Flash Backward – #3: Idiot Fondue

  Note: In one of my past blogger lives, I had a site wherein I pretended to be a pompous therapist (with the stunningly original name of “Dr. Brian”), and I dispensed advice to adventurous readers who pretended to have issues. (Yes, it was just as absurd as it sounds, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.) The following is the debut “session” with my initial client. (I have revised the “counseling” a bit from the original version. Apparently I was in a very bitter state of mind during the first three or four sessions; things softened up somewhat once I found the right voice for Dr. Brian.) Anyway, here we go…


Idiot Fondue: Case Study #1

An annoying debutante writes:

Dear Dr. Brian, how much beer, is too much? luv tiffles

And Dr. Brian responds:

Why on earth would you ask such a question? Surely you have more significant things to ponder as you wander the planet, bereft of purpose. There is no reason to worry about the limitations on beer, real or imagined or put forth by the voices in your head. There are empirical laws of nature that will take care of this issue for you. Just keep drinking. Eventually you will either pass out and awake in a strange bed, thus establishing repetitious lifelong behavior, or you will discover that guzzling endlessly is perhaps not something you relish. Until these parameters are established, you are wasting valuable drinking time by even bothering to contemplate the implications of your actions. Order another round, scribble ongoing notes of your limitations, and be sure to tip your servant properly.

Instead, let’s focus on other issues that are more important and screamingly clear in your email. First, you’ve got to drop the “tiffles” angle. Obviously this is not your real name. No decent parent would ever mark a child with such a pathetic cattle brand, no matter how many episodes of “Dharma and Greg” they have seen or how many hallucinogenic after-dinner mints they may have consumed in a quest for clarity and relevance. Stop pretending. If you must take on an assumed name, go with something firm and constructive like “Studebaker” or “Propane”. This tells the world that you own your life. “Tiffles” tells the world that you might wet yourself if the milk expires.

Second, let’s talk about your grammar and, more precisely, the appalling confirmation that you have no idea what this might be. I have tremendous insight, developed during years of intense scholarship at universities where I earned degrees that mean nothing once you step off the grounds of those universities. Such being the case, I can take one look at sad and wretched missives such as yours and immediately surmise your entire pathological background.

To wit, there was clearly an incident in the sixth grade where your Dr. Pepper Bonnie Belle Lip Smacker application device malfunctioned, and you spilled the syrupy concoction on your hand-me-down English textbook. This gush of sugary ineptitude resulted in the pages of your knowledge tome becoming sealed together in a quickly-hardening block of uselessness. Rather than report this unsavory incident to the proper authorities and potentially obtain a glucose-free replacement, you chose instead to simply ignore your sins by not opening the text for the next two years.

This was a very unfortunate decision. Granted, you attended school in a rural Missouri community, so it’s understandable that the personnel of said school did not give much thought to the fact that you never turned in homework or could form a complete sentence. These things happen in a school system where more important things, such as getting the crops in on time or ensuring that members of the football team are properly worshipped, take precedence. (And I’ll even give you props for using the crystallized textbook as a booster seat so you could appear as tall as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, even though you didn’t have the hairstyle or the swimsuit poster to bolster your feigned credentials.)

But at the end of the day (I’m assuming that you know what a “day” is, surely this has some meaning for those who harvest crops), none of these mitigating factors trump your obvious disdain for self-betterment and personal progress. You were fixated on the moisture content and dewiness of your lips rather than the attainment of proper communication skills, and you must own this oversight and take steps to rectify the situation. Sign up for remedial English classes immediately. This will help end the suffering of people you encounter who were not raised in places where barns dotted the landscape and husky boys who managed to score game-winning touchdowns during Homecoming were considered proof that God exists.

Additionally, I can tell by the way you signed your name that the boy you thought you might be attracting with your wanton lip-prepping back in the day had no interest in you. Yes, I am talking about Pete, the first of many man-boys who got away. I can visualize him by the way you parted your hair in the Employee ID photo from the time you worked at Casual Corner. (And yes, I was able to obtain said photo. This is part of the magic of the Internet. Some innocuous thing you did in the past can resurface thirty years later and all hell breaks loose. Just ask any politician.)

For the official record, Pete did not want you or your dewiness or your falsified height. He wanted to join the wrestling team, and he relished the thought of having access to the boys’ locker room. I cannot say any more without violating the sanctity of doctor/patient privilege. (I merely jest with the coyness of the previous statement. I’ll sing like Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret” if there are high-enough numbers on personal checks that happen to land on my desk. I have my standards, but I also have bills to pay. You think it’s an easy life getting doctoral degrees in vaporous fields that don’t exist outside of academia? Please.)

Whoops, there goes the timer on my desk, which means that our virtual counseling session has reached its inevitable end. (In confirmation of this, my assistant, Lanae, has just barged through the door and announced that my next virtual patient is waiting online, quivering, with credit card in hand. Lanae annoys me greatly, but she can make a magnificent apple strudel, so it all balances in the end.) Let me summarize my findings, Miss Studebaker: Drink more, apply less, and try to act like English is not your second language. And perhaps we should stop pursuing men who are only interested in pursuing other men. Capiche?

Dr. Brian

P.S. Through some twisted whimsy of congressional legislation, your fee for this session is actually considered tax-deductible. After you stop laughing, be sure to fill out the appropriate forms. Of course, given your limp grasp of the written word, you might need someone to do that for you. Perhaps Pete’s husband is available?


Previously published in “Idiot Fondue” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Slight changes made for this post.


24 replies »

  1. Hmmm, yes, early Dr Brian sure did not sugar-coat his advice did he? No doubt poor Tiffles sniffles turned to bitter tears. Never mind, a few beers later and all is forgiven and forgotten.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lol, I meant “hilarious”! Although ‘harious’ is a great word that my autocorrect just made up!
    (*Scrambles around looking for Dr Brian’s personal mobile number…*)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’m rather fond of “Harious”. It sounds like the name of an especially notorious Roman emperor who forced his subjects to do eye-opening things in a public arena. I’ll get back to you with more details, once I return from an archaeological dig in Italy. My mobile doesn’t work there, so sorry, but I’ll return your calls at some point, swear…


  3. Hang on, a parent might name a kid tiffles. A New Zealand couple named their daughter Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii. A sympathetic judge took custody of her for 30 minutes and changed her name.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Alrighty then. I presume Dr. Brian was drummed out of the psychoanalysis business because he breached the laborious HIPPA rules and regulations and violated Tiffles (oh dear gawd. She really did need help) ‘confidentiality’ by disclosing certain facts about her life and trials and tribulations, that were meant to be kept between the doctor and the tiffle. Still, I’m sympathetic. Sometimes those short missives full of hidden agendas and meaning are just too too trying. Perhaps, as stated by that Fiery personage commenting before I did, Dr. Brian will hang out his shingle once again. There are a LOT of issues to be addressed and any set of willing hands (for the right fee) is better than no hands at all. A LOT better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really should hang out my, er, Dr. Brian’s shingle again. I’ve been combing through his archival case studies and it turns out that I, I mean he, had a lot of fun subverting whimsical diagnostic queries into full-on madness. Granted, Dr. Brian could be a bit of an asshole about things, but that shouldn’t negate his often on-point analysis.

      Wait, does this mean you are volunteering to be the next case study? I relish such. And I promise to pretend to follow HIPPA regulations. We’ll give you a code name that only the two of us will grasp… something along the lines of Meliffles? No one will ever know. Swear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heh. I’d be honored. I’ll even make up a really really good question/comment for the good man to analyze. As long as he doesn’t mention certain things ala’ Sally Brown. If that reference is too obscure, just ask. I’ll ‘splain.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hmm. Well, I googled “Sally Brown” and I got 746,000 references to Charlie Brown’s younger sister, so I’m still a bit in the dark…

          But yes, I would love to revive the long-dusty corpse of Dr. Brian and see where we can go. Give it a ponder about your whimsical ailment and we’ll chat soon… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Heard of a kid whose parents tried to name him WD40. The government stepped in and stopped them. So yes, Tiffles is a possibility unfortunately.

    I think there should be more doctors like the esteemed Dr B. Tell it like it is! No PC BS! Vote DT! Oops. Going way too far there … What kind of pills did you give me??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Official statement to the Press: “I did not give Lynette any pharmaceuticals that would cause her to behave in an extraordinary manner.”

      Unofficial statement: “Do you have any leftover? Because I might need some.”

      But seriously, WD40? No wonder Trump got elected…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette: If you’re a patron of Evil Squirrel’s Nest (and I think you are?) that sensation you have of surreal-ness is from some sketchy ‘good stuff’ which, I personally believe, was cut with oregano. Those natural ‘remedies’ are great, but sometimes what’s advertised is far from what’s actually vended…sort of like our politicians. I’m with you! That whole DT thing smells strongly of eleven herbs and spices and not in a good way.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I was afraid “Sally” was a little obscure. I am a big fan of the Peanuts comic strips. Sally, correctly noted as Charlie’s younger sister, is a 5 year old with a somewhat mature outlook (like all the ‘children’ in that strip). In one such episode she’s preparing to go to kindergarten and she’s anxious about it, and says, in reply to Charlie’s remark that the school teachers sometimes ask questions of the children and expect answers…Sally says “There are just some things I’d rather not have brought up.” It’s hilarious in the context that a five year old would have anything to ‘hide’ or even think that way. Um. Yeah. Another instance, perhaps, of where my mind slipped it’s collar and was wandering around yapping at random…. 😐 Heh.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m a big fan of “Peanuts” as well, so I hoped that I was on the right track with my googling comment. As you know, I go all out at Christmas with the decorating, and one of my implements is a representation of the sad little Christmas tree, with its sparse, weak limbs and the single dangling ornament. (I no longer remember where I got it, but I do remember being thrilled at the discovery.) I usually put it on the massive vanity (it’s an old house; apparently massive, tiled vanities were all the rage at some point) in the guest bathroom. Most folks squeal when the see it, but there are younger folks who just don’t get it…


  6. I’m so glad you went right to the heart of the matter, that being her appalling lack of grammar skills. This is why I could never have been a therapist — besides the fact I don’t care about people’s problems, I’d be correcting their English all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have pre-judged folks based on their abhorrent grammar violations. (It’s just in me; I cannot forgive the indiscretions.) Of course, in my own regard, I am quite guilty of violations as well in some of my stories, but I am doing it with the full knowledge that I have crossed the line, which is a far cry from the obnoxious insurgency of the ignorant. (Exhibit A: The previous sentence…)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.