We join the esteemed Dr. Rubber Duckie, for his first therapy session since returning from his Sabbatical, during which he had completed the final draft of his book: Human Menopause – Beyond Reason Or Is Tub Therapy Really Enough? As he slides into the warm bath, he notes the crowded conditions and refers to his clipboard to call roll.
Dr. RD: Good morning everyone. Let’s just check in shall we?
Ms M: Here doctor! Over here! … (waving hand frantically).
Dr. RD: Umm, Oracle of Pupik?
O of P: We are Omnipresent doctor.
Dr. RD: Exactly.
Dr. RD: Errr, I’m not sure how to pronounce this next name. Here, let me just show you on the clipboard. (He holds it up to the group). ( ).
( ): (Yeah, I’m here. This place looks like freakin’ bathtime at the zoo man.)
Dr. RD: Residents of Bogwillow?
-Milly Heppleworth here doctor, (graciously nodding her head at the doctor and frowning at the crowd) Being the most familiar with psychotherapy, I will be the spokesperson for the residents of Bogwillow.
Dr. RD: Very well. And, searching among the bubbles . . . Leibchen?
Me: Here doctor. . . (waving hand apologetically) I’m the one with no clothes on.
Dr. RD: Glancing over his spectacles . . . Yes, so you are.
[Never having faced quite such a group, the doctor draws upon all his quacktherapy experience, says a little prayer to his mentor, Dr. Mallard, and dives in].
Dr. RD: Well, let us all just say a word or two about how you feel about being here today. Oracle of Pupik, would you like to begin?
O of P: Of course doctor, We foresaw this whole thing eons ago, and we are not surprised. We are never surprised.
Dr. RD: I see. . . (making a note) And how about ( )?
( ): (Whose idea was this anyway? Everybody knows psychotherapy is a waste of time. I hope somebody else is paying for this.)
Dr. RD: Well, thank you for sharing ( ). . . . Milly of Bogwillow?
Milly: We feel disenfranchised doctor. We don’t like being lumped all together like this. And frankly, we have lives. We have places to go, things to do, and people to see, but here we are sitting around in this bathtub with a bunch of literary devices we don’t have anything in common with. It’s quite annoying. Frieda has a pie in the oven, and our dear editor of the Bogwillow Journal has a deadline looming. How long is this going to take?
Dr. RD: We will be as brief as possible. . . (nervously keeping an eye on a character near the back of the group, with what looked like four or five pack rat snouts peering over his brow).
Dr. RD: All right. Ms. Manic?
Ms. M. Frankly doctor, I’m here today only because I’m a little tired. I had a very busy day a few days ago, and I am a bit under the weather. I have a big party planned this weekend though, don’t you worry. But I came out of curiosity. I wanted to see what’s wrong with all these people.
Dr. RD: (Suppressing a smile)…. Very well. And Leibling, how about you?
Me: I’m the one with no clothes on.
Dr. RD: (Gently)….. I think we have already established that my dear.
Dr. RD: Well, I would like you to know that I did some rather extensive research before you all came in today, and I think I might have some insights for you.
Let’s start with ( ). You represent our Leibling’s inner critic. The Watcher. Relentless and blunt. Although annoying, you are a necessary element that must be tolerated.
( ): (You got THAT right there, Shrinkwrap.)
Dr. RD: Exactement, mon cheri.
Dr. RD: And our Oracle of Pupik is the expression of her delusions of grandeur. An element that should be kept in check, but nevertheless, exists.
O of P: WHAT? I never expected you to say such a…… Ahem. What I MEANT to say was, We KNEW you would say something derogatory. O ye of little faith.
Dr. RD: And our residents of Bogwillow. Why, you are like the room where all the play clothes are kept. An imaginary world where anything might happen, and regularly does. You are a most necessary part of life, for without fantasy, it would be a dismal existence indeed.
Milly: Why doctor, my analyst in the Riviera said the exact same thing to me, not two weeks ago! Perhaps you know him? Dr. Mallard?
Dr. RD: Yes Milly, as a matter of fact, I do.
(Milly smiles knowingly).
Dr. RD: Ms Manic. Now you madam, are a piece of work. We don’t know if you are a temporary hormonal phenomenon or will be around for a long time. Leibling could use a bit of frivolity and high spirits to balance out her overly RESPONSIBLE side. From time to time, you understand. Just promise me you will be very careful if you are behind the wheel of the car, all right?
Ms. M: I’ll do my very best doctor. I really will try to pay attention, though it is so hard sometimes when there are so many witty things to say and do. But I’ll try. Honest. I really, really will.
Dr. RD: And last but not least, our patient. You look a bit prune-like there cupcake. Have you been in the water too long?
Me: It’s entirely possible.
Dr. RD: You must rejoice in the knowledge that with all these entities around, you will never be alone. You have a veritable troop of friends to share your thoughts with all the time. Now that’s a comforting thought don’t you think?
Me: Baboons also come in troops, doctor.
Dr. RD: You’re a hard nut to crack.
Me: I’ve been trying to tell you that for a long time.
Dr. RD: When the hormones settle down, things should get back to normal.
Me: Ya think?
Dr. RD: I know.
Me: These. . .friends won’t go away altogether will they? … (with an uncertain frown)
Dr. RD: They will be with you just as long as you want them to.
Me: You know doctor, of all my literary devices, I think I like you best. You are always gentle and kind to me. Which is more than I can say for ( ) .
Dr. RD: That’s very nice to know. And you are one of my favorite patients. Now I think you better pull the plug and get on with your day. Feeling better?
Me: A little bit. See you next week?
Dr. RD: Of course. How about coming alone next time?
Me: I’ll see what I can do. And doctor, I hope your book does really well.
Dr. RD: Why thank you. As a matter of fact, without you, I wouldn’t have been able to write it at all.
Me: [Prune-like stare]…. I know.
[Sound of water going down the drain].