He runs a successful private business specialising in helping individuals, couples and group therapy with their personal problems.
As soon as he entered my office I took my feet off my desk and pretended to be busy. As I picked up a pen to write I accidentally dropped it on the floor and as I bent down to pick it up I banged my head hard on the corner of my desk. I saw stars and tweety birds flying everywhere for a moment or two.
I soon realised that the knock on my head had cut me in the forehead and it was bleeding quite a bit. My friend asked me if I had any Elastoplast plasters or First Aid kit. I said, "Why? Have you injured yourself too?"
Moments later my secretary came in having heard the noise and said, "Oh dear ... have you been fighting birds again?"
I'll have you know that I did nothing of the sort. Just because the other day a seagull landed on my head and scratched my face does not mean that I go out of my way to attack wildlife.
I spent the whole morning in hospital being tested for this and that and exposing my backside to various nurses with needles to vaccinate me against salmonella, tetanus, bird flu and many other dire illnesses I cannot imagine.
Just goes to show that in life you never know when you'll show your bottom to complete strangers.
Anyway ... my psychiatrist friend sat down and with a sigh to end all sighs he said he'd had enough. For years he had been there day in day out listening to an ever ending hoard of people coming in his practice and telling him their problems wide and varied.
"Why do I have to sit there and listen to all their troubles?" he asked.
"Because that's how you make your living," I said.
"Hmmm ... I never thought of that!" he reflected pensively.
"What exactly is the problem?" I asked chewing on a KFC chicken leg I had found in my desk drawer.
"Well ... I'm fed up with the lot of them ..." he answered, "like the man who has Walter Mitty Syndrome. He works as an elephant attendant at the local zoo yet he believes he is a world famous eminent psychiatrist. He comes to my office quoting Freud, 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ...' Jung, 'Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you ...' and Nietzsche, 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger ...' What nonsense ... try a bout of diarrhoea ... see if that makes you stronger.
"You know ..." he continued, "after six months of the best treatment my money could afford, I cured him. I convinced him that he was no more than a worker at the zoo employed at cleaning after the elephants.
"When I sent him my bill he refused to pay it claiming it was his alter ego psychiatrist who had healed him, not me!"
I suppressed a smile licking my fingers of a remaining few chicken crumbs.
"Then there's the man who has a morbid fear of the underside of tables," he exclaimed, "he fears under the table in case there's a tarantula spider down there ready to pounce on his lap and bite his private bits!"
I recoiled slightly on my wheeled chair wondering what ... or who ... might be under my desk. For some reason I imagined my mother-in-law. Is there a syndrome such as fear of mothers-in-law, I wondered but did not dare ask him.
"Oh ... the married couples are the worst," he cried out, "they come to me with double the trouble of single people ... conflicting arguments and points of view ...
"There's this man who complained that his wife suddenly spontaneously decides without a moment's notice that she wants to be amorous ... she enters the bedroom and wants intimacy there and then ... and does not give him time to imagine who he is making love to!"
"Why don't you suggest she role plays and pretends to be the sort of person he imagines?" I suggested more as a joke than seriously, "he can also pretend to be the person she would fancy ..."
"Hey ... you are good," he said, "have you thought of being a psychiatrist? You'd earn loads with crap advice like that!"
"Just buy me another KFC meal," I replied as he left.
SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE INSERTED HERE - NOT VISIBLE
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