Flying cash registers and you

This was supposed to be a “Frequently asked questions” sheet about our book, Weird and Wacky Workbook for Recovery.  But we got distracted.  You are so very interesting.   So today we answer FAQ’s about you, not us.

Disclaimer: you realize we’re a group of psychiatrists, or course?  Shrinks are good at questions, and we’re (supposed to be) even better at finding answers.  We should be more than qualified to tell you all about…well, you.  Whether that’s true remains a mystery.

Even then, we need your help.  For each question or statement, choose an option.  We’ll base our answers on your answers.

FAQ 1. “How are you today?”  Which of the following would likely be your response?new doc 2017-12-11 07.53.46_2

(a) “Fine, thank you.”
(b) “Fine, thank you.  And you?”
(c) “Fine, thank you.  And you?  I mean, is it okay for me to ask a psychiatrist that?”
(d) “How do you think I’m doing?  You’re the psychiatrist.  You tell me.  What do you think I’m paying you for?”
(e) &D^%%*__?

How’d it go?

→ 33%, 33%, and 33% of patients answer (a), (b), and (c), respectively.  These are super answers.  If you chose one of the first three, you’re a stunning picture of mental health.  We admire your progress in life.  (And we’re doing fine too.  Thanks for asking.)
→But did you choose (d)?  If so, it will unfortunately require extensive psychodynamic existential psychosurgery to determine whether you’re fine or not.  You’re the perfect patient.  We’ll see you tomorrow morning at 10AM.  For an extra 199 dollars, we’ll review your ego strengths and take you bowling.
If you chose (e), our response is 55h4&^#*%–?78  45*4.

FAQ 2.  “So what have you been doing lately?” 

weird art - flying cash register(a) “Those little cash registers are back, the ones that fly around and hide behind the fridge.  They read my mind and send messages to the government.”
(b) “I was out partying last night when I realized I’d broken curfew.  I ran so fast I lost my shoe.  Then my carriage turned into a pumpkin.”
(c) “I made a pumpkin pie.  It tasted like a carriage but, hell, it was worth it.  The Fairy Godmother was pissed.”
(d) “Last night?  I spent the night researching my psychiatrist online, why?”
(e) “I told you, &^#H&&%#.”

Here are our answers to your answers.  

→If you answered (a), then please get rid of the cash registers as soon as possible.  They’re downright scary.
→(b) Cinderella, is that you?  Can you ask the Fairy Godmother if  she knows anything about flying cash registers?
→(c) Oh, dear.
→(d) Can you also research flying cash registers?  We hear they’re sending messages to the government.
(e) &^#H&&%#, really?  As I said before, the answer is no.  Absolutely not.  We’re not allowed to treat that sort of thing.

FAQ 3. “Do you ever think you have special powers?”

(a) “God tells me I’m here to save the world.  It’s got something to do with flying cash registers and stupid quizzes.”
(b) “I live life through a series of multiple choice questions.”
(c) “Sometimes I think I can heal people’s mental problems by looking at them in a smart way and asking ridiculous questions.”
(d) “Seriously, doctor, these FAQ questions are getting annoying.”

Which option did you choose?  If you answered:

→(a) [Doctors groan] Please, no more flying cash register jokes.  What’s this about a stupid quiz?
→(b) How do you feel about these multiple choice questions?  Choose one of the following: (1) sad, (2) angry, or (3) choose one of the following: (i) it stems from my childhood, (ii) it’s based on cognitive distortions, (iii) oh, never mind.
→(c) Delusions of grandeur?  We’re going to look at you in smart way, ask stupid questions, and give you a prescription for Haldol.  You should feel better by morning.
→(d) See question #4 about enhancing frustration-tolerance.

FAQ 4. How do you deal with annoying people?

(a) “I have a large assortment of coping skills.  In fact, I’ve been told I exhibit superior frustration-tolerance abilities.  Conflict management is my middle name.”
(b) “My thoughts are very violent, so I avoid the world and surf the web looking for FAQ articles.  It’s the only relief I get.”
(d) “I stalk people who are annoying.  I take hundreds of pictures, make notes on their every movement, eavesdrop on their conversations.  For example, this is a photo I took of you at 2 this morning…”

→Hmn, I’m sensing a bit of angst in the room.  Why don’t we bring the session to a close and try again next week? That’ll be 550 dollars please. [Wait, there’s more: please move onto FAQ#5).

FAQ 5. [Doctor sighs and shivers.]  “I’m terribly sorry to inform you that your health insurance has declined coverage.  They don’t pay for FAQ-laden group therapy sessions.  That’ll be 550 dollars.  Credit card or check?”

(a) “I’ll pay with credit card.”
(b) “I’ll pay with check.”
(c) “You’ve got to be kidding me.  It was better when the flying cash registers were still around.”
(d) [A stranger enters the room, face red, fists tight, anger in their eyes; they have a history of violence and property destruction.  Arson too.]  “What?  My insurance won’t pay?  Well, just tell them that if they don’t pay I’m heading over to their office, I know exactly where to find them, and… my face is red, my firsts tight, there’s anger in my eyes, I have a history of violence and property destruction, and arson too.  My visit won’t be good for them, Doc.  Tell them that.  You’ll see how fast they pay. It always works.” [Stranger slumps into doctors’ sofa and stares emphatically.  There is nothing but silence.]

If you chose:

(a) and (b). Great.  Please send 550 dollars to your favorite charity.  Personally, we recommend the American Association of Poor Psychiatrists Who Are Trying To Publish a Book, but the choice is up to you.  Thanks.
(c) No, not the cash registers again.  That’s it.  We can’t take anymore.  Ladies and gentleman, quiz is over.
(BTW, if you chose (d) there’s no charge.  Ever.  Just don’t hurt us.)


That’s enough FAQ for now.  Thanks for joining us today, and make sure to visit again.  Until next time.

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