life, preferably one that is better-funded.”
Dr. Brian: “Well, that’s not a story that we will be telling today, but nice try. And your second point?”
Lanae: “I couldn’t help but overhear the odd soundtrack that is being played back here, mainly because you once again forgot to turn off the intercom on your phone. Such ineptitude on your part is how I’ve managed to amass all the incriminating evidence that has kept me employed despite my essential uselessness. If you want to have any relevance when it comes to protest songs, you should probably pick something that wasn’t written during a decade when the reverb on the guitar playing only meant something to people who were pharmaceutically inclined. Something like this.” She marched over to a somewhat-decayed iPod that no one had really noticed until this point because we didn’t really need it, and she stabbed at a button with a jelly-encrusted finger.
Dr. Brian: “You do realize that song is a remake, right?”
Lanae: “It is? Maybe this is what my doctor means when he says I should cut back on my sugar intake.”
Dr. Brian: “Wait, you’re seeing other doctors?”
Lanae: “Of course I am. Let me rephrase that. I’m seeing other real doctors. We all know that whatever you are trying to do back here has nothing to do with any advances made in psychology for the past one hundred years.”
Dr. Brian: “Well, there might be some possible merit to your erratic assessment, but we’ll leave that for another time, hopefully never. One would think the mere fact that I have kept you gainfully employed despite your shifting worth would instill some form of allegiance in your sucrose-addled ecosystem. Besides, I thought I was the only man on your medical dance card.”
Video 4: Melissa Etheridge – “I’m the Only One”
Granny Mae: “You know, while the two of you verbally jousting has been completely fascinating in a completely non-interesting way, I feel that my character is being woefully underused and somewhat abused in this walk-on part. Hell, The Writer has even dispensed with my normal folksy manner of speaking, robbing me of my countrified charm and wisdom.”
Lanae: “Oh, get over yourself. There hasn’t been a Granny Mae post on this blog for over a year. With the way people come and go around here, it’s very doubtful that anybody even remembers your name or how you’re supposed to talk.”
Granny Mae: “You’d be surprised. The Writer remembers full well who has faithfully followed, and that’s why he throws out these bits that test the patience of the new folks but hopefully brings a smile to those who kindly return.”
Lanae: “Whatever. I tried my best to contribute to the conversation, but it’s been at least five pages since I had a donut and I’m running a bit low.”
Dr. Brian: “It sounds like there are a lot of unresolved issues ripe for the plucking, and I know one way to make that happen.”
Granny Mae: “We write you out of the scene?”
Dr. Brian: “No, we finally get your ass over there on the couch, which is where the Writer wanted to get you before he lost all control and started making too many jokes about donuts.”
Granny Mae: “My ass ain’t goin’ nowhere near that dang couch. I don’t need all that mess with the therapy and the ink spots and the pills and the talkin’ ‘bout how messed up in the head you are just cause Sally Sue looked at you funny in the first grade. Some people make too much ‘bout nothin’ these days and it didn’t used to be that way.”
Dr. Brian, appalled: “Are you saying that some people don’t need psychological help? That my entire career is a sham and I’m not really helping people regain control of their lives at an hourly rate?”
Granny Mae: “Now see, that’s exactly what I’m talkin’ about, making everything all about you. Yes, some folks need a lot of help and I’m all for gettin’ them fixed up. But most folks just need a good slap or a good drink and an understandin’ that you can’t blame everybody else for what’s happenin’ in your life. Own the horse you ride, don’t let it ride you.”
Lanae, turning to Dr. Brian: “Well, she does make a lot of sense.”
Dr. Brian: “If people stop coming to me for therapy when they don’t need it, then YOU are going to be out of a job.”
Lanae turned to Granny Mae: “You’re a liar and your words reek of the devil.”
Granny Mae: “Whatever blows your skirt up. Now, are we done here? Cuz I got a cow that needs milkin’.”
For another Granny Mae story, click here.
For another Dr. Brian story, click here.