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Senior Correspondent

Did you hear about a school that is training bartenders, hairdressers, and Uber/Taxi drivers to become counselors? The theory is that these people come in contact with many humans and their assorted problems. So a state grant will be provided to teach these folks to deal more effectively in handling our pains. In a crash course, they learned to listen creatively, communicate responsibly, and in general, take the role of a helper. Today, I did not appreciate their effort, that is, until the very end.

Scene 1

ME: Taxi! I’d like to go to Francois’ Beauty Salon, and could you hurry, please?

CABBIE: This compulsion for promptness – do you look at Francois as a father figure, thus your fear of displeasing “daddy?”

ME: Huh? I’d just like to be on time, or he’ll give my appointment to someone else.

CABBIE: Ah! You see the other customers as a symbol of your resentment toward a brother or sister. Perhaps you have a little sibling rivalry going.

ME: [sotto voce]: I can’t wait until my car is repaired.

CABBIE: What was that?

ME: Never mind. Just drop me off here.

CABBIE: Did you know that leaving a dollar tip on a $10 ride indicates a holding back, an unwillingness to let go . . .?

ME: And did you know that my slamming this door on your nose reflects my uncompleted relationship with Pinocchio?

CABBIE: †§$%$(%¢%

ME:  Same to you, fella.

Scene 2

ME: Hi, Francois. Today I’d like a change. How about a short haircut?

FRANCOIS: I can see an obvious conflict that I must bring to your attention. You think by changing your outer self, your internal enemy can be placated.

ME: In that case, cut it for both of us. The real reason I’d like it trimmed is because it gets in my eyes while I’m playing tennis. I’d just like to be able to see the ball when I miss it.

FRANCOIS: You don’t want to miss. You probably are extremely competitive, which stems from your need to be in charge . . . I sense that you are agitated. Tell me, what are you feeling right now, at this very moment?

ME: You really want to know? I’m feeling great hostility toward your leotards. As a matter of fact, I’d like to be perfectly candid. I never thought you had the legs for them.

FRANCOIS:  Well, I never . . .

ME: I can believe that. Good-bye!

Scene 3

ME: Set ‘em up, Joe. I’ve got a little story I’d like you to know.

BARTENDER: Lady, can’t you just ask for a drink like everyone else? I sense a bit of the exhibitionist in you. Were you ignored during your formative years?

ME: Listen, these are my formative years. Being ignored would be the highlight of my day. Why don’t you simply give me a Bloody Mary.

BARTENDER: I sense a deep-seated fury raging in you. Obviously you could have chosen from over 1,000 cocktails, including a Sweet Cassis. Why did you choose that particular mix?

ME: I did it for purely medical reasons. My body craves the vitamin C that’s found in the tomato juice.

BARTENDER: I think you chose the Bloody Mary because it reflects your preoccupation with violence, blood, and gore.

ME: Were they a rock group? Actually, I’m getting nauseous. Leave me alone.

BARTENDER: I can see your rage. Who do you suppose really is the recipient of your wrath?

ME: I’m looking at him.

BARTENDER: Oh, no. You don’t mean me. I’m merely a therapeutic stand-in for someone else in your past. Tell me, who are you angry with?

ME: I’m not angry.

BARTENDER: Ha. You can’t kid me. If you’re not angry, then why are you pouring your drink down my apron?

ME: It was a childish impulse. I once accidentally set fire to my hula hoop, and for a moment – because of your beer belly – I was transported in space and attempted to put out the flames.

BARTENDER: Ah! Now we seem to be getting somewhere, but your time is up. Why don’t you go home, take two martinis, and call me in the morning?

ME: Listen, whatever you say. You’re the doctor.     

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