Archives for September 2012

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Seven

Although I rarely meet the husband, I usually have a good idea of the type of person he is, and how he’s likely to react to his wife on her way out. Also, it surprises me how often both spouses are oblivious to certain signs that friends, family members, and I see clearly. If one spouse is unhappy and tempted, it’s most likely the other is as well.

“Doctor, I’m sorry about this but I really needed to see you.”

“It’s OK, Alexis. What’s going on?”

“Like we planned, I took Mike aside and we had our talk. Guess what his reaction was?”

“I have no idea.”

“He agreed, packed his bags, and moved out.”

“He didn’t resist?”

“Not at all. You know why?”

“Because he’s seeing someone.”

“How the fuck would you know that?”

“Is he?”


“Interesting. How long has it been going on?”

“Six months. Here’s the best part: you’ll never guess this.”

“I probably could.”


“He’s in love with her.”

“Have you been fucking meeting with him? I don’t believe this shit.”

“Alexis, no.”

“You’ve been scheming with him behind my back.”

“I promise you, I’ve never spoken a single word to him.”

“Then, how could you possibly know? Are you bugging my house?”

“What? Don’t be silly. Alexis, you’re not the first neglected wife I’ve met. What did he tell you about the woman?”

“It’s someone he works with. She’s married, naturally. What an asshole he is. I’m going to nail him to the wall.”

“Wait a minute, Alexis. You’ve had a few flings yourself.”

“Right, but I’m not in fucking love with them. It was just sex.”

“So, that makes it OK?”

“No, but at least it’s temporary. You know? It’s like getting a massage. Ugh. I hear myself say these words and I sound stupid. How do you fall in love with another person when you’re married? How did he find the time to have something like that develop?”

“You said he works with her. He probably spends more time with her than you.”

“Plus, she’s fucking married. I wonder if her husband knows. Oh, and naturally she’s younger.”

“Why does her age matter?”

“Oh, please. You know you men. You hit a certain crisis age and then you go after sports cars and young women to cling to youth while your hairline recedes.”

“So, you think all men are alike. You think I’m like Mike.”

“You probably are. What do I care? Heck, go for it. Maybe I’ll chase a few young men myself.”

“Let’s get back to Mike. Did you tell him about your affairs?”

“No. I almost did. That prick. He doesn’t deserve to think I sat home taking care of his children, waiting for him while he took advantage of a coworker. Six months! He got away with it for six months! Worse yet, he was sleeping with me while he was sleeping with her.”

“He told you that?”

“I asked. I told him he had to come totally clean or I was going to wipe out our accounts and make sure he never saw his children again.”

“I bet now you wish you hadn’t gotten some of his answers.”

“He told me everything. He said the most attractive thing about her is the fact that she’s totally into him.”

“But, she’s married.”

“Exactly. She has children, too.”

“Has he met them?”

“I have no idea. What a scumbag.”

“Alexis, he has done some awful things, but you need to find a way to not take them so personally.”

“What? They absolutely are personal. He cheated on me for months. He doesn’t love me–his wife. He loves her.”

“Like we discussed, your relationship faded for both of you. The things you both did, you did for selfish reasons, not as an attempt to hurt your partner. I’m sure he didn’t intend to hurt you.”

“I’m not so sure. He was pretty cold about the whole situation. He had no problem leaving.”

“Where did he go?”

“I have no idea. He texted me saying he’ll stop by tomorrow and get more of his things. I told him we need to figure out how to explain this to the children. I mean, I can’t just tell them ‘Daddy is going through a mid-wife crisis and decided he’d rather spend time with his secretary than his children.”

“I’m so sorry, Alexis. I know this is painful.”

“Really? Is your wife in love with another man?”

“No. I hope not.”

“Ah, but you don’t know, do you?”

“This isn’t about me. My relationship isn’t the same place yours is. Now, if you allow anger to cloud reason, you’re going to make this a long, painful battle. Is that what you want?”

“Of course not. But, he should fucking pay. He didn’t even apologize to me. Ugh. I should find out who she is and let her husband know what a whore he’s married to.”

“Stop talking craziness. You two need to somehow put it behind you, find a fair way to split obligations, and move on.”

“Yes, I know. Pay my kids or pay the lawyers.”


“That fucker.”

“Stop running it through your head, trying to justify what you did because what he did was more serious. This is what happens when relationships end and people cling. Desires and emotions cause infidelity and dysfunction. You’re not going to change what happened or repair what’s broken. Give him his space, and let’s get together next week and create a plan to resolve this. The sooner this is behind you, the sooner you’ll meet up with that wonderful man who is waiting for you.”

“Really? What’s his name?”

“How should I know? Something European. Bertrand, perhaps.”

“You’re funny. I can’t believe you made me laugh. I still want to chop off Mike’s balls.”

“OK, don’t do that. Find something fun to do tonight to get your mind off this, and rescue your weekend. That’s an order.”

“Yes, sir.”

Diagnosis: As long as she can remain quiet about her indiscretions, she’ll have an advantage.

Treatment: She should use her leverage to end things quickly, yet fairly. Advise her to continue improving her appearance and attitude to attract the next man.

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Six

People ask me all the time what it’s like being a therapist. I tell them it’s hell. They ask why I do it. I say because I’m addicted. There’s nothing noble behind my reasons. Sure, I like to see happy people and fix things, but in order to fix my patients, I need to absorb some of their pain. I also need to fight the social pressures around standing by a commitment although the circumstances have changed. I’d rather be fishing.

“Hello, Alexis. What’s this?”

“It’s a little something I thought you’d like: gourmet coffee from Hawaii.”

“Wow. Thank you. That’s really not necessary.”

“I figured you’d get more from that than the traditional apple.”

“Good call.”

“I’m so embarrassed about our last session.”

“Don’t be. Tell me about this week. Any developments?”

“Well, I didn’t screw any clients, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“No, that’s not what I’m asking.”

“I know. Again, sorry. I started thinking about how things would be if Mike and I split.”

“Good. What did you envision?”

“Ideally, he’d move out, we’d share custody–every other weekend to myself. You know.”

“So you feel fifty-fifty is fair.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Great. That will make things easier. Do you anticipate challenges around finances?”

“Actually, no. Mike’s a generous person, and I’m sure he wants to take care of his obligations.”

“Let’s hope so. How do you anticipate moving forward? ”

“I’m not sure. I can’t just kick him out and say our marriage is over.”

“You can, but you’re right. Do you want to role-play with me?”

“That might help. Can I be Mike?”



“You bet. Ready?”


“Mike, let’s talk.”

“Can it wait until halftime?”

“No, Mike, it can’t.”

“Fine, grab me a beer. What’s up?”

“Mike, are you happy?”

“With what?”

“With us. Our relationship. Is this what you signed up for? Are we happily married?”

“Jeez, honey. What’s going on?”

“Answer the question: Are you happy?”

“I’m fine. Sure, we have our disagreements, but we’re fine.”

“Are you attracted to me, Mike?”

“Of course I’m attracted to you. Hey. Are you having an affair?”

“No, Mike, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not happy and I know you’re not either.”

“You can’t tell me how I feel.”

“Mike, we lost that fire somewhere along the way and we can’t seem to get it back. We both deserve to be completely smitten like we were when we first met.”

“That’s unrealistic.”

“It is unrealistic between us because we can’t undo all the time and memories–not that they were bad. Mike, we just don’t seem to mix anymore. It doesn’t suggest there’s something wrong with either of us; the combination doesn’t work like it used to.”

“Then, maybe we should take a vacation, or go see a marriage counselor, or something.”

“Or, maybe we should part as friends, for the kids’ sake, and move on.”

“You’re giving up. I can’t believe this. I’m not leaving. You’re not taking my children away from me.”

“Mike, I would never do such a thing. I want us to do what’s right for the kids and each other. We’ve spent a significant portion of our lives together. There’s no reason we can’t minimize the damage and do this right. I understand if you don’t want to move out. That’s fine. I’ll start looking for a place.”

“What? No. I can’t let you do that. You need to be here with the children. Are you sure you’re not seeing someone else?”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: She’s done well with this. Maybe it won’t be as painful as these breakups usually are. I’ll stop the role-playing now.

“OK, Alexis. Let’s return to patient and doctor.”

“You certainly handled that well. It’s like you know Mike or something.”

“I assure you, I know Mike, the type, not Mike, the person. It seems from our exercise that he’s going to suspect there’s another man.”

“Isn’t that natural? Well, plus now there have been other men.”

“I realize you feel the urge to be completely honest with him, but I’m going to insist that you leave out the details of your trysts, for his sake and yours. Alexis, men have huge egos. If you tell him that you allowed another man to have you and give you feelings Mike can’t, he’ll be devastated. Remember, you did what you did for you, not to him. Once you split, all is fair, but maintain discretion about your affairs, or you’re going to have a major problem to deal with, and I guarantee it will affect your children.”

“I understand.”

“Good. Before our next session, I want you to run the scenarios through your mind repeatedly, and make an appointment with your husband with no distractions. You need to have this discussion with him. I doubt he’ll react exactly the way we predicted, so be prepared to handle him with care. As always, you can call me if you need to talk. Sound like a plan?”

“It does. Thank you.”

“Thank you, Alexis, for the coffee. Good luck.”

“I’ll see you next week.”


Diagnosis: She seems to have settled into the realization that it’s time. I predict Mike will resist, but agree, once he calms down.

Treatment: Support her decision to stay or move. See if attorney-free settlement is plausible. Discuss next steps.

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Five

It’s an epidemic. There are droves of women abandoning expired relationships. I don’t know if it’s good or bad; it depends on the man’s situation. Will children suffer? Where are we heading? Sometimes I think no relationship is best. I am becoming a recluse.

“Alexis, welcome back.”


“How was your week?”

“You’re married, right?”


“So, why does it seem you’re pushing me toward abandoning my marriage while you remain in yours?”

“Alexis, I think you’ll agree that each relationship has its own set of circumstances. I just happen to be at the point of my relationship where there is mutual happiness.”

“Or, so you think.”

“What are you getting at?”

“How do you know your wife isn’t out having an affair? How do you know that, while you sit here trying to help me, she isn’t out helping herself to something you can no longer provide?”

“I have faith she wouldn’t do that. I doubt she’d jeopardize our relationship. I’m not sure what you’re suggesting.”

“I fucked a client this week.”

“You what?”

“I did. I risked, not just my marriage, my career, because I met an attractive man and I wanted to prove to myself that I could have him. And, that’s not all. You know what else?”


“He’s engaged. How sick is that? Next month, that son of a bitch it going to marry some poor unsuspecting woman who thinks he’s her soul mate. He fucked me. No condom either. He wanted me so desperately that he nearly came before I had his pants down. What a loser!”

“Alexis …”

“Oh, please. Don’t you dare fucking lecture me.”

“I’m not going to lecture you. I want to understand what happened and why.”

“Really? You don’t know, doctor? I had sex with a strange man because my husband doesn’t do it for me any longer. While this guy’s sweet, little fiancé is registering at Macy’s, her future husband is plowing his real estate agent–and this is the best part–in the dream home they’re about to move into. Yep, one month before he carries his bride through the doorway, he will have had his way with me in their fucking dream house. It’s sickening. Why get married?”

“Maybe you should have confronted him with those questions.”

“What? And ruin the moment? Hell no. I wanted him, and I had him.”

“Are you seeing …”

“Jesus. No, I’m not seeing him. It was just a pre-closing walk-thru. I’ll see him at the signing, then never again. He’s a piece of shit.”

“You had sex with him.”

“Then, I’m a piece of shit too.”

“Alexis, why are you so angry? What’s happened?”

“Nothing … everything … I don’t know, honestly. Things are crumbling around me. I’m thinking this may have all been a huge mistake. What am I doing here? Christ. ”

“Alexis, seeking help is not a mistake. Your marriage is obviously failing, or you wouldn’t even consider doing something like that.”

“Or, maybe it’s my expectations that are out of whack. Maybe this is what marriage is: ups and downs and riding out the storms when they come around.”

“Some marriages are worth saving.”

“Mine isn’t?”

“If you’ve been honest with me up to this point, I’d say no, you’re marriage is over. Your shenanigans with a client doesn’t change that. If anything, it supports my assessment.”

“Well, fuck you and your assessment.”


“Maybe I don’t want to lose what little I have left. Maybe I don’t want to have children on Xanax. Maybe I don’t want to spend night after night hiding the signs of my times, trying to present an attractive, middle-aged divorcee for some poor man to put up with.”

“Alexis, you have a lot to offer. No man would regret getting to know you.”

“Bullshit. What man wants a woman my age with all this baggage?”

“Lots of men. You think men come without baggage?”

“Great, so we have twice the baggage to deal with and half the time to do it.”

“Alexis, please, just stop, take a breath, and let’s talk about this calmly.”

“I don’t want to do this.”

“Do what?”

“This. In here.”


“It’s not helping.”

“What were you expecting to get from our sessions?”

“I don’t know. Answers? Reassurance that I’ll be OK?”

“You’ll be OK.”

“Great. Thank you. You’re the best.”

“Seriously. You’ll be fine. This is natural. It’s like going through stages of mourning, Alexis. Fear, anger, regret: they’re all natural and expected. You need to pass through the pain to heal.”

“I slept with a fucking client.”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: She’s breaking down, crying hard.

“We need to talk about that, but not right now. It happened. You can’t change it. Let’s hope it’s the last you hear about it. It’s important that you don’t become self-destructive, Alexis. You need to resist any urge you have to make yourself evil to help justify your split. You’re a good person and a wonderful mother. You have a job you enjoy, and you don’t want to lose it. You have a father of your children who will be involved with you for the rest of your life. You don’t want to hurt him and make this more contentious than it has to be. If this continues, you’re going to basically take money away from your children’s future and give it to attorneys and me. Is that what you want? A battle? Do you want to go to war with your spouse?”

“No, of course not.”

“Then, you need to stop this nonsense now, put what happened behind you, and never mention it again. We need to discuss a way for you to leave this marriage with minimal peripheral damage. There’s a way, Alexis; it’s not complicated. You need to respect and love your husband and children, be generous with them, face anger with kindness and tolerance, and find a way to part as friends. The alternative is ugly–horribly ugly. Trust me.”

“God. I know. You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“That’s OK. This is natural. You probably haven’t been sleeping, have you?”

“Sleep? What sleep?”

“I’m writing you a prescription that will help. Stick to the recommended dosage as it’s easy to become addicted, and we don’t want that. Meditate, do yoga, do whatever it takes to clear your mind so we can get you through this. I’m your friend, Alexis, and I’m here to help. I can’t have you self-destruct and waste all the progress we’ve made.”


“Yes. I realize you’re unaware of it, but you’re coming along just fine. This is new to you. I’ve been through it hundreds of times. You’re fine.”

“Thank you. I’m so sorry …”

“Don’t apologize. It’s all right. I’m here for you. Now, go get this filled, and call me if you need me before our next session–any time, any day.”


Diagnosis: Unfortunately predictable behavior. Questioning at the end. She’s trying to get caught. Not good.

Treatment: Sleep will help. Next session I’ll alleviate her fears by sharing similar cases. She needs reassurance.

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Four

My job is dangerous in some respects. I walk a thin line; I’m aware of that. There are always physical and financial threats looming. Still, I can’t stop.

“How are you, Alexis?”

“Fine. You?”

“In desperate need of my third coffee. Would you like one?”

“I’m OK, thank you.”

“So, have you spoken to the man from your night with Tonya?”

“Jesus, no. That was just a fling.”

“You didn’t exchange numbers?”

“No. I mean, why bother? It’s not like we could have an actual relationship.”

“I see.”

“He’s too young and lives a continent away.”

“… and you’re married.”

“Ah, yes, then there’s that.”

“Any regrets?”

“Yes, I regret that I am not having any regrets.”

“So, you expect to feel guilty.”

“Yes. If one of my friends did that, I’d be shocked if she didn’t have any remorse.”

“Well, you didn’t sleep with him.”

“Maybe I did.”

“You told me you didn’t.”

“Regardless, the way I felt that night–I don’t know how to explain this. Shouldn’t I have those feelings with my husband?”


“But, it’s unrealistic, isn’t it?”

“I’m sure you’ve felt that way with your husband at times.”

“Sure, early on. It just faded, and that sucks.”

“Don’t you think it sucks for Mike too?”

“Well, if it does, he certainly hides it better. Naturally, he sensed a change in me this week, and he has been putting in more of an effort. He’s overdoing it. It’s actually a turn-off.”

“Wait. I don’t understand. Mike’s trying harder, and that’s pushing you away?”


“OK. What is he doing?”

“He brought flowers home, which he never does. In bed, he was more attentive to my needs.”


“He kissed me more and, you know.”

“Gave you oral pleasure.”


DOCTOR’S NOTE: She’s tearing up. There’s the regret.

“Why did that push you away?”

“Because I fantasized about Fabrizio when he did it; that’s the only way I could enjoy it.”

“You miss Fabrizio?”

“No. I miss the feeling I had with Fabrizio.”

“Can you envision yourself ever having that feeling with Mike again?”


DOCTOR’S NOTE: She’s crying.

“I’m sorry it makes you sad. Are you OK?”

“No, I’m not OK. I’m fucking angry.”

“At me?”

“No, at me.”


“I feel like a shitty person. I have children to consider, not to mention Mike’s feelings. He’s a great father and a good person.”

“You think they deserve better.”

“They absolutely deserve better. I don’t even know how we got here–to this place where we’re numb to each other. He has never cheated on me. We just drifted over the years. I wish I knew what caused this.”

“Is it possible that time caused it?”

“Marriage is supposed to be forever. It says so right there in the vows.”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: Now, she’s visibly angry.

“Yes, still, most don’t last and, of those that do, many are clinging to dysfunction out of fear.”

“Well, then that fucking sucks. Whatever happened to commitment and dedication. You know? Through thick and thin; for better or worse. Nowadays, people just give up. They leave wakes of broken hearts and damaged offspring. It’s fucking greedy. I hate that I feel this way.”

“Alexis, as with life, relationships run their courses from exciting beginnings full of promise to death. Some are short; some are lengthy; some end tragically; some end amicably.”


“If you’re not happy in your relationship, it affects your spouse and your children. Mike deserves to have a woman in his life who loves him completely. He deserves to be someone’s Fabrizio. He longs for that, believe me. A man can sense when his woman drifts. What he did last week, whether consciously or not, was reach desperately for something slipping away.”

“So, why would that push me away?”

“Two reasons: You have some guilty feelings about your night with Fabrizio. You feel unworthy of Mike’s attention and uncomfortable about where your mind wanders. Second, you don’t want to save your marriage.”


“You don’t … and that’s OK, Alexis. This is your life we’re talking about here. You deserve to have all those feelings you miss. It’s not practical–though many people try–to have weekend trysts to satiate your urges. You’re putting a Band-Aid on an infected wound. Eventually, people playing that game get caught, and that’s the tragic ending I referred to. How would Mike react if you told him about what happened?”

“He’d be devastated.”

“Anger? Sadness? Violence?”

“He’s not a violent person at all. He’d be hurt.”

“How would you react if Mike confessed a weekend tryst like yours?”

“I’d be disappointed but, honestly, I don’t think it would hurt. In fact, it would probably help this whole crazy situation if he had an affair. It would convince us both that our marriage is over, and we could move on.”

“Interesting. You wouldn’t feel jealous if another woman were relighting Mike’s fire?”

“No. As long as she’s a good person, and she treats him and my kids properly, I’d be fine with it.”

“If you truly loved Mike, wouldn’t you expect his having an affair to bother you?”

“Of course. But, I do love him. It’s just different now.”

“So, what will you do?”

“Hey, you’re the doctor. You’re supposed to help me out of this fucking mess. Isn’t that what you’re paid to do?”

“I’m paid to help you heal and improve. Your healing may cause short-term pain to others. There will probably be resentment and anger. Some of your friends and family may consider you to be evil, heartless, or greedy. I hope you didn’t expect a simple solution like, ‘take two of these and all will be fine tomorrow.'”


“So, let’s work on you, and if an exit is what you decide upon, let’s find a path that will cause the least peripheral damage.”


“I’ll see you next week, Alexis.”

Diagnosis: Reality is setting in. She knows it’s over.

Treatment: The anger and pain is natural. Next week, discuss possible separation.

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Three

I spoke to Tonya. She was pleased with patient’s progress. Initial introduction to Gary’s man went as planned.

“Wow, Alexis, something looks different; I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Interesting choice of words, Doctor.”

“You seem to have a bounce in your step too.”

“First, thank you for introducing me to Tonya. She’s wonderful. Second, I’ve had a bit of a ‘tune-up’ as she called it.”

“What did that involve?”

“Every woman’s dream: We went shopping.”

“Ah, yes.”

“I tried on ten outfits and we selected one. Then, we visited an aesthetician, who worked wonders knocking a few years from my face.”

“You are glowing.”

“Thank you. The best part was afterward when we stopped by the Hilton’s cocktail lounge.”

“How so?”

“Tonya spoke to me about carrying myself more confidently, and it worked, instantly.”


“We weren’t there for fifteen minutes before a nice gentleman sent drinks our way. At first, I thought he was interested in Tonya. I mean, she is gorgeous.”

“… and married.”

“Right. But, then he came over and spoke with us. He was old for my tastes, but kind. He made it apparent he was interested in me.”

“Were you wearing your wedding band?”

“No. Oopsie.”

“OK, continue.”

“He was too aggressive. He kept insisting I have dinner with him. I thanked him, but let him know I was with a friend, so I couldn’t. That didn’t dissuade him.”


“He was overdoing it. Anyway, Tonya came to rescue, saying we were waiting for her husband and my boyfriend.”

“Good strategy.”

“Like you said, she’s an expert. Still, he wasn’t giving up. Then, something bizarre happened. Wait, have you spoken to Tonya?”

“No, not at all.”

“OK, well, out of nowhere this guy comes up and steps between us. He says, ‘Hi, Baby,’ grabs my hand and plants a kiss on me.”

“A friend of yours?”

“No. A complete stranger. He was stunning. Tall with short, dark hair and ebony eyes.”

“You let a stranger kiss you?”

“I know! Anyway, it worked. The creeper walked away.”

“I don’t understand. Where did this guy come from?”

“He was standing with friends behind us, and he overheard us as he watched the other guy hit on me. He said it seemed like I could use a lifeline, so he stepped in.”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: Well done, Fabrizio. Surely, the creeper was Tonya’s husband Chad. Brilliant!

“That was nice of him.”

“Right? It turns out he was here for a conference. He’s European and gorgeous. He wore a suit. Had the top button undone and his tie loosened. He winked at me and returned to his friends. I was worried I had lost him. Tonya insisted I flirt. She even instructed me on how to do it.”

“How to flirt?”

“Yes. Tonya said there are subtle things we do when we’re interested that signal our mate. Most of the time women don’t realize they’re doing them and men don’t realize they’re reacting.”

“Makes sense. What subtle things did you do?”

“I glanced and smiled at him. When I felt his eyes, I flipped my hair, exposing my neck to him. Little things like that. Tonya kept prompting me and it worked like a charm.”

“Worked how?”

“Well, he bought us a round and kept stopping by and kissing my neck and ear each time he arrived. He whispered to me that he’d have to do that often since the creeper was still in the vicinity.”

“You didn’t mind.”

“Oh, God, no. There’s something about European men. He smelled amazing too. He’d place a hand just above my hip when he greeted me. I have to admit, he stirred up something naughty within me. I guess mixing in a few Lemon Drops didn’t hurt.”

“How did the night progress?”

“We ducked into a janitor’s closet and he fucked me hard from behind.”


“Kidding. But … um … something did happen.”


“Look, I’m a married woman. I shouldn’t be entertaining these thoughts and actions. Should I?”

“That depends.”


“Whether those thoughts and actions improve you.”

“Short-term bliss could have long-term consequences.”

“Are you here to save your marriage or here to find happiness? I ask because it seems apparent to me that you probably won’t be able to do both.”

“I don’t want to hurt Mike.”

“The things you did last weekend you did for you, not to Mike.”

“I doubt he’d accept that explanation.”

“Is he aware of what happened?”

“No. Heavens, no. I’m glad we were thirty miles away. Even so, I was paranoid. Especially when I got home on Sunday and he, like you, remarked that something was different about me.”

“How did you justify the new you?”

“I said I was refreshed by spending time alone with a good book by the pool.”

“Do you want to tell me more about what happened with …”

“Fabrizio. Well, as it turned out, Tonya’s husband called and she had to leave, so I had another drink with him. We flirted and played.”

“Did anything happen?”

“I spent the night with him.”


“Is it?”

“Yes. It’s especially interesting that I don’t detect any regret.”

“I know. It’s weird. I thought I would feel regret or embarrassment, but I don’t.”

“Did you have sex?”

“Actually, no. Almost. We kissed and touched and played, but I couldn’t take that final step.”

“How did he react?”

“He was cool about it. He didn’t force things at all. I think I was the aggressor. God, what a body on that man. Ugh. You have no idea.”

“Ha ha, OK, good for you. So, what was the most exciting thing about your little adventure?”

“I’d have to say that it felt great to be noticed, pursued, wanted, and ravished. It made me feel like a new woman.”

“Excellent. Alexis, you’re coming along nicely. Let’s break here. I’m curious to see how you feel about this episode after a week goes by.”

“Oh, me too.”

Diagnosis: Confidence improving.

Treatment: See if guilt arises. Gauge husband’s reaction to the new Alexis. Suspicion?

Doctor O: Alexis – Session Two

Actually, I’m single and quite heterosexual. In my position, it’s important to disqualify myself as an option for patients, for their protection and mine. It would be effortless to take advantage of the inevitable vulnerability. I love my job–sometimes more than life. I’d never jeopardize it. Temptation I can deal with. Vicarious enjoyment suffices, until after hours.

“Hello, Alexis. Nice to see you.”

“Nice to see you too.”

“Any major crises since we last spoke?”

“No. It has been uneventful, as usual.”

“Let’s go a bit deeper this week. I want to discuss masturbation.”

“Jeez, Doc, jump right in!”

“Ha, ha. Well, you know, every tick costs you money.”

“Well, my employer, mostly. Thank goodness for that.”

“Right. So …”

“Yes, my masturbation. What would you like to know?”

“Who or what do you think of when you’re doing it?”

“It’s rarely a who.”

“So, you don’t fantasize about any person in particular–co-worker, movie star, neighbor.”

“No. For me, it’s the situation that is exciting. The men involved are faceless. I mean, I envision physical attributes like powerful shoulders, a flat belly, and a smooth chest. That all helps, but it’s more about the scene.”

“I understand. Any favorite scenes?”

“Gosh. I’ve been with Mike so long. Fine. OK. Sometimes I fantasize about having a one-night stand. That must be a popular one, huh?”

“Pretty much. What’s the buildup for yours?”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: She’s flushing. Crossed her legs.

“I’m in an Italian cafe, sipping an espresso while reading a novel, and a man asks if he can join me.”

“Describe him to me.”

“He’s blurry, but I love his accent, the way he smells, and his confidence. I tease him and say the seat is taken, but he persists. He can tell I’m lying. We chat, and our knees occasionally touch under the table. Roll forward. It’s nighttime, and we’re enjoying wine at the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. It’s chilly. He wraps his arm around and warms me. He kisses my neck. I touch his thigh. He has powerful legs, like a biker.”

DOCTOR’S NOTE: She has closed her eyes. She’s enjoying this. I sense she may have had a drink or two before our appointment.


“Then one of my kids barges into the bedroom crying because her brother stole her toy.”

“Oh. Poor timing. Does that happen often?”

“Often enough.”

“Seems you need to set aside time when you can’t be interrupted.”

“Ah, like when I meet you. I can be strict with myself, like you are, and demand I leave all electronics in the outer room. No distractions!”

“I approve.”

“Good. I’ll get right on that.”

“Let’s continue with your fantasy. You have a great imagination, by the way. Ever thought about writing romance novels?”

“Actually …”

“We’ll definitely talk about that later. Let’s continue with love in the piazza.”

“Fine. Things escalate. We drink a little too much. He hails a taxi, which takes us back to his place. We kiss so intensely in the cab that before I know it we’ve arrived at his building. We ride one of those tiny, two-person elevators up to his loft. His place is old and lovely with high ceilings and dark wood. He guides me into the kitchen, where he selects a bottle of wine. Before he can uncork it, we go at each other. He lifts me so I’m sitting on his kitchen island. His hands explore my thighs and hips. He smirks when he finds my lace thong as I dig hungrily at his belt. I undo his jeans and push them down with my feet. He’s commando–so sexy. He peels down my panties and buries himself within me while grasping my hair and kissing me deeply. Then I come.”


“You like?”

“I like your imagination and I’m pleased that you feel comfortable enough with me to share something so intimate. Have you ever discussed a fantasy with Mike?”

“No. He’d be weirded out. Trust me.”

“Have you ever role-played?”

“Every day. I play the role of maid and he plays the role of a throw pillow that eats.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Yes, and no.”

“Alexis, it’s good that you have a vivid imagination, but it doesn’t need to be fantasy.”

“Right. I’ll just book a trip to Italy. Case solved. How much do I owe you?”

“Here’s what I want you to do: Give me one night away from your family this weekend.”

“Ugh. Jarrett has soccer playoffs, and …”

“Alexis, one night.”

“Fine. I’ll come up with an excuse.”

“Good. I need you to text my associate, Tonya. Here is her number. She’ll be expecting you, and will make an appointment for late afternoon Friday or Saturday, your choice.”

“What’s Tonya’s role in this?”

“She’s going to, shall we say, shine you up and get you to a place where my work becomes more effective.”

“This isn’t any sort of strange lesbian encounter, right?”

“No, Alexis. Trust me. Tonya is an expert. You’ll adore her and appreciate all she can do for you.”

“OK. You’re the doctor.”

“Good. We’ll speak next week after your big night.”

Diagnosis: She’s missing intimacy. Probably more conservative than kinky.

Treatment: Tonya will build her up. Gary’s man will free her. Ethnic man. Maybe younger.

Doctor O’s Cure for the Common Housewife


My name is Doctor Maxwell Overman. Most people call me Doctor O. I’m a therapist specializing in relationship repair. Most of my patients are women on their way out of unsatisfying marriages. However, I’m not a marriage counselor. I’m not out to fix couples; I fix individuals.

Most therapists brag about artificially inflated success rates. I don’t. Instead, I guarantee my patients will enjoy better lives after spending time with me. What is, indeed, high is my hourly rate. You’re worth every dollar you invest in me.

I lead a group of experts to assist with treatments. Each expert is appropriately discreet, fully dedicated, uniquely qualified to hasten the healing heart.

Below, you will find session transcripts–never before shared–describing the most interesting cases I’ve handled. Perhaps you’ll relate to some. For obvious reasons, I’ve changed the names.

Alexis – Session One

Profile: Almost 40 (her words; she’s over forty–my words), married twelve years, two children.

Issue: Marital blandness, loss of self, approaching crisis, feeling resentment toward family.

“Alexis, thank you for coming to see me. In here, it’s important that you are completely candid and honest about your feelings at all times, or I won’t be able to help you. This is a safe place. You can speed your progress along by telling me where it hurts and being open to remedies I suggest, no matter how strange they seem. Do you understand?”


“Excellent. On the pre-session questionnaire, you described your marriage as bland. What do you mean by that?”

“I feel like a personal assistant–an underappreciated one at that. I run the kids around all day, do errands, and barely squeeze time in to do my job.”

“Your job?”

“I’m a real estate agent.”

“I see.”

“I work from home. Anyway, at the end of most days, I’m completely drained. Then, there’s the sex thing.”


“I don’t feel sexy most nights. Still, I know how important it is to keep my man happy, so I do what it takes.”

“What does it take?”

“Well, I have sex with him.”

“Do you enjoy having sex with him?”

“It’s not awful. I mean, after all this time, it’s mostly going through the motions.”

“I see. Does he enjoy it?”

“I think so. I mean, he has his orgasm.”

“Do you have yours?”

“I take care of myself. You know?”

“Alexis, does your husband give you an orgasm?”

“Rarely. I fake it sometimes. I know, that’s horrible.”

“Not necessarily. Why do you fake an orgasm?”

“I want him to be confident as a man. OK, and sometimes to have him stop. It can get painful after a while.”


“That’s embarrassing but, yes. Not always.”

“Nothing to be embarrassed about, Alexis. You say you take care of yourself. Are you referring to masturbation?”


“While you’re having sex with him?”

“No. That would be creepy.”

“Actually, he’d probably enjoy it.”

“Oh, you don’t know Mike. He’s pretty vanilla in the bedroom.”

“I do know men. Remember, I need you to remain open to things I suggest.”

“So I should masturbate while we have sex?”

“Perhaps. Tell me more about your sex routine. What happens in what order?”

“We climb in bed, play around, then have sex.”

“Right. Can you give me more details?”


“Let’s start with when you enter the bedroom. Does he undress you?”

“No. We undress ourselves, brush our teeth, and climb into bed.”

“What do you wear to bed?”

“I have to ask you something, Doctor.”

“Please do.”

“This feels strange to me–sharing like this. OK, can I be completely honest?”

“Of course.”

“And, you won’t be offended?”

“Alexis, I doubt you could offend me.”

“You have these broken and vulnerable women come to you. They empty themselves as you offer a cure for the common housewife.”


“Does it turn you on?”

“If you are referring to the satisfaction of guiding the healing process, yes. If you want to know if I’m ever sexually turned on … honestly, sometimes. Luckily, I have someone in my life I can turn those thoughts and feelings toward. Alexis, I’m happily married, and nothing will come between doctor and patient other than therapy. You can, and you must trust me, so you can share everything, and I can prescribe accurately. OK?”


“Don’t apologize. Now, what do you wear to bed?”

“With all the running around, I’ve been skipping the gym, and I don’t feel my sexiest, so usually a T-shirt and panties.”

“What does he wear?”


“Once you’re both in bed, what happens?”

“He usually initiates by grabbing my butt or kissing my neck. Then I touch him down there. I usually go down on him for a bit until he’s hard. Then we do it.”

“Does he go down on you?”


“How often?”

“I don’t know.”

“You go down on him how many times for each time he goes down on you?”

“Um, yeah, those scales are unbalanced. He probably does it once a month at best. It’s usually after he has had a lot to drink. It’s all right, though.”

“No, Alexis, it’s not all right. Have you asked him to do it more often?”

“No. I’m not sure I really need that.”

“Yes, you do. All women do. Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise and deprive yourself of something wonderful.”

“Most of my friends have the same situation, so …”

“It’s not all right for them either. I want to address something else you mentioned a few times now: You said you don’t feel sexy.”

“I could lose a few.”

“So, for you sexiness is tied to your weight.”


“When do you feel your sexiest?”

“When I’ve slimmed down, tanned, gotten a mani pedi, had my hair done, and my favorite jeans fit me.”

“Does Mike tell you that you’re sexy?”

“Sometimes–usually, when we’re doing it.”

“You two talk a lot during sex?”

“Some. You know–the usual.”

“You’d probably be surprised by what I usually hear–not in bed, I mean here–about what is said in bed. Have you experimented with dirty talk?”

“Nothing more than the typical phrases with ‘God,’ ‘yes,’ and ‘fuck.'”

“Often, typical becomes boring.”

“Yes, it does.”

“Are you bored with your sex life?”

“Yes, Doctor, I am.”

“It’s good that you can admit it. It gives us something to address and improve.”


“This is a good breaking point, Alexis. Let’s get into the ‘hows’ next week, shall we?”

Diagnosis: Her marriage is probably not worth salvaging. She has been neglected and deprived like many others.

Treatment: More intimate details next session. What does she crave? Who is her celebrity crush? What does she fantasize about while masturbating? Prime candidate for Tonya’s service and one of Gary’s men.

Your guide to whether it’s cool or douchey.

Let’s begin with one we can all agree upon: decals on your rear window are douchey–very douchey. Scrape them off immediately (or, as Chris Harrison would say, “uh-mediately”) before I paint penises on them.

You may ask what qualifies me to assemble such a guide. Let’s just say I’ve done my share of douchey things while attempting to be cool. In no particular order in degree of douchiness: I have worn a Speedo, pinky ring, and white shoes (this was not compound douchiness, thank goodness). I have driven a corvette, hung a fuzzy animal from my rear view mirror, and owned an orange Datsun B210. I sent an email poking fun at someone to a larger-than-intended list of recipients–did that five times. I abandoned a bad date (ran away like the building was about to explode). Finally, I took an “upper-decker” at a friend’s house because she poked fun at the vest I was wearing. I am the King of Douches and, thus, am best-qualified to lend my crown.

  • If you get pool towels and place them on chairs to reserve them, then leave: douchey. If you bring me a beer: cool.
  • If you fart and spit at the urinal: douchey. If you stand five feet back and are still able to hit the urinal cake: cool.
  • If you splash creamer on the Starbucks counter and walk away: douchey. If you lick it up: cool.
  • If you carry your wine in a pouch or case: douchey. If you carry your cigar in a case: cool.
  • If, instead of using your hands, you tip your face down to the martini and slurp because you’re afraid to spill it: douchey. If you grab a straw and drink it down in three or fewer sucks: cool.
  • If you make smalltalk on public transportation: douchey. If you sleep without snoring: cool.
  • If you make a tombstone out of your skin: douchey. If I can’t see your tattoo: cool.
  • If you slide headfirst in a recreational softball game: douchey (unless you’re Pete Rose). If you bunt: cool.
  • If you text while driving in front of me: douchey. If you text while I’m pounding you from behind: cool.
  • If you bring your dog to the restaurant: douchey. If you bring your parrot: cool.
  • If writing a 1-star review is the closest you’ll ever come to being published: douchey. If you fall face-first into a wood chipper: cool.
  • If you consider golf, NASCAR, and poker to be sports: douchey. If you can hit a curve: cool.
  • If there are stickers on the cap you’re wearing: douchey. If your cap has salt stains: cool.
  • If you’re driving a convertible with the top down and windows up: douchey. If you’re going down on her while she drives: cool (sorry about that sore neck).
  • If your Facebook profile picture has other people in it, especially the most wonderful man in the world who you just met and he’s absolutely you’re soul mate: douchey. If it’s a picture of a dead actor: cool.
  • If your children are playing in the street: douchey. If they’re playing Rollerball: cool.
  • If you try to change someone’s vote: douchey. If you vote: cool.

Whatever. We are always getting back together.

Oh, Taylor, what do you know? You’re what? 22? Whatever.

You talk tough to your friends, who tell my friends, who don’t buy it because my phone rattles off the bar at midnight, most nights. Face it–you’re addicted to my penis (I’ll keep that between us).

That’s mostly because, unlike your two-pump-chump ex, I have taken the time to explore you more. I found that special place that makes you cream and scream.

But, don’t be discouraged, because there are more men like me. You’ll see. Heck, maybe you’ll find your spot alone and have no use for my bone.

You can’t admit to the shit we tried–so good, you cried. When asked why so red, you lied. I have you sexually fried.

So, sing away your addiction. Go have your fun. You can’t deny I’m the one. Tick, tick, tick. Call me–your sexual 9-1-1.

Loving you again real soon … like for-EVER,



Always keep a pair and a spare.

As I sink into the dentist’s chair, the lecture begins. No, not the one where the dentist tells me to floss, I whine about it, and he compromises by telling me to only floss the ones I want to keep. It’s the assistant (usually female) who unloads all sorts of dating stories and advice while torturing me by scraping my receding gums. Today’s lecture was given by a woman in her sixties (she was darn cute, if you ask me). She had gone through the usual dating sites and eventually found her man on JDate.

“My advice to women is to always keep a pair and a spare.”

“Reading glasses?”


“You lost me.”

“Men do it. Why shouldn’t we?”

“Keep underwear in the glove compartment?”





“Ugh. We’re speaking of dating, Dr. Scholl.”

“Well, you’re speaking. I’m just mumbling while this odd device sucks the life out of me.”

“Women should date a minimum of three men at a time until they decide which one to keep.”


“It takes time to figure out of he’s the right man, so it’s best to overlap them and compare and contrast.”

“Right. And, you think men do this?”

“All the time. I’m sure of it.”

“Damn. I’m missing out by always dating between zero and one at a time with long breaks between. So, let me ask you this: Are each of these men aware you’re keeping spares?”

“It’s not their business.”

“Is too.”

“Nope. They should be out to impress me. I pick the best and discard the rest.”

“But, when things become intimate …”

“Well, yes, that’s when monogamy is important. Women have to be careful.”

“So, when you’re finally penetrated, you immediately call the other two and explain that there’s no more room at your inn.”

“Something like that.”

“You text them?”


“Hm. That would sorta suck for the cast-aways.”

“I try to keep them around as friends, just in case.”

“Is the penetrator made aware of that?”

“Not necessarily. I mean, why complicate matters? You know men and how jealous they can be. Some things are best accidentally omitted. Fortunately, I can blame my age–forgetfulness.”


“You know, things got so crazy at one point, I had to keep a spreadsheet of my dates to keep them straight. It also helped with the evaluation process.”

“That’s a superb idea. I’m going to borrow it. You have no idea how much I love Excel. I’m going to list Abby through Zoe down column A, and across the first row I’ll list attributes. Then, all I need to do is enter scores, insert an average column, sort descending, and wah-lah–the next queen of my court.”

“What sort of attributes?”

“I’m thinking aloud here but, I can envision things like body mass index, skin quality, hair quality, kissing ability, tongue use or misuse, scent, nipple size, ability to control spending, oral proclivity, pets/children, annoying friends/exes, taste in movies/food, religion, and tidiness. That should be a decent start.”

“I’ve created an animal. Spit, please.”


Be a Sponge, and I’ll Squeeze You

This may not work for you but, for me, it’s necessary. When I arise, I strive to leave my bed a dry sponge ready to absorb new knowledge, beliefs, and experiences … oh, and perhaps some wine, thank you. Most people I encounter are saturated sponges. You know what happens to saturated sponges you leave on the sink, right? Same goes for these people — they rot, smell, and attempt to infect.

For example, the whole gay marriage debate. Many sponges have been filled with hate and disapproval by their parents, preachers, and politicians. It’s silly. Squeeze that away. Why have any opinion on this matter other than, “If it makes you happy, go for it.”? It’s basically a preference, isn’t it? Why be concerned about another person’s preference? I don’t care if the woman next to me prefers white wine, brown men, or decaf coffee. Why would I care what she prefers sexually? I may find it interesting. I may not be able to relate to the preference. Heck, I may or may not share the preference. I certainly don’t care enough about it to try to squeeze it out of her.

Another one absorbed in youth is religion. Most people absorb the holy water from their parents. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t adversely affect me. I squeezed the christian religion out of my life because I could not reconcile reality with the stories in the ancient book. I did what the nuns forbade, but what Nature insists upon: I questioned everything. I went to museums, saw evidence of prehistoric man and life forms that existed millions of years before him. I learned about ancient religions, the purposes they served, and how they spread and became other religions. I deduced that the ancient books were simply that: ancient, and not applicable. So, my sponge contains no faith in imaginary beings or ancient customs. If someone wants to live by old rules instead of Nature’s rule, that’s fine too. I’ll take the wine and wafers, and leave the guilt.

Writing is an exercise in taking my dry sponge out into the world and attempting to sop up any goodness that might amuse a friendly reader. This makes me a nice person because, unlike most others who prefer to squeeze their own sponges by bragging or venting, I walk around asking questions and taking mental notes — I’ll squeeze your sponge, Baby.

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do?
  • Have any kids?
  • What’s your favorite restaurant?
  • Tell me about your worst date ever.
  • Seen any good movies lately?
  • What did you think of The Fifty Shades?
  • How do you keep your skin so soft?
  • Are you a Chargers fan?
  • What is your dream vacation?

Then, once my sponge is saturated, I squeeze it by slapping keys on my computer. This is what comes out. Sometimes it’s difficult to squeeze out and sometimes it stinks. But, sometimes (like this time, I hope) my drops are absorbed and cause a nod, head scratch, or giggle.

Is New Line Considering a Fifty Shades Parody?

I have no idea. Let’s hope so.

San Diego, CA, September 6, 2012: With the Fifty Shades craze hitting a fever pitch, movie studios are considering how to cash in. One obvious way would be to release a parody of the Fifty Shades. Author Phil Torcivia interviewed himself about what this could mean for producers, actors, and sexually neglected wives.

Phil, why do you think a parody is necessary?

“Universal Pictures is going to struggle with releasing the original movie because, let’s face it, the movie will have to be pornographic to do the book series justice, and we all know how much women like porn (about as much as chewing tobacco and Dutch ovens).”

So, how would the parody differ?

“It would be humorous erotica, similar to the brilliant series Californication. There wouldn’t need to be explicit sex scenes and horrific tampon removal. The parody would concentrate on how funny and difficult it typically is to fit tab A into slot B.”

What is your impression of James’ characters, Christian and Ana?

“They’re both unrealistic, but that’s fine as it is fiction. Christian is an abusive, possessive, narcissist. What woman could resist him? Anna is a hyper-orgasmic wimp with the vocabulary of a ten-year-old from The Valley.”

How would the characters in the parody differ?

“I’d replace the hung billionaire hunk with a sufficiently-endowed mature man who struggles with bills, writer’s block, and the elusive bed warmer. I’d replace Miss Squirts-a-Lot with a brilliant, professional woman who is sexually aggressive and confident.”

Whom do you envision playing those characters?

“Sorry, I’m busy scooping kitty litter. How about George Clooney and Kate Hudson?”

Your three parody books seem to be selling well on Amazon. Are you pleased with the response?

“E. L. James sells more books in a day than I sell in a year. So, let’s say I’m OK with it. I won’t be visiting the Ferrari dealership anytime soon. I’ll just upgrade from well bourbon to Bulleit, perhaps. Guess I can afford new sheets too. I’m considering bamboo.”

Why do you think her books have done so well?

“It’s a combination of the inner freaky-deaky finally coming out of women, and foolish men who stop paying attention to their women’s needs (yes, licky-licky) once the trial period is over and they break the seal.”

Didn’t you note on your blog that your ex-wife and mother both enjoyed her books?

“How would you like a boot to the balls, wise guy?”

Sorry. One final question, Phil: If New Line approaches you, are you willing to adapt your three parody books into a screenplay?


Thank you for your time. Fans, be sure to check out Phil Torcivia’s hilarious Fifty Shades parodies at Amazon, and watch for the release of the movie sure to snubbed by The Oscars.

So, you say you want to be in Management.

You don’t.

I’ve worked a wide assortment of jobs from dishwasher to grave headstone digger to bartender to programmer to supervisor to director. Let me save your life by advising you to avoid the upper ranks. You’re too focused on the dollars and it makes no sense. You need to factor in the stress, loss of time, and utter frustration of sitting through hours of meetings with stupid, boring people who are all fighting for attention.

The ideal job is consultant. Mind you, my writing from home job sucks not, yet I need to get out of the house occasionally and have some human (as opposed to feline) interaction, so I don’t lose all my social skills. As a consultant, contractor, or specialist you get to show up, take instruction, do your thing, leave with a check, and do so with minimal dealings with corpocrats.

When you’re managing, you can instruct, direct, and evaluate people. Sounds like power, right? It’s not. You don’t have the control you need over these animals to ensure they do as you intend. They’ll disappoint you frequently and you’ll have minimal recourse, lest ye be dragged into court for abusing the power you thought you had. So, instead of correcting the poor behavior of these giant children, all you can do is vent your frustration to your peers, bartenders, and spouse. Guess what? They have their own problems and don’t want to hear about yours.

You know how senior managers spend most of their days? In unproductive meetings. I’d rather be tied to a rack and covered in tics. The entire meeting is spent trying to figure out how to seem interested while sneaking a peak at your cell phone in hopes that an exciting news item or email arrived during the time-suck. You sit there attempting to hold in a coffee fart and keep your chin away from your chest while your mind wanders away from reality and keeps you from suicidal tendencies.

“The purpose of today’s meeting is to discuss the …”

Why is his skin so bad? Fuck. A face like a hard block of Parmesan after it meets the cheese grater.

“Our client is expecting us to redesign his …”

I bet she beats off at her desk. Little whore.

“On slide number two, we can see that customers have been …”

Jesus, somebody actually married this idiot, and allowed him to penetrate her. Oh, how I’d love to meet this soulless woman and ask if his six figures are worth it.

“We’ve been studying this heat map and determined that …”

That blouse doesn’t fit her, and what has she done to her eyebrows? She looks like a fucking albino zombie with back boobs.

“We’ve adjusted next quarter’s spend to include design changes …”

He’s a master ass-kissologist, who has suckled his way toward stock options, a corner office, and prescription medication.

You don’t want to sign up for this game. Sit in a corner, take up as little space as possible, put on headphones, and try to blend in with your surroundings … then, hurry home with most of your sanity intact.

Dear Parents: A plea from the childfree.

After spending another weekend mini-vacation poolside, I realize there needs to be an explanation and a plea from childfree killjoys like me to you, the stroller pushers. I realize you’re doing more for the continuation of our species than I am–that is, unless one of us (not I) is raising a murderous miscreant. Forgive me. I haven’t hardened to the annoying sounds and antics of little people. When you bring your child around me, my honest initial reaction is, “How cute!” The problem is that reaction lasts seconds, after which I am forced to find my headphones, loud music, dark glasses, and tall cup of sedative. Your offspring has inconvenienced me, hence, I am perturbed.

You don’t expect me to discipline your children. In fact, you’d probably take offense if I tried. Much as I wouldn’t attempt to discipline someone else’s dog, I know better than to ask your child to stop yelling/running/screaming/spraying. It only responds to its master, at best. What am I to do?

“It’s a child. You can’t expect him to sit quietly and read.”
“Yes, I can. You don’t set my expectations.”
“Well, that’s silly. You’ve obviously never been around children.”
“Incorrect. I have been around plenty. Just like big people, they’re pests when they can’t amuse themselves.”
“You know, you were a child once.”
“Do you honestly think you didn’t get on anyone’s nerves.”
“No, I’m sure I did. The difference is, when I was a child and I misbehaved, I wasn’t ignored; I was punished. Thereby, I learned to sit quietly and stack alphabet blocks or have my little, hairless ass handed to me by my father, or uncle, or teacher, or whomever.”
“We don’t beat our child.”
“Obviously. Let me guess: You punish him by taking away his iPad.”

People with children should be forced to go places with other people similarly armed. They should also be forbidden from entering the space of those riding solo. Perhaps a PFA of sorts, requiring the trainer and squealing beast to stay 100 yards away.

“Who brings a child to a bar?”
“Hey, I’m not going to stop living my life just because I have a baby.”
“Nobody asked you to die (yet); I’m simply suggesting there are more appropriate places to take your infant.”
“Oh, so I’m limited to going to Chuckie Cheese because you dislike children?”
“How about a drive-thru?”
“My kid behaves.”
“Well, kudos to you for your methods of discipline. Let’s see how your magic skills are. Make yourselves disappear. Do it.”
“If you were here on a romantic date, and I sat at the next table, acting like a spastic lunatic, how would you react?”
“I’d probably move.”
“Right. I’m tired of moving. I was here first. Now, shall I spread Cheerios in front of me, stick them to my head, throw utensils on the floor, slap the table, scream, drool, and squirm in my excrement, or will you kindly remove yourself and this two-foot-tall creep from my vicinity so I can drink away my awful day in peace?”

We appreciate your contributions to our successors, parents. Please do so elsewhere.

You aren’t … Penn State

The Sandusky incident was a serious one. He was found guilty and is being punished. What other people knew and looked away from is unclear. What is clear is others are being punished unjustly. The alumni who had no idea about what was going on, did their jobs. The fans paid their fees and encouraged the players. The current players, who earned their places on the team, and accepted scholarships with the understanding they’d have a shot at a premier bowl game or national championship, were children when the incidents took place.

Why are these people on the periphery punished?

Well, we can’t expect the NCAA to back down, so I suggest Penn State plays the role. Banish them and they will become savages.

Tradition means shit now. If you don’t do anything, Penn State, you will lose games, fans, media coverage, and players for years to come. Stop it now. Feed the media beast. Play to the hype.

First, change your name, mascot, and jerseys. Become the Penn State Wounded Beasts, wear black, and have your players paint their faces like zombies. Attack opponents. Cheat when you can. Go after their star players over, and over, and over. Hurt them. Don’t worry about the score. Inflict pain, within the rules. Never punt. Always go for two. Basically, make teams fear you.

The media and your fans will eat this up.

Recruit players from the roughest areas with the least opportunities. Look for hungry men. Give them scholarships and teach them to inflict pain. Change players often, even between games. You’re not eligible for any post-season games anyway. Who cares if you get whooped. Your opponents may leave with a win, but they will leave limping.

The worst thing you can do is sit back and take it. Nobody deserves to be punished except those PROVEN guilty. You have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to stand up and fight.

You’re now the Penn State Wounded Beasts. You wear black jerseys and helmets with auburn blood spatter. Your players paint their faces with war paint, skulls, and scars. You become the Raiders of the NCAA. The media won’t be able to resist you. Football fans will adore you and buy your jerseys. Take on sponsors like Harley Davidson, Browning Guns, and the UFC. Inflict fear and pain on your opponents. Act like the beasts the superiors have called you. Amass personal fouls. Keep the opposing sideline full of supine bodies in agony. Have your players refuse to give interviews. Be bad.

It’s a brave move, but it’s necessary. You didn’t create the beast; the NCAA did. Now MAKE … THEM … PAY!