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?
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.