Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Okay this is a little incident that occurred when I was nineteen years old and working on a cruise ship. Our next port of call was San Francisco and the powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, decided it would be in the interests of science (and Health & Safety) for me to visit a trick-cyclist. At least that's what I thought the Captain said when I accepted the offer.

The 'trick-cyclist' turned out to be one of these head doctors. I didn't care, half an hour of laying on a couch pouring out my woes to a foreign stranger was no biggie. Just like a trip to the corner shop at home really. The icing on the cake was, once cured of the manic depression my brain had yet to pick up on, I could go on a binge in the hippie capital of the world.

However, as with the rest of my life in general, things were not quite so straightforward. This is roughly what transpired and may God strike me down if I lie (come on, you don't answer my prayers don't take me literally now).

I opened the door to the psychiatrist's office and immediately felt ill at ease. For one thing, the guy looked at me like I was a nutter or something. He was big, REALLY big - he was actually fat but I'm learning this new PC thing, haven't quite got the hang of it yet. His bulk was matched by the size of his leather-bound swivel chair and massive desk he sat behind. In stark contrast was the small wooden chair he motioned to.

What happened to the 'lie down and tell me your troubles' then?

I sat perched on the small chair feeling like a Borrower when the guy pulled out a set of cards. They just looked like ink-blots to me. I was puzzled.

If I'm honest they reminded me of getting smacked round the back of the head by a Geography teacher for knocking over a bottle of ink, but I couldn't see the relevance.

I wasn't sure he was quite ready for that but if I was going to get drunk today I needed to humour the person. I took a look at the first picture.....
"A guy with a huge penis"

He handed me another.....
"A couple about to have sex"

"Wow, a threesome"

The guy passed me one more card.....
"Conjoined twins..... masturbating"

I was fast losing patience and pointed out to the psychiatrist it was he who was showing me the porn. He gave me a strange look but put the cards away.

I wish I knew what he was thinking

We seemed to have reached an impasse and sat in silence.  You could cut the atmosphere with a knife....

Only when I got caught


He looked at me sympathetically, I could sense another question coming,

I do it all the time

Touch myself inappropriately


I'm hungry. Seriously, you get paid for this?

The guy seemed to be agitated and I could see the veins on his neck trying to burst through the skin.

He pulled out these kiddie blocks and told me to fit them in the correct holes. Really? I mean a joke is a joke but now he was asking for trouble.

I put the triangle into the triangle hole then took up the square and tried to fit it through the circle hole. Naturally it wouldn't fit so I 'encouraged' it. Actually I smashed it as hard as I could with my fist. Splintered wood and brightly coloured plastic shapes flew everywhere.

Square peg round hole. Isn't that why I'm here?

He scribbled something on a piece of paper and put it in a plain brown envelope for me to give to the captain. I had expected psychiatrists themselves to be mentally stable but this guy looked about to have a breakdown. I rose to leave as he rummaged in a drawer. At reception I said goodbye to the girl at the counter and heard a car backfire in the street. It actually sounded like it came from the psychiatrist's office behind me.

Back on the ship the captain looked inside the envelope then at me, quite sternly I thought.

He handed me the note from the psychiatrist

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