Neil: So, it’s therapy session #3. Have you seen any changes in me yet?
Therapist: Absolutely. I think we can wrap things up today.
Neil: We can? You mean after three sessions, I’m cured of all of my neuroses?
Therapist: I like to take a different approach to therapy. Some therapists keep their patients on a short leash for years. I like to hear the patient’s story, come up with a solution, and quickly cure him. In and Out, like the burger joint with the Christian messages on the burger wrappers.
Neil: Wow. I’m so lucky that I randomly picked you out of the phonebook.
Therapist: Let’s get started. The clock is ticking.
Neil: I’m ready. Tell me what my biggest problem is.
Therapist: Well, #1 is that you think too much. By over-analyzing everything, you never come up with an answer.
Neil: I knew it! I’m terrible at making choices. Which job to take? Which restaurant to eat in? Where to live? Even when I meet a woman, I’m never sure if I should become her good friend or try to get in to her pants?
Therapist: How much education do you have?
Neil: I have a masters degree.
Therapist: Exactly. There’s your problem in a nutshell! Scientific research from Johns Hopkins has proven that each additional year of education screws you up a little bit more. That’s why so many professors are hospitalized for nervous breakdowns. But the solution is really easy.
Neil: It is?
Therapist: Yes. And that’s why I’m going to give you this —
My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet and pulls out an official-looking piece of paper with a red-ribbon seal.
Neil: What’s this?
Therapist: This is an official notice from the New York Public School System showing that you dropped out of junior high school. I want you to hang this on your wall and look at it every day. From now on consider yourself less educated, maybe even a little dumb. From now on, you aren’t much smarter than a fifth grader! But you’re happier. So go and enjoy life!
Neil: Well, thanks. I DO feel better. Like I took a handful of Prozacs. I just feel a little numb, like I can’t find the right words, as if my vocabulary… like, uh, like…
Neil: I appreciate this, but I still don’t feel “cured.” I’m still hurting… in my heart. What if this is the end of my relationship with Sophia? Even those who dropped out of junior high school can still feel emotional pain and loneliness.
Therapist: Of course. Loneliness can be a serious problem. But there is a solution for that, too. Back where I come from, the great state of Kansas, there used to be many lonely people, including many men like yourself. But things changed when this came out —
My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet again and pulls out a laminated card, which she hands to me.
Neil: A free 30-day trial to Skinflix DVD rentals?
Therapist: They deliver the movies right to your home. You never have to be embarrassed again renting “Topless Pirate Women of the Caribbean.”
Neil: Hmm… I’m missing Sophia less and less already…
Therapist: Is there anything else on your mind before we wrap up your therapy?
Neil: I guess the only other part of my life that is frustrating is my blogging.
Therapist: Yes, I read your blog. Very funny. I love that talking c*ck!
Neil: Yeah, yeah, people seem to like the blog OK, but it has never really reached “superstar” status. Too many powerful mommybloggers ignore me, thinking me sophomoric. Dooce doesn’t know who the hell I am. And even someone like Crazy Aunt Purl gets 20x more comments than I do — and all she does is write a blog about knitting! I would think that in the scheme of things, a talking Penis should win over a bunch of yarn! Life isn’t fair.
Therapist: Your problem is that you lack confidence.
Neil: I know. I know. I’m always telling myself that. I wish I were one of those super-confident guys like Dave at Blogography or Mr. Fab. You never see them complaining that their stats take a dive on the weekend when no one is busy searching for photos of “Britney Spears crotchless.”
Therapist: Confidence is easy. You just have to attain it. Do you think a lion is born with courage? Of course not. What you need is this —
My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet and pulls out a colorful banner.
Therapist: Scan this and put this in the sidebar of your blog.
Neil: Yes… I like it, but WHO exactly voted for this?
Therapist: Ha Ha. Who cares? People believe any crap they read online!
Neil: You’re right! I’m feeling more confident already.
Therapist: And I like it. Women like a man who is confident.
She looks at her watch.
Therapist: Oops. Time is up. You’re cured!
Neil: Hey, do you have another appointment now?
Therapist: I’m done for the day.
Neil: Since I’m not your patient anymore, how ’bout we order some fish tacos — then sit on the couch together and make out?
Therapist: Just what the doctor ordered!