The Bad Listener

“Doctor, I think I’m losing my mind.”

“So what seems to be the problem?”

“I just told you.”

“Would you like me to prescribe an antibiotic?”

“I thought you were a psychiatrist.”

“Are you happy?”

“No.  I’m going crazy.”

“I really love my job.  Did you know that shrinks have the highest suicide rate of any profession?”

“And I think my wife’s having an affair.”

“May I see her picture?”


“My goodness.  She’s gorgeous.  May I keep this?”


“So who’s the lucky fellow?”

“Not me.  Lately she’s been acting strange.”

“You too.  Just kidding.  I’m sorry.”

“Come on, Doc.  Will you be serious for once?”

“How often do you and your wife make love?”

“Love?  What’s that?”

“Have you ever been unfaithful to her?”

“No, but I have fantasized about her sister before.”

“Photograph, please.”

“I don’t have any pictures of her sister.”

“Would you like some Prozac?  I get kickbacks from Eli Lilly.”

“Nice for you.”

“So who is this scurrilous rapscallion who gets to enjoy your wife’s ineffable gifts?”

“I don’t know, but I heard her speaking Spanish to someone on the bedroom phone the other night.  When I picked up the phone in the kitchen, I heard a man say ‘Buenas noches, guapa,’ and hang up.  He had a smile in his voice that really pissed me off.”

“Hey, hand me those binoculars.”


“Yes, just as I thought.  Wow!  Nice legs.”

“Give me those!”

“Hey–close the window!  It’s freezing outside.”

“Who is that bastard she’s with?”

“I don’t know, but he looks a lot like Jesus.”

“Hey, Zeus!  What are you doing with my wife?”

“Just ignore them.  Would you like something to smoke?”

“No, thanks.  I don’t smoke.”

“How about a pill?  I’ve prepared a lovely antidepressant cocktail that’s a hit with most of my patients.  Mmmm, Wellbutrin–my favorite.”

“Drinking whiskey on the job, Doc?  How unprofessional can you get?”

“I think I can help you solve your problem–maybe not the one about your incurable mental illness, but I do think I can help you with your wife.”

“Really?  That’s great, Doctor.”

“I’ll need you to have her make an appointment with me.”

“What?  Are you crazy?”

“She needs help.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“I have a sliding scale, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Doctor, you’re nuts.”

“What time is it?  Oh, my God!  Three o’clock!  I’m late for my appointment.  My doctor’s going to prescribe me a new anti-psychotic.”

“I could use one of those myself.”

“Shut up and have a beer, my friend.”

“May I have your nurse’s phone number?”

“She has a girlfriend.”

“Just my luck.”

“Excuse me while I jump out the window.”

“Be my guest.”

“Bye, now.”

“Farewell.  Hey, what are you doing?”

“You’re right.  I think I’ll take the stairs instead.  Besides, we’re only on the second floor.”

“Whew, you had me worried for a minute there.”

“Feel better now?  See?  You don’t have to just think about yourself all the time.”

“Go to hell, Doctor.”

“Same time next week?”

“No way, Jose.”

“I’ll have my secretary send you a bill.”

“For what?”

“This is madness.”



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