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.