The Pepperoncini Sessions
Patient X: Doc, I’m afraid I’m losing my mind.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Fear is a common symptom of many phobias. The good news is that you don’t need to fear losing your mind. You’ve already lost it. Well, I see our time is up for today.
Patient X: I still haven’t found my mind and I’ve looked everywhere you said it might be.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Did you look in the refrigerator?
Patient X: Yes
Dr. Pepperoncini: Behind the cottage cheese?
Patient X: No, but I looked behind the left-over broccoli. You didn’t say anything about cottage cheese.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Actually, I did say cottage cheese.
Patient X: No, and I’ll tell you why I remember. See, my wife is allergic. If she eats cottage cheese she breaks out in song. And that’s a very painful condition.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Everybody has cottage cheese in the fridge. Look on the narrow shelf just below the ketchup. Well, I see our time is up for today.
Patient X: So doc, I took everything out of the refrigerator, and I mean everything—
Dr. Pepperoncini: Including the cottage cheese?
Patient X: No, and I’ll tell you why. Because there wasn’t any cottage cheese in there. Never was, in fact. Never will be.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Are you sure?
Patient X: Well, let me think. Hmm. Okeydoke, I thought. And I’m as sure about it as a man with a lost mind can be.
Dr. Pepperoncini: So if your mind wasn’t hiding behind the cottage cheese, what was?
Patient X: Nada. Which is Swedish for nothing behind the cottage cheese. And I’ll tell you how I know. Because there was no cottage cheese in the first place, second place and up through 88th place, which was the fur-covered pickles.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Well, I see our time is up.
Patient X: So Doc, I think I’m going to quit coming. I still haven’t found my mind and my wife says she doesn’t notice a whole lot of difference between me now and when I still had my mind.
Dr. Pepperoncini: Here, you might want to open this bag.
Patient X: What is it? A birthday present? What—well I’ll be dipped in honey mustard dipping sauce. It looks like my lost mind.
Dr. Pepperoncini: It is your lost mind. I found it in the fridge. Behind the cottage cheese. Right where I said it would be.
Patient X: You mean you went to my house and–
Dr. Pepperoncini: It was in my fridge. Behind my cottage cheese.
Patient X: My lost mind was in your refrigerator? How’d it get there?
Dr. Pepperoncini: How it got there isn’t important. What is important is that I’ve cured you.
Patient X: Um, I think it might be important, Doc. I know I have a wandering mind, but–
Dr. Pepperoncini: Look, it was probably just static cling. Your mind jumped onto my back the same way underpants, right out a dryer, jump onto the back of a sweater. It’s what we call transfer. It’s in the literature. From there to the cottage cheese, well, a simple matter of physics.
Patient X: Doc, I flunked physics, but still–
Dr. Pepperoncini: Google psychotherapy and cottage cheese. It’s all there.
Patient X: Doc? I think you’ve got somebody’s underpants stuck on your sweater.
Dr. Pepperoncini: And your point?
Patient X: Just sayin.’
Dr. Pepperoncini Well, I see our time is up.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.
Great column Pat, and now I know where to look for my own lost mind- behind the cottage cheese in Hickey Dining Hall. I’m sure I had it until one morning at breakfast there…or was it one night at the Burton? Well, in any case, in the intervening years, it hasn’t seemed to make any difference so maybe I’ll just let that sleeping mind lie.
Many many minds were lost at Hickey. I once lost my lunch there.
Please give us more Pepperoncini sessions — hope they aren’t covered by patient-doctor privilege. Meanwhile, Popeye who commented previously probably left his mind on his tray.