Thursday, March 4, 2010

Case Study #25

Dearest acolytes, you must brace yourself for this next session. I knew something was terribly wrong when I received an email with the subject heading of “Will Anyone Please Help Us Locate William Shatner ‘The Negotiator’?”. The overuse of upper case letters alone was cause for alarm. Little did I know how violently things would slide downhill after that. Proceed with caution.

Dear Dr. Brian,

As your prestigious profession has endowed you a premiere connoisseur-aficionado of travels all over the world such as Morocco, Ireland, Verona, Italy, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Australia to name a few.., we come to you for advice. My wonderful wife and I have discussed our budget for travel vacations this year, some by ourselves and with our favorite group of friends. We usually book our travels online with Expedia or such. However lately we been hearing increasing horror stories to NEVER book vacations online because of abysmal customer service, inept reps, ridiculous change fees to name a few that can set to make a trip to paradise a living hell. We are seriously going back to the good old fashion way of booking vacation through a travel agent. The bottom line is cost and to be frank with you Dr. Brian although it may cost a few dollars more using a travel agent, we can rest assured to receive the customer service we deserve. My wife and I really appreciate your valued input and recommendation with selection of a preferred travel agent.

Its time to get back to basics with 4 P's - an affordable package, great pricing, promotions however they may come and an enjoyable place to vacation. It used to be a supplier's market but now it's a consumers market and if airlines want to play their sardine-packing luggage charging game and hotels want to hold out for higher prices telling customers they are limited on rooms due to renovations, they can kiss our grits!


Champagne taste on a Natural Light travel budget

And Dr. Brian responds:

Dear Champagne,

I must admit that your email presented a number of firsts in my illustrious career as the mental shepherd for the confused flocks of the world. To begin with, your submission is most assuredly the longest I have ever received. Typically, individuals on the verge of a psychotic break are incapable of sustaining consistent thought patterns for any length of time.

Then we have this business with you making a misguided attempt to simulate my methods of written communication. While there are certain times when imitation is truly a sincere form of flattery, there are also times when such an act is simply madness. I would certainly welcome one of my esteemed colleagues attempting to approach my deservedly-praised manner of expressionism, throwing in some witty wordplay in a thesis here and there. I do not appreciate such pathetic travesties from a patient. You would have known this if you had attended one of my seminars.

And finally, I must confess that reading your email actually had me fearing for my life before I finished the correspondence. Are you seriously walking the streets without any type of restraining authorities in your company? That fact alone is proof that this country is in dire danger of immediate collapse. There should be warning bulletins posted in all available media. With a picture of you, and your supposed Natural Light budget.

But since I am, indeed, a professional, I will persevere with offering you at least a minimal diagnosis, despite the fact that Lanae, my faithful assistant, is currently racing about the room and nailing wooden planks to the windows. (Where she finds the strength to be so energetic, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that her entire diet consists of honey buns and sugar-based colas. She will be asleep within the hour.)

Anyway, as mentioned, I will proceed with your assessment, even though this is somewhat beneath someone of my stature. To the professional eye, your email submission is a classic example of your particular psychosis. The signs are everywhere in your rambling ode of neurotica. Even a freshly-minted, wet-behind-the-ears graduate of the Sarah Palin School of Ungodly Psychotic Conditions could diagnose you with ease, if they weren’t so distracted by recent Congressional action that actually requires them to pay back their student loan after all.

You, Mr. Champagne, are most assuredly suffering from Pornographic Performance Denial, or PPD. Oh, don’t gasp and look around the room like that. I know your identity. It was clear to me even before I scrolled down the page and discovered your startling inclusion of certain stills that I certainly can’t be placing around the office next to the “Highlights” magazines that I’ve had for the last thirty years.

You have a shockingly sordid past, that of a massively popular adult film star who mysteriously vanished at the peak of his fame. If memory serves, your career started in some South American country, where copulation is still considered a natural act, as opposed to the United States where sexual relations are surprisingly governed by disillusioned politicians and radio talk show hosts who are addicted to prescription drugs.

Keeping this tidbit of identity information in mind, your email takes on an entirely different light. Let us review your ramblings in this new perspective.

You do not want to actually visit “Morocco, Ireland, Verona”, et cetera, with the intention of participating in the local culture. Instead, these are actually the names of past acquaintances that you met while frolicking, unclothed, on questionable beds while cameras rolled. As we all know, porn artisans do not use their actual names. Perhaps this is done so that the stars can one day return home for Christmas with minimal shame. Who knows? But it does explain why we end up with pseudonyms in the opening credits along the lines of “Vulvina Delight” and “Rod Canyon”.

Then we have your usage of the phrase “my wonderful wife”. Interesting. No one in the real world actually says this. That phrase is reserved for trite soap opera dialogue, gay men who are still in the closet, and straight husbands who have done something terribly wrong and are trying to patch things up. I’m going to assume (though this is risky) that you fall into the final category.

So what, exactly, have you done wrong that has led to the current discord in your marital relationship? Perhaps your wife is not aware of your previous career? This seems unlikely. At one point you had 3 million fans on Facebook. And after reviewing your, shall we say, “qualifications” in the files attached to the email, it’s difficult to believe your wife could actually think THAT thing had never been utilized in a business venture prior to her arrival on the scene.

So I was momentarily baffled whilst reading your email. Then I got to the bit where you are babbling about not wanting to “book your travel” online, instead opting for a physical travel agent located in a strip-mall building where you could actually park and go inside like people used to shop in the old days.

This means your wife DOESN’T know about your agile past, and you want to keep her away from the Internet. What kind of recluse nun did you marry? (And how is it that you didn’t burst into flames upon entering the sacred convent wherein she was ensconced, clutching beads whilst laying prostate on the dirty, ancient flooring? Or is it only the priests who do that? I forget. I‘m a bit rusty when it comes to the baffling rules of organized religion.)

Then we get to the part of your email where you babble about the “4 P’s”, then proceed to mention phrases where “P” is not the predominant indicator. Once again, you’re making up lies in a pathetic attempt to diffuse the situation. It’s not going to work.

You must tell your wife immediately that you have been engaged in strenuous games of slap and tickle with an eye-opening number of nubile women sporting fake names that suggest carnality. And all of this has been recorded for posterity. She needs to hear about your past from YOU, and not from some vindictive neighbor while she is thumping on melons at the local supermarket.

Speak openly to your wife, Sage Thunderbolt. Spill all.

And then immediately pick up the phone and make an appointment with my assistant Lanae.

Still stunned by that file you attached,

Dr. Brian