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Cynic Clinic


Willie had his share of phobias, quirks and just plain mental problems. He had his share and maybe a couple of other people’s too. That was another of his problems. Everyone has at least one phobia, quirk or mental problem. Things like being afraid of leaving a closet door open at night; afraid to leave your hand hanging over the bed; the boogieman. These are all realistic fears, of course. Only the psycho-babblers think they aren’t. However, since they decide what’s nuts and what isn’t they’re considered quirks. Fine, that’s why they get paid to listen to the crazies while everyone else have to do it for free.

Willie did have a major quirk. Every ten or fifteen seconds he would jerk his head to the right. He didn’t know why he did it or how it got started. His family thought it was embarrassing and creepy. His friends thought it was just creepy but Willie was good for a round so they didn’t concern themselves much. He went to the local mental clinic for help. This is the help he got.

“As a temporary measure, until we find out the root cause of this quirk, let’s try to develop a behavioral change. How does that sound?”, the babbler told Willie.

It sounded like the nonsense is was but Willie didn’t want to seem ignorant. He should have since that statement didn’t mean anything.

“Uh, sure. Why not? What do I do?”

“Well, it mostly what you don’t do, like jerking your head side to side. That’s why you came here, remember? Do you have any memory problems we need to work on? No? Good. What we want to do is trick your subconscious. Every time you jerk your head to the right I want you to tap your forehead. We’d like to teach your subconscious that jerking your head causes pain. That way it will try to avoid that by not jerking your head.”

“How does tapping my forehead cause pain?”, Willie asked. He should have known what was coming but he didn’t.

“Well, you have to tap it pretty hard. Maybe tap it with a hammer.”

Lo and behold, it worked! Willie tried it and he stopped jerking his head. His family remarked on it. It didn’t happen overnight but he eventually stopped jerking his head to the right.

“Say there, Willie, I see you don’t jerk your head no more. Thing is, you whackin’ yourself with a hammer that way looks downright stupid, ya know? I think you’re changin’ the way your head looks. That may or may not be a bad thing.”

Back to the clinic Willie goes. He explains the whole thing to a new counselor. The new guy said he didn’t like to change another doctor’s therapy but he would, just this once. They still needed to retrain the subconscious. He wanted Willie to try changing his behavioral pattern. Willie sighed at that. Change to what? The what was that he was supposed to turn his head whenever he felt the urge to hammer his forehead. The trick here was to train his subconscious that he would always miss with the tap so there was no point in doing it.

At this point Willie was getting a little suspicious of this whole thing. He felt like he was going in circles. He was. He didn’t really know it yet but he was. He gave it a whirl anyway. Sure enough, the forehead slapping stopped, replaced by turning his head- to the right. Now the hammer hit him on the side of the head.

“Say there, Willie. You’re gettin’ goofier and goofier. Now you’re turnin’ your head like a spinnin’ top. Maybe you need to see someone and get some help before it’s too late, if it ain’t now.”

Willie was getting disgusted with all those sessions with the head-shrinkers and all that money. For what? To be told he was getting goofier and goofier? Jeez, he was getting goofier and goofier. He knew he was getting goofier and goofier. Well, in for a nickel, in for a dime.

“Look here, Doc, I’m not getting any better. I’m just changing what I’m mental about. That’s not helping me any. I wonder if you folks even know what you’re talking about.”

The doctor, who wasn’t a doctor at all, wondered that too. Luckily he was in a business where a guess was as good as a fact.

“Willie, you seem to have a lot of pent up anger. I’d like to explore that with you. We need to get to the root of your problem. Perhaps, if we work hard, we can-”

Willie explained the whole thing to the judge. The judge listened to Willie with sympathy. He couldn’t let him get away with it even though if there was any justice he should. He gave Willie thirty days in the county jail. He said he’d suspend the sentence if Willie got counseling.

Willie was a model prisoner. The guards said he just sat on his bunk laughing all day while he turned his head, slapping himself, and spinning his head.


The Rob Saga The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.


There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.
See a preview.

Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.

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Funny Stories Don Roble
Funny Stories
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